The Flash: 3.05 Magenta
As soon as the particle accelerator explosion happened in Star Labs at the end of last season, we all knew that we would be seeing Jessie and Wally as Speedsters soon enough - or at least something in the metahuman variety. FlashPoint introduced us to Kid Flash and while he was restored to average human status by episode two, it is only a matter of time before that role becomes his destiny. It was obvious he was having the same dreams as Edward Clariss and now Frankie Kane (guest star Joey King) and with new villain Dr Alchemy lurking in the shadows it's just a question of when rather than if he becomes Kid Flash once again.
Jessie meanwhile turned up with dad Harrison Wells and Tom Cavanagh immediately proved while he is a valuable part of the show, playing both the wise mentor and quippy, sarcastic scientist and there was plenty of the latter in Magenta. The reason for their visit was - unsurprisingly - Jessie's development of speed force, which he - unsurprisingly - wasn't happy with. It wasn't the most innovative piece of storytelling; it was inevitable that his hostility towards her powers would wane by the episode's end as she was forced to play the hero alongside Barry and indeed he was playing the proud father by the end and presenting her with her own suit.
It helps that Violett Beane and Cavannagh's performances are really engaging - Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally too - because there was nothing really fresh and Wally's actions, getting jealous over Jessie's powers and stepping in front of a car to 'activate' his own were plain stupid. Perhaps too, the sheer number of speedsters we have seen tend to make Barry Allen a little less great - Flash one of fifteen is less special than the Flash.
If Jessie and Wally are Flash-lite than the main villain was Magento-lite, a girl with a split personality with the ability to control metal. She could have been a fantastic baddie, but unfortunately King never seemed to lack the emotional depth to her performance that was required, either as anguished Frankie Kane who was abused by her father or evil, super-powered alternate personality Magenta out for revenge. Magenta, we learned, was another metahuman that existed in the Flashpoint reality; it's also worth noting that this storyline is a great way to bring new villains in without the question of where they were for the first two seasons, in the same manner that Earth-2 provided new villains last year.
We did get a rather spectacular showdown at the hospital though as Magenta lifted an oil tanker and planned to throw it on top of the hospital containing her abusive foster father - and Iris. It allowed Barry and Jessie to work together to bring her down and the wind funnel was a great way to keep the tanker from falling on the building and killing everyone inside. On the downside, I never got how 'evil' Magenta was supposed to be. It was suggested she was out for revenge against John Kane and weak personality Frankie but then dropping a tanker on a whole hospital suggested she was far more ruthless. And was it enough that Barry was able to coax Frankie out to defeat Magenta with enough will to force her superpowered evil personality down?
The best part of the episode was the relationship between Barry and Iris, which continues to be the strongest point in season three. Candice Patton and Grant Gustin continue to share wonderful sweet chemistry together and it is interesting to see how they finally work out how to have a relationship.
Magenta was a little predictable at times and so much more could have been done with an evil, super-powered personality. But I continue to enjoy that Barry has developed as a person and that makes the show so much more enjoyable again. The running storyline with Alchemy seems fresh (and I don't believe he is new guy Julian Albert (Tom Felton) for a second) and that will keep me engaged for some time yet.