‘The Flash’ 3.03 Recap: “Classic Good vs. Evil”

Dr. Wells is back on ‘The Flash’ this week. His absence certainly didn’t last very long. Why bother writing the character off the show only to bring him back three episodes later? I don’t see actor Tom Cavanagh busy with much else at the moment.

Barry is very excited to have his first official date with Iris. He brings her to a fancy restaurant, but the date doesn’t go all that well after she nixes any “Flash talk.” It turns out that they don’t have a whole lot else to talk about. When they hear sirens and their waiter makes a commotion about a robbery across the street, Barry is relieved that Iris gives him the OK to take care of it, though it only takes him a quick moment. Another break comes when the date is interrupted by a call from Cisco, who needs Barry back at the lab.

A dimensional breach has opened inside the lab and Cisco can’t close it. He’s worried that something bad could be coming through. Fortunately, it’s just “Harry” Wells from Earth-2. His daughter Jesse comes with him as well. It turns out that Jesse is now a speedster due to her exposure to Dark Matter last season. Wells says that he needs the team’s help to run some tests. Caitlin invites them to come to her super fancy and high-tech “Speed Lab,” which Barry is surprised by because it didn’t exist in the old timeline. Wells chastises him for messing with time travel again. Joe’s son Wally, who was also exposed to the Dark Matter at the same time Jesse was, feels pangs of jealousy that he hasn’t gotten any super powers.

The main plot of the episode concerns a young girl named Frankie Kane (Joey King), who frequently blacks out and is overtaken by a meta-human personality called Magenta that has the power to manipulate metal. (She’s basically a li’l Magneto.) She uses this ability to smash her abusive foster father with a street lamp post, sending him to the hospital. When Joe brings the girl into the police station to question her about the presumed accident, dickish Julian (Tom Felton) immediately suspects that Frankie is a meta.

Harry deliberately stalls the tests on Jesse because he’s worried about his daughter, who’s over-eager to be a superhero like Barry. He asks Caitlin to have a talk with her about maybe dialing things down a bit. Caitlin resists at first, but reluctantly agrees. Unfortunately, Jesse quickly realizes that her father put Caitlin up to this and gets very annoyed at him. She thinks he doesn’t have any faith in her because she’s a girl.

Meanwhile, Joe also attempts to have a talk with Wally about not needing super-powers to make a difference in the world. Wally says that he understands, but continues to obsess about Jesse getting meta powers while he didn’t. When Jesse tells him that she first discovered her speed when she was almost hit by a car, Wally walks out in front of traffic in an attempt to “jumpstart” the powers he thinks he should have. Jesse has to save him. Barry yells at Wally for doing something so stupid, and Wells is upset at Jesse for using her power again.

Julian causes a big scene at the police station accusing Frankie of attacking her foster father. Frankie gets upset and loses control. She turns into Magenta and topples a giant piece of metal wall art onto him. Barry may not be able to stand Julian, but nonetheless Flashes out and saves him. Barry goes after Magenta next, but the girl flings a police car through the air toward him, and Barry has to take a moment to save the cop inside. This gives Magenta enough time to escape.

Much like The Rival last week, Magenta is an alternate Flashpoint personality who was brought to this timeline by Doctor Alchemy. She’s fighting with Frankie for control over their shared body, and wants to eliminate Frankie entirely.

Caitlin lectures Harry about how he should support his daughter and help her navigate her new powers, not smother her so over-protectively. Harry acknowledges that she’s right.

Iris visits Frankie’s foster father, John, in the hospital to question him about what happened. He’s a real peach to talk to, and threatens to harm Frankie if he sees her again.

Outside the hospital, Magenta uses her power to lift a giant tanker ship in the air and levitate it over the building. She’s willing to kill everyone in the hospital if that’s what it takes to get John. Barry races to the top of the building and runs in a Figure 8 pattern to create a wind tunnel that’s just strong enough to hold the boat in the air and prevent it from crashing down. He’s so preoccupied with this that he can’t actually do anything about Magenta.

Dr. Wells apologizes to Jesse for holding her back before. He tells her that now is her time to be a hero, and sends her out to the hospital to help Barry. Jesse takes over the wind tunnel duties so that Barry can deal with Magenta.

Rather than fight the girl, Barry simply talks to her and appeals to the Frankie personality to come back. Frankie/Magenta eventually lifts the ship away from the building and puts it back in the water, then breaks down and has a cry.

John is prosecuted for abuse and Frankie gets a new foster home. She tells Barry about hearing Alchemy’s voice in her dreams. Barry urges her to fight both Alchemy and Magenta and remain herself.

Harry and Jesse mend fences and decide to stick around Earth-1 for a while longer. Wells gives his daughter a Flash uniform of her own to show her that he supports her and is proud of her.

Iris and Barry have a second date. This time, rather than ignore the fact that he’s The Flash, Barry embraces it and brings Iris for a run to the other side of the city. He tells her that they need to stop denying who they are. Barry can’t set aside The Flash when he’s around her. It’s part of who he is. Iris agrees that she was being dumb about this before.

Back at work, Joe shows Barry security camera footage of an almost invisible force (clearly Alchemy) killing Edward Clariss in prison. Julian snarkily jokes that it was a ghost, but Barry knows that everything that’s happening is due to him creating the Flashpoint timeline.

Episode Verdict

I said last week that I thought it was obvious that Doctor Alchemy will eventually be revealed to be Julian. I feel even more certain of that this week. Honestly, I can’t see it playing out any other way. In addition to that, now it also seems pretty clear that Wally will fall under Alchemy’s spell due to his desire to become a meta-human. Alchemy will make that dream come true for him, which will turn Wally evil for a brief time until Barry and Joe can straighten him out.

Aside from those two story points being so predictable, this is a pretty good episode with a few nice emotional moments between the characters. The resolution to the Frankie storyline is rather anticlimactic, however.

1 comment

  1. Guy

    I’m just glad we’ve established the sensical standard that Barry’s timeline meddling only messes with Earth-One. Though that does make one ponder what happened to native Earth-Twoers on Earth-One when Barry created Flashpoint. Black Siren got locked up in the STAR Labs pipeline at the end of her villain-of-the-week episode. What happened to her when the lives of all the Earth-One residents reset? Zoom bringing metas to Earth-One never even happened in Flashpoint, so Black Siren shouldn’t exist on Earth-One at that point, yet she has no way to not be there. She has no past on Earth-One to be reset. Same goes for King Shark over in ARGUS custody. This is why Harry and Jesse had to go home for the summer and make a big show of coming back. There is literally no logical explanation for what happened to Earth-Twoers in Flashpoint, so they removed the two prominent characters that meet that description and hoped no one would remember there are others hanging around.

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