UK VOD TV review: The Flash Episode 17
Amon Warmann | On 14, Apr 2015
While The Flash rewound the tape in its previous episode, Tricksters returns the show to its default fast forward mode, and it’s an hour that showcases much of what The Flash has become very good at – specifically, great action, knowing humour and effectual drama.
All the buzz pre-episode was dedicated to Mark Hamill, who – while being THE voice of The Joker in a number of DC Animated cartoons and games – starred in the 1990’s series of The Flash. Hamill reprises his role as The Trickster to good effect here, although it’s hard to separate his performance from his iconic Joker voice. As for the other Trickster, Devon Graye was always going to pale in comparison to Hamill, but thankfully the focus is firmly on the former Clown Prince of Crime.
As entertaining as Team Flash vs Team Trickster is, it is the deepening of the Reverse-Flash mystery and the interactions between Barry and Wells that proves the real highlight. The opening sequence is about as ambitious as anything The Flash has attempted so far this season, and it’s just fantastic that we’re getting another season-finale calibre scene in Episode 17.
Wells is perhaps even more compelling to watch now Barry is onto him, and Tricksters does a great job showing how the fissures in this important relationship can have a dire impact. In addition, the new twist added to who Wells is – or, as we’ll now call him after this episode, Wells-Thawne – illustrates the writers’ proficiency in taking elements from the comics and adapting them for their own purposes, ensuring that even those familiar with The Flash mythos will be kept on their toes.
One aspect which does make a 100% faithful transition from comic to screen is Barry’s ability to vibrate through solid objects and it’s depicted in a standout sequence with Wells talking our young speedster through the process. This scene is also notable for the first utterance of the phrase ‘Speed Force’, the source from which all speedsters draw their power. That it is Wells who says it means we’re a little surprised warning bells didn’t start ringing in Cisco & Caitlin’s heads – what the hell is the speed force and how do you know so much about it? – but this really amounts to a small nitpick.
Hot on its heels for best scene of the episode, though, are two powerful, superbly acted moments between Barry and each of his Fathers. Honestly, you could probably make a top ten list of great Joe and Barry moments at this point. Gustin, Shipp and Martin excel when portraying the pride and love their characters have for one another. Barry revealing/confirming who he is to his Father is a particularly affective touch.
Of course, that isn’t the only reveal of identity scene we get in this hour, as Joe and Barry make the decision to let Eddie in on the secret so he can help with the Reverse-Flash investigation. We’re all for this development, as it could lead to some really interesting storytelling in future episodes given the Barry-Iris-Eddie triangle, Eddie’s surname (Thawne), and Iris’ infatuation with Barry’s alter-ego. But it also means that Iris is now the only person on the show who doesn’t know who The Flash is. For a long time now there has been no good reason for her not to know, and with each passing episode it becomes more and more frustrating. It remains the only significant chink in The Flash’s otherwise pristine armour.
The Flash is available to watch online on NOW, as part of a £7.99 monthly subscription – no contract. Sign up before 27th September and new customers will only pay £1 for their first month.
Where can I buy or rent The Flash online in the UK?
The Flash is available to watch online on blinkbox, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play and iTunes.
Photo: Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.