Last week I was devastated to see the show slow down to a snails pace but from the looks of it now, it was all just to catch it’s breath. In “Tricksters” The Flash is back to running at full speed, all starting with a blow by blow slow motion smackdown!
In flashbacks that put Arrow to shame (I’m looking at you Hong Kong storyline that looong outstayed its welcome) we see what actually happened on the night of Barry’s Mothers death between the Scarlet Speedster and The Reverse Flash. What I assumed would be the season finale is presented here with layer upon layer of new twists. After duking it out in an elegant slow motion ballet, Reverse Flash flees from the crime scene only to be informed that the time jump drained him completely of his powers leaving him no way back to his own time. Letting out a Darth Vader NOOOO he pulls his mask back to reveal he is not Harrison Wells but someone we’ve never seen before!
What again would be dragged out on other shows is wrapped up through the course of flashbacks culminating in the car accident that killed Wells wife and the stranger exposing himself as the true Eobard Thawne, only to jumper cable himself (for lack of a better description) and transfer himself in to the body of Harrison Wells leaving the real Wells dead and forgotten.
The sound effect of the Reverse Flash shuddering is quickly becoming one of those sounds that you instantly recognise alongside the greats like the hum of a lightsaber or the glistening of the transporter (here it melds in to the score preempting danger perfectly). Which is ironic since this week we see the return of a Jedi as Mark Hamill comes back to The Flash universe. For those of you unaware Mark Hamill played The Trickster in the 1990’s version of The Flash and John Wesley Shipp played the Flash who here plays Barry’s Father. The two are reunited (albeit very briefly) in a bit of call back/retconning, with Hamill playing the same character who has been imprisoned for twenty years.
In a chilling introduction, child like awe instantly turns to terror when tiny presents tied up with bows parachute down on a children’s playground and upon touching the ground erupt in explosions. This act is claimed by a young terrorist also calling himself The Trickster, in search of clues Barry and Joe travel to prison to question Hamill’s trickster Hannibal Lecter style hoping that his jealousy will give them insights in to this new copy cat.
But it’s all just a ruse when the two Trickster’s turn out to be in cahoots, bust out of prison and take Barry’s Dad hostage in the process. Quite frankly the new trickster was terrible, his spinning phone camera vlogs, third person talking, over acting (or lack thereof) we’re all just awful. It reeked of Jon Cryer in Superman IV all over again. But is was fun to see Hamill play evil in live action, it’s just a shame that he didn’t go full Joker (though touches echoed through in his voice here and there). In what seemed to be an obvious connection from the start of the episode, Trickster senior reveals himself to be Trickster juniors Father in a Star Wars reference so on the nose I haven’t seen the likes of it since Leonard Nimoy’s Sentinel Prime spouted “the needs of the many”.
On top of that when the team deduct the identity of the new Trickster they flippantly mention “oh yeah, the two were in communication via snail mail for over a decade”. HONESTLY?! Nobody checked this mass murdering criminal mastermind’s mail? Especially since his communication would specifically involve him grooming this young boy to be a terrorist, telling him where his secret base of operations is and how to assemble explosives?! COME ON!slac
Finally, Eddie is the latest person to find out Barry’s secret identity in order to keep it from Iris and continue “protecting” her. Iris now has Barry pining over her, Eddie dating and living with her and yet still blatantly flirts with the Flash like they’re star crossed lovers being kept apart. Shame on you Iris, shame on you. I didn’t think this episode could fit in another Star Wars reference but you truly are this shows Jar Jar Binks. I really don’t see why keeping Barry’s identity from her is so important, EVERYONE else now knows and she gets kidnapped or in harms way most weeks as it is, knowing would make no difference.
Regardless, I’m so glad to say that both A story and B story were equally compelling this week, tapping in to nostalgia but putting a new fresh spin on things too. With a speedy recovery the show is once again showing no signs of slowing down, now just keep it up!
Review by Dylan Boaden.