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TV Review: The Flash - Season 3 Episode 3 "Magenta"

10.18.2016
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EPISODE 3: "Magenta"

SYNOPSIS: Barry (Grant Gustin) and Team Flash are thrilled to reunite with Earth-2 Wells (Tom Cavanagh) and Jesse (guest star Violett Beane). Wells confides to Barry and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) that Jesse has all the powers of a speedster and has been saving people on his Earth. He is concerned about her safety and wants them to talk her out of using her powers. Meanwhile, Magenta, (guest star Joey King) a new meta who can control metal, terrorizes the city. 

The Flash, The CW, DC Comics, TV Review, Superhero, Comic Book, Grant Gustin, Tom Felton

REVIEW: There is something just a little off about this season of The Flash so far. Whereas the second season quickly lived up to the debut run of the show, season three has been uneven over the first three episodes. I was underwhelmed by the premiere and pleasantly surprised by the follow-up, but this third hour feels like a filler episode. While network television series that run over twenty episodes are expected to have a couple of filler hours, it is disappointing to see it come this early in the season, something that does not bode well if the trend continues. While the episode does offer some developments between Wally West and Jesse Quick, the focus on a forgettable villain of the week does little to progress the Alchemy/Flashpoint storyline.

So, while we know that the original timeline has been compromised, it seems rather quick that everyone is already accepting of the fact. Cisco already seems to be warming back up while Iris and Barry make an attempt at a date. They agree to not discuss the Flash but things quickly turn awkward and they are dispatched to STAR Labs where a breach has been opened to Earth 2. Prepared for the worst, the team is instead greeted by Harrison Wells and his daughter Jesse who has begun to exhibit metahuman abilties that give her Flash-like speed. Wells is of course cautious of his daughter's powers and wants her to stay safe while Wally is left saddened that he was not granted speed as well despite being exposed to the same dark matter as Jesse. What follows is an hour of everyone trying to disuade Jesse from becoming a hero while Wally even goes as far as walking in front of oncoming traffic to try and kickstart his own nascent powers. Of course, nobody gets what they want and everyone ends up complaining. If only there was an actual threat to face...

The Flash, The CW, DC Comics, TV Review, Superhero, Comic Book, Grant Gustin, Tom Felton

In comes Magenta. Another Flashpoint foe, Magenta inhabits the body of a young foster girl named Frankie who has been dealing with split-personality disorder. The violent Magenta uses her metal-controlling ability to hurt her foster father who abuses her. At the CCPD, Frankie is interrogated when the discord between Barry and Julian results in Magenta resurfacing. Clearly, Barry feels responsible for bringing more powered people to Earth Prime and feels protective of the innocent Frankie. Magenta feels indebted to Alchemy who vows that her powers will eliminate Frankie entirely once she kills her foster father. Iris heads to meet with Frankie's stepdad when Magenta arrives and uses her abilities to lift a massive freighter with the intention of dropping it on the hospital, killing civilians with the end goal to kill the man who mistreated her. Not to diminish the plight of abused children, but this all seems like a bit of overkill.

What follows involves The Flash teaming up with Jesse who is able to use her super speed to create a propellor effect of wind to keep the ship aloft while The Flash talks Frankie back in control of her own mind. I will say that the performance by Joey King as Magenta/Frankie is one of the highlights of this episode but is unfortunately overshadowed by the poor plotting of the story. I would love for one of the CW superhero shows to focus on the actual villain threat rather than having the antagonist outsource their master plan to flunkies who fail to beat hero. In this case, Magenta never develops into an adversary that feels like a legitimate threat but one that can easily be stopped. Already, Alchemy is coming off as a bit of a cut-rate villain which is not good three episodes into a 24 episode season.

The Flash, The CW, DC Comics, TV Review, Superhero, Comic Book, Grant Gustin, Tom Felton

The episode concludes with Harrison Wells finally acknowleging that his fear can no longer override the life of Jesse and offers her a few days to remain in Central City and gifts her a newly designed Flash costume for her to wear as she explores her abilities. While I enjoyed seeing Wally as Kid Flash in the premiere, I am even more excited to see Jesse Quick don the mantle of The Flash. In DC Comics, Jesse was also known as Liberty Belle, has a history with multiple versions of The Flash, making her an ideal addition to the team, even if it is for a short stint. The closing scenes of the episode find Barry and Iris agreeing to not ignore their current lives as they explore a romantic connection followed by Joe, Barry, and Julian watching video of Alchemy murdering Edward Clariss in prison. 

Just from the way he asks Barry about whether he has heard of Alchemy or not, I am more convinced than ever that Tom Felton will eventually be unmasked as Alchemy, revealing that his alter ego is nothing but a construct. It is way too coincidental that this new character arrived after the Flashpoint universe altered the timeline, the sole new person we have met to date. While the obvious nature of this could end up being a red herring, I would not be surprised at all if he ended up being the twist much like we had with Zoom last year. What eventually befell Arrow was a feeling of deja vu as each season replicated the structure and themes of the last, I hope The Flash rights itself sooner rather than later.

EPISODE GRADE:

NEXT ON THE FLASH: "The New Rogues" airs October 25th - Barry continues to train Jesse and when a new meta human,Mirror Master, appears on the scene he lets her tag along. Mirror Master has teamed up with his old partner, Top, and is looking forSnart to even a score. Jesse is quick to join the chase but defies one of Barry’s orders which results in disastrous consequences.

