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FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 1×17- “Tricksters”

The Flash (1×17) – “Tricksters”
Written by: Andrew Kreisberg
Directed by: Ralph Hemecker
This week’s episode opens on the night of Nora Allen’s
murder.  As Nora tucks Barry into bed
before relaxing with a nightcap, the Flash and Reverse Flash chase each other
from the future and battle around Nora. 
The scene then shifts back to the present, Barry and Joe are in Barry’s
lab.  Barry has replaced his clippings
involving his mother’s murder with every bit of information he has on Harrison
Well.  Which, as Barry points out, isn’t
much. 
Joe suspects that Wells built the particle accelerator for
the sole purpose of getting Barry struck by lightning.  The two conclude that Wells wants speed from
Barry but don’t know why.  Barry thinks
they should bring him in but Joe stresses that they have to be very cautious.
At a park across town, wrapped presents are parachuted from
a high rise onto a playground.  However
as they touch the ground they explode. 
Barry races in and saves a boy from one of the
“presents.”  As he does a man
on the roof records a video taking credit for the bombing.  He declares himself “The Trickster”
and vows more attacks. 
Barry Joe and STAR Labs team watch the video later, Cisco
and Caitlin are rather unimpressed until Joe explains that this man is not the
first to be called the Trickster.  A man
named James Jesse ran a similar terrorist campaign before he was brought to
justice in the nineties.  Wells notices
that Barry is in a foul mood but when he asks Joe about it he plays it off as
him having a bad day.
We return to the night of Nora’s murder.  The Flash races his younger self out of the
house and the Reverse Flash races out of the house as well, presumably after
killing Nora Allen.  Suddenly the Reverse
Flash’s powers flicker out and he crashes to the ground.  He removes his cowl and reveals Eobard Thawne
though he looks different from Harrison Wells before he brings up Gideon and asks
what happened; the AI informs him that his jump through the time stream has
drained his powers almost completely. 
He’s now trapped in the past.
Back in the present, Joe and Barry are at Iron Heights
Prison.  The warden leads the pair down
into special solitary confinement cell where he had to put Jesse after he
talked his psychiatrist into committing suicide.  They explain the attack to the eccentric
Jesse James and he’s rather unimpressed that the man wasn’t able to kill
anyone.
When Barry explains his bombs are a chemical match to the
explosives Jesse used.  When Barry says
the man is claiming to be the Trickster, Jesse is enraged.  He wants the new Trickster dead and he tells
them that they should be able to find him at his old lair.
At the Police Station, Iris is trying to get Eddie to
investigate Mason Bridge’s disappearance. 
Eddie tells her the best he can do is try to find her friend after they
find the new Trickster.  Barry and Joe
find the Trickster’s lair and find it untouched since Jesse’s capture.  They look around and after triggering a booby-trap,
learn the place was cleared out.
They return to the Prison and after briefly talking to Henry
they talk to Jesse and tell him that the new Trickster cleared him out.  Jesse becomes even more enraged than before.  As he rants Cisco sends Barry a new video
from the Trickster.  The three men watch
as the Trickster promises to detonate Jesse’s city-leveling bomb.
Back at STAR Labs, the team reviews the latest Trickster
video to find clues.  When Wells comments
on the Trickster’s bravado, Barry replies that “Not every criminal likes
to hide in the dark” in a challenging tone.  Again, Joe runs interference for Barry by
asking Cisco to trace the video.  Cisco
is stumped for the time being.  Barry is
annoyed with the delay. 
Wells pulls him aside and tells him that he knows why Barry
is upset: That the visit to the prison served to remind him of his father’s
false imprisonment.  He tries to get
Barry to keep his hopes up and be patient. 
Barry receives a message from Iris asking to meet the Flash.
In a flashback, Thawne watches as the original Harrison
Wells is with his wife as the two plan his dream project, a privately funded
scientific facility that will explore new technologies for the betterment of
mankind.  Wells even intends to name it
after her but she offers an alternate acronym: “Scientific and
Technological Advanced Research Laboratories” STAR Labs for short.
Returning to the present, Iris and the Flash meet at Jitters
that night at Jitters and she asks him to look into Mason Bridge’s disappearance.  Barry promises to help her but before he can
Cisco calls and tells him the Trickster is broadcasting again.  Barry uses her laptop to watch.
The Trickster has hidden a bomb somewhere in the city
between 52nd Street and Avenue B. 
He challenges the police to find the bomb before it explodes.  Barry races off to search the area but can’t
find anything, when Wells guesses it’s a trick Barry ignores him completely and
continues to look.  He eventually finds
the place the Trickster was broadcasting from and the crate he’d claimed held
the bomb but Barry finds it empty.
In the sewers, the Trickster detonates his bomb, but instead
of leveling the city it merely blows out a hole in the concrete ceiling near
him and instead of where Barry’s at, the bomb was under Iron Heights.  The new Trickster has broken the first Trickster
out of jail.  When Barry calls Joe to
tell him, Joe informs Barry that they’ve also taken a hostage, Henry Allen.
The next morning while Jesse is building something, the New
Trickster asks why they brought Henry along. 
Jesse explains that having a cop’s father as a trump card is always a
good idea.  Jesse is excited by the
prospect.  He then tells his protégé that
he’s had a plan in mind for his masterpiece and he intends to perform it now
that he’s out.  When the young man asks
why Jesse chose him, Jesse reveals that “I am your father.”
Joe’s been able to identify the new Trickster as Axel
Walker, Walker and James have been writing letters back and forth for ten
years.  Barry isn’t listening to Joe;
