If you thought you were going to see the aftermath of Barry’s trip back in time you were only half wrong. This week we got to see one of the most memorable guest stars to date as Mark Hamill returned to reprise his role in the Flash-verse as the Trickster. One of the great things about The Flash is the obvious dedication to the characters the actors all have and this was no exception. Hamill played the role of the twisted and demented Trickster perfectly, from the rage shown when he realizes someone is playing a copy cat to the poisoning of gala attendees just to blackmail them.
Oh, and having the two Tricksters take Barry’s dad hostage? Awesome. Not so much because it’s Barry’s dad, but because for a brief time the 1990’s Flash and the 1990’s Trickster are together on screen again. Very cool.
We also get to finally see what happened after Barry’res mom died 15 years ago and how Eobard Thawne (Reverse Flash) became trapped in the past. Although I have to admit, the mid-episode reveal of Reverse Flash wasn’t something I expected. Neither was the gimmicky way that Thawne became Wells (sucking out the ‘life essence’? Really?). What we still don’t know is why Thawne needs Barry’s speed to get home.
Barry is becoming more and more convinced that Wells isn’t who he says he is and is suspicious that the good doctor did in fact have something to do with the death of Barry’s mom. Honestly this switch still bothers me a little. Barry was Wells’ stanchest ally and defender for the first 15 episodes of the season. To all of a suddenly have him question Wells’ motives in helping Barry, and to pull a single statement (“Wells said he needed me to go faster”) that could easily have been an off hand remark or something innocent feels like a huge stretch. Especially since Cisco, the one who was becoming suspicious of Wells, had that wiped from his mind during the ‘reset’ of last week.
That should have only reset his discovery of the identity of Reverse Flash, not the questions he had the day before, but I digress. Either way they manage to tie it up in a nice neat little bow at the end when Wells guides Barry through learning to ‘phase’ through solid objects to rid himself of the Trickster’s bomb. As Barry said, it came across too familiar, like he knew in a way that only a speedster would know.
Oh, and Eddie knows that Barry is Flash, so that happened. They did it to convince him to help stop Iris from looking into the disappearance of her co-worker, but I’m not sure it was necessary. I think Joe could have easily convinced Eddie it would put her life in danger to follow the story without revealing Barry’s identity.
All of this is setting up for what seems like a TV version of Flashpoint, which as fans of the Flash comics (and DC in general) know, is the triggering event that reboots the entire DC universe resulting in the New 52 relaunch. In that story line Barry goes back in time to save his mom resulting in an entirely new timeline. Could that be what we are heading towards? Possibly. That would be one hell of a first season and would set the stage for whatever they want in the second. New Flash, new timeline, bring back old villains, and get rid of characters that aren’t working.
One final note, I giggled like an idiot when Mark Hamill told Trickster’s son “I am your father.” I do love these writers. They know how to put in just the right amount of fandom nods without being obvious and mushy about it.
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