Now a speedster herself, Jesse and her father, Harry, return to Earth-1
Like I said last week, the majority of the fanfics I write are about Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and his powers. I explore his relationship to them as Season 2 gave us a beautiful storyline about him fearing them. I’ve always found meta’s relationships to their powers on this show insanely interesting. (One of the many reasons I loved ‘The Runaway Dinosaur’ for Barry.) For many characters, tonight’s episode explored what it means to have (or not have) superpowers. Let’s dive right in!
Right off the bat, we were treated to a brand-new voiceover introduction by Barry (Grant Gustin) for the new season. (Think last season’s intro, but instead of opening the door to Earth-2, he talks about creating–and undoing–Flashpoint.) Cut to the first scene with more voiceover by Barry and him explaining exactly how I feel every Tuesday before a new episode airs–being too excited to focus on anything else. He also talks about something I’m incredibly happy this show finally addressed–a speedster’s concept of time (something I’ve read about in numerous fanfics and have been waiting for the show to explore). While being reprimanded by Julian (Tom Felton), the clock strikes 7pm and Barry is off to his very first date with Iris (Candice Patton).
He buys all the flowers at a local flower stand and picks Iris up at CCPN. Barry first arranges the flowers into a heart and then speedily rearranges them to spell out her name. Iris tells him that she wants to have a date with Barry–not The Flash. He agrees to not talk about or use his powers. While they do go to a nice restaurant, the date doesn’t go as well as they had both hoped it would. They begin talking about their boring jobs but are interrupted by a robbery going down across the street. Iris tells Barry to go handle it but immediately after he comes back, they get a text from Cisco asking them to come to STAR Labs.
The breach in the basement randomly opened and after a few seconds, Harry (Tom Cavanagh) jumps out…followed by Jesse (Violett Beane) speeding out. Harry informs them that Jesse got her speed a few days ago because it turns out that she was affected when her and Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) were hit by the dark matter back in ‘Rupture’. The look on Wally’s face is of pure jealousy. He can’t believe he didn’t get super speed, as well. Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) brings the team into the Speed Lab to test out Jesse’s powers. Not recognizing the room and seeing that Barry doesn’t either, Harry figures out that Barry messed with the timeline…and immediately starts scolding him. When Jesse gets on the track, Wally gets visibly upset. Remembering Clariss (Todd Lasance) impaling Wally in Flashpoint, Barry tells Joe (Jesse L. Martin) to keep an eye on him because it’s better if he doesn’t have speed.
In an apartment somewhere else in Central City, John James (Peter Flemming) comes home to find his foster daughter, Frankie (Joey King), watching TV. He yells at her that she’s ungrateful when, all of a sudden, Frankie’s eyes light up and a lamp post comes crashing through the window, hitting John.
At CCPD, Iris arrives to get some info about the incident when she bumps into Barry. They talk about how horrible their date was but they both agree that they do want to try again. Joe interviews Frankie to figure out what happened and she says that she blacked out and doesn’t remember anything. Barry informs Joe that repression is a common coping mechanism for foster kids. He also tells him that the lamp post would’ve been impossible for a normal human to bend. Julian interrupts and informs them both that there were no fingerprints on the lamp post, leading him to assume that it was done telekinetically. He takes Frankie’s glass of water to test her DNA.
In the Speed Lab, Caitlin and Cisco continue to run tests on Jesse. When she leaves, Harry informs them that his intent in coming back to Earth-1 was to get them to talk her out of using her powers. (This scene was a beautiful reminder that no episode of The Flash is complete without Tom Cavanagh.) He asks Cisco who tells him, because of the fact that he has powers, he’s the last person that should be talking Jesse out of using hers. He then asks Caitlin who starts getting incredibly flustered, saying that because “[she] doesn’t know anything about having powers”, she’s also the last person who should talk to Jesse.
Back at the precinct, Joe has a “dad-cop” talk with Wally who hasn’t given up hope that he’ll get powers one day, as well. Joe tells him that everyone in Central City was hit by the dark matter the first time and only a small percentage of people were actually affected. He also tells him that, because of how smart he is, he can be a hero without super-speed–just as Barry was able to help people before he got his.
Julian analyzes Frankie’s DNA and finds out that she is a meta-human. He yells at her that she sent her foster dad to the hospital when she starts freaking out…and her meta-human alter ego, Magenta, takes over. She topples over the “Truth, Liberty, Justice” mural which is about to fall on Julian until The Flash gets him out of the way. Outside the precinct, Barry confronts Magenta. He figures out that Alchemy (Tobin Bell) must’ve changed her.
At STAR Labs, the team finds out that Frankie has dissociative identity disorder and that her foster dad has a history of being abusive. They then tell Harry and Jesse about Alchemy and Flashpoint. Joe tells everyone that they need to find Frankie and Jesse’s ready to go. Harry begs Caitlin again to talk to her and Barry makes sure that Joe spoke to Wally.
