The Flash 3×03 Roundtable: Discussing 'Magenta'

A new season of The Flash means a new season of roundtables where Fangirlish writers Alyssa, Lizzie, and Lyra discuss the hot topics from every Flash episode.

In The Flash‘s third episode of season 3, Harry Wells and Jesse Quick returned to Earth-1 in order to help Jesse with her newfound super speed, which introduced Wally’s storyline and a new speedster to this season. Also, Barry and Iris officially decided to give their relationship a go, but it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.

What were your overall thoughts on “Magenta?”

Alyssa: It was by far my favorite episode of the season thus far (which isn’t saying much). Maybe it was because of the introduction of Jesse Quick as a levelheaded speedster or it could’ve been how Harry Wells constantly was reminding Barry of the consequences of his decision to go back in time. Harry, my man! I also really enjoyed the focus on Wally’s internal struggle as he witnessed Jesse growing into a speedster as we realized it’s something that Wally has been thinking about for some time. Despite my being pissed at Barry on a weekly basis, I did like how the show introduced an obstacle for WestAllen in terms of juggling your personal life, your superhero life, and your love life. This episode felt like it was introducing a lot of storylines that we’ll see play out throughout the season. But I’ll admit that The Flash is disappointing me so far this season. It doesn’t seem to have that same flair that it did in season one and season two at times. I know it’s hard to keep up when you come out with a sensational freshman season (which still remains my favorite), but something just seems like it’s missing. And I hope that it gets it back.

Lizzie: It was a weird episode for me – the parts that worked really worked, and the parts that didn’t really didn’t. I’m still mad at Barry, but I hated Julian in this episode, for example. He was a funny ass when I was so mad at Barry that I couldn’t see straight, but the way he treated Magenta was uncalled for and I get the sense we’re supposed to be thinking he’s Alchemy or something along those lines, but I don’t. I just think he’s an ass. I did, however, love Harry, especially the part where he just saw through Barry’s bullshit, thought Jesse’s enthusiasm was contagious and didn’t feel murderous about the changes this new timeline have brought on for Cisco and Caitlin, so I guess that’s a plus.

I also enjoyed Wally and Barry having brotherly arguments. And Joe. I always enjoy Joe. Joe is the best thing on this show, by far. WestAllen, though? I need to be convinced. And by that I mean I need a lot of convincing once again. I feel like everyone’s let Barry off the hook pretty easily here considering how Barry basically fucked up everyone’s life, Iris especially. And right now, with how mad I am at Barry, I can’t be on board this ship. I can’t.

LyraMagenta felt like the next domino in a string of Alchemy clues with a twist of intrigue and teen angst via Jesse and a dash of trying to hard from Westallen. It had the filler episode kind of feeling to it where they set things up. I do have to give the show props for letting the women take the stage. The villain Magenta wasn’t just a bad person out to hurt people. She was hurt herself and needed help from Team Flash. And our hero, Jessie Quick, took her first steps into becoming a masked crusader for justice. I’m absolutely ready for a female speedster to be on my screen!

Harry Wells and Jesse Quick made their reappearance in this week’s episode as we learned Jesse has become a speedster herself. What were your thoughts on Jesse Quick?

Alyssa: Jesse Quick was my favorite thing about this episode, that and her dad constantly reminding Barry about how he effed up. I love how The Flash is introducing other speedsters to show that Barry isn’t the only one. I feel like it’s important when taking into account what makes someone a hero. Having superpowers doesn’t make you a hero. Just look at Reverse Flash and Zoom. It’s what you do with those powers that makes you a hero. So far Barry is closer to Reverse Flash and Zoom, who used their abilities for their selfish needs. But hopefully this is indication that we’ll see a focus on how it’s not your super speed that makes you heroic but your actions. But back to Jesse…

Jesse Quick is a speedster who is levelheaded, quirky, charming, brave, and open to suggestions on how to become a hero. She is in the right mindset. I loved the conflict between Jesse and her father as he once again fought to protect her from the world. Jesse is a strong, independent woman who could take care of herself long before she got her superspeed. Watching her stand up to her father and explain that was empowering. Of course Harry needed Caitlin to give him some words of wisdom when it comes to supporting his daughter instead of disagreeing that brought this conflict to a close. Having super speed is good and all, but it’s the support from those you love that gives you the edge, as we’ve seen in the past with Barry.

