This week’s episode was a pretty nice balance between the villain-of-the-week format and the sort of show that advances the bigger plot threads. Mark Hamill did well as The Trickster. Let’s face it, the character is not easy to portray without being over-the-top campy, or a complete Joker rip-off, but Hamill was good. The, “I am your father” Easter Egg was surely a thrill for some, but I have to admit I cringed. It’s not that I’m dead inside, it’s just that I thought it was a bit of a reach for that one.
Barry coming to suspect Harrison Wells feels a little sudden, and I’m not sure how well they’ve sold it. Barry’s realization that Wells was speaking of the speed force from experience was relatively well-executed, but I have a hard time buying that Wells would have slipped quite that easily.
Finally, the revelation about Wells’ origin, his true identity and the reason for his sketchy past were a genuine surprise. I’m really not sure what they’ll do for (or to) the long-term plot of the series, but it’s definitely interesting. If nothing else, it’s the sort of significant development that makes me excited for what’s left of the season, and it was another solid installment of the show.
I chuckled when I saw that Mark Hamill would reprise his role as The Trickster months ago. I figured that the inclusion of a character as zany as The Trickster would mean that The Flash wouldn’t take itself too seriously, and it hasn’t—for the most part. I agree with Jim. Hamill did a good job, and I groaned when I heard Hamill deliver the “I am your father” line. They only did that to tie into the up-coming Star Wars movie. Ugh.
The balance between the villain-of-the-week and the larger story arc worked, but I wanted more. I’ve gotten used to The Flash’s formula, and we are getting toward the end of the season, so I’d like to see this one-trick pony show us a different trick. You don’t have to break the entire series, and it’s okay to continue with this formula through the end of this season, but I’d like to see at least a small shake up at some point. The Flash has some villains running loose—Gorilla Grodd and The Pied Piper—and I think these could be more than just villains-of-the-week. But enough about the weekly baddies, let’s talk about the ongoing story arc.
I agree in spirit with what Jim said about Barry and Wells, but I think we need to make a distinction. The Flash has sold Barry suspecting Wells as a not-so-nice person (as soon as Iris’s mentor started tailing Wells, he died), but it hasn’t sold Wells as the Reverse-Flash—that’s the sticky widget. I agree that Wells wouldn’t have let the Speed Force slip that much and Barry shouldn’t know that Wells is the man who killed his mother, yet.
I’m also not as on-board with Wells’ origin as Jim. It didn’t add anything we didn’t already know. So what if Thawne killed Wells and then took over his face and role? He assumed an identity instead of creating one from scratch. Big whoop. I guess he upset the space-time continuum by killing Wells and his fiancée, but we knew he did something or things already. He’s been talking for months about restoring and upholding the timeline. And let’s not forget that the item Thawne used to take Wells’ identity was the same one he used to merge Firestorm’s two personalities into one body. I hope I’m wrong and that there’s more to this.
Another great episode that leaves enough reserved but built toward the season’s climax.