Catching Up: The Flash Episode 303, "Magenta"

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The Flash Episode 303, "Magenta"

Episode 303 of THE FLASH introduces us to another new character, Magenta, because she flashes things with a purple color. No wait, that's not right. She affects metallic objects like a magnet, so they call her Magneta. No, that's not right either.

You can see why Frankie Kane a.k.a. Magenta is not one of my favorite characters in DC canon. She comes across like a dyslexic Magneto (who thankfully isn't called Magento). Frankie (JOEY KING) is a foster child living in an abusive home. When we first meet her, the father comes home from work in what we assume to be a typically disgruntled mood. In fact, the scene is almost a direct lift from CONSTANTINE Episode 102. Having had all she can, Frankie's dissociative personality, Magenta, takes over, and pulls in a lamp post from outside the house to beat her foster father into the hospital.

While this is going on, Barry (GRANT GUSTIN) is off onto a date with Iris (Candice Patton), which does not go all that well. Something is missing, and everything gets awkward. Fortunately, they are all saved by the buzzer when they get called to S.T.A.R. Labs. A breach has opened, and before they can close it, Harrison Wells (TOM CAVANAGH) has stepped through -- and quickly behind him (very quickly behind him) comes his daughter, Jesse (VIOLETT BEANE). Only Jesse is a speedster! The dark matter that hit both her and Wally West (KEIYNAN LONSDALE) at the close of Season 2 gave her powers, something that does not sit well with Wally, who is more than a little jealous.

Cisco (CARLOS VALDES) and Caitlin (DANIELLE PANABAKER) offer to help Dr. Wells put Jesse through some tests in the Speed Lab. What? You've never heard of their Speed Lab? Well, neither has Barry, because this is still the post-Flashpoint altered timeline that he's having to get used to. Harrison Wells also realizes the timeline has been altered, because there was no Speed Lab the last time he visited either. Which causes one to wonder about the semantic differences between a parallel Earth and a parallel timeline, but that's a thesis paper for another day.

While Jesse thinks they are there to help her prepare to become a hero like Barry, Harrison's goal is to have everyone talk her out of such an idea. He's still overprotective of his daughter. Cisco won't do it because he's a meta himself, and thus has no credibility. And Caitlin won't do it because she claims that she has no powers and doesn't know what it's like -- although she's extremely telling in her protests, as we all know now that she's been manifesting Killer Frost powers.

Throughout the episode, Wally doesn't let go of the idea of becoming a speedster, since he got hit by the dark matter at the same time Jesse did. Notwithstanding the logic that everyone in Central City got hit by the first wave and only a few gained powers, he says he's dreamed of being a speedster. Hold onto that notion, because it's a plot point.

Eventually, you know that The Flash is going to come into conflict with Magneta Magenta, and it's actually a very cool fight, both in terms of her displays of power and that it allows Harrison Wells to come to terms with the fact that his daughter is going to be a hero and he'd do more good supporting her than fighting her. "Run, Jesse. Run."

We learn that Frankie had dreams of having power, and then began to hear a voice from a man calling himself Alchemy. Barry realizes that this means Alchemy is still turning people into the metahumans they were in the Flashpoint timeline, which ties into the case that his CSI partner, Julian Albert (TOM FENTON) is working. Wally listens intently for other reasons. Can they telegraph any harder that Wally is going to become Kid Flash by selling his soul to Alchemy?

While not featuring my favorite antagonist, and featuring far too many moments where Harrison Wells uses "Not!" as a sentence ender, "Magenta" was still an episode with nice moments. We get to see what life is like for a speedster having to wait for less than a minute, and we get to see Jesse Quick's costume (although not modeled). And more than one hint is dropped on how things have changed in this timeline of which even Barry is not aware, like the panic buttons the team all wear because they're always being kidnapped. The only thing I'm really looking forward to is Caitlin Snow becoming a little more assertive, as she's really been played down this season.

3.5 / 5.0