The Flash – “Tricksters” Episode Review

Warning, spoilers follow.

“Trick or treat” or in this episode’s case, trick AND treat…

With the previous weeks on The Flash starting to unveil the big baddie of the season i.e., Reverse Flash, the episode picked-up instantly on this with a flashback on the night that Barry’s mom died. The whole chase sequence between Flash and Reverse Flash gave a clearer picture of what really transpired during the murder of Barry’s mom. However, probably due to the show’s limited budget, the special effects came off as a little trippy and not as polished as it should have. But nonetheless the whole flashback sequence gave us a glimpse as to why Eobard Thawne was stuck in the past after his encounter with the Flash.

Back in present day Central City, a new villain started terrorizing the city with a somewhat ingenious plan of deploying small exploding gift boxes. It was later on revealed that the villain was the Trickster. However, it was later on discovered by team Flash that this particukar version of the Trickster is a copy cat and that the original Trickster was James Jessie, who in fact was in prison. Personally, I felt that the portrayal of the Trickster came off as too campy and trying too hard to imitate Heath Ledger’s Joker, with the video and all.

Acting on the discovery, Barry and Detective West pay James a visit. And from that point on James, played by Mark Hamill, stole the show. Mark Hamill was outright electric in his portrayal of James and just makes me appreciate how good of an actor he really is. James made the duo believe that this new trickster was indeed a copycat and that he is the one and only trickster, even telling them where is secret lair is. Having known of this the duo investigate the lair only to find out that the same was raided by the new trickster, prompting them to inform James, to which James informed the duo of a city-levelling type of bomb.

Amidst all of this the rift between Barry and Dr. Wells continue to grow now that Barry suspects that Dr. Wells is Reverse Flash. Things seemed headed for a big dramatic turn when Wells confronted Barry on his recent string of  crankiness only to be misdirected to how Barry feels about his father.

When the new trickster does finally appear to make his move by planting a bomb in Central City and announcing it, we see that the trust between Barry and Dr. Wells have indeed eroded especially for Barry. This was illustrated when Barry chose to disobey Wells and instead kept on searching the coty block for the bomb only to be fooled by the misdirection of the real Trickster. Worse, Barry’s father was taken captive by both tricksters. Eventually Barry realized that for the moment he has to trust the judgment of Dr. Wells. This also gave us a poignant scene between Barry and Detective West, showing how West has become the second father to Barry.

As team Flash finally discovers the whereabouts of Trickster, thanks to Iris, we are treated with a sequence that was truly astounding when Trickster attaches to Barry a bomb ala Speed. From there fans of the Flash comicbook were treated with the ability of Flash to phase through solid objects and, by god, the way Dr. Wells described and tutored Barry through the ordeal was another highlight of the episode. Having successfully thwart the bomb Barry learns the whereabouts of his father and saves him. Again in this scene we are treated with the emotional payoff of Barry finally revealing to his father that he is The Flash.

The other big reveal in this episode is the choice made by Det. West and Barry to bring in Eddie Thawne within that circle of people who know The Flash’s identity. Got a feeling this will come back and bite Barry in the ass.

The latter flashbacks focused on Harisson Wells and the night his wife died. From there we discover that Eobard Thawne was a different person than Harrison Wells and that through that fateful accident Thawne assumed the personality of Wells through that future thingamajig.

Side notes:

  1. It was a treat when Mark Hamill said “I am your father”
  2. A reunion of sorts for Mark Hamill and John Wesley Shipp, Shipp playing as the Flash and Hamill as the Trickster in the original series

4/5 stars.

Gino is the Gladiators resident TV episode and comicbook reviewer, and a lawyer in the making by day and full on comicbook geek by night. From time to time dabbles in creating his own comicbook series. He is best known for this hashtag #AgeOfTheGeek


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