I’m Your Father
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
It was a stroke of brilliance to have Mark Hamill reprise his classic role from the original Flash television series from the 1990s and to have him utter the words “I’m Your Father” was just the cherry on top. That that line was only a snippet of how absolutely brilliant this episode was is an indication of how much plot Tricksters burns through without ever giving the appearance that it is actually doing so. There is easily three episodes’ worth of information in this hour, but at no point does it truly ever feel like it. The pacing is instrumental in Tricksters and it’s flawless, supported strongly by a fantastic writing team that pulls all of its punches here while leaving the audience with full confidence that there are plenty more thrills, twist, and turns to come. There’s no awkward love shapes, or villains who become anticlimactic because the actors playing them really can’t act, or a feeling that the writers just need time to fill in with a random assortment of events just to prolong the inevitable climax. Everything really clicks in Tricksters for the episode to become the strongest yet in the entirety of the show and pave a pathway towards what is surely to be a thrilling conclusion to the show’s freshman season.
In an episode called Tricksters, the script certainly sticks to that title fastidiously, uncovering layers upon layers of mystery and intrigue that seemingly are not going to be undone by another time travel spin. Barry’s certainty of Dr. Wells’s guilt has only grown in strength from last week’s ominous declaration. He hasn’t found absolute proof yet, but there’s little that would dissuade him at this juncture. Every glance at his former mentor is clouded by fear, anger, disgust, and guilt. But his former mentor is far more complex in his origins than anyone at STAR Labs could ever have imagined. A good chunk of Tricksters takes place in flashback sequences that string together the identities of Harrison Wells, Eobard Thrawn, and even the origins of STAR Labs. The sequences begin fifteen years back, accompanied by some of the best visual effects the show has ever produced. It’s the night when Barry’s mother is murdered and the two Flashes are battling it out for supremacy. At first, it seemed relatively straightforward, but the rest of the episode would prove that it was anything but.
Before we get to the ultimate revelation, however, the titular Tricksters make an appearance as the villainous wreckers of the week and they are effective to say the least. The new Trickster on the block began with a definitive Joker-like vibe as he set off exploding bees throughout a Central City park. Joe and Barry investigate the original Trickster so they can figure out a methodology of stopping the younger version, an imprisoned man by the name of James Jesse. At first, it appears strongly that Jesse is furious at the younger Trickster as he sees him as being nothing but a pathetic impersonator, a cheap imitation of the real Trickster. In Jesse’s seeming view, Trickster 2 is, in fact, ruining the damaged, dangerous reputation that he had created for himself. That is cleverly revealed to be nothing but a trick in and of itself, for the Trickster 2 is the scion of the original. The plan all along was to break out of prison and it succeeds, but they manage to take Barry’s father as a hostage. They take a gathering for Mayor Bellows’ re-election campaign, but he won’t be re-elected anytime soon as he succumbs to the poison in everyone’s champagne. It’s the mark of an episode that pulls no punches and even though the two are caught and imprisoned, the danger they represent is quite real and cemented in moments.
The largest threat the best-executed villains in the show posed was a bomb that was big enough to take out the entirety of Central City. The extremity of the breach of the trust between Barry and Dr. Allen is best represented in the moment where Barry is running around, trying to find the bomb where it doesn’t exist. Wells tells him as much but Barry ignores him pointedly, until the real bomb is found and they have scant time to destroy it. At that critics juncture, when Barry cannot stop for the reality of death would catch onto him fastidiously and he would explode into a plethora of matter. In that moment, once again Dr. Wells asks Barry to trust him. Barry, having literally no other option available to him in that moment besides dying in a rather morbid fashion. He trusts him, and he survives. But as it may be, how much of Wells truly remains in Wells? In a startling, groundbreaking flashback sequence, the episode reveals a young man named Harrison Wells with the love of his life named Tessa. The two are relaxing on a beach, with Wells wanting to call his new lab “TESS” (cue the awws), but Tess instead suggests “STAR”, “Because you, Harrison Wells, are the only star I see” (cue the awws all over again). An ominous man is watching them. As the lovebirds are driving back, suddenly the car meets with a horrific accident and Tess is dead. Wells is alive, but severely injured. Thawne looks inside with a morbid amusement, reaching into Wells and sucking the essence out of his body. Is next week here yet?
Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+“Talking in the third person. That’s never a good sign.”
+“Your ability for speed… time travel… is gone.”
+“He is nothing like me, Detective.”
+“Make sure your safety is off.”
+“Besmirching his bad name…”
+“Not every criminal has sat in the dark.”
+“We’ll catch him. We always do.”
+Iris asks Flash to look into Mason’s disappearance
+“You seem like you have a heavy heart.”
+“Sometimes I’m not sure why I’m wearing a mask with you.”
+“Maybe one day you’ll take it off.”
+“It’s my Mona Lisa! My Breaking Bad season five!”
+Iris stunned in in that dress
+Iris is a BADASS, calling for help amidst the hostage takeover without fear or making it obvious
+“You now, I’ve been in prison for twenty years.” Pretty bad pickup line, Luke.
+Running through a wall
+“Feel the lightning.”
+Eddie sees Barry as the Flash
+Mason went to Brazil
+“I guess you don’t really know anyone.”
+“Yeah, you don’t.”
+“Harrison Wells is the Reverse Flash.”
+“My name… is Harrison Wells.”
Written By: Andrew Kreisberg
Directed By: Ralph Hemecker
Image Courtesy: The Dingle Hopper @ WordPress