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‘The Flash’ Recap and Reaction: “Magenta”

With the new timeline now firmly cemented into the continuity, The Flash has a new opening. It counts back over the events of Zoom and Flashpoint with the new threat of Alchemy rounding it off.

Flashpoint is now buried forever with Jay Garrick out to stop Barry from rewriting the timeline again. Barry and Iris have now – for the third ‘first time’ – finally kissed and started a relationship. The fallout from Flashpoint has strained the relationships between Team Flash and changed their lives in countless other ways. Alchemy is raising an army and old friends are about to make a return.

Breaking New Ground

An inpatient Barry is waiting for quitting time to make his first date with Iris. Despite a long history of chemistry between the pair, enough cringe is packed into the date to skip channels for a few minutes. Thankfully, an emergency breaks the tension as a Breach at STAR Labs calls the pair back.

The Speed Cannon containing a breach
The Speed Cannon containing a breach

Luck is on the side of Team Flash and the Breach has brought Earth-2 Harry Wells back for a visit. It’s not a social call as he urgently needs their help with something – a new speedster follows him through and slows into Jesse Quick. Distress that he and Jesse both were hit with dark matter but only she has powers is clear to see in Wally.

Caitlin directs the group to their new/old Speed Lab where Harry quickly realizes the truth of the new timeline. It appears that he and Jesse were protected in their separate timeline. Harry – among many other notable achievements – is now also the progenitor of the Earth-2 ‘not’. As in, he believes only a few things are different ‘not’. Recalling the painful end to Kid Flash, Barry warns Joe to keep an eye on Wally.

flash-magenta-speed-lab
The Speed Lab

Magenta

An abusive father hits his adoptive daughter in the head and is greeted with an ominous ‘Frankie’s gone’ before a lamppost crashes through the window and hits him. This would appear to be our first taste of Magenta. The DC Comics Frances ‘Frankie’ Kane was a girlfriend to Wally West and had magnetic powers that adversely affected her mind. She would switch to a darker personality the more she used them. It appears that the same is true here.

flash-magenta

The Speed Lab turns out some perfect results for Jesse but Harry insists on running “more tests”. We see the perfect example of a super-parent here. Now that Jesse has powers and wants to be a hero, Harry is terrified that she might get hurt. Equally worried is Papa West when he tries to let Wally down but recounting how the first wave hit the entire city and very few people became meta. Both fathers show the simple act of worrying about their children but in extraordinary circumstances.

Frankie is interviewed at the CCPD and Albert takes her glass for a DNA swab. Unknown elements in the previous Husks are also present in Frankie and Albert confronts her loudly. Magenta emerges and Barry gives chase but she throws a police car and forces him to save the cop inside. Now we hit the constant plot hole in the Flash – Barry saves the cop in a few seconds and Magenta still somehow escapes. A normal person could have seen and caught her, let alone a speedster.

flash-magenta-rescue
Up, up, and away!!

Quick Fix

Team Flash catch each other up on Alchemy, Flashpoint and Magenta. A passing comment about her speed upsets Wally yet again as Jesse heads off. Barry quickly asks Joe about Wally and is told about the ‘Dad-Cop’ routine – as in Good-Cop, Bad-Cop, Dad-Cop. Dad-Cop is reassuring but cuts straight to the point. Barry never had it because he was like a ‘second daughter’ to Joe. I’m not kidding, those are his words.

flash-magenta-second-daughter
Second daughter?

Harry convinces Caitlin to try and talk Jesse out of speeding – which goes well ‘not’ – and Harry does another bad job of convincing her she shouldn’t be running before Wally finally steps up to bat. It appears that he has ulterior motives as he tries to replicate how she regained her powers – stepping in front of a car. Only a Quick save prevents him from dying. Considering how far he goes to try and get powers, there might be something else at work here.

The Earth-1 premiere of Jesse Quick angers her father and sparks another conflict. An angry Caitlin snaps back at Harry with the typical ‘you don’t understand speech’ but with powers involved. It seems to do the trick but also hints as to why Snow is hiding her own abilities. Killer Frost went evil after getting powers and Caitlin might be scared the same will happen to her. Barry and Harry encounter each other in the Speed Lab where each reveals their guilt over their mistakes. Harry compares his ability at forgiving himself too easily against Barry’s not being able to forgive himself at all.

flash-magenta-barry-wells-talk

Flash Landing

Intrepid reporter Iris West finds Frankie’s father at the hospital and discovers his abusive nature. But Magenta has also arrived. Alchemy told her that if she killed her father, her good personality would disappear. Iris hits her panic button – new to this timeline – and alerts Team Flash. Ramon/Wells tell him how to run in order to keep the tanker afloat but he is effectively stuck. Wells paraphrases the usual plot line for his daughter – “Run, Jesse. Run.” I’ve only just realized that the saying might be referencing Forrest Gump. Wow, I’m slow.

flash-magenta-tanker

Barry is able to talk Magenta down as Jesse holds up the tanker. Magenta reveals all the insults and abuse she underwent at the hands of her foster father. Magenta returns the tanker to port.

Finish Line

Frankie reveals how her memories of Flashpoint bled through in dreams before Alchemy began talking to her. The voice in her head offered her the powers she remembered and she accepted. Wally earlier told Jesse he had been dreaming of having speed. Was that a figure of speech or is he recalling Kid Flash? With this Wally intent on getting speed, Alchemy has an easy target. Team Flash decide that Frankie shouldn’t be held for Magenta’s crimes and set her up with a family in Keystone.

Jesse and Dr. Wells meet in the Breach Room and have a quiet talk. Wells admits that he will always worry over her but that the rest of the world needs Jesse Quick. The pair plan is to stay on Earth-1 for a while to help Jesse learn her powers and test her limits first. To that end, Cisco created a new super-suit for her. We don’t get to see her put it on right now but here’s what there is.

flash-magenta-jesse-quick-suit

Barry and Iris attempt a second date with Barry realizing that they can’t ignore the Flash as he is a part of their lives. The pair speed to what might Star City but the Flash is instantly called away again. One-upping the bad ‘leaving the bill’ moment, Barry appears to leave his girlfriend in another city. Wow. Footage from Rival’s cell shows him getting tossed around somehow but there is only a few flashes of light. Albert asks if it might be a ghost. Gentleman Jim, is that you?

flash-paradox-rival-arm
The arm glimpsed in Paradox

Observations

  • The Frankie/Magenta dynamic is a pointed reminder of what can happen behind closed doors. It’s not pretty, but it’s important.
  • Jesse Quick is finally a speedster!
  • Seeing Wally struggle with his memories of being Kid Flash makes him even more relatable. We’ve all dreamed of being a hero but he appears to be remembering such activities.

 


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Graham Host

Graham Host is a member of the Fan Contributor program. In his spare time, he enjoys the works of Terry Pratchett, DC Comics and a wide assortment of video games. Under no circumstances should he be fed after midnight. Contactable only via the Twitter icon below or trained carrier pigeon.

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