Flash Season III Ep. 3 – “Magenta”: A Review

Posted: 10/22/2016 in Uncategorized

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In the  lowest rated episode (so far) this season, the Flash brought forth a very good bit of tv viewing. The villain was genuinely sympathetic. A new hero was introduced and her presence worked in development a sub plot involving Joe’s (Jesse L. Martin)  son Wally (Kieynan Lonsdale). Good action, good performances and some good traction toward developing this season’s big bad. My opening volley put forth, on to my review.

We open with Barry/Flash (Grant Gustin) attempting a date with Iris (Candice Patton) and while the two have agreed to pursue a much overdue relationship, it is nonetheless mired in gosh golly shucks moments that still dog this show. I mean last season, we saw Barry in bed with Patty (Shantal Van Santen) so we know he is capable of attaining the “next level” in a relationship…. Ah well, this is a minor complaint. Most of what occurred in this run was damn good.

Two introductions of existing characters occurred. The first was Frances Kane aka Magenta (Joey King). Her origin in this ep diverged from the comic book source material but still had enough oomph as the manifestation of her abilities are a direct response to a physical threat against her via her foster father. The presentation of her powers was well executed including – a lamp post wrecking scene and a big screen level effect featuring an oil tanker. Again, this latest threat is a result of Dr. Alchemy’s “gifting” a normal person with the powers exhibited by their Flashpoint variant brought about by the Flash’s attempt to save Nora Allen (Michelle Harrison). Unlike the “meh” Rival, Magenta is a pure victim and while the aspect of her meta human powers is presented as essentially a split personality with a dark, aggressive portion dominating a more vulnerable side, the exploited need for protection and vengeance is a duly relevant theme. This character is extraordinarily powerful.

Barry’s office nemesis Julian Dorn (Tom Felton) makes the connection and pushes Frances into exhibiting her abilities defensively. While being depicted as a brilliant CSI, there is something innately wrong with this character though he is assuredly interesting. The battle that ensues forces Barry to take a different tactic while engaging a particularly dangerous, damaged opponent. Enter the presence of another established DC character, Jesse Quick aka Jesse Wells (Violet Beane), daughter of Harry Wells (Tom Cavanaugh) introduced last season.

Their return occurs a bit clunkily as Harry basically creates a portal from Earth II to bring he and his daughter over to get his friends to talk her out of using her new found super powers. All moments with both characters however are gold. Harry takes two minutes to figure out Barry tampered with the time line. The joy Jesse exhibits as she tests her speed at S.T.A.R. labs is genuine and gratifying. Her role also serves to remind us of what Wally doesn’t have in this time line. Jessie’s moment with Wally reveals how her powers were essentially “kick started”. This leads Wally to do something terribly stupid. Caitlin’s (Danielle Panabaker) discussions with Harry present her true perspective on having abilities and not knowing what to do with them. Her arguing Jessie’s case to Harry mirrors her own plight. The Killer Frost arc stands to be a game/show changer.

The demonstration of Jessie’s speed and her simply grasping the essence of being a hero occurs organically and sets the stage for a much needed ally for the fastest man alive. Her taking over his attempt to keep a tanker from landing on a hospital is seamless. The potential for a future ally is set via the Flash’s efforts with Magenta. Wally’s path  toward returning to the Flashpoint status is inevitable. The motivations of Dr. Alchemy remain a mystery. Like I said, earlier, a lot is being done right this season.

The Iris/Barry romance moves a little less glacially by the end sequence but still has a long way to go. The promise of a new Rogue’s Gallery in the episodes to come stands to deliver for the staunchest hard core fans. The return of Harry Wells bolsters the team and keeps Barry in check while providing the proper genius level strategy the group needs with more complicated, powerful enemies on the horizon. Flash Ep. 3 gets it right. I can only hope fan interest in this show is re-ignited as honestly, it still remains simply outstanding and well worth your time.

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