flash-episode-17-tricksters-barry-joe

There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

Twenty-five years ago, there was another show called The Flash. It was also based on the same characters, and the man who currently plays Barry’s father, John Wesley Shipp, was actually Barry. It was a ridiculous show, very campy and 90s, but it had a delicious flavor of nostalgia that makes it easy to be nostalgic about. All those years ago, Mark Hamill guest starred as one of the Flash’s famous rogues, the Trickster. When I heard he was going to be in this episode, it was the kind of delight you only get as a full out nerd in 2015: all your favorite things combining in one place. See, Hamill isn’t just Luke Skywalker, he’s also the Joker from Batman’s Animated series. If you look at his filmography you’ll be amazed at how much work he got; just because he wasn’t in the spotlight after Star Wars, doesn’t mean he fell into obscurity. So this was an exciting episode, especially since they intentionally were referencing the original Flash series. Hamill is the Trickster, James Jesse, who terrorized Central City twenty years before. They let him be as outrageous and over the top as he wants to be, while still maintaining the modern spirit of the show, and kudos to them for that.

In any case, there’s a new Trickster in town, one that’s much younger, and come on who didn’t see this coming a mile away. It doesn’t matter, because when Mark Hamill says “I am your father,” it is hilarious, even if it’s expected. The writers clearly know their audience. Living up to his name, this was a trick from Jesse to escape, and he takes Barry’s father hostage with him. He noticed Barry talking to his father and that Barry was a cop, so he figured it was an easy bargaining chip. He plays a good act at first with being horrified and angry about a doppelgänger,  but anyone who saw the trailer knew he was getting out of jail. He actually wants to go up against the Flash, because he has a special treat for him. He shows up at a charity event and poisons everyone there, and when Barry shows up to get him, he puts a bomb on him that will blow up if Barry slows down at any point. He clearly references Speed, which was fun. Ollie would shake his head at you, Barry, he told you to be more aware of your surroundings. That’s how the second Trickster managed to get the bomb on him. Tsk.

flash-episode-17-tricksters-henry-allenWhat’s going on in this episode is that Barry finally has figured out that Wells is the bad guy. It’s because he knew the reporter guy who was on to Wells has disappeared, so he put it all together. If Wells wanted to not be suspicious, he should have worked a lot harder at it this episode, but what can you do. He knows something is up with Barry, who acts cold with him and ignores his advice, even when it’s good. Barry is terrible at lying, it’s amazing Wells hasn’t already put a fist through his chest at this point. We do get some flashbacks here where we saw what really happened with Eobard Thawne and Wells. Thawne came back to kill Barry, and other Barry was there fighting him. This was a fantastic scene, and it looked amazing. Thawne looked nothing like Wells however, which threw the whole audience off. Wells was an actual person once, with his wife and a happy future. It turned out that historically he was supposed to do the particle accelerator, but only later in life. Thawne needed to turn it up sooner in order to get back home, although that definitely destroyed his future, didn’t it? Or not, since he constantly watches the future.

Sad to see that Wells was once a good person, everything we first thought he was, or closer to it. He was much warmer and kinder too. Thawne took his face and his life. RIP the real Harrison Wells. However, fake Wells is aware of how to save Barry. He wants him to vibrate/phase through a wall and leave the bomb behind. This is great because it’s a very well known Flash power, so it’s fun for us fans, but also a neat trick that Barry could utilize well. It’s also partly how Wells killed Cisco that one time, so ouch. He tells Barry to get in touch with the Speed Force, and I squealed. The Speed Force has finally been spoken of! Yesssss. By doing this, he saves Barry’s life, but he also makes Barry absolutely positive he’s the Reverse-Flash, because only a fellow speedster could understand it that fundamentally. Barry defeated the Trickster, saved everyone, revealed himself to his father as the Flash, and pretended to make peace with Wells. But the war is coming for them.

Unfortunately they had to end it on a sour note for me. Joe and Barry tell Eddie about him being the Flash, because Iris is trying to find her boss and they don’t want her digging into Wells’ past. To “protect” her. You know what would protect her? Being informed of things so she wouldn’t stay ignorant. I hate this trope. I hate it so much it makes me want to rip my hair out. It doesn’t protect a loved one to keep them in the dark; you want other people not to know your secret identity so they can’t get to your loved ones. But if your loved ones ever do get caught? THEY SHOULD NOT BE SHOCKED. They could prepare themselves, they could know to expect danger. Like this is the oldest and most frustrating trope, especially with the hero and his love interest. It smacks of sexism to me, all these men in Iris’ life deciding they know better than she does about what she should know. How dare you say that you’re protecting her. She’s in danger the longer she’s ignorant of what’s really going on. UGH UGH UGH I get so angry. And now everyone on the show literally knows except for her. It’s frustrating, but outside of that, this was an amazing episode. I hope Mark Hamill shows up again! It looks like they’re all finally going to try and take on Wells, but what does that mean? Can Barry save his mother? I personally don’t think so, because it’ll change everything that’s happened to him. I guess we’ll see.

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