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After spending several years in social services, Nicole has finally followed her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer. In addition to her work for The Hudsucker, Nicole is also a staff writer for Womanista. An avid comic book fan, BBQ aficionado, professional makeup artist and first-time mom, Nicole can be found exploring Kansas City rich history when she's not blogging about suburban life at Suburban Flamingo.

The FlashBack: ‘The Flash’ – Episode 17 ‘Tricksters’

The Flash is DC’s television adaptation of the comic book of the same name. It airs Tuesday nights at 8/7 Central on The CW. Our writer, Nicole Drum recaps the series each week updating you on the latest episode here in The FlashBack.

***This recap contains spoilers***

My fellow Flash fans, last night’s episode was the episode I have been waiting for since the CW first started revealing the various guest stars that would be gracing the first season. This is the episode where Mark Hamill (aka Luke Skywalker) reprises his role from the old CBS turn with the Flash and for those of you who either didn’t see that show, don’t read the internet, or were under a rock that character is the Trickster.

There will be squeeing in this recap. And probably spoilers. Brace yourself.

Our episode picks up with a flashback. It’s fifteen years ago, the night of Nora Allen’s death. We follow the battle between the speedsters from the moment they pop into the past from the future and go to war with each other in the Allen house. It’s actually pretty cool because we get to see things from a different angle, one that lets us see the battle that Cisco’s neat camera caught images of previously.

Back in the present Barry is hanging out with Joe looking at that big bulletin board they use to figure things out. See, Barry is definitely suspicious of Dr. Wells and now he’s trying to figure things out. It’s definitely a good setting-the-stage moment for the whole of the episode, especially as while Joe and Barry are having a quality moment of mistrust some lovely parachutes are floating to the ground near a playground. They appear to be carrying presents, but those are no presents: they’re little bombs. The bombs end up to be the work of someone calling himself the Trickster. The guy is quite fond of YouTubing himself as well and it turns out that this guy is an homage to another, older terrorist who called himself Trickster. That guy’s up in Iron Heights so off Joe and Barry go to talk to him. And that’s when this show once again makes all my nerd dreams come true: Mark Hamill is the Trickster and it is the most glorious of moments. He’s insane and overacting and it’s absolutely brilliant.

Tricksters

Image Credit: The CW

He’s also seemingly pretty annoyed by this young guy taking his tricks and his name so he tells Barry and Joe that this guy must have found his old lair and is stealing things. So Barry and Joe go to check things out, finding a creepy clown emporium left in where the dream of the 90s died. Barry vibrates the locked door and I expect to find a whole store worth of flannel and Doc Marten’s entombed inside, but instead of the cast of Portlandia we find (after a booby trap bomb that Barry saves Joe from)…nothing. The young Trickster has cleaned it out. Our favorite cops go back to the prison (and get a brief moment with Barry’s dad so this episode keeps getting better and better) to talk to Trickster. He’s pretty peeved. Mark Hamill is just owning this.

Soon enough the new Trickster pops up again. This time he claims that he has a bomb big enough to destroy Central City. The crew is trying to track him through his vlog, but he’s got some crazy, Felicity-level security going. So there’s a bomb on the loose and the Flash is out hunting it. Dr. Wells reminds Barry that you can’t take the Trickster at face value, but a distrusting Barry decides to keep looking for Trickster instead of looking for what else might be going on. When Barry finds the bomb that Trickster has left we discover that, unfortunately, Dr. Wells is right: there is no bomb, not really. It’s all been a diversion. The young Trickster has just used an explosive to bust the old Trickster out of prison and they took a hostage: Henry Allen.

As it would turn out the original Trickster was in on this from the beginning. It was all a carefully orchestrated plan that he put together in the twenty years he’s been in prison. The young Trickster was part of the plan, with young and old communicating by letter over the years. Why? Trickster explains way in one of the most awesome moments of television and nerdery every: old Trickster leans down to the young trickster and says “Axel, I am your father” while some Star Wars-esque music plays in the background. I cheered. Mark Hamill wins. He wins all the things.

I’ve been so excited about Mark Hamill that I’ve forgotten a few pieces of things. We discover in flashback that as a result of the fight between Flash and Reverse Flash that our villain in yellow has utterly extinguished his speed abilities, aka the speed force. He’s trapped. Then the Man in Yellow takes off his mask and…that’s not Dr. Wells? A few more flashbacks reveals more: we see Dr. Wells sitting on the beach with his wife, Tess, and they are talking about this particle accelerator they are going to make that will change the world. Tess names the whole thing STAR Labs and it’s cute and awesome and it’s obvious that this Dr. Wells is adorable like Barry is. Lurking in the shadows? That dude Eobard Thawne, the one that unmasked. Later we will see the good Dr. Wells and his wife driving home, being adorable, when evil Thawne sets up a car crash. The car crash kills Tess, leaving Thawne to approach Dr. Wells. It’s trippy.

