“Run, Jesse, run,” says Harry Wells (Tom Cavanagh) from Earth-2 to his daughter, Jesse (Violett Beane), after finally agreeing to allow her to help The Flash and encouraging her to team up to take on a new metahuman in The CW’s comic-book inspired fantasy action series, The Flash.
As the episode begins, Barry (Grant Gustin) is anxiously waiting for the clock to hit seven so he can clock out and go on his first official date with Iris (Candice Patton). Julian (Tom Felton) is a stickler for Barry to stay exactly until 7pm on the dot, and being the senior CSI he forces Barry to stay until tick…tick…tick, it’s 7 o’clock. Barry is off to see Iris and have their first date which actually is a bust. Both try to leave out of their conversation any Flash or Team Flash talk and they soon find they don’t have much to talk about. It also doesn’t help they’re each trying way too hard and putting too much pressure on the evening, which gets interrupted and thankfully cut short when Cisco (Carlos Valdes) texts Barry to get to S.T.A.R. Labs right away.
Barry and Iris head to S.T.A.R. Labs where the emergency turns out to be that a breach has been opened. Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) yells that someone is coming through and out pops Harry Wells from Earth-2 and his daughter Jesse who’s speeding around like lightning… That’s right, Jesse is now a speedster! Everyone’s very surprised by this including Wally who’s disappointed he doesn’t have any superpowers, even though he was exposed to the dark matter at the same time as Jesse. Harry tells #TeamFlash that he wants to run some tests on Jesse and he wants her to train with Barry and Cisco.
In another part of town a young girl named Frankie Kane (Joey King) is cowering from her foster father as he comes home screaming for his dinner, warning her to be quiet or she’ll “get hers.” Shaking with fear, Frankie suddenly freezes and her eyes change color and begin to glow. A few seconds later a metal street light comes crashing through the window and hits her foster father, seriously hurting him.
At the CCPD, Joe (Jesse L. Martin) is questioning Frankie about what happened to her foster dad and she tells Joe she was upset but says she blacked out and doesn’t remember much after that. Barry and Joe think maybe it’s a super strong new metahuman that threw the street light through the window, but Julian reminds Barry the evidence shows no fingerprints and the angle is all wrong for their theory. Julian asks Frankie if she needs a refill of water, and Frankie says yes and thanks Julian who takes her glass. As he walks out he tells Joe to go get a new glass of water. Julian obviously wants to take her prints and DNA for testing.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Jesse is training and undergoing tests, and Cisco and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) tell her she seems to be just as fast as Barry. A very happy Jesse heads off to get something to eat (speedsters are always hungry since they burn so much energy running) and Harry says he wants to do some more tests. Caitlin thinks Jesse seems to be fine and Cisco agrees which upsets Harry. Finally, Harry admits to them that he doesn’t want Jesse to be a hero like Barry and he wants them to help talk her out of it. Cisco says he’s not the guy for this and leaves. Harry turns to Caitlin pleading for her to talk to Jesse for him. At first Caitlin says she wouldn’t know what to say since she doesn’t have powers, but with Harry looking so desperate for her help she finally agrees.
Barry noticed how disappointed Wally was that he doesn’t have any powers like Jesse and tells Joe he should talk to him. Joe and Wally have a heart-to-heart at the CCPD with Joe trying to convince his son that he doesn’t need powers to be special. Joe tells Wally he can use his brains and his talents with engineering to help make the world a better place. The talk helps Wally feel better but doesn’t remove his aching to be a superhero.
Barry walks into his lab and finds Julian running a test on Frankie’s DNA. Julian reacts quickly to his results, telling Barry to follow him. He catches Frankie as she’s leaving the precinct and yells at her that she attacked her foster dad and that she’s a metahuman. “No, don’t!” yells Frankie as she covers her ears. “You hurt your foster father,” yells Julian, with Barry suggesting he back off. Frankie pauses and stands straight up bringing her hands away from her ears and once again her eyes change color and glow. “Oh, I want to do so much more than that to him and now to you,” says the young girl as the metal in the walls and ceiling start to shake violently. Barry uses his speed to quickly change into his suit and pull Julian out of the way of the large metal sign that was about to crush him. The Flash races outside to see Frankie walking away and tells her to stop. She turns and he sees how she is different. He pleads that he can help her and that he knows Dr. Alchemy gave her these powers. Frankie, who is calling herself Magenta when she uses her powers, reacts to the name but tells Barry she doesn’t need his help. Magenta uses her powers to lift a police car in the air and tells The Flash he has to choose whether to take her in or save the cop inside. She hurls the car toward the ground and Barry, using his super speed, is able to grab the officer and get him out before the car smashes into the ground. Unfortunately, Magenta has escaped.
