The Flash, Season 3, Episode 3: “Magenta”
Barry didn’t cry in this one, so that’s a start.
After a depressing opening to the new season and getting stuck in the mopiest timeline, The Flash got a shot in the arm with the return of Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh). It might be because this version of Harry was more manic than menacing, or it could be that he’d barely taken his coat off before reading Barry the riot act for screwing around with time travel. No matter the reasoning, the show’s chemistry is complete with Harry in the house.
The main thrust of the action centered around the youths of The Flash.
First was Harry’s daughter, Jesse, who was exposed to a dark matter explosion last season. Her powers manifested themselves recently and it’s caused some tension in the Wells household. Jesse wants to explore her capabilities as a speedster so she can do some good. Harry wants to keep his daughter safe, and superpowers get in the way of that goal.
Wally wants superpowers more than anything. There’s a mix of longing to do good as a member of Team Flash and superpowered penis envy going on with Wally, and he’s willing to go to stupid lengths to jumpstart his powers. Oh, if only there were some kind of hooded wizard in a gas mask running around Central City granting people powers.
Finally, there is the episode’s namesake character, Magenta. She’s a troubled teen who has bounced around the foster care system and is currently placed with a family with an abusive father. All she wants is the strength to defend herself from her abuser. Dr. Alchemy is more than happy to grant that wish in the form of magnetic manipulation and take advantage of this teen’s dissociative personality disorder to his own ends.
It all comes to a head when Magenta tries to drop a cargo ship onto the hospital where her foster father is recovering. The Flash can either keep the ship off the building or talk Magenta down, but not both. Harry realizes that this is a job for Jesse and lets her help Barry save the day.
Of course, there were side stories about the universe keeping Barry and Iris from having a proper date, hints there may be more to Barry’s new partner than meets the eye, and all the loving dad stuff that you can handle.
This episode wasn’t a complete throwback to The Flash‘s Season 1 heyday, but, with the lighter touch and Harry Wells back in the mix, it’s as close as this series has come in a long time.