Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Flash - Tricksters

When a new villain calling himself the Trickster (Devon Graye) holds Central City hostage with a series of deadly pranks Barry (Grant Gustin) and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) go to Iron Heights to talk with the incarcerated original Trickster James Jesse (Mark Hamill). Reprising his role from the 90s television show, Hamill steps right back into character (along with stills from the show!), although 20 years of prison has certainly made the Trickster more menacing the second time around. The episode even finds a way to pair John Wesley Shipp and Hamill together again for a couple scenes when the escaping villain chooses Henry Allen as his hostage of choice.

"Tricksters" isn't an one-joke episode. Despite the event of Hamill showing up the episode is still grounded in the undercurrent of the Reverse-Flash storyline and Barry's growing distrust with Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh). If I have one complaint about Barry here it's how much of a dick he is to Wells despite the fact all he has is a feeling and vague suspicions without a single piece of evidence. It would seem by nature he'd be willing to investigate further before just assuming the man who has done nothing but help and support him for months is a super-villain. That he's right doesn't excuse his behavior, even though we know his suspicions are true.

The new Trickster is overshadowed by the old but I'd be open to either or both returning sometime in the future giving this version of the Flash another non-powered super-villain to match wits with. I also loved the bomb wrist band, stolen from the comics and incorporated here, which forced Barry to learn a new trick (and one of my favorite Flash abilities) to get out of his latest jam. The manner in which Wells helped him only further solidifies Barry's belief that Wells is the man in the yellow suit which, as we see in flashbacks giving us a glimpse at the man's past, he is... and he isn't.

By the episode's end we still haven't been given all of the Reverse-Flash's story but we know how the villain came to be walking around in Harrison Wells skin. Iris' (Candice Patton) interest in the disappearance of her coworker who was investigating Wells also forces Barry to to ask for assistance in keeping her safe which means opening up about his secret to one more member of the cast which, if I had to guess, will come back to bite the hero before the season finale. But based on the trailer that closes the show we've got much more to enjoy before then including the return of Firestorm and Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) in League of Assassin gear, appearances by Grodd, Black Canary (Katie Cassidy), and the Atom (Brandon Routh), and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) confronting his mentor (again) about his extra-curricular activities (we'll see if he dies less the second time around).

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