Review: The Flash 1.17 - Tricksters

Flash, dude, what are you doing?  I was kind of looking forward to this episode until I started to really think about the continuity.  Having to focus on continuity is never a good sign for me because it means there’s nothing compelling about the story.  It leads to this kind of sensory deprivation where I have to focus on something else, anything else.  In cases like this it means continuity.  So, we have John Wesley Shipp, the first Flash from the first Flash series.  But he’s not the Flash, he’s just a dude.  Okay fine, I can still forgive that error.  Actors play different roles, this is a new era, etc, etc. Now we have Mark Hamill reprising the Trickster.  Which means we’ve made that series cannon.  Or at least a part of that series cannon.  Now that we have a Trickster how was he stopped?  Who stopped him?  Why would a costumed super-villain just suddenly appear without inspiration from a costumed super-hero?  The whole plot of the original Trickster revolved around Flash and Trickster’s obsession with the Flash.  So how much of that original story is cannon?  How much of it happened?  Did he still kidnap a ‘Prank’?  Did he still stalk Flash’s on-again-off-again femme fatale?  What’s the story here?  Where are the lines drawn?

All that being said I did enjoy seeing Mark Hamill back and interacting with John Wesley Shipp.  I like both actors and they both did really well in the first series.  The new Trickster looks cool but acts like a second rate Dark Knight Joker.  As far as Rouges go I’m not all that invested into him.  The one decent moment they had together was also the moment I groaned the most at.  Out of nowhere Mark Hamill tells new Trickster that he’s his father.  Really?  I kind of liked it, but it was also really lame.

The Flash 1-16

The episode had two mark out moments for me.  The flashback Flash fight was pretty good and Barry’s discovery of the speed force and vibrating through a truck to shake off a speed triggered explosive was cool as well.  That was about the only things salvageable in this episode.  I mean Mark Hamill was enjoyable as always but really we sally forth in this post-time travel, alternate reality world like nothing happened.  The fallout from that is nil, the last two episodes didn’t even need to happen.

The only thing that drags this episode out of the depths is the reveal that the real Harrison Wells is dead and replaced by some dude.  Eobard Thawne stole Harrison Well’s appearance after manufacturing a car accident.  Okay?  Why?  But the plot reveal is probably going to be necessary viewing as we limp into the finale which makes at least that portion a must watch.  What the hell happened to this series?  The two halves of this season feel totally different.  The first half was bright and funny and hip and exciting and everything Arrow wasn’t in the best way possible.  Now it’s just turned into Arrow-lite, all the grimness of Arrow with half the substance.  I miss first-half-of-season-Flash and if this show can give me nothing else, and it doesn’t seem like it can, then I demand a telepathic monkey!  Give me my monkey!

Score: 3/5

The Flash 1.17

The Flash airs Tuesdays 8/7 C