rather he is brooding on his father’s abduction.  He storms out of the lab and down to The
Pipeline to be alone.
Fifteen years ago, the original Wells and his wife are
driving home after a date but Thawne has laid down a spike strip in the
road.  Wells’ crashes his car and he and
Tess are seriously injured, Tess is dying. 
Thawne arrives and Wells begs him to call for help but Thawne refuses.
Back in the present, Joe talks to Barry and tries to
reassure him his father is still alive. 
Barry is frustrated that he has to rely on the man who may have murdered
his mother to save his father and he can’t handle it.  Joe tries to explain that Wells has had them
all fooled, even him.  Barry is
heartbroken that he might have wanted to be fooled by Wells but Joe tells him
that his faith in people is a strength that Joe admires.
Across town, Iris arrives at a re-election fundraiser for
the city’s mayor and she is offered a complementary glass of champagne.  She gratefully accepts, not knowing that the
offer was from the Tricksters.  The pair
are about to spring their trap.  He’s
poisoned the champagne with a time-released substance.  Everyone in the room must transfer all their
money to him in the next hour or they will die.
Iris quietly calls Joe, and the team listens in.  While Cisco and Caitlin start to synthesize a
counter-agent while Barry races off to stop the Tricksters.  When Barry arrives, Jesse attaches a bomb to
his wrist that will explode if he doesn’t start running and stay above
six-hundred miles per hour. 
Cisco can’t figure out a way to get the bomb off, but Wells
has a plan:  Barry’s going to phase
through a wall by vibrating at the frequency of air.  Wells guides Barry into something like a meditative
state as he explains to Barry how to tap into the Speed Force.  To everyone’s amazement, Barry phases through
a tanker truck and the bomb comes off and detonates safely.
Barry returns to the fundraiser and administers the antidote
to everyone in the room.  He then demands
to know where Henry is.  At the
Tricksters’ hideout, Henry is tied to a chair with a device hanging over his
head on a timer.  Before the timer can go
off, Barry arrives and gets his father to safety.
The next morning, Barry takes Henry to STAR Labs to meet the
team and he is amazed by the setup.  He
takes the time to thank everyone for helping his son, especially Wells before
hugging Barry one more time and surrendering himself to Joe.  After Henry leaves, Wells says that Barry is
lucky to have a father like him.  Barry swallows
his pride and says that he’s lucky to have Dr. Wells before shaking his hand.
“Wells” flashes back to the car accident.  He pulled the original Wells out of the
wreckage.  He explains that in 2020 Wells
and his wife successfully activate the particle accelerator but he needs to
step up that timetable if he wants to get home.  He uses some sort of future technology on the
man to take his body from him just before the police arrive on the scene.
In the present, Eddie meets Joe in Barry’s lab for a meeting
with the Flash.  Barry reveals his
identity to Eddie and the two men convince him to help them throw Iris off the
scent of her investigation into Mason’s disappearance.  Later at Joe’s house, Eddie has convinced
Iris that Mason has left for Brazil to spend time with a woman.  After she leaves to start dinner Joe and
Barry ask him if she believed him.  Eddie
says he thinks so but he doesn’t like lying to Iris, even to protect her.  The other two agree but don’t relent.  Eddie then ask what their next move is, Barry
explains that when Wells talked Barry through phasing it sounded like he was
speaking from experience.  Barry now
believes that Wells is the Reverse Flash.
I am not going to sugar coat anything.  When I watched the episode on Tuesday, I
found myself rather down on it. 
Fortunately, I always watch the episode three times for reviewing
purposes: Once as it airs, once to take notes and once as I write the review.  As I watched the episode again, I warmed to
it considerably.
There were problems, the effects sequence of the Flash vs
Reverse Flash in the teaser were not up to the show’s usual stand but can be
forgiven considering how involved they clearly were.  Devon Graye was at times a little too over the
top, and no amount of re-watches will stop me from rolling my eyes just a bit
at Mark Hamill quoting one of the most famous movie lines ever but these are
forgivable for three reasons: Grant Gustin, John Wesley Shipp and Jesse L.
Martin.  These three carried the
emotional core of the episode, especially Gustin and Shipp.
I liked the Thawne-centric flashback, they mostly confirmed
what I suspected happened but it was still nice to see the actual Harrison
Wells if for nothing more than comparison. 
I also liked Joe and Barry forming their counter-conspiracy and bringing
in Eddie was an interesting twist. 
Seeing how Eddie is handling his new-found knowledge and his guilt at
deceiving Iris is even more interesting as it feels like just a matter of time
before he cracks under the pressure. 
As for Mark Hamill, he was clearly having fun with his return
to the Flash universe and was fun as a result. 
He occasionally drifted into “Joker-territory” but he had more
than enough moments of restraint in his performance to justify when he went
over the top.
All said and done, is this the best/worst episode of the series so
far? No, merely a solid effort with some interesting developments
in the season-arc.
Three Four Things
We Learned This Week:
1)     
Barry now suspects Wells is the Reverse Flash.
2)     
Eobard Thawne murdered Harrison Wells and stole
his identity.
3)     
Thawne intentionally accelerated the time of the
particle accelerator.
4)     
Breaking Bad was a television show in the
CW-verse
Three Questions:
1)     
Why did Thawne build the particle accelerator
and activate it over six years early?
2)     
What happened to future Barry after he pulled
young Barry out of the house and why did Thawne lose his powers that night?
3)     
Will Eddie crack under the pressure of Barry’s
secret?

Just another guy on the internet.

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