The Flash, S1 Ep17 – Tricksters

Although titled “Tricksters”, this week’s episode of The Flash brings a lot more to the table than just a villain who plays tricks on The Flash and Central City. In addition to seeing Mark Hamill reprise his role as James Jesse, a.k.a. The Trickster, after originally playing the role in the 90s Flash series, “Tricksters” delves into the origin of the Reverse-Flash. What comes of his origin is definitely a shocker I did not see coming.

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Mark Hamill reprises his role as The Trickster

Before we get into the origin of the Reverse-Flash, lets talk about the main plot of “Tricksters”. Devon Graye (Dexter) guest stars as Axel Walker, or Central City’s latest villain, The Trickster. He is portrayed as a copycat of Central City’s original Trickster, James Jesse (Hamill). After The Flash saves a park filled with children from the new Trickster’s first trick involving exploding wrapped presents, both Barry and Detective West confront the original Trickster hoping he can shed some light on his copycat.

Mark Hamill does a great job channeling the character he played so long ago, this time adding a creepy sense of maturity to the role. Having voiced The Joker in animated interpretations of the character for many years you can definitely here some of that bleed into his Trickster. At times it seems like Mark Hamill is overacting, and he is, but I couldn’t help but love every moment of it.

Barry and Detective West are led to believe that the new Trickster has stolen a bomb of immense power from James Jesse’s old lair and plans on setting it off in Central City. Although The Flash searches the city for the bomb all he finds is an empty box. The fake bomb was meant as a distraction, so the new Trickster could free James Jesse from prison and also take Barry’s father as a hostage.

The fact that both Tricksters were working together may have been obvious, especially knowing James Jesse breaks out of prison based on what we’ve seen from the promo beforehand. What I did not expect, and which I have to give credit to the person I was watching this with for predicting, was that Axel Walker was actually the son of James Jesse. Whether this little tidbit of information was true, overall it wasn’t necessary to the plot of “Tricksters”. Although it did lead to a somewhat humorous, but overall cheesy nod to Star Wars in which Hamill’s James Jesse tells Walker, “I am your father.”

Barry should’ve listened to Dr. Wells’ advice about the bomb being a diversion, but didn’t due to his new found distrust of Wells. He eventually decides to accept Wells’ help later on, even though he and Detective West are simultaneously investigating Wells. After the Tricksters poison some people, including Iris, at a fundraiser, Barry comes in to stop them and get answers on his father’s current whereabouts. It’s here that Barry is forced to wear a bracelet that will explode if he runs under a certain speed, much like the movie Speed, which is mentioned. Wells explains to Barry that he can vibrate his molecules in such a way that he can run through a solid object leaving the bracelet behind, which he does. He then goes back to the fundraiser, gives the people the antidote, and proceeds to take the Tricksters in and rescue his father.

Wells’ knowledge of moving through objects and brief mention of the “speed force” further Barry’s suspicion as it seemed like Wells was talking from experience. Not only does this confirm Barry’s suspicions that Wells had something to do with Nora Allen’s murder, but it also confirms that he is the Reverse-Flash.

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Barry struggles with his partnership with Wells

The Reverse-Flash’s origin told through flashback scenes is not what I expected it to be at all. The episode begins with an awesome scene in which we see The Flash and the Reverse-Flash fighting in a blur of yellow and red in the past around Nora Allen. Eventually the Reverse-Flash runs off and is depleted of the “speed force”. Without his speed he ends up being trapped in the past. He angrily screams and removes his mask to reveal that he is not Harrison Wells at all.

By the end of the flashback it is revealed that the original Harrison Wells was killed and Eobard Thawne took his likeness in order to speed up the process of the particle accelerator and eventually create The Flash in order to have a way to travel back to the future. It’s pretty crazy and I didn’t see it coming at all. It’s also kind of sad to find out that there was a good Harrison Wells in the past who was killed along with his wife only to have his identity stolen by Thawne.

Overall, “Tricksters” was a fantastic episode, one of this season’s best. There was a nice blend of humor, excitement, heartache, and tension that made this episode an intriguing watch throughout. Both Mark Hamill and Devon Graye did commendable jobs as both Tricksters. Not only was Hamill’s performance entertaining, but it was even chilling at times. Grant Gustin continues to show off his acting chops as well, displaying a range of emotions from frustration due to continuing his work with Wells to sadness after his father is kidnapped. The Reverse-Flash’s origin was well told and supplied The Flash with a very compelling twist on the series. The only thing I would say I didn’t like was Barry and Detective West letting Eddie Thawne in on their secret. I have no problem with Eddie knowing, he really should, but I still feel it would spare everyone a lot of headaches if they just told Iris the truth as well.

Next week The Flash will take a break. New episodes return April 14 beginning with “All Star Team Up”. Check out The CW’s official promo for the episodes to come below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Tricksters” in the comments.

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