Tricksters aren't only men in masks.
The hype around The Flash Season 1 Episode 17 was the return of Mark Hamill in the role he originated in the 90s version of The Flash, when the titular role was played by John Wesley Shipp, who currently plays Henry Allen.
Being the old broad that I am, this reunion delivered on many levels, but I wish the two men could have shared just a teensy bit more time together on screen. Heck, the fact they were there at all is a very big win.
That leaves another trickster, however, in the guise of Harrison Wells. It turns out his whole body is a mask. I really should have read up on Eobard Thawne in more detail a lot sooner.
But first up, the campier Tricksters, because it's kind of hard to ignore the fact that it happened, even though in the end it was a bit overshadowed by the overarching theme of the Reverse Flash and Eobard Thawne, not to mention his...forefather, perhaps...Eddie Thawne being informed of the identity of The Flash.
As I watched James Jesse sniffing his Twizzlers and hmmming and hawing about an imposter taking over his enterprise, it occurred to me he knew exactly what was going on. That was cemented when his "lair" was infiltrated. It never occurred to me they would dare latch onto the iconic line "I am your father," however. Any true Mark Hamill fan had to be squirming in their chair as that presented itself.
Barry was very worried about his father as he was captured by the Tricksters. Now that his eyes are opened to Wells as the Reverse Flash, he can't see past it, nor can he understand how he missed the signs. But even Joe was almost fooled by Harrison's slick nature. In the meantime, Barry is being snarky toward Harrison and making faces behind his back. Despite Harrison's act that he isn't aware, he must know they're on to him.
Look, whatever else he is, he is Harrison Wells. You love science, he is science. It's like you made best friends with Einstein.Joe
As much as Barry wants to believe the worst in Harrison, when it comes down to it, Harrison has looked out for Barry and that's hard to reconcile knowing there is evil lurking. He even had the phasing idea set out for Barry, which saved him from the bomb on his wrist, but also ultimately convinced Barry Harrison is the Reverse Flash.
The "flashbacks" to Harrison's past are confusing. We don't normally get a look into the past that isn't from someone's perspective, but these may have been unattached references to the past...or they may not have been. I'm unsure of that.
What we do know is Eobard went back in time to kill Barry Allen before he had a chance to grow into adulthood. Why he chose such a young age to kill him is unknown. If Harrison Wells and Tess Morgan didn't bring the particle accelerator online until 2020 in the original, unmarred timeline, then Eobard could have waited until Barry was older and alone to kill him.
He didn't and that apparently caused more problems than Eobard anticipated, leaving him trapped. Needing the accelerator early, he chose to kill Harrison and don his physical appearance. He probably caused the car accident, too, now that I think about it.
When the police arrived and Eobard climbed out of the car in his new body and recited Harrison's name, he seemed shocked. I think that was a result of leftover emotions (if not memories) from Harrison. I cannot imagine another reason for him having what appear to be genuine feelings, not only for the deceased Tess, but the people at STAR Labs.
Eobard, from what I gather, is nuts. He was cold and calculating when he set about his plans for Nora and again with Harrison Wells. In the comics, he took on the appearance of others and lived their lives for a time, but when things didn't go his way, he acted out some level of violence.
While I don't think it was Eobard's intention to take on anything other than Harrison's physical form when he sucked the life out of him, I am of the opinion that Harrison's essence was strong enough to linger and it lived beyond its physical body. Only time will tell if I am anywhere near the ballpark, let alone playing the game.
Considering Eobard has to be related to Eddie, one has to wonder whether it makes good sense to let him in on the secret at this particular time. But how in the heck are Barry and Joe to know he's connected in any way? Right now he seems like a good choice to help out. Maybe he'll finally get to so something really exciting as a result.
All things considered, it was a very fast hour with a lot of thrills, but not too much in the way of plot development. There was a lot of fun to be had and it was fantastic to see Henry outside of prison and in STAR Labs, even thanking Harrison for all he's done for Barry and witnessing his boy in all his suited glory.
- Iron Heights is one weird prison. Henry's cell looks like it's in the middle of a school building.
- Speaking of Iron Heights; another day, another breakout. Can they please get better security there?!
- Did Barry really choose to "phase" his way through a fuel tanker or something to rid himself of the wrist bomb or did I miss a wall? I thought twice; maybe a milk truck, because it does a body good...
- I kinda feel sorry for Mason Bridge because he won't get any justice.
Hit the comments with all of your thoughts, and don't forget you can watch The Flash online via TV Fanatic if you've missed any of the action. In case you missed the amazing trailer for the rest of The Flash Season 1, you can see it below. The Flash Season 1 Episode 18 will return on April 14th, and it looks like we're in for a heck of a slide into home!!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.