The Flash Episode 17 ‘The Tricksters’ Review…

DOCTOR WHO Christmas InvasionIn ‘The Tricksters’ a would-be super-villain is terrorising Central City, copying a villain who has been imprisoned in Iron Heights for 20 years–The Trickster. And Barry is fully on board the Wells-is-the-big-bad bus, but can’t give the game away–which is easier said than done when the said big-bad killed your mom and left your dad to take the blame, in what was a really enjoyable episode.

This was a good episode, and the irony is, it would have been even better if it had been an episode of Arrow. That is in no way a criticism of The Flash, but very much a jab at Arrow. Arrow is a vigilante, and while that series has built up it’s world, it really lacks villains that are just there to be villainous. Many of the villains we have had, and have now, are Arrow-centric–tied up in his past or somehow there to challenge Arrow. How cool would it be to have The Trickster in Arrow? Yeah, I know we’ve had Vertigo, but he’s generally been used as trippy shorthand character explorations. Hopefully Arrow will get some villains and stories that he can ‘vigilant’ against.

Anyway, enough with the Arrow bashing. This episode had a great start–that slow mo fight between Reverse Flash and Barry was well realised, and the handover to Reverse Flash’s backstory–well, introduction, was good to see. It was actually sad to see that the Wells we have before us isn’t even Wells–that the real Wells had his life pulled apart and then taken by Thorne. Great introduction and I didn’t see that coming. While I’m on Wells, wow, Barry could not rein in the hate this episode, and when Wells took him aside for a pep talk–well, we’ve already seen one pep talk recently, and I didn’t know how that was going to play out. It was certainly tense, and although Barry pulled it back and was able to be himself with Wells, I can’t help wondering whether the ultimate tricky character in this show actually suspects Barry knows…

The Trickster was great–both of them. I like the idea of a villain and side-kick. They were channeling the Joker-crazy and it was good fun to have that going on in an episode. Mark Hamil gave a great performance. I’ve heard his Joker voice acting is a fan favourite and I can see why. I’ve only ever known him as Luke, so to see him do that and for me to totally divorce him from that character–even though I’d just watched Star Wars the day before–says something about his acting. The plan was suitably tricksy, and Hamil’s Trickster had a nicely unsettling duplicity about him, that any scene he was in could suddenly change.

Barry’s saving the day, but getting hooked up to a speed bomb was also a nice lead into Wells teaching Barry a new trick–vibrating himself through a solid object. Yet Barry still gets to keep his clothes? Can you feel my disappointment? Perhaps Barry being able to do this is a sign to Wells that he’s reaching a level where Barry will be of use to him…

It was nice to have Detective Thorne brought in on Barry’s secret superhero side. I think Iris is the only main player in the dark now. Which is kind of satisfying considering she struts about like a little princess.

So, glimpses of Thorne becoming Wells, but we still don’t know how Barry is integral to Thorne’s time-line to warrant being killed as a boy, and if the reactor wasn’t built until 2020 then does that mean there isn’t a Flash in Thorne’s time-line anyway–or at least not until 2020? Ugh. I’ll wait for them to tell me…

So, what did you think? Do you think Arrow could do with Trickster?

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