Comics/Graphic Novels

The Flash 01×17: Tricksters

Each week Panelteers Chris and Ali have broken through the very fabric of time to bring you their commentary on the CW’s newest superhero series, The Flash! They’ll try not to screw anything up too bad. Spoilers ahead.

Ali: I know we start a lot of our recaps with OH MY GOD THIS WAS THE BEST. But, Chris. OH MY GOD THIS EPISODE WAS THE BESSSSSSST!!

Chris: It was a delight and brought enough weirdness to the ongoing plot that it didn’t just feel like a throwaway “let’s goof around with Mark Hamill” episode. So yeah. Pretty dang good.

Watch out y'all. He's trickin' ya.

Watch out y’all. He’s trickin’ ya.

Ali: I’m not going to lie–you can go back to our very first Flash piece and check. But Mark Hamill as the Trickster is something I was hoping for from the very beginning. So when this episode was announced, I pretty much lost my shit. And then I lost my shit several times during the episode because he was just so brilliant.

Chris: This show is at its best when it gives the actors something fun or ridiculous to do and then just gets out of their way. And boy… that is exactly what we got here. Hamill was a hoot.

He might be having too much fun.

He might be having too much fun.

Ali: In case any of the folks at home weren’t already aware, Mark Hamill played the Trickster in the original Flash TV series, which also starred John Wesley Shipp (Barry’s dad) as the Flash. Then after that, he voiced the Trickster in the Bruce Timm Justice League cartoons. So like, I know he’ll always be Luke Skywalker, but he’ll also always be the Trickster.

Chris: Hamill was just delightful. I loved the mini-arc he got. We got to watch him play everyone and savor every single second of it. Mad, mad glee dripping from every word. It was just so much fun to watch.

Ali: I think there were some definite elements of the Joker in that performance (who he’s also known for voicing on several occasions). But I think it worked. And for as much as I think Wentworth Miller relishes being Captain Cold, you could tell Mark Hamill was loving every minute of screen time. It was just a perfect performance.

Look at these goobs. It's perfect. Just perfect.

Look at these goobs. It’s perfect. Just perfect.

Chris: It really goes along with what we’ve been celebrating when it comes to this show: Accepting that this is all a little goofy and just… GOING FOR IT. I wish the same could be said about the new Trickster, who funny enough was in one episode of American Horror Story called “Tricks and Treats.”

Ali: HA! I think, next to Mark Hamill, that guy had an uphill battle. We should probably talk about what happened in the show. Because, ho boy, did a LOT happen in this show!! Like Eobard Thawne and Harrison Wells!!!

Chris: Yup! We definitely had a wrench thrown into things this week and I’m not sure if it makes things more or less tragic. I was kind of hoping that Real Wells might still be alive but wearing Eobard Thawne’s face… but that definitely isn’t the case… and it was super gross.

Pre-evil Wells. What a normal well-meaning guy with sensible glasses.

Pre-evil Wells. What a normal well-meaning guy with sensible glasses.

Ali: But Wells is still in there I think. I mean, enough of him has to be to build the particle accelerator, and to use the name STAR Labs, and to talk to Joe about his wife, and to call Cisco his son. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic. I’m hoping that maybe, just maybe, they can reverse-FIRESTORM Wells and Thawne, and the Flash can beat up on the real bad guy.

Chris: It’s so gloriously comic book-y and weird. Now, Wells isn’t just a weird dude from the future who is manipulating everyone just so he can get home, he’s actually a weird dude from the future who stole another dude’s face and is actually moving history forward a few years just so he can get home. Not to mention: dude has justified killing multiple people with “well, you’ve been dead for centuries so… eh.”

Ali: That is the worst excuse ever!! Every time he says it I want to punch him. WE DON’T ALL LIVE IN YOUR FUTURE, A-HOLE. But I think there’s an interesting thing happening here with the time travel. Because as we learned 2 weeks ago, before it was retconned away, Reverse Flash went back in time to kill Barry. And now the Reverse Flash has to keep Barry alive and on track to become the Fastest Man Alive. Which begs the question, what happens to Future Barry once Reverse Flash gets his way? AND what happened between Reverse Flash and the Flash in the future that made the former risk traveling through time to kill the latter?

The True Face of Evil

The True Face of Evil

Chris: Oof. There’s gonna be a lot of ground to cover in the next few episodes. My working theory is that the time travel and subsequent death of Barry’s mom isn’t necessarily on purpose. I’ve got a feeling there’s going to a be a huge chase and things keep escalating and getting faster and then poof, into the time stream they go.  Let’s talk about that opening action sequence for a second. How cool was that?

Ali: SO COOL!! I love that, even slowed down the way it was, everything moved quickly. There were still lightning and blurs and Flashy stuff. I also agree with you on Barry’s mom’s death. I don’t think it was meant to happen, and I’m sure it’s changed things just a bit.

Chris: Last week we got a hint of the “your mom has to die” thing and I’m just… yikes. We’ve talked about it before but that is very much NOT a road I want to go down. Other than that, I’m pretty stoked on all the time shenanigans.

Ali: Speaking of roads I do not want to go down. EVERYONE now knows that Barry is the Flash except for Iris. And that is BULLSHIT. I mean, Barry’s dad really just got confirmation. But Eddie?! Seriously?! This is complete crap. Barry needs to tell Iris. Screw Joe and his need to protect Iris. This is just plain shitty to do to her at this point. People give Iris a lot of flack, but I think it’s a reflection of the lack of respect the other characters and the writers of the show have for her. She’s given very little agency and I hate it. Don’t even get me started on the “your boss went off to Brazil” bullshit. And this has been your weekly WRITE IRIS BETTER DAMMIT rant.

We feel ya, Detective Pretty Boy. This is a little bonkers.

We feel ya, Detective Pretty Boy. This is a little bonkers.

Chris: The reveal to Eddie felt like it came out of nowhere and I was a little thrown by it. The fact that it builds even further to “let’s all be grossly paternalistic to Iris at every turn” certainly doesn’t help. I’m cautiously optimistic that it’s actually building to a moment where she finds out they’ve been hiding all these things from her and she flips the hell out on every single person in Central City. I can hope.

Ali: I hope she says, “screw all you guys, I’m gonna go makeout with Cold!”  It’s possible I’m projecting.

Chris: Hey. The heart wants what the heart wants.

Ali: His face is just very makeouttable. Anyway. Lightning Round?

Chris: Sho’ nuff. The one thing I had to mention is that Felicity is so awesome that her name is now synonymous with things being awesome. I believe Cisco mentioned the Trickster’s scrambler as being “Felicity Good.”

Ali: He did!! I loved that bit. Also amazing? Mark Hamill saying “I am your father.” I mean, it was low-hanging fruit. But that didn’t make it any less awesome.


Chris: They played it PERFECTLY. Like… I groaned, but then the music swelled just right and his eyes were twinkling and it was perfect. I went from groaning to cackling in like .5 seconds. That is how you do a dumb joke. I am on record as being all for dumb jokes.

Ali: Dumb jokes for life. OH! How about that “this season on the Flash” mash-up trailer of all the goodies we have coming our way in the next 4 episode! Like the Atom!!! And Grodd!!

Chris: Oh my Grodd I’m so excited. I can’t wait to see how far they actually take Grodd.

Ali: Chris. You know the answer to that. They don’t half-ass things on The Flash. We’re gonna get a whole-ass Grodd.

Chris: A Whole-Ass Gorilla.

Ali: A Whole-Ass PSYCHIC Gorilla.

Chris: Oh man. This is gonna be great.


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