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iReview :: THE FLASH Episode #303 - "Magenta"

With the introduction of a new member of the "Flash Family" the third episode of Season 3 escalates the threat of Doctor Alchemy when a new metahuman is revealed in Central City with the power to drop a really big ship on top of a hospital! And that's before the debut of Jesse Quick! This episode features the return of Harrison Wells.

The Flash Family continues to grow when Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) pays a visit from Earth-2 and reintroduces the group to his daughter Jesse (returning guest stat Violett Beene) who has developed speed powers of her own! After getting struck by a wave of dark matter energy, unleashed when Team Flash recreated the accident that initially gave Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) his connection to the Speed Force (in Season 2) — Jesse’s speed powers eventually manifest themselves, and the young woman has been hoping to follow in The Flash’s fleet-footed boots ever since.

In Episode #303 entitled “Magenta” of The Flash Barry is still dealing with the outcome from his tampering with the timeline. In this new “Flashpoint” reality Barry and Iris West (Candice Patton) are starting out fresh and are (again) going on their first date. Things don’t go as well as either one of them expected. Examining their humdrum lives through a normal lens, the two find little to keep each other’s interest, until they are called back to S.T.A.R. Labs! Their date interrupted by the return of Wells and his “Jesse Quick”.

Introducing Magenta!

Not sitting very well with her overprotective inventor father, Wells risks opening a breach between their two earths in an effort to have Barry persuade Jesse to give up pursuing her super heroics. It doesn’t go very well, especially when a new meta-human, another one of the mysterious Alchemy’s acolytes appears in Central City. Frankie Cane/Magenta (guest star Joey King) is a tortured young soul who has fallen under the villainous influence of Alchemy and his promise of power. As Magenta, Cane wields a mastery over magnetism.

Alchemy has persuaded the young woman to embrace her powers, denounce the voices that she hears that conflict her persona and unleash her full potential to exact revenge on her abusive foster father. In one of the most dramatic special effects attempted by the series yet, Magenta hurls a tanker at Central City Hospital threatening to drop it on the building, finally putting an end to the abuse from her foster father who is recovering after her initial attack. Iris is there when Magenta attacks! It takes the combined power of the Flash and Jesse to set things right.

The character of Francis “Frankie” Cane was introduced in the DC Comics in 1982 and was created by the legendary creative team of Marv Wolfman and George Pérez. She is a childhood friend of Wally West’s and is confused, believing herself possessed, when her powers of magnetism reveal themselves. It takes the combined might of the New Teen Titans to subdue Cane, who will eventually adopt the superhero identity of Magenta. Her career fluctuates between one of fighting for the forces of good, and even against Wally when he assumes the role of the Flash.

Iris and Barry discuss taking a next "first date".

Interestingly Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) plays a very important role in this episode. As the only other individual in the proximity of the dark matter blast that appears to have given Jesse her speed powers, Wally has been hoping, especially after learning about the alternate “Flashpoint” history that he would have developed some connectivity to the Speed Force of his own. Both Barry and Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) recognize the young man’s disappointment. Reuniting with Jesse, Wally investigates how Jesse “ignited” her speed and attempts to similar jumpstart his powers!

Fortunately for him Jesse is able to rescue him from oncoming traffic, after he throws himself into the path of a car — unfortunately to no affect. Returning to S.T.A.R. Labs not a speedster Wally has to deal with a lecture from both Barry and Joe; Wally admits he wished he was “special” and does have regrets that he isn’t a meta-human. Joe expresses just how special his son is, and encourages him to continue his passion to become an engineer — that is Wally’s super power. Meanwhile Wells relents and admits how proud he is of his daughter his Jesse Quick.

In the DC Comics continuity Jesse Quick is definitely a member of the extended Flash Family, and a legacy hero having inherited her abilities — super speed (connection to the Speed Force), flight and enhanced strength — from her parents, the Golden Age heroes Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle. Both are members of the Justice Society of America and then later the All-Star Squadron. Jesse Quick goes on to serve as a member of the JSA, as well as a member of Nightwing’s Titans, before accepting a position in the Justice League of America.

Jesse Quick plays an integral part of the storyline in the comic books that includes the epic confrontation with the mythological super power Savitar, the real “big bad” that will play a major part in Season 3 of The Flash. There are several indications to infer that Barry’s confrontation may evolve to realize the legacy of the Flash Family for television audiences. With two Flashes already in existence, Barry and Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp), and now Jesse Quick, the team is taking shape. We’ve also almost certainly promised that Wally will soon assume the identity of Kid Flash!

Wells and Jesse have a heart to heart about her future.

The episode continues to promote the “Flashpoint” arc that was introduced in the first two season openers. Episode #303 takes the leap and moves the narrative into the “proper tense” of the world that Barry Allen continues to examine and inhabit. The greatest point of contention that Barry is having to deal with most is the inclusion of his workmate Julian Dorn (played by new series regular Tom Felton). Julian perceives Barry as an obstacle in his way, and Barry hasn’t had the opportunity to cultivate a relationship with Dorn; not one similarly to everyone else in Central City.

Barry and Iris are struggling to make a “go” of their romantic relationship. With the timeline having been altered, their path to the present is rocky, but they’ve no doubt that they have a deep affection for one another that goes beyond the limitations of time and space. Although for the audience their love affair is a long time coming, now in Season 3, it’s as if they are taking their first uncharted steps. Fortunately we’re along for the ride. Although the tone of this season is dramatically different from its predecessor, that is part of the fun of a show like The Flash.

The Flash Episode #303 - "Magenta" directed by Armen V. Kevorkian and written by Judalina Neira and David Kob. Original Airdate: Oct 18, 2016

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