Past and Present Tricksters and Speedsters – Recap of ‘Flash’ S01 E17

Posted in TV, TV Recaps by - April 02, 2015

This week’s Flash episode, “Tricksters”, opens with an awesome flashback to the night Barry’s mother was murdered (15 years ago). Streaks of red and yellow light the screen as two unidentifiable bodies clash at impossible speeds around a trapped Nora Allen. During this sequence, Flash (from the future) and Reverse Flash (also from the future) exchange fists in what would later be the biggest life altering fight. From the start of the series, the events of that night have always been omitted, except for small explorations by Joe and Cisco. This week, more visual detail is delivered which piques the interest of viewers – but not enough to settle all the questions that arise. Toggling between past and present (much like the other CW series, Arrow), more about Eobard Thawne and his origin in this current timeline is revealed.

Meanwhile, Joe and Barry continue compiling each other’s notes on Harrison Wells since the odd disappearance of Mason Bridge – but are interrupted by a copycat killer known as the Trickster (a mild comparison to the infamous Joker). Axel Walker, the new Trickster, plots to create chaos and anarchy in Central City, using the same alias and arsenal of the original Trickster, James Jesse (played by Mark Hamill). Casting him as the Trickster was a definite treat for all fans, considering Hamill’s iconic voice-performance of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, and of course, his role as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. It would prove difficult to watch the episode without hearing the memorable tone and vocal characteristics of the Joker while Hamill is on screen, making the experience both entertaining and nostalgic. Following the Trickster’s attack, Joe and Barry pay a visit to Jesse in his secluded wing of Central City’s penitentiary for possible clues. Outraged that his legacy is being ruined by an amateur, Jesse points Joe and Barry to his old lair, which they found emptied out and booby-trapped.

Now that Barry has his suspicions of Wells, it becomes a major challenge for him to trust Wells and keep his emotions contained while being out in the city as the Flash. After being distant for so long, Iris finally calls the Flash to help her look into the disappearance of her co-worker, Mason Bridge. Before zooming off, Barry is distracted when Cisco alerts him that the Trickster has broken James Jesse out of prison, and taken his father, Henry Allen, hostage. To keep Iris safe, and their investigation secret, Joe and Barry reveal the true identity of the Flash to Eddie – and let him in on their suspicion and investigation into Harrison Wells. Some may agree, that this may turn out to be a big mistake on Barry’s behalf, now that it is known that Eddie and Eobard are distant relatives.

In their new secret lair, Jesse and Walker plot their next attack on Central City, with Henry Allen tied up. Walker is revealed as a misguided teen, who idolized the Trickster, and Jesse for reaching out to him from prison. In this moment, Jesse tells Axel that the reason he confided in him, is because Axel is his son. More specifically, Hamill owns the scene as he reverses the famous Star Wars V: Empire Strikes Back line: “I am your father!” The two then orchestrate a plan to rob the patrons of the Mayor’s public event, and eliminate the crimson speedster. When Jesse makes his reappearance in Central City, Iris is caught in the crossfire. Before he can do her any harm, Flash appears and snatches Jesse, but is unexpectedly tagged by Axel from behind with a speed-controlled explosive armband.

Much like the time this happened in Justice League: Doom, the armband is activated with a mechanism that will explode if Flash travels below 600mph. To avoid casualties, Flash takes off at 600mph, while Wells and Cisco try to figure a way to disarm the bomb. With precise description, Wells instructs Barry how to utilize his speed-vibration to reach the natural frequency of air, allowing him to pass through solid objects in order to ditch the arm-bomb. Barry successfully manages to run through a parked truck, leaving the bomb to detonate at a safe distance away from the city, and returns to apprehend Jesse and Walker. He then pressures Jesse for the location of his father, who remains a hostage in a booby-trap. Seconds before knives plummet onto him, Henry is zipped to safety by Barry, who unmasks himself for his father to see. The two share a sentimental embrace, shortly before Joe returns Henry to Central City penitentiary.

As the episode elapses, it becomes obvious that the Reverse Flash (from the future) is not Harrison Wells, as both men appear on screen during the flashback scenes of Wells’ past. Wells is seen with his wife, Tess Morgan, for the first time – who is only mentioned in previous episodes, while Thawne stalks Wells from a safe distance. Later, Wells and his wife are derailed on their drive home, causing a terrible accident and the death of Tess. Thawne then emerges from the shadows, and copies Wells’ face onto his own using a gadget from the future. With Wells’ body decomposing into ash, Thawne literally becomes Wells with the intentions of recreating the particle accelerator that gives Barry his powers.

Next week’s episode is titled, “All-Star Team Up” and will be a crossover episode featuring characters from Arrow.

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