Source: JoBlo.com

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10:38AM on 10/21/2016
So how do you think things will play out?

By the mid-season finale, Barry will

A) Summon up the courage to tell someone close to him that he is the Flash
B) Find out that a trusted friend is actually his greatest enemy
C) Discover a new speed force power that will be completely forgotten about
D) All of the above

At the end of the Season, Barry will
A) Summon up the confidence to prove he is the fastest man alive
B) Do something stupid that will expose this world to new
So how do you think things will play out?

By the mid-season finale, Barry will

A) Summon up the courage to tell someone close to him that he is the Flash
B) Find out that a trusted friend is actually his greatest enemy
C) Discover a new speed force power that will be completely forgotten about
D) All of the above

At the end of the Season, Barry will
A) Summon up the confidence to prove he is the fastest man alive
B) Do something stupid that will expose this world to new threats
C) Travel back in time to see his mom die
D) All of the above

At the start of Season 4, Barry will
A) Feel guilty because he did something stupid last season
B) Meet a new person who he explicitly trusts and would never believe could be evil
C) Try to get in Iris' pants
D) All of the above

Answers: D, D and D
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4:29PM on 10/19/2016
I'm not as worried or doom & gloom as others, but this season hasn't had the hook of s1 or s2. I can see why others think this is falling into the same trap as Arrow though. The constant barrage of "like" villains and allies feels like a retread of Arrow hard. On Arrow every major ally and enemy almost was suddenly a master archer. Now in Flash by s3 how many speedsters have we had? Barry, Wally, Thawne, Zoom, Rival, Jay Garrick, Jesse Quick, and now the guy who killed the Rival in jail and
I'm not as worried or doom & gloom as others, but this season hasn't had the hook of s1 or s2. I can see why others think this is falling into the same trap as Arrow though. The constant barrage of "like" villains and allies feels like a retread of Arrow hard. On Arrow every major ally and enemy almost was suddenly a master archer. Now in Flash by s3 how many speedsters have we had? Barry, Wally, Thawne, Zoom, Rival, Jay Garrick, Jesse Quick, and now the guy who killed the Rival in jail and thats Savitar. Thats 8 in 2 saeasons. Season 1 had 2, ok thats cool. But now in 2 seasons and 3 shows we're up to 8??? Yeah I can see where people think there is a problem.

That being said, I still love this show. I expected a slower burn than previous seasons because I expected a long setup on Flashpoint changes. Especially when I saw how they'd approach their version of Flashpoint. Since it couldn't be done with all the characters that the comic or cartoon movie had, it had to mean the changes would be more subtle. I am happy the primary villain currently is a different kind of villain for now anyway. More of a puppet master. That will likely change when Savitar is shown in full force which is coming. I just hope that Mirror Master isn't a one and done villain like Grodd or some of Flash's other major villains. Yes Reverse Flashes have always been Flash's primary villain, but Mirror Master and Grodd are definitely the one two behind RF. That being said I am curious where this season will go. I think it will be a season of multiple villains rather than a single hugely menacing villain.
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9:36AM on 10/19/2016
Honestly, this show is slipping into the same missteps as Arrow pretty fast. And with Legends of Tomorrow already there, I think it's very possible that Supergirl is now the top superhero show of the CW-verse.

This episode was pretty throw-away. I agree that Alchemy is not gearing up to be that impressive of a villain (at least for a season long arc). And it's more than obvious that Tom Felton is Alchemy, it usually works out to be the newest character added to the cast. Hopefully this
Honestly, this show is slipping into the same missteps as Arrow pretty fast. And with Legends of Tomorrow already there, I think it's very possible that Supergirl is now the top superhero show of the CW-verse.

This episode was pretty throw-away. I agree that Alchemy is not gearing up to be that impressive of a villain (at least for a season long arc). And it's more than obvious that Tom Felton is Alchemy, it usually works out to be the newest character added to the cast. Hopefully this season throws us a curve-ball and is trying to play into that expectation of the audience and Alchemy will be revealed to be someone else introduced later in the season.

Looking at the premise for next week's episode, I will say one thing that has significantly ticked me off regarding Flash and Arrow. They have classic characters from their rogues galleries introduced on the show, but bring them in as one-off villains of the week. Arrow had Vertigo, reduced him to a drug dealer to be dispatched on a weekly basis. Now it looks like Flash is bringing in Mirror Master for a villain of the week episode. I think Arrow could have had a great season with Vertigo as the main villain. And Flash could do really well to have Mirror Master as the main villain - get rid of the speedforce villains that rely on time travel and alternate dimensions. Have a villain based in different science separate from the particle accelerator. Tell a really interesting hero vs. villain story.
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10:22PM on 10/18/2016
Another lackluster episode only saved by the reappearance of Harrison Wells. I swear, the storyline runs (get it?) so much smoother and better when his character is actually involved in the main plot. So I'm hoping Wells gets to do a bit more this season than we have seen so far.

And it's not surprising that season three is off to an awful start considering that's when Arrow started to decline.
Another lackluster episode only saved by the reappearance of Harrison Wells. I swear, the storyline runs (get it?) so much smoother and better when his character is actually involved in the main plot. So I'm hoping Wells gets to do a bit more this season than we have seen so far.

And it's not surprising that season three is off to an awful start considering that's when Arrow started to decline.
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