THE FLASH: “MAGENTA” REVIEW
BY JONATHAN KINCAID
This week’s episode of the Flash was a decent one. Barry and Iris are trying to further their relationship; Harrison Wells and Jesse Quick made a surprise return from Earth-2; and a new baddie who goes by the name of Magenta is wreaking havoc on Central City. All of this made for a pretty decent episode with a fair amount of interesting and stirring moments, particulary between certain characters. But firstly, I’d like to talk about Barry and Iris as a couple. On their first official date, it’s clear from the get-go that the two have a very hard time interacting with each other on an intimate level. It’s actually quite awkward. They’re more like timid friends than boyfriend and girlfriend. And that’s because both of them try to deny who they really are. Initially, it seems as though they’re simply unwilling to embrace each other and all of the experiences that molded them into who they are today. This really didn’t make any sense to me, mainly because I see no point in them trying to act like ordinary people when in fact they’re quite the opposite. To be frank, their first date was just cringeworthy and unnecessarily so. I’m not implying that every first date should be perfect, not at all. But given how much they’ve been through together, you’d think that they wouldn’t have a problem accepting each other as opposed to playing pretend. I’d also like to touch upon the fact that Barry is struggling to balance out his life. Between work and being Central City’s gallant hero, he’s having much difficulty finding the time for Iris. She doesn’t seem to really mind as of now, but I’m sure that’ll change if he continues to treat her as a sacrifice and ditch her. Although, in the end, I was delighted to see the two realize that the only way things are going to work between them is if they embrace each other. All in all, even though their dynamic was somewhat cringy this episode, I still enjoyed seeing them together as a couple at long last. And I’m sincerely interested in seeing how their relationship develops as the season goes on.
Moving forward, what was undoubtedly the most exciting thing about this episode in my opinion was the return of Harrison Wells and Jesse Quick from Earth-2. They made their way back by reopening the breach. I was wondering when they would come into play this season, and it looks like they’ll be playing a considerably large role for the time being. They’re not merely visiting though. Their reason for coming back to Earth-1 is a more rousing one: Jesse is now a speedster! That’s right – she’s one with the Speed Force, ladies and gentlemen. Her speed only recently revealed itself though, so she’s still trying to understand her newly acquired powers. But more than anything, she’s trying to come to terms with who she is now. She’s no longer some ordinary girl – she’s Jesse Quick, a speedster with an uncontrollable desire to stand up for the weak and helpless and stop those who only wish to cause harm. I must say, I admire her enthusiasm and eagerness to make good use of her new abilities, and so does everyone else. Well, everyone except for her father, Harry. He feels as though she’s just not meant to be a speedster and shouldn’t be putting her life on the line for others, which is understandable to a definite extent. I mean, he is her father after all and only wants to protect her. But honestly, I found this to be rather agitating. He doesn’t understand that she’s no longer just his daughter, but an individual who possess extraordinary powers. She can do some real good and make the world a better place now. And after seeing all that Barry has done, how can you blame her? It’s just that Harry is being way too overprotective, something he always tends to do. And instead of keeping her close by being supportive, he inadvertently pushed her away. He’s not trying to understand her. He’s trying to hinder her, and that’s where he’s at fault. But Harry ultimately realizes that he was wrong and came to support Jesse’s wish to be a speedster. He even gave her a costume to make up for being so critical(courtesy of Cisco of course). Needless to say, I was thrilled to see Jesse back, especially now that she’s a speedster. I can’t wait to see her in costume putting in work alongside Barry, and it’ll certainly be interesting seeing a more accecpting and supportive Harry from now on.
Another thing that I’d like to briefly cover is how Wally reacted to Jesse’s speed. At first, I considered the possibility that he may too be a speedster, but for whatever reason chose not to openly admit it. But as the episode went on, it became increasingly evident that he’s quite envious of Jesse. The thing is, he’s always been a good person who sought to do good in any way he possibly could. But he wants to make a substaintial difference, like Barry. As we know, just like Jesse, he too was hit by the dark matter in season 2, but unlike her he didn’t manifest any speed. In a sense, I guess you could say he feels somewhat cheated. And it’s unfortunate, because we got a little tease of him as Kid Flash in the season premiere, and he was absolutely incredible in that time that we saw him. But I think it’s safe to say that eventually, at some point, he will somehow get his speed. And when that happens, it’s going to be a very amazing and memorable moment. Just imagining him and Barry working together as speedsters to save the day gives me goosebumps.
Moving on, this episode’s antagonist, Magenta, was a fairly interesting one to say the least. She, just like the Rival, got her powers back from Alchemy. This means that she must have been an evil meta in the Flashpoint timeline. She’s not as generic or lackluster as the Rival though. As an antagonist, she actually has an interesting background, which I appreciated. She had an extremely rough upbringing and suffers from multiple personality disorder. Her real name is Frankie, and the best way to describe Magenta would be to compare it to a disease. Magenta tries to consume Frankie, doing away with any ounce of good she has in her. To me this was pretty cool. Seeing that conflict in her, that struggle between good and evil – it made for a fascinating antagonist with some fairly intriguing qualities. She was, however, still a pawn to Alchemy, which made her kind of underwhelming and predictable.
VERDICT: “Magenta”, despite all its minor flaws, was actually a very satisfying episode with a nice amount of action and character development. It perfectly set up a lot for future episodes, primarily with Jesse Quick(who I feel was one of the episode’s highlights). Excluding the iffy writing between Barry and Iris, and yet another semi-decent baddie, “Magenta” was an overall pleasing episode with more highs than lows. To me, it’s more of a filler – setting the stage for episodes to come.