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The Flash - Tricksters - Review: "The Flash That Couldn't Slow Down"


1.17 - "Tricksters"
Directed by Ralph Hemecker
Written by Andrew Kreisberg
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

Hey, Gavin here again filling in for Christopher DeBono this week so I apologise for the delay in posting this review for Tuesday's episode of The Flash. The last episode of The Flash I filled in for was "Crazy For You".


'Tricksters' Review

"I've had 20 years to come up with the perfect trick. It's going to be my masterpiece. My Mona Lisa. My Breaking Bad season five. They gave me cable in prison so I'd stop killing the guards."

I think a lot of people can agree that this episode of The Flash was one of the busiest episodes of the series so far. So much happened in it regarding the villain(s) and also in how many answers we got from the flashbacks to the night Barry's mother died and what occurred after in regards to Harrison Wells. These are all answers I thought we wouldn't get so quickly, but I agree with some people saying it was perfectly added to an episode where a bait-and-switch is a recurring theme that only adds to the tension rather than distracting it. Having said that, there was quite a lot handed to us as viewers that made the whole experience a little crowded. The villains have a big plan for the people of the city, Barry's father is kidnapped by said villains, Barry is put in a Speed-esque situation, Eddie finds out about Barry being the Flash, all the while there are flashbacks that reveal the true nature of Harrison Wells. This meant there was quite a rush in defeating the villain and less exploration of the characters. Yes, there is quite a lot to deal with here but there was never a dull moment and I have to say I still really enjoyed this episode and would put it quite high in my The Flash episode rankings.

The main storyline regarded the Trickster, or should I say, Tricksters. I never knew this but Mark Hamill, who plays the original Trickster, also played the same character in the original 1990-91 The Flash show so it must have been amazing for that reunion between him and John Wesley Shipp (who played the original Barry Allen on that show too in case you didn't know). I mean, this episode was chock-full of references with Mark having been Luke Skywalker in Star Wars so we get that very on-the-nose "I am your father" reveal. I was actually totally convinced that James Jesse did not know who was posing as the 'Trickster' when Barry and Joe visit him, so I was fooled by that trick. Teaming up with the new Trickster promised something big and exciting so I was a little disappointed that the best trick they could come up with was to crash a fundraiser and extort money out of the wealthy citizens. Poisoning them with the champagne was pretty good though and then ransoming the antidote was a cruel trick to play on them so I was impressed with that, but I felt like they could have done something much bigger. Maybe they will in the future so that will be something to look forward to. They also fit a device on Barry's arm that forces him to run at least 600mph or it will detonate. I actually really like the 1994 film Speed with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock so I found this concept very exciting. It was resolved pretty quickly as is the whole Trickster extortion plot, but the talk Harrison gives to Barry on how to overcome this problem was so crucial for Barry to figure out Harrison is the Reverse Flash. The talk was actually really good too and helped Barry on so many levels. Harrison is a man who can use his words to influence and manipulate and that makes him a very complex yet interesting character.

The flashbacks were another very important concept in this episode. We begin the episode 15 years before on the night Nora Allen died and we see the fight between Barry and Reverse Flash a.k.a. Eobard Thawne who turns out to be a distant relative of our Eddie Thawne. I am not too skilled in the knowledge of the original comics but I take it Eobard is Professor Zoom. Seeing him stuck in the past and then cause a car crash that the real Harrison Wells and his wife are in was gripping stuff as we are first accustomed to the real Harrison and the love he has for his wife, to then see his wife dead and have his identity literally stolen from him by Eobard. It's harsh and really shows us who this Eobard really is - a self-serving desperate man wanting to get back to his own time. I really felt for the original Harrison and now we know the Harrison helping Barry isn't really Harrison, it helps in some way because I really was starting to dislike Harrison. He's definitely the one to watch.

As for the other characters, Cisco and Caitlin weren't given particularly much to do outside their usual Help-Barry routines though it is always nice to know they have his back and will help with anything. Considering the amount of material the writers incorporated into this episode, it's no wonder we didn't get a whole lot from them. This also extends to Iris who has a brief conversation with The Flash about finally not having to wear the mask with her around anymore, to the fundraiser where she was unluckily one of the victims of the Trickster's poison. Because the whole poison storyline was resolved with an antidote, Iris still didn't do an awful lot unfortunately. She also wanted to know what happened to Mason which Eddie unconvincingly (at least to me though I'm sure Iris is smarter than the excuse he gave her) explains. Speaking of Eddie, he wasn't given a whole lot either, again, but now moving forward after what happened should definitely include him more in the show. I mean, I wasn't expecting Barry to come out as the Flash to Eddie anytime soon so it was a pleasant surprise. Eddie is severely underused so if exposing Barry's secret to him gives him something to do moving forward, then I'm all for it. Barry hasn't been as great as Oliver Queen at keeping his secret as the Arrow, but I don't think either of them kept their secrets as well as Clark Kent in Smallville. Since Iris is basically the only person left to know of Barry Allan being the Flash, I have a feeling she might end up figuring it out by season's end at this rate. Also, it was a great scene when Barry took his mask off in front of his father who figured it out himself before. I actually think he did in the last episode I reviewed, Crazy For You, when he's in the hospital and he's talking to Barry like he knew. Funny how that has come full circle with my reviews too haha.

All in all, great episode. A little stuffed but usually, that's how I like my episodes. I just hope that in moving forward, they don't sacrifice some of the characters' presence to accommodate others. I love these characters and I want more exploration. The villains are always fun and I love watching them terrorise people, but sometimes there can be beauty in simplicity. Please give our supporting characters a little bit more to work with.

What did you guys think of 'Tricksters'? Let me know in the comments and be sure to watch the next new episode of The Flash in two weeks on April 14th on The CW!

About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of 'Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned'. Gavin joined SpoilerTV on August 9, 2014 and will be reviewing 2 Broke Girls, Mistresses, Orange is the New Black, Pretty Little Liars, Salem and Sleepy Hollow in the 2014-15 season. Gavin's favourite shows include Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Desperate Housewives, The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Scandal and much more. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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