In Review: The Flash, Episode 17 “Tricksters”

How does this show continue to top itself?

The Flash, Episode 17 “Tricksters” Broadcast on March 31, 2015

Written by Andrew Kreisberg

Directed by Ralph Hemecker

“Previously on The Flash,” before Barry altered the past, Wells reveals to Cisco that he’s the Reverse Flash. After time caught up with itself, reporter Mason Bridge is killed by the Reverse Flash for digging to deeply into Wells’s past, and Barry tells Joe he has doubts over everything Wells has told him. The new episode begins, 15 years in the past. A hole in time opens with two streaks, one yellow and one red, tearing down the street. In the Allen household, Nora is putting young Barry to bed. With her son tucked in, she has a glass of wine, whose liquid begins to slowly flow into the air. In slow motion, so viewers may see, the two speedsters battle around Nora Allen, with the Reverse Flash suddenly gunning for just-arrived young Barry. He’s punched aside by the Flash. In the present, Barry and Joe realize Harrison has been too involved in Barry’s current state. The younger man wants to get answers from his mentor now, but the older man wisely disagrees. He stresses patience. In a park in downtown Central City, presents fall from the sky attached to orange parachutes. When they hit the ground near a playground, they explode. Seeing and hearing the explosions from his office, Barry changes and arrives in time to save a boy. On a building overlooking the scene, a masked man makes a video, beginning with “Tricked yah!” He proclaims himself the Trickster and he’s going to bring a new disorder to the city. At S.T.A.R. Labs, Joe reveals that a terrorist 20 years earlier called himself the Trickster. This man, James Jesse, was captured and is serving time in Iron Heights. Joe and Barry leave to speak with him. The scene then goes back to the past. The Flash and Reverse Flash exit the house in different directions. At a distance away, the Reverse Flash stumbles and falls. Consulting the AI in his suit, he learns he has exhausted his supply of the Speed Force. He has no ability to run at super speeds, let alone return to his own time. He screams in frustration and rips off his mask. He is not Harrison Wells. Cue first commercial break.

Once again, there’s a whole lot going on in this episode, yet Andrew Kreisberg deftly juggles the introduction of two new villains into the series while moving the history of the Reverse Flash forward. The slow motion fight scene in the Allen home is amazing. I had to watch it three times to see all that was going on. The reveal of Matt Letscher had me screaming at the television. I like how Iris was involved in the story, worried about Mason, and this story became a major reveal by the end of the episode. Mark Hamill was sensational as the original Trickster, and I want to know how much money did he pay Kreisberg to write him that line? You’ll know it when you hear it. Love the loud, dramatic music played when Hamill says the line. Director Ralph Hemecker has some great shots inside Iron Heights with the Trickster, with the final one involving him and Barry and Joe great. Devon Graye is good as the new Trickster, and I really like how he was in awe of his mentor. And speaking of mentors, Tom Cavanagh is sensational in this episode, as he gets some flashback moments that will pave his future. The final scene involving Harrison Wells was a complete surprise and had me smiling more that James Jesse. There’s also Flash gaining a new ability, and it’s one I’m happy to see him get. It was used so often in the comics when I was growing up and I’m overjoyed for it to be shown.

The good: Andrew Kriesberg’s script, Ralph Hemecker’s direction, Grant Gustin’s angry Barry, Mark Hamill, Devon Graye, Matt Letscher, everyone involved with the effects, and the true origin of the Reverse Flash revealed.

Fun lines: “He’s been patient. Scary patient,” “You’re gonna need these,” “Bye-bye, Central City,” “Take off my mask!“, “This woman has been dead for centuries,” “You always look good in red,” “Eddie, we need your help,” and “My name is Harrison Wells.”

The bad: Too much going on for Caitlin or Cisco to get anything but token appearances and lines, but with a script like this, that’s a minor nit.

The final line: How does this show continue to top itself? Overall grade: A+ 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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