The Flash: “Tricksters” Season 1 Episode 17 Review

Photo Credit:http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/03/30/the-flash-mark-hamill-discusses-returning-as-the-trickster

In an entertainment climate where geekdom is being celebrated in every corner, “Tricksters” was satisfying on so many levels.

As an episode of The Flash, it featured one of the series’ best villains to date and progressed the season’s main plot just enough to make me forget about the time travel debacle of the previous two episodes. As far as being a smashing together of two great fandom cultures, I think I screamed when Luke Skywalker himself uttered “I am your father” in the iconic Joker voice from Batman: The Animated Series.

As far as Flash’s rogues go, Trickster is the ideological equivalent of the Joker to Batman (of course, in terms of true arch-rivalry, Reverse-Flash would be Flash’s Joker). This is a villain who makes it rain little gift-wrapped bombs on a playground early in the episode. But the real trick is that there’s two of them, one young and one old.

The latter is played by Star Wars star Mark Hamill. The actor also voiced the Joker for two full decades of Batman media, creating a version of the character that many fans, including myself, consider the best incarnation of the character. “Tricksters” was a real treat for those Batman fans yearning to see what the actor would do with the character in live-action. This is likely the closest we’ll ever get, and Hamill knocked it out of the park. The voice continues to be larger than life, but the actor also perfectly hammed up his facial expressions for the role.

The villains’ plot was a delightfully simple throwback to the superhero stories of old. They simple hold a bunch of rich people hostage and ask for all their money. When the Flash shows up, they strap a bomb on him that’ll explode if he goes under 600 mph, a la Speed. This gave way for the excellent character moment of Wells talking Barry through phasing through objects. It was also smart to have Barry notice that Wells seems to be talking from experience. Now he knows Wells has to be the Reverse-Flash.

“Tricksters” accomplished so much with so little. By invoking the feel of a classic comic book from half-a-century ago, The Flash is the most pure adaptation of a superhero comic book at its most basic roots. In an era of Winter Soldiers and a melancholy looking Fantastic Four, that is something to celebrate. Grade: A-

 

Some Other Thought Bubbles:

– I know Hamill will be busy with this new Star Wars trilogy and all, but a once a season appearance would be really great. At this rate, his presence was far more commanding than Wentworth Miller’s as Captain Cold (and he’s pretty good). Maybe Trickster could lead the Rogues for an episode in the future!

–  I’m not sure what the flashbacks to Wells’ death were hoping to accomplish with his character other than information, but I hope we don’t lose Tom Cavanagh to that other guy in the future.

– Eddie, who is somehow related to the Reverse-Flash, knows Barry’s secret, which just seems dangerous.

– To close, because I am currently overwhelmed with nostalgia thanks to hearing Hamill’s Joker voice again, here’s YouTube video of the best of the Joker.

 

By Matt Dougherty

 

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