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REVIEW: The Flash 3×03 “Magenta”

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Written by Scott Swartz

Hey guys, a meta actually survived a confrontation with Barry and has seemingly not been murdered by the big bad. Progress everyone, progress. Thus, we now get to talk about “Magenta” otherwise know as the episode where everyone manages to do something stupid that partial invalidates a lesson they have learned in the past. I mean I enjoyed the overall feel of the episode, the interactions with Frankie, getting to see Jessie play with her powers, but just for once can some not tread back on character growth. I mean in real life it is not hard to remember lessons we have learned before, but somehow everyone on The Flash at one point or another will make a dumb mistake. I guess I will just have to learn to deal with this, but who am I kidding? Luckily, despite all of the stupidity was masked by some really fun interactions between the team.

The biggest thing to come out of this episode was of course the return of Wells and Jesse, now officially Jesse Quick. I enjoyed a lot of what Harry was going through the episode as he is coping with all of the changes Jesse is experiencing, also it was nice to have some outside perspective on Flashpoint and just how dumb Barry is. Like Harry immediately knew what was up as soon as the whole Speed Room, which is super rad by the way, and gave Barry the right amount of shit for messing with the timeline. The past couple of episodes have been really drab and frankly missing someone to call Barry on all the stupid mistakes he has made. Now that we seemingly have Harry back for at least a little while hopefully the pacing and Barry’s antics will be held slightly more in check.

On the same side of the coin we have a new and improved Jesse, complete with speed powers. Despite her being a key plot point of last season I never really felt like we got to know much about her or what drives her. I view “Magenta” as a soft reboot for the character and I definitely like her a lot better now than I did last year. She is fun, energetic, impulsive, and much like Barry was when he first got his powers loving life as a speedster. She hasn’t felt the weight of the world or a destined calling, this is all fun and games to her and that is both exciting and terrifying. Violett Beane does a good job of fleshing out a character who had perviously been a damsel in distress, now she feels way more in control of her life and can actually make a difference.

What really helps to be both an elevation and a hinderance in the development of Jesse is watching just how everyone treats her new found abilities. Harry with hesitation towards the safety of his daughter, Caitlin with a fear about what it means for her own developing abilities, and Wally with his unrelenting desire and jealousy to become a speedster. Each interaction adds a new layer to Jesse as well as fleshes out the other characters. The only one who manages to suffer from these interactions is unfortunately Wally. He has always been brash and impulsive but it just seemed like there were better ways to try and get his speed to activate. I mean that was beyond stupid and more suicidal than expected, and it was greatly appreciated that both Joe and Barry called Wally on his stupidity. Hopefully moving forward things will work out a little better for Wally or he’ll be really dumb and track down Alchemy, more likely the later unfortunately.

The other great aspect of the episode was Magenta played by Joey King, who was nicely layered and has purpose. Even better she actually survived the episode and Barry managed to talk her down from dropping a boat on a hospital. Her backstory was just the right amount of tragic and not to sappy, but I am left wondering what her larger role will be moving forward or if she is simply a one off. I mean we thought Hartley was a one off and now he is supposed to pop in and out of Team Flash. The only problem with Magenta as a character is that we really did not get enough time to care about her due to all the Jesse Quick plot that needed to happen. Like a couple more scenes of her would have been perfect.

Overall it was a fairly strong episode and certainly top of the season, just missing that final push.

Final Grade B+

+Magenta was a fun villain

+Harry being back

+Jesse development was solid

-Wally being a dumbass

-Not enough Magenta

Extra Thoughts

-So a major improvement post Flashpoint, the team all have panic buttons because “they get kidnapped” so often. Smart

-Clariss getting killed by the mysterious force was super dumb looking. Just a simple speed shanking would have done.

-The way Beane described discovering she has powers was perfect, it went from pure fear to pure joy. Those are the moments people

-I get to talk about Mirror Master next week, I need to start working on my reflection pun list.

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Scott Swartz

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