Lizzie: She wasn’t my favorite character last year – she came off as a brat most of the time, but I really enjoyed the youthful enthusiasm she brought to this episode. She was so happy, and it reminded me of the early days of Barry and how excited he was to get the chance to be a hero. I also love how the parent figures on this show might not get everything right, but they sure try. And it doesn’t take them forever to come around. Harry might be my second favorite character after Joe these days. Imagine that.

Only thing about Jesse is …how are they going to keep her on this Earth? What possible excuse could they have?

LyraI have never been a fan of Jesse. There I said it. But I’m trying to keep an open mind and see things from all sides. I think she’s still got a lot of growing up to do. But she’s at a turning point where she can help a lot of people and discover, not just what kind of hero she can be, but what kind of woman she wants to transform into. I’m interested to see how this journey unfolds now that she’s got the support of her father. A parent can only protect their child for so long. And it’s the child’s job to step out on their own and make a mark on this world. Jesse will definitely leave hers. 

Speaking of Jesse as a speedster, someone who didn’t take it well – other than her father – was Wally. We saw that indication that he wants to be a speedster, as well. What did you think of Wally’s reactions and actions in this episode?

Alyssa: While I know that Wally West is Kid Flash in the comics – and in this alternate timeline – this was the first real indication that I got that Wally actually wanted to be a speedster. Perhaps it was something that he sat up at night thinking about ever since he was hit with the dark matter last season. But Jesse’s appearance also served the purpose of bringing Wally’s feelings to the surface and putting them out into the universe. He was jealous, obviously, so much that he couldn’t even be around Jesse in the beginning. I loved the internal struggle that Wally had, as well as hashing it out with Joe. Wally wasn’t exactly the most levelheaded when it came to this issue, as he stepped out in front of a moving vehicle in hopes that it would jumpstart his super speed. But I think he’s in a better place now. Of course we got the tease that Wally has been dreaming about being a speedster, which indicates that perhaps he’s next when it comes to Alchemy giving those from the other timeline their powers.

Lizzie: I know some people were bothered by his reaction, but I wasn’t. He’s a kid who wants powers – big deal. Don’t we all want that? At least he wants powers for a good reason. He’s seen Barry do good and he wants the same chance. No part of this came off as Wally being jealous and wanting powers just to show off or something like that, so it didn’t bother me at all. I think we all know he’s going to get those powers sooner or later, so in that respect, the fact that it wasn’t instantaneous is probably good for his character growth.

And, just imagine, when he does get those powers, there’ll be more Wally/Barry bonding, and I’m all for that.

LyraOh my poor Wally. As is the regular for me, I want to wrap Wally in a blanket, feed him chocolate, and assure him his powers will come in time. Not gonna lie, at first I thought his actions were foolish. Why would he risk jumping in front of a car?! Then I realized he wants to be like the rest of his family. He wants to be a hero. And he’s learned that the quick way to do it is by becoming a speedster. Wally doesn’t see that he already has the capability to become great. That mind of his is like no other, and if honed, can do things Barry, Joe, or Iris could never accomplish. He’ll be a hero one day like the rest of his family. It’s just going to take a little longer and that’s ok.

Harry Wells ragged on Barry for changing the timeline, which in this episode we were all Harry. At one point Barry told Harry he didn’t need to be reminded of the Flashpoint consequences. What are your thoughts on that?

Alyssa: Up until that point I had gotten to a point where I wasn’t angry at Barry so much as he was just there on my television. But then he said he didn’t need to be reminded of the consequences of Flashpoint, and that anger swelled up. What do you mean you don’t need to be reminded? You need to be reminded every single hour of every single day until it’s embedded in your DNA and you wake up in a cold sweat at night thinking about how everything has changed because you were selfish. But that right there illustrates the problem that I have with this season. There’s been no indication that the writers are going to really make Barry suffer for what he did. And he needs to suffer. Because that’s the only way he’s going to understand the gravity of his mistake, the consequences, and eventually learn that that’s not something he can do. Especially as a hero.

Lizzie: Well, tough luck, Barry. Suck it up. If Harry wants to rage at you, he gets to do that. More people should be doing it. You didn’t just change a small thing, you changed people’s lives. YOU ERASED PEOPLE. You fucked up everything. And people have let you off the hook pretty easily so far, because they love you and probably because they don’t even realize the extent of what changed – despite the fact that they might think they do. So, yeah. Good for Harry. Barry thinks he’s learned consequences, but the lesson hasn’t been reinforced enough. And how can Barry Allen ever become the hero we want him to be if people don’t push him to become exactly that?

