The Flash: “Magenta”

flashseason3

Jim’s Thoughts

It’s a little odd there was so much talk this week between Barry and Iris about their “boring date,” because I found the episode pretty boring. There was entirely too much air time devoted to the least interesting plotlines of the show, and yes, I’m counting Barry and Iris’ romance among them, and probably foremost at that.

The show went through and made Jessie a speedster, so I can’t really accuse this week’s episode of not doing anything. It’s just that I don’t think more speedsters, or even more characters in general, are what this series needed. It’s a crowded cast, and there’s already enough competition for screen time.

Wally’s quest for powers is awkward for me. Hearing about how Jessie developed her abilities in a delayed response to the dark matter exposure, and having Wally wonder if his will come around feels like a clumsy reference to puberty. At this point, I’m waiting for someone to show him an outdated video while he tries not to make eye contact with the other embarrassed students.

Magenta was a boring villain of the week. Her abusive foster parent backstory was a piece of emotional manipulation that failed to make up for flat characters with rushed, sloppy development.

All in all, this came off as a sort of breather episode, which would be more acceptable if the season weren’t off to a slow start as it is.

Kyle’s Take

Jim has mentioned how much the Iris-Barry love story has bored him in the past—and I agree that it’s banal at best—and I’ve mentioned in the past that Flash is in danger of collecting speedsters at the same rate that Arrow hordes archers and vigilantes. We don’t need more of either of these and we get more of both in “Magenta.”

How Magenta was presented was tedious and manipulative. In the comics Magenta’s a love interest for Wally, was an integral member of Flash’s Rogues during Geoff Johns’ (Flash’s producer) run on the comic, and functions as Flash’s answer to Batman’s Two-Face. There’s a lot of potential with this character and none of it translated to the screen. I’m not sure why Flash aged down Magenta—like I said, Magenta’s a love interest for Wally in the comics and she’s nowhere near his age in this episode. The only reason I can come up with for aging down Magenta is that it made her backstory easier to get through, leading to the worst crime this episode commits: Magenta’s rushed character development. Mayflies have longer timespans with which to germinate.

Wally’s part of the story baffles me. Sure. Who wouldn’t want to have super speed? But how he decides to rush to the speed force is asinine. It played out like an after-school special. If all your friends (Jessie Quick) stood in front of a speeding car to gain super powers, would you do it too? Evidently his answer is yes.

I guess I’ll get back to the Iris-Barry love story. I’m less concerned with how boring the relationship has played out—it’s like watching the hands of a clock move while pretending to pay attention to the Barry-Iris sections of a Flash episode—and I’m more concerned with the CW’s persistence on staying in the vicinity of incest. Ollie yo-yo banged the two Lance sisters. Barry grew up under the same roof as Iris. Detective West, Iris’s dad, told Barry in “Magenta” that he already has one of “his kids” running around the city. If Daddy West sees Barry as his son, why wouldn’t Iris view Barry as her brother on some level? Why do you have to make it weird, CW? Your plan was clearly to hook up these two; you had a future news article written by Iris West-Allen in season one. Why do you have to hold your palm less than an inch from our face and say not incest, can’t get mad?

“Magenta” was hard to watch. I had hope that next week’s “The New Rogues” would’ve included Magenta, but Flash has made it clear that it won’t and I’m okay with this Magenta not being a member of Flash’s Rogues. Here’s hoping for better character development in the coming weeks.

Conjecture

Hi, guys, it’s Kyle looking into his crystal ball again. I’m not sure how well I’m going to be able to predict the future (of the show) but I’ll do my best here. Oh, I guess a potential spoiler alert is in order, so you’ve been warned.

Tom Felton (Julian Albert) made some questionable choices this week if he’s Doctor Alchemy. He analyzed Magenta’s DNA and determined that she’s a meta-human. That doesn’t look good for Albert=Alchemy, but I’m not sure that it eliminates him from contention. He’s still the one thing that doesn’t add up from the Flashpoint and this could be a red herring to throw viewers off from suspecting Albert. If Albert is Alchemy, he could’ve outed Magenta because he wanted to ascertain the Flash’s identity (see who reacts to Magenta’s shenanigans) and appear as if he’s doing his job—or that he’s competent at his job. He has been at the department for over a year because he couldn’t “solve” what caused the meta-human epidemic.

“The New Rogues” will feature a new set of Rogues. I’m sure we’ll see Captain Cold, Heat Wave, and Golden Glider—they could still have cameos in next week’s episode—but they’ll most likely appear later this season. The only villain who’s confirmed for “The New Rogues” is Mirror Master. We’ll have to see if any of the other villains we’ve met to this point make an appearance, otherwise we’ll have a firehose of new characters thrown at us. There’s been so much time travel that I’m not sure who’s an enemy and who isn’t any more. Could we see Pied Piper, Weather Wizard, and/or Gorilla Grodd? Probably for at least one of them, maybe for the rest, and I couldn’t tell you which one is which, although one of the maybes is probably Grodd, and that makes me sad.

That’s all I have this week. Thanks for reading.

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