Caitlin finds Jesse carbo-loading in the pipeline. She tries to tell her to take things slow and Jesse reminds her that Barry didn’t take things slow when he first got his powers. Caitlin just lets her know that “if [she] had powers”, she would take things slow. Jesse realizes that Harry put Caitlin up to this. She finds her dad and tells him that she now knows the reason why they came back to Earth-1. Harry tells her that he just wants to keep her safe. Jesse runs off and Wally follows.
Magenta arrives at Alchemy’s lair and tells him that she can feel Frankie fighting her. He tells her that he gave her her powers so that she can inflict her pain upon others, namely John. Once he knows that Magenta is in control, Frankie will know it, too.
Wally finds Jesse who’s happy to see him. She lets him know that he was the first person she wanted to tell about her powers and that she hoped he had gotten them, too. He asks her how they manifested and Jesse recounts the story of how she found herself standing in front of an oncoming car when the world froze. Thinking he can kickstart any latent powers he might have the same way, Wally runs into the street but is saved at the last second by Jesse.
Barry yells at Wally for doing something so reckless. Harry yells at Jesse again for using her speed. When Jesse storms out, again, he asks Caitlin what she said to her. In a hilariously sassy comeback, Caitlin informs him that if he “helped her navigate her powers instead of assuming they’ll destroy her, [Jesse] would turn to [him] instead of pushing [him] away.” In the Speed Lab, Barry laments about making a mistake with Flashpoint. Harry laments about making a mistake with Jesse. He tells Barry that he’s always been too easy on himself while Barry’s always been too hard on himself.
Iris arrives at the hospital to visit John. He tells her that Frankie will be the next one in the hospital if he ever sees her again. Iris realizes that Frankie was getting back at John and won’t stop until he’s dead. Right as she tries to get him to a safe place, she sees Magenta lifting a tanker heading straight toward the hospital. Iris lets John know that, while it pains her to help him, she can’t let him die.
Barry hears an alarm going off in STAR Labs and Cisco informs him that it’s Iris’ panic button–the thing they installed on everyone’s phones because they all kept getting kidnapped. (Very smart move by Team Flash!) They see the tanker heading for the hospital and Barry runs off to go stop Magenta. Harry tells Barry that he can keep the tanker suspended above the building by running in a figure-8 fashion on the roof like a propeller. It works but Barry can’t get to Magenta if he has to stay on the roof. Harry says the words to his daughter we’ve all been waiting to hear: “Run, Jesse. Run.”
Jesse joins Barry on the roof and tells him to go down to Magenta. Once on the ground, Barry tells her that he knows she wants to get revenge on John but this isn’t the way. He lets her know that he takes his self-hatred out on her. Taking Barry’s words to heart, Frankie gains control of herself and moves the tanker.
Back at STAR Labs, Frankie tells Team Flash how she got her powers. She started having visions of Magenta and hearing Alchemy’s voice. He told her that he could make the visions stop and make her powerful. Team Flash tells Frankie that Caitlin found a new foster home for her in Keystone City. Barry also tells her that she’ll always have to fight Magenta but they believe that she can win. In the hallway, Wally tells Joe that he feels bad for her.
In the breach room, Harry and Jesse have a beautifully heartfelt conversation. He tells her that he only worries about her because he loves her. Jesse tells him that she knows that. He also tells her that Jesse Quick has always been his hero and that he believes she can be a hero for everyone else now. He gives her Trajectory’s (Allison Paige) suit with a lightning bolt insignia designed by Cisco.
Back at the restaurant (which is completely empty), Barry and Iris attempt to have their second date. Barry tells her that he figured out why their last date went so bad: because he ignored his powers. He tells Iris that The Flash is a part of both of their lives and they have to embrace that…so Barry speeds Iris off to a beautiful table for two on the waterfront (complete with string lights and candles). Iris agrees with Barry and they share a kiss. His phones then buzzes and he finds out that Joe wants him to meet him at the precinct. Iris lets Barry go, but before he does, they share another kiss. Maybe this post-Flashpoint timeline isn’t so bad…
And, I spoke too soon. In the post-credits scene, Barry meets Joe and Julian at their lab and Joe shows them a video of Clariss screaming “Alchemy” before being flung around in his prison cell by a ball of light. He dies before he hits the ground. Joe and Julian theorize that it could be an invisible meta or a ghost. When Julian leaves, Joe asks Barry if this is because of Flashpoint. Barry wouldn’t be surprised if it is.
In next week’s episode, ‘The New Rogues’, Barry and Jesse encounter a meta-human who can travel through mirrors (surprisingly named Mirror Master by Harry and not Cisco). As if Barry didn’t have enough to deal with, he gets trapped in a mirror. (The episode also marks the introduction of The Top and the return of Captain Cold.) Tune in to episode 3×04 on October 25th at 8/7c on The CW.