In this week’s episode of The Flash, we’re introduced to two characters important to the Flash mythos of the comics, and thankfully only one of them is another speedster. Jesse Quick and Magenta make their debuts in my review of “Magenta,” after the super-speed jump.
Notably, the opening with Barry’s “I’m the fastest man alive” monologue is different. He mentions the Flashpoint timeline and how he screwed up and created new dangers. It’s s nice change of pace that Barry is acknowledging his Barry-isms – dumb mistakes made by acting before thinking. Props to regular Biff Bam Pop! reader Widdershins for coining the term.
But then again, maybe that’s just what speedsters do, so impatient, they just have to make things happen… for better or worse. Moving so fast can make real time excruciatingly slow as shown when Barry waits for the second hand to move so he can go on a date with Iris. Draco, I mean Julian Albert, is a stickler for clocking out on time, making him even more unlikable. We hate this guy too, Barry.
The date doesn’t go all that well. After some Flash-y showing off with flowers, Iris requests no Flash talk during the date, just the two of them, no red suit or superheroics to ruin the mood. Without it however it’s kind of boring, the only highlight being when Barry runs across the street to stop a robbery. Things only brightened up during the Flash moments.
This actually follows the Silver Age Flash comics. Barry was an easy-going, boring square. Remember, the dude wore a crew cut and bow tie for nearly two decades. And he was also a cop, not a cool street cop, but a nerdy lab cop. Not an exciting guy, except when he’s wearing red pajamas. Learn. Embrace the red pajamas.
The date ends with Barry and Iris being called back to S.T.A.R. Labs. Something is coming through the gate from Earth-Two. This would have been a very tense moment had we not been spoiled by coming attractions last week. It’s Dr. Harrison Wells and his daughter Jesse, and it’s great to see Tom Cavanagh again. He’s been missed.
They’re here because Jesse has become a speedster, probably from the dark matter exposure last season. Wally is a bit distressed to hear that – where’s his speed? As we saw in the first episode this season, he fits the Kid Flash suit. Joe figures out something is up with that almost as quickly as Harry knows Barry messed with the timeline. Yep, he was missed.
Next we meet Frankie Kane, who may or may not have tried to kill her foster father with metal manipulation powers. In the comics, Frankie is an old, and slightly psycho, ex-girlfriend of Wally West’s who turned to super-villainy after gaining magnetic powers, just so she could kill Wally, whose secret identity she was aware of. There was some discrepancy as to whether her split personality was caused by outside forces, but either way, she hated Wally and was dangerous on Magneto power level.
Here, there still seems to be a split personality, the evil Magenta part symbolized by glowing violet eyes. After discovering a commonality with the Rival’s DNA and that of the other husks, Julian also finds it in Frankie. His bedside manner has to be worked on, because his confrontation with her brought on the Magenta personality and she tried to drop that beautiful JSA/JLA mural on him.
With Great Power…
Julian seems to be on the right track as far as the husks go. The braintrust of Team Flash figure it out as well. Whoever Alchemy is and wherever he came from, he has the ability to recover the powers and memories of those who were powered in the Flashpoint timeline, among them, the Rival and Magenta. It can only be a matter of time for Kid Flash.
In the meantime, Wally still wants power, and Harry doesn’t want Jesse to use hers. As the two bond over Jesse telling Wally how she discovered her powers through an adrenaline moment, he tries to jumpstart his potential by stepping front of a truck. Good thing she was there to save him. She can’t save Wally from Barry’s reprimand though. I’m thinking when Alchemy grants Wally his powers back, after all this, he’ll do the villain’s bidding willingly at this rate.
Run, Jesse, Run
When Magenta tries to drop an oil tanker on the hospital (yeah, she’s that powerful) where her abusive foster father is, the Flash can barely stop it. The relieved sigh of the viewers is almost as loud as the triumphant music when Harry turns to his daughter, saying, “run, Jesse, run” to urge her to help our hero. One quibble though, why aren’t her clothes burning off? Were they chemically treated to be friction-proof? Either way, loved Jesse Quick’s costume… what we saw of it…
I also found the idea of Flash talking Frankie out of her Magenta personality a bit hard to believe. Like in the comics, at first, the good guys try to do right by her, getting her a good home in Keystone, and arresting her father, but…. Something tells me that also like the comics, it’s not going to stick. Magenta will be back.
Even there was a lot going on in this episode, it was very good, lots of great superhero action, and I liked it a lot. Anyone else notice Cisco wearing the much more gloomier Joy Division shirt rather than his usual geek-centric wardrobe choices? Speaking of clothes, I also liked Wally wearing his trademark yellow as well. I also thought the panic buttons on Team Flash’s phones were a good idea.
And, um, did Iris drop the D word in reference to Frankie’s foster father?? That was a bit of a surprise, was not expecting that. Looking forward to the debut of two old school Rogues and more Jesse Quick action.
Next: Mirror Master! The Top! Captain Cold! The New Rogues!