So, in that regard, good that he gets someone like Harry calling him out on his bullshit. Perfect. Now we just need Harry to stick around to keep doing it. Because, YES, BARRY, YOU DO NEED TO BE REMINDED.

LyraBarry needs to be reminded of the Flashpoint consequences every Tuesday and twice on Sundays so he doesn’t repeat it. He needs to remember his history, know that he fucked up, and make sure he doesn’t have a 3 month lapse of judgement again. Could Harry have been a little less judgmental? Yes. Was Barry let off too easy for changing everyone’s lives, especially the disappearance of Baby Sara on Arrow? Hell yeah. So suck it up, Barry. You made your bed, not flash your ass into it.

Barry and Iris officially decided to give it a go with their relationship as we saw them go on their very awkward first date. But there were also some obstacles they realized that would affect their relationship involving the Flash. What did you think of WestAllen and do you think they can make this work?

Alyssa: Well the fact that Barry and Iris seem to be in a good place right now is indication that the good place isn’t going to last for too long. I’ve seen parallels to how Arrow handled Olicity, and I’m guessing that Flash is about to throw some big obstacles in their way this season. And to be honest, that’s how it needs to be. There needs to be one season where times are tough and they overcome those obstacles together. This appears to be the year. The awkward first date might’ve indicated where the struggle is going to be, which will lie with Barry learning to balance his life as Flash, as Barry Allen, and as Iris’s boyfriend. It’s something that he probably thinks he can handle right now, but that won’t be the case moving forward. If he doesn’t learn it now it’ll only make things more complicated down the line.

But with that said, Barry and Iris were incredibly adorable in this episode. I saw promise of where their relationship can go if handled properly. And that’s always the most terrifying thing: can the writers do justice by these characters and their relationship? I’m not too trusting of writers right now on Flash or Arrow so that’s something that’s going to have me on my toes throughout the season. But I can see where Barry and Iris’s relationship can go, and I’m praying that it’s done justice.

Lizzie: I wanted to be more into this than I was. The second date was sorta cute, but I don’t like that Barry just bailed on the date. Joe, dude, when your kids are going out, don’t interrupt. Barry, turn off the cell phone or something. I don’t know – it feels like the problem with being a superhero is that, if you can’t find a balance, it’s all about that. I understand that the first date was meant to be awkward, but it’s like they almost forgot that they’ve known each other their entire lives. The flowers and the expensive restaurant – that’s not them. It doesn’t need to be.

Can they make it work? I really think the producers are gonna try. I’d love to see it work – because it’s high time superhero shows gave us a couple that can face problems together. But I still feel like Iris has just forgiven Barry too quickly for his big Flashpoint fuckup, and I also feel like they’re trying too hard to be someone other than the Barry and Iris we saw in their best moments together. So I need something more from them to be on board – and that’s sad, because I was totally on board before Barry decided he’d rather fuck shit up than be with Iris.

LyraThe obstacles they’re facing, dates being interrupted by metas and Barry being The Flash, are common problems in a situation like this. To reach the next level of their relationship they are going to have to learn how walk that delicate balance, respect each other, and join forces when they can. Iris isn’t an outsider to the team or being kept unaware of Barry’s powers. She knows and that will make things infinitely easier.

That being said…their date was kind of boring. And before you jump down my throat with pitchforks I’m not saying this because my other ship Olicity isn’t together or because I’m still peeved about Barry changing the timeline. I didn’t think of anything else when I was watching Barry and Iris go on their first date. I was that soccer mom who was really excited for her awkward kid to have his first play-date and excitedly waiting for them to hit it off with my phone ready to take pics. But…the kids never hit it off or started playing. If anything the kids had absolutely no spark and were trying too hard to be people they’re not. In case you’re wondering the kids are Barry and Iris.

It’s like they didn’t know each other with most of the awkwardness coming Barry. Iris doesn’t need a fancy dinner and mediocre talks about how work went. No. You know Iris. Take her out to do something fun or to have a new experience. Hell, imagine if they would’ve had a home cooked meal of with one of her nana’s favorite recipes? Golden date and something she would enjoy!

Just be yourself Westallen. You’ve got potential. Don’t let it go.

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW. Stay tuned for another Flash roundtable next Monday!

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