Also going on in the background of this episode Iris is trying to figure out why her jerk of a coworker Mason Bridge just vanished. Eddie can’t be bothered so she talks to the Flash and astutely notes that he seems down. We next see Iris going to a fancy fundraiser at City Hall where a waiter promptly gives her some champagne. In fact everyone has champagne and those aren’t waiters: it’s the Trickster Twosome. Turns out that they have decided to rob all the rich people at the fundraiser and they’ve poisoned that champagne. Of course Iris is smart for a change and manages to dial her dad, which tips off the team so the Flash shows up. Trickster expected this and Barry quickly finds himself fitted with a bomb on his wrist that will blow up if he goes below 600mph or tries to take it off.

Barry takes off running. He can’t slow down, but he can’t get the bomb off, either. Dr. Wells, who is pretty sure Barry doesn’t trust him at this point, has the idea that Barry can just phase through something solid and knock the bomb off. He explains to Barry just how he needs to do it, by vibrating at the same rate as the air. He describes it all so beautifully and powerfully that it’s clear he understands and it’s moving. Barry tries it and runs through a tanker truck. He actually phases through it knocking the bomb off in an experience that Barry describes as feeling weird. Welcome to the speed force, Barry.

The Flash returns to the party sans bomb and gives everyone there the antidote to the poison. With the Trickster Twosome going back to jail, Barry then has to make it to where they’ve kept Henry Allen prisoner. He makes it just in time to save his dad from being killed by a crate of knives hanging over his head and once he’s safe, Barry does something awesome: he takes off his mask for his dad. It’s a great moment with Henry Allen’s only response, other than looking very proud, is to comment that his son has always looked great in red. They hug. I cry. Henry gets to meet the crew back at the lab where there are more hugs and Barry becomes more convinced than ever that something is off about Wells. Henry gets taken back to prison.

Barry also reveals himself to Eddie. He and Joe need to get Eddie on the same page with them as they investigate Wells further because their own explanation for how Wells was able to explain how to phase to Barry had to come from experience. They also need his help to throw Iris off her hunt to find out what happened to Mason Bridge. Eddie lies to Iris, saying Bridge went to Brazil. You know that’s going to come back to haunt us.

But back to those flashbacks. So Reverse Flash Guy wrecked the Wells’ car and Tess dies.  But real Dr. Wells survives.  He’s hurt, but he survives. That is until creepy Reverse Flash Guy gets him out of the wreckage and reveals things: in 2020 the Wells’ open their accelerator and it changes the world awesomely. However, Reverse Flash needs that to happen sooner so he’s going to force it: he stabs Dr. Wells in the chest with some sort of odd plug like device and sticks the other end into his own chest…and promptly manages to steal the real Dr. Wells’ appearance, leaving the good doctor to die a horribly mangled shell.  When help finally arrives our villain (who now looks like Dr. Wells) identifies himself as said physics dude…and this is how Reverse Flash becomes Dr. Wells. DUN DUN DUN!

We’ve got a couple of weeks between now and the next episode so I plan to watch this one over a few more times for the Mark Hamill goodness, but once we come back we fly straight through until the end. I can’t wait to see what they’re going to pull now.  What did you think of tonight’s episode? Let me know in comments because I really want to talk about all the big reveals and how awesome Mark Hamill is.  Until next time!

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2 Comments on “The FlashBack: ‘The Flash’ – Episode 17 ‘Tricksters’”

  1. Dylan April 1, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    Great ep. Loved that Mark was using his Joker voice.

    Very interesting that Dr. McCreepypants is not the original.

    Telling Eddie? Yeah, that’s not gonna bite him in the ass…

  2. Daniel Hansen April 1, 2015 at 10:50 pm #

    I loved last nights episode because we did get to see a bit more into Reverse Flash. I was hoping it was more of a possession kind of thing that they could get Reverse out of Wells and this way Wells could still be around. Cause it makes me wonder what will happen to Team Flash with out their mentor. Did get me thinking that maybe will we get someone else who is associated with StarLabs like Cyborgs dad or the ever present Emil Hamilton. Beyond that the episode was gold, it was nice to see a villain that was a bit more zany and crazy then most of the serious ones we have had. Though I do think revealing the truth to Eddie is going to bite Barry in the ass later, but time will tell. Did anyone else find it odd that during the flash back it was Reverse that grabbed Young Barry and not Adult Barry. It clearly looked like a Gold Lighting that came out first then a Red one.

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