The Flash: Magenta

"I'm always going to be cautious. I'm always going to love you."

Barry struggles with dating while saving the world - while Wells comes back to prevent someone trying to save it. This was a fantastic episode that saw the return of two personalities I didn't even realize I was missing.

Who is Barry when he dates, Barry or the Flash? Iris starts off this episode by saying she wants no Flash stuff on their date. And what results is a dismal mess which makes me worry even more about this couple than I have shown thee, Faithful Readers. Iris has no interest in carbon dating. Outside of Barry's mystique as the Flash, what attracts Iris to him? I think Barry has spent hours poring over every nuance of Iris as a potential partner, not to mention kissed her several times in alternate timelines, but in this world, for all their powerful connection, Iris is just starting to see Barry. Barry needs to think about how they interact.

Luckily he's saved from thinking by a mysterious breach (SO Season Two) and we get Harry and Jesse back again! Wells looked agitated, overexcited, as if transferring between dimensions somehow stole his sanity. It makes sense: his daughter, the one thing in the world he rabidly protects with every ounce of intelligence he has, now has metahuman powers. Looks to me like she's just about as fast as Barry, and oozing eager cuteness to save the world. Which of course: Jesse spent a lot of time traumatized by a metahuman, Zoom, whom she was powerless against; now she has the speed.

But old habits die hard, and under guise of testing Jesse in random ways, Harry's brought his daughter back to Earth-1, opening up another breach and shocking the heck out of the team. This decision seemed odd to me, but I guess there's a limited number of people with powers there now Zoom has stopped collecting them. He focuses on Caitlin as a person to tell Jesse not to fight. Seemed an odd choice at first but then it made sense: Caitlin has lost someone, Ronnie, to the power of Firestorm. That's what being a hero can do to someone. She's not like Cisco or Barry. Harry feels Caitlin more than anyone else ought to understand why he doesn't want Jesse to get powers - and might be able to explain it to her. He doesn't know that Caitlin's feeling a little cold about the idea. Harry also gets right away that there's been a timeline change when the team introduces some sort of super Speed Lab. It's kind of cool that the timeline reset means we can upgrade like this.

The whole Wally wanting to be a metahuman storyline got old fast. From the minute he sees Jesse all speedy he's jealous. Wally jumping in front of a car to jump-start his powers was dumb, dumb, dumb, and why didn't Jesse just suggest a shot of adrenaline or something (okay, yes, it's a myth, but something.) I get that Wally wants to be special. He's a drag racing engineering student. He already rates something high on the special scale. In the Flashpoint world, Wally became the Flash in his car. Now he's got himself feeling so worthless he's jumping in front of cars on the off chance he'll turn into something worthwhile? Joe really comes across as a father - these two have developed an incredible relationship since Wally joined the show.

I thought Frankie was an interesting character. She's an abused person who happens to be a metahuman and happens to have something resembling dual personalities. Still not clear - was this the Flashpoint Magenta who was the other personality, or was it another personality who got the powers of Flashpoint Magenta? And what's up with the dreams? I feel the show went the somewhat stereotypical route of the other personality being insane revenge-o types, but otherwise, she was well portrayed, and I admit to cheering internally when she attacked her foster father with a lamppost.

The Big Fight, with Barry and Jesse against a hugely powerful Magneto Magenta, and Harry finally gone over to cheering his daughter on, was really well choreographed. It felt like the natural resolution to Harry having to back off protecting Jesse last season. I liked that Barry went into this one trying to save the person who called themselves his enemy, and won. What does it mean that this particular girl was turned into a metahuman by Doctor Alchemy? I keep trying to figure out if there's some pattern. They're not all attacking the Flash, like Zoom's lackeys did last season. Barry looked really heroic comforting Frankie at the end, and offering support. Frankie actually comes across stronger. And then I called it last year - Jesse gets the costume once used by Trajectory.


On the dating scene, there's some resolution too. Barry decides he can't separate himself from the Flash, and I think that's smart. The Flash is one face of Barry, not all of him, but still an important face. And you can't deny that, as part of the Flash team, they've experienced a lot that they need to talk about and process; hiding that's got to be something that kills a relationship.

Flashpoints

The opening scene with Barry demonstrating how slow the world is to him by watching drops fall while Julian complains.

Joe telling Barry he gets treated more like a daughter than a son.

Julian out-csi-ing Barry. I wonder when this guy is going to find out Barry's the Flash.

Doctor Alchemy is starting to freak Barry out. When he hears Frankie's story and sees the invisible pounding Clariss got, his expression is kind of creeped.

Barry bringing Iris out to the water is going to be remembered as one of the moments that interested me in their relationship.

Replays

Harry: Who's Alchemy?
Cisco: Well, Doctor Alchemy is a magic man in a cloak who can somehow restore the powers that people had in Flashpoint.
Jesse: Okay, what's Flashpoint?
Caitlin: That's what we're calling the alternate timeline that Barry created when he went back in time and saved his mom.
Harry: Oh. So Magenta is another side-effect from your time trip. Genius. Not.

Joe: I know you want this more than anything, but you have to face the fact that it might not happen.
Wally: So, you think just let it go? Give up on wanting to help people?
Joe: You don't need powers to do that. Look, Barry was coming to the rescue as a CSI long before he was the Flash. He wanted to help people then just like you want to help people now. So he studied. He honed that brilliant mind of his. And you have the same brilliant mind, Wally. I mean, it son. Look, a lot of people dream about making the world a better place. With that mind of yours and that engineering talent, you literally could build a better world.
Wally: So what? I got to stay in school?
Joe: Yeah, you got to stay in school. Just a couple more years.

Overall

Some great moments here, one uneven moment (Wally jumping in front of cars), but I had fun, and it looks like we have the whole team back, and Barry has a little more support out there. Four out of five mysteriously glowing purple contacts.

4 comments:

Patrick said...

It was good to have Harrison Wells back, and I didn't realize just how much I missed Jesse until she returned. Violett Beane is utterly charming in the role, especially when she portrays the sheer joy of having Speed Force powers.

Something not mentioned in this review, when Frankie was talking about the dreams she was having, there was a funny look on Wally's face. Has he been having the same dreams, about being Kid Flash? I mean, as soon as we heard that everyone with powers in Flashpoint was going to be getting them back, it was clear they were setting up Kid Flash's return. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure Barry was making a similar face, knowing that if Alchemy keeps this up, Wally could be next. He really needs to tell them before it happens, even if they said they didn't want to know.

Tim said...

Really enjoying Tom Felton's performance as Julian. It's got to be a fair bet that he's Dr Alchemy, right?

Lydia said...

My only issue is that the Flash is getting almost as soapy dramatic and cheesy as Arrow, and that was one reason I quick Arrow in the first place. The Flash is still entertaining, but I'll have to drop it if they continue going down such a dramatic route. It's a comic, can we have more Cisco wisecracks and quotes like "it's like having a second daughter, you overshare your feelings" lol. Also Tom Felton can gET IT. He looks soo attractive in this show. Well, he always looks attractive but I'm betting he's Alchemy. 100%. They wouldn't bring him on board just to make disapproving noises after everything Barry says.

Mark Greig said...

I spent this entire episode want to slap Wally. It pains me to see the Flash I grew up with turned into this moody teenager who only seems to exist to be angry about everything.