Two familiar faces, a new meta, fathers sharing quality talks with their kids, and a floating tanker stand front and center on this week’s The Flash.
Building off last week’s big kiss, Barry and Iris start on their journey to something more. For two people who’ve known each other the majority of their lives, what little time they spend together is awkward and—as Barry admits later—boring. What’s not boring though is the call they get from Cisco and the gang as the STAR labs breach opens up, spitting out Harry Wells and his daughter Jessie Quick. But Jessi’’s got the big secret now; she’s a speedster as well and she’s loving it, much to the chagrin of overprotective Harry.
The arrival of Jessie and her new powers hits Wally hard and it’s easy to see why. Not only has he always been obsessed with speed, Wally truly wants to help. He has a strong heartfelt conversation with Joe, holding out hope to receive his own powers (as he was hit by the same dark matter wave as Jessie) but to make a difference. Joe provides great advice to Wally, pointing out how his son can change the world using his engineering skills. Solid and sound as the advice may be, Wally’s eyes are still on that super speed prize, a prize he’s dreamed about as if living another life—aftereffects of Barry’s Flashpoint fiasco—and even risks his life to jumpstart said powers after hearing Jessie’s “origin” story.
Whereas Wally’s lamenting about powers not attained, Harry’s got his hands full with his speedster daughter who wants nothing more than to use her powers for good. Harry pulls out all the stops, worried sick over the danger Jessie’s willing to put herself in but, like many of us, he doesn’t see his own mistakes in handling things until Caitlin lets him know that, instead of telling Jessie what not to do, he needs to embrace her, see things from her point of view.
Of course, what’s The Flash without an antagonistic meta? This week’s headache is Frankie Kane, a young girl in an awful foster situation. Turns out the sweet Frankie has a darker, superpowered side that goes by the name Magenta. Sure, it’s the color of her eyes but also denotes her ability to manipulate metal—sound familiar? Anyhow, she shows up on the gang’s radar after her dad takes a light pole to the face. Though it occurs right in front of her, she remembers nothing, admitting to various instance of black outs. Turns out Magenta is Frankie’s darker side, rising up when things get rough. An alpha personality, Magenta wants her softer side gone and confronts Dr. Alchemy regarding his promise to make it so. Like a weapon, he points her in the direction of her own salvation: kill that bastard of a foster dad and Frankie will be gone forever.
Long story short, Barry saves the day, bringing Frankie back from the brink. But he doesn’t do it all on his own. Jessie offers an assist, thanks to Harry coming to the truth of it: his daughter can do some serious good in the world and who is he to tell her she can’t? They share a powerful father/daughter moment where Harry goes all out; presenting Jessie Quick with her own super hero outfit.
Barry and Iris give the dating thing a second try and it ends on a much better note. It’s short lived though, when Joe calls Barry in share the footage of Edward Clariss’s demise. There’s a new baddie in town and all signs point to another consequence of Flashpoint. Not what Barry wanted to hear but he knows it’s going to get a whole helluva lot worse before it gets better.
- There were some great character moments in this episode. Rarely do we get a chance to see Barry take down the baddies without fists flying but Frankie Kane’s a special case. Her rough history demanded someone reaching out to her and Barry, thanks to his own one-on-one with Harry, understood what he needed to give her. And it worked.
- Speaking of Harry, he was great. He was more animated than he’d ever been, nearly to the point of pulling his hair out in worry over his daughter’s new status. Oh, and his “blah, blah, blah…NOT!” replies were gold, sparking some wonderful levity throughout the episode. The keynote line from his conversation with Barry—“I was always too good at forgiving myself, Allen: you were never good enough” shines a spotlight on Barry’s biggest issue; he blames himself for everything and, from the start of the series, has been unable to move forward. It’s a fundamental flaw in his character that, despite being the primary cause of him creating Flashpoint, also makes him the caring soul and beacon of hope as the Flash. It looks as if he’s finally starting to understand his need to move forward and is able to share that same advice with Magenta/Frankie.
- Now that Jessie’s officially a hero now—she’s got her own suit, after all—it’s only a matter of time before Wally’s transformed into Kid Flash. Honestly, it won’t be a surprise if he sets out on his own mission to find Dr. Alchemy, if only to get his powers. Simple enough, right? Yeah, we all know it won’t be that easy…and it won’t be without serious consequences.