Back at S.T.A.R Labs, Caitlin is true to her word and tries to talk to Jesse about taking it slow with her powers. Caitlin advises Jesse that she shouldn’t rush into anything, which confuses Jesse who reminds Caitlin that Barry started saving people right away after he got his powers. Caitlin tells Jesse that if she had powers she would take it slow, very slow. (It’s obvious Caitlin is projecting her own fears of her icy powers she’s kept hidden from everyone onto Jesse.) Jesse asks if this is because she’s a girl and Caitlin says no. It’s then that Jesse realizes her dad put Caitlin up to this. She walks off and argues with Wells as she leaves in a huff. Wally, who was in earshot, suggests that Harry let him try to talk to her. When Wally catches up to her, Jesse is happy to see him and she starts talking to him about her powers and how she realized she had them, saying she almost got hit by a driver who ran a red light but she speed out of the way. This prompts Wally to stand in front of an oncoming trunk. (What a horrible decision that turns out to be as, thankfully, Jesse speeds over and pulls him out of the way just in time.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry yells at Wally about being basically stupid and almost getting himself killed. (Hey Barry, now you know how Caitlin felt all those times in season one with you.) Harry turns on Caitlin saying she didn’t help him talk Jesse out of trying to be a hero. Caitlin becomes angry at Wells and before storming off tells him that maybe if he supported Jesse and tried to guide her on how to use her powers she would listen to him.
Barry and Harry are in the new training facility – another change since Flashpoint – and are in the middle of their own little heart-to-heart about wanting to help people and protect the ones they care the most about but seem to end up making mistakes. Through most of the episode Harry has been picking on Barry when he found out about him time-traveling again, but here he is a true friend by telling Barry that he himself always forgave himself for his mistakes that hurt people too quickly but that Barry never does. He admits he keeps making the same mistake with his daughter by being overprotective.
Of all people it’s Iris who figures out, after talking to Magenta’s foster father, that she will be coming back to finish him off. Iris tells the nurse they need to put him in a secure area of the hospital, but it’s too late because Magenta is using her powers to bring a huge ship tanker through the air and above the hospital, poised to drop. Iris alerts Team Flash she’s in trouble using a new alarm app that each team member has. It’s activated when they’re in trouble so that they can be easily found, and The Flash races off to the hospital roof. Once there he asks his team for any ideas and Harry tells Barry if he runs in a eight figure under the tanker it should create enough wind resistance to keep the tanker in the air. It works, but now they need to stop Magenta. Harry looks at Jesse and realizing Barry needs her help tells her to go. She’s off and in a blink of an eye is running with Barry, telling him she’s got this and for him to go get Magenta.
Down on the ground level, the hospital is evacuating when Magenta walks up trying to bring down the tanker on top of it. The Flash rushes over and talks to Magenta but keeps calling her Frankie. (Earlier in the episode Team Flash realized through a records search that Frankie always fought her split-personality even before becoming a metahuman.) Barry tells Frankie it’s not her fault; her foster father and his anger are to blame. He tells her he can help her and deep down she doesn’t want to hurt anyone. Magenta waivers and Frankie’s voice comes out saying she only wanted him to stop. Tears in her eyes, she lowers the tanker safely down close to the water and collapses in Barry’s arms. He tells her it’s going to be okay.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Frankie reveals she started having dreams about another life where she had powers and that’s what led her to Alchemy. Wally reacts to this because he has been having dreams of having powers, too. Caitlin finds Frankie a new home with nice, caring people to look after her.
Iris and Barry try another date and it goes better because Barry tells Iris they can’t ignore his powers or who they are. They have to embrace everything that’s happened to them and move forward together. Barry receives a page from Joe and tells Iris he has to go.
Joe, Barry and Julian watch footage of the Rival in his cell and see him yell Alchemy’s name before he’s thrown violently back and forth against the walls of his cell by an invisible force. “Do you believe in ghosts, Allen?” asks Julian.
The Flash Season 3 Episode 3 Review:
Full of humor, action, impressive special effects, and a few painfully forced romantic scenes, episode three titled “Magenta” brings the series back to its original style, pacing, and winning formula. The action scenes are top notch in this episode, and especially impressive is the scene of The Flash saving the officer from the crashing patrol car. Another big plus is the return of Harry and Jesse from Earth-2. By far the best scene in the episode features Cavanagh and Grant as Harry and Barry talking about how they keep making mistakes and hurting the people they love. It’s the chemistry between these two actors that made the first season so strong, along with the chemistry between Grant, Panabaker, and Valdes as Team Flash.
With Jesse and Harry staying for a while on Earth-1, Caitlin’s new cold powers about to come forth, and Alchemy still out there creating new metahumans, this season is about to get very intense.