Review: ‘The Flash’ – ‘Tricksters’: I am your father, Barry!

alan-sepinwall
Senior Television Writer
03.31.15 34 Comments

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A quick review of tonight's “The Flash” coming up just as soon as this is my “Breaking Bad” season 5…

Okay, for virtually all the way through, “Tricksters” was a vast improvement over last week's episode. The show had a lot of fun bringing back Mark Hamill from the '90s “Flash” TV show (and even paying homage to his old costume and lair), and I have to admit to laughing at the fan service-y line where they got Hamill to tell Trickster's protege, “I am your father.” All the flashbacks involving Eobard Thawne's arrival in our timeline were terrific, from the dazzling super-speed fight between the two Flashes to the realization that there was a real Harrison Wells whose life and face(*) he stole. Barry's conflict over taking Wells' advice versus potentially losing his father was well played by Grant Gustin, and Barry unmasking for his father was just a wonderful moment from all involved.

(*) Thawne's original face was played by Matt Letscher, the latest Berlanti alum (he played Jonny Lee Miller's brother on “Eli Stone”) to pop up in a guest role on one of his superhero shows.

And then Barry also unmasked for Eddie, which leaves Iris as the only remaining character of any note to be left out of the loop, and I groaned. This isn't the fault of the character, or of Candice Patton, but letting literally everyone else of consequence on the show know who's under the mask while keeping a secret from her makes her seem dim, even though they're the ones lying to her, and the whole thing is a dumb contrivance, given how often in the season we've seen Iris wind up in more danger, not less, because she doesn't know it's her best friend in the red suit. (Eddie at least attempts to give voice to this logic, but puts off the argument for another time, because stupid plots gonna stupid plot.) Barry unmasking for Iris a couple of weeks ago was really powerful for both characters, and of all the genies his trip back in time put back in the bottle, that's the most frustrating.

This show does so many things so well – many of which were on display throughout the rest of “Tricksters” yet it keeps bungling almost everything having to do with the woman of its hero's dreams. Sigh.

What did everybody else think?

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