The Flash Recap – Season 1, Episode 17: Tricksters


This should be fun. Not just one Trickster, but two, one of whom is Mark Hamill. Yes, that Mark Hamill, kind of, sort of reprising his role from the 1990 series.

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To borrow a totally unrelated saying/meme, my body is ready for this episode of The Flash. Hopefully there’s some more Caitlin Snow, just because I feel like I haven’t been getting my weekly Danielle Panabaker quotient in recent episodes. Maybe that’s just me …

Anyway, let’s get to “Tricksters.”

Not-So-Fast Recap: It’s a scene we’ve seen before, but never like this. On the night of Nora Allen’s death, the Flash is clearly chasing the Reverse-Flash, and they wage a super-speed battle into and through the Allen house.

In the present, Barry Allen and Joe West go over what they know about Harrison Wells, which is not much. Barry asks if Joe thinks Wells wanted him to become the Flash, and why he needs Barry to be faster. Joe only offers that Harrison clearly wants something from him, but he’s been patient for 15 years. They’re going to have to be patient too.

Their discussion is interrupted by bombs that are parachuting down from the sky disguised as little presents. Flash barely saves a kid from being blown up by one on a nearby playground. They were sent by a guy who calls himself the Trickster, and apparently enjoys shooting selfie videos with bad rhymes.

Only he’s not the first Trickster, as Joe tells the S.T.A.R. Labs crew. The first one, James Jesse, killed a bunch of people years ago and is now in Iron Heights. They use footage from the 1990 show to show him, which is awesome. Before Barry and Joe take off to talk to him, Harrison asks about Barry’s crankiness, to which Joe replies that even the Flash wakes up on the wrong side of the bed sometimes.

Another Flashback shows the Allen house again. Though young Barry is sped to safety, the Reverse-Flash soon leaves and tries to run away only to have his speed crap out on him. He consults Gideon, who informs the villain that the Speed Force has left him, and he’s no longer able to run fast or return to his own time. Angered, he unmasks … but that doesn’t look like Wells!

The visit to Jesse commences, with the criminal in a special Hannibal Lecter-esque cell. Barry mentions that the parachute bombs were made of the same chemical composition as Jesse’s old explosives, to which the original Trickster says he must have a copycat who found his old lair. He wants the cops to find and kill the pretender. Man, Hamill’s Trickster has a lot of Joker in him.

Iris West tells Eddie Thawne that she’s worried about Mason Bridge, who’s gone missing. He’s also a little dead, though she doesn’t know that. Meanwhile, Barry and Joe find out the hard way that the Trickster’s old lair was booby-trapped, and the Fastest Man Alive just barely saves the detective from being blown up. It was all for naught anyway, as the lair has been cleaned out. Well, except for some of the old Trickster costumes.

At Iron Heights, Barry detours to see his dad, and both he and Joe tell Mr. Allen to hang in there. The original Trickster is pretty upset that the new one stole all his stuff, especially a bomb big enough to wipe out all of Central City. The new guy posts another video, causing Jesse to go crazy and scream at the copycat, “Take off my mask!” Geez.

Cisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow say it may take some time to track the Trickster because he’s using “Felicity-level scrambling” on his videos. Harrison asks for a word with Barry, claiming that he knows he’s been thinking about finding his mom’s killer after seeing his dad. Wells promises Barry they will find the killer, together. He also promises he’ll always be there for Barry.

We go to another flashback and see a younger Wells relaxing on the beach with the love of his life, who gives him the inspiration to call his new building S.T.A.R. Labs. The even creepier blonde who I guess is the Reverse-Flash is watching them.

Snapping back to the present, Iris calls a meeting with the Flash and asks him to look into Bridge’s disappearance. She also can tell something is bothering him, to which he replies that he’s not sure why he wears a mask around her. This moment is interrupted by another Trickster video, as he reveals he’s planted the big bomb somewhere between 52nd and Avenue B. The Flash zips off to find it, despite Wells’ insistence that something else is up. Sure enough, the box he finds is empty, and there’s an explosion at Iron Heights. Turns out it was a distraction so Axel Walker, the new Trickster, can break out Jesse. They’ve also taken a hostage: Barry’s dad.

The two Tricksters bond despite Henry Allen’s best effort to convince Walker he’s being used. Jesse reveals the real reason that he trusted the youngster to claim his legacy is because … I am your father! Get it? Because in Star Wars, he was the son, and … I know you don’t need me to explain it to you.

Another flashback takes place as we see Wells and his fiancée driving home, but a crash flips the car and injures her. It’s the Reverse-Flash’s doing, and when Wells asks him for help, he coldly responds that the woman in the car has been dead for centuries.

Sitting by the Pipeline, Barry gets a pep talk from Joe. His surrogate dad promises they will find his real one, and also says not to be so upset about being fooled by Wells, because he always sees the best in everyone. That’s his real super power, according to Joe.

Iris shows up to cover a political event, and both Tricksters are waiters. That can’t be good. Jesse later takes to the podium to reveal that he’s poisoned all the champagne with something that will kill the people there in an hour. The only way they will get the antidote is if they wire all their money to the account on the bottom of their glasses. Tipped off by Iris, Barry responds as the Flash, but the Tricksters attach a bomb to him that’ll go off if he doesn’t keep running at 600 mph. Jesse even references the movie Speed.

Barry despairs, as he can’t keep cruising around at a high rate of speed forever. Wells tells him he can probably vibrate through a wall and leave the bomb behind on the other side, though that’s something he’s never done to date. To convince him, Harrison starts giving a very intricate speech, telling Barry to become one with the lightning and feel how he’s part of the Speed Force. It works, as the Flash pulls off the vibrating stunt and speeds back to administer the antidote to everyone affected. He gets the location of his dad, unmasking in the process.

Before he has to go back to jail, Henry Allen gets to see S.T.A.R. Labs and meet the team. He thanks everyone, but especially Wells, and a bunch of hugs follow. As Joe takes Henry away, Harrison mentions that he’s an extraordinary man. Barry says he’s lucky to have his dad … and you, Dr. Wells. They shake hands, but Barry’s smile leaves his face as he walks away, and the camera zooms in on Wells so we have one of those, “Does he know that Barry knows?” moments.

Another flashback shows Wells crawling out of the wreck. the blonde is there, and he explains that he’s Eobard Thawne, and that he knows Wells and Tess Morgan are going to activate a particle accelerator in 2020. He needs it to happen sooner, so he pulls out a device and attaches it to Wells. It turns Harrison into a decayed corpse and makes Thawne look like Wells. What kind of crazy future zombie tech is that?

The Flash and Joe tell Eddie they need his help calling Iris off her search for Mason. Barry unmasks, and Eddie’s reaction is priceless. Does anyone NOT know Barry is the Flash at this point?

It works, though, because Eddie tells Iris that Mason went off the grid with a woman in Brazil and is working on his memoirs. Later, Barry tells Joe that Harrison described the feeling of super-speed too well, as if it was from personal experience. Somehow, Wells must be the Reverse-Flash. Right you are!

Favorite moment: It was okay not to give Cisco the best line of the night, because Hamill got to deliver it instead. After seeing Flash give the antidote to the party guests so quickly, Jesse remarked, “That’s not very sanitary!” Ha!

Final thought: Those revelations about Wells and Thawne explain so much. The villain in this episode was secondary to the overall season arc, so having Hamill in this one was probably a wise move. It would have been easy for someone lesser to be lost. Also, the promo for the remaining episodes in this season looked incredible, with appearances by the Atom, Arrow and Firestorm. Hang on tight, folks.

Next: Previously, on The Flash: our recap of Rogue Time

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