The Flash Reverse – Episode 17: Tricksters (Spoilers)
Originally aired: March 31st 2015
The Trick of WELLSness
After the most lackluster output of the series in last week’s episode “Rogue Time”, the Flash got back up to speed with the episode “Tricksters”. This episode had been eagerly anticipated by fans of the show for some time due to Mark Hamill reprising his role of the Trickster that he made famous on the original live action Flash series in the 90’s. However the incredible performance of Hamill was far from the greatest trick this episode had to offer.
“Tricksters” chose to pivot the focus of the series back to the mystery of Harrison Well’s, and his involvement in the death of Barry’s Mother. Stunningly the show runners managed to maintain the integrity of Harrison Well’s, while making the Reverse Flash seem even more menacing. Based on tonight’s episode Harrison Well’s isn’t a bad guy, the problem is he isn’t alive either. In a major plot twist the series has chosen to run with is the storyline that the man most DC fan’s know as the Reverse Flash: Eobard Thawne, has been impersonating Well’s for some time. This allows us to see some powerful flashback’s to the night of Harrison Well’s and his wife’s death, that gives the show yet another signature tragedy. The fact that Thawne robbed one of the greatest scientific minds of his life, but is rewriting and tarnishing his legacy gives the Man in Yellow an extra layer of evil that should make his future confrontations with Barry all the more emotional. Especially when you consider the fact that Thawne in his original form was in the Allen home the night of Nora Allen’s death.
While major story aspects regarding Thawne were progressed, “Tricksters” will be remembered for being a nod to the original Flash Series and not just through the return of Hamill. Rather this was done by putting the stories main focus on John Wesely Ship’s version of Henry Allen and the relationship with his son then using that story arc to provide an overall commentary on the Flash character. The fact that Barry always saw the best in his dad even at his lowest point is the perfect example of what make Barry Allen’s version of the Flash so special. This is as Detective West so eloquently put it: the ability to see the best in people at all times.
Most will remember this episode for Mark Hamill still having the ability to make a C-level villain extremely compelling while at the same time modernizing him, the positive Trickster comments must stop there. The new version of the character which allowed Hamill the opportunity to say he was someone’s father in a nice throw back to Star Wars will be forgotten by the time most read this article. Seriously I have seen better Trickster performances via cosplay at conventions! The only other negative point for this week’s episode is the fact that it is now necessary to invite Eddie into the “Barry Allen is the Flash Fan Club”. You know the stakes must be high when you tell the woman you love’s current boyfriend and your co-worker your own secret identity. While I respect the noble move by Barry here to put the greater good above his personal problems, this was a bit farfetched for a show that has maintained grounded human relationships in a Metahuman world.