Episode Title: Tricksters
Original Airdate: 3-31-15
It’s the return of Mark Hamill as the Trickster! There’s not really anything more important than that in this episode. Oh, besides some flashbacks of how Eobord Thawne takes on the role of Dr. Harrison Wells back after the death of Nora Allen 15 years ago. As well as another fairly important reveal near the end of the episode that will definitely change the course of the next few episodes. Not only that, but we get to see a little bit more from John Wesley Shipp as Henry Allen both inside, and outside of the jail cell. A very nice episode, and a welcome return of the Trickster.
I really love how this show pays such loving homages to the 1990 version of the series and it it very evident here. There are plenty of great references to the old series which if you have read my little April Fool’s review you can tell that I also went back and watched Hamill’s original appearance on the show with John Wesley Shipp. They even have the line where they mention his name: James Jesse is “like Jessie James, only backward. And twisted.” It introduces him as this odd, Hannibal Lecter type character who they consult in order to track down a copycat Trickster. It’s done in such a meta way too, as in the show the Trickster was a villain in Central City 20 years ago, but in this version there wasn’t a Flash to stop him, even when they find his lair Barry and Joe remark that it looks very “90’s”. And after he escapes, he even disguises himself once again as a waiter and poisons the crowd, only this time it was through the champagne rather than a gas bomb under a food tray. The one aspect that was a little underdeveloped was that the copycat Trickster was Hamill’s son, which basically allowed yet another meta gag where Luke Skywalker gets to say the “I am your father” line. It really was Hamill’s gig here anyway and I truly loved seeing him return to this role.
One of the absolute best moments of the episode is when Barry and Joe are having a heart to heart at STAR Labs, and Joe really hits home what the real gift of Barry’s is, and that’s to see the good in people no matter what. That’s one of the things that’s always set him apart from some of the other DC superheroes, and what really helps make this show one of the best on TV right now. Barry Allen isn’t just saving people for the thrill, or because of necessity, he’s doing it to help people. Even last week when he makes the deal with the Rogues, it’s because he sees the good in them and while it might not be the correct decision, it’s worth it to give them a chance.
Throughout the episode we also get to see a lot of flashbacks to the night of Nora Allen’s death and Eobord Thawne didn’t look quite the same as he does now, in fact he looks a lot like the dad from the Carrie Diaries. It’s nice to get to spend a brief moment with the real Dr. Harrison Wells, though it was a bit anticlimactic since everything has been pointing to this in one way or another, though not through these exact circumstances. At this point we all know that Dr. Wells is the Reverse Flash, the only real revelation is that he not only stole Dr. Wells’ identity, but he also essentially stole his actual body. One other little tidbit thrown in there which may or may not become important in the near future is that the accident that originally created the Flash happened in 2020, not 2014. But only time will tell if anything comes of that detail or not.