Thursday, April 2, 2015

Mark Hamill is brilliant as The Trickster; a 'What the — ?' moment with the Reverse-Flash

Mark Hamill's Trickster is just plain creepy. (Much more on that brilliant acting job later!)
James Jesse (aka The Trickster) enjoys
a Twizzler from his jail cell.
(Photo credit: Diyah Pera, The CW)

Soooo … Dr. Harrison Wells is Eobard Thawne (aka the Reverse-Flash), just as he told Cisco two episodes ago. But I don't think anybody could see how that was going to play out! (More on that later too!)

Yup, another week. Another week I'm reviewing the latest episode of "The Flash." (Spoilers a-plenty ahead — ahoy!)

First up, Hamill. How brilliantly creepy and kooky is his Trickster?!?

Any fans out there who don't think the actor best known as Luke Skywalker lacks onscreen charisma better think again.

Hamill simply goes all-out bats**t crazy as The Trickster — a role he played in the short-lived version of "The Flash" 25 years ago. And that's a really good thing! (The one-season series starred John Wesley Shipp as Barry Allen aka The Flash; he now plays Allen's falsely imprisoned father. "The Flash" also featured Hamill as … you got it! … The Trickster.)
This is how Mark Hamill (left) looked like as The Trickster in the 1990-1991 series "The Flash,"
starring John Wesley Shipp as the Scarlet Speedster.

Anytime the batty Trickster is onscreen, all eyes are on Hamill.

The showrunners' idea to keep Hamill in the shadows during his first appearance with Grant Gustin's Allen and Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin, who brilliantly balances being Allen's tender-hearted and loving second father and the cynical cop) is a great move.

Actor Mark Hamill voiced The Joker in "Batman:
The Animated Series" — and several animated projects beyond.
For one, it makes us wonder what Hamill's James Jesse looks like. (That is, if you hadn't seen pictures of Hamill over the years. …) Most importantly, keeping The Trickster in the shadows adds to the creepiness the actor brings to the mentally unbalanced supervillain. Hamill's expression, the way he smiles, his whacked-out voice — a bit too close to his Joker in "Batman: The Animated Series" for my tastes! — and the lighting combine to reveal just how psychotic and demented The Trickster is.
Actor Devon Graye wears the full costume
for the second Trickster in this FameFlynet.com
photo from Vancouver in late January.

West and Allen are tracking down the second Trickster, whom Jesse claims is a copy-cat. Come to find out … HUGE spoiler alert! … the new Trickster and original are in cahoots and the young man is Jesse's son. When Hamill's Jesse gives us the Big Reveal, it's a cheesy, but glorious wink-wink, nudge-nudge homage to a similar revelation in "The Empire Strikes Back," allowing Hamill to be on the delivery end of Darth Vader's iconic "I am your father" line. End spoiler

Once the original Trickster is out of prison, Hamill truly shines. He plays to the camera, makes his eyes go as googly-eyed crazy as possible. Basically, he has as much fun as possible playing the fiendish felon — all without ever going too broad and "comic book-y" like Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face or Jim Carrey as The Riddler in the 1995 film "Batman Forever."

Hamill's performance: A-

Now, a brief bunch of words on the big reveal of Wells being Thawne (aka the Reverse-Flash) — or visa versa, as the case may be. In short: Wow. Just wow! Like, holy s*** wow!

Wait, you mean Dr. Harrison Wells isn't the Reverse-Flash?!?
Suddenly it makes sense as to why Wells/Thawne has pushed Allen to run faster as the season has progressed. Thawne obviously wants, no needs, The Flash to have discovered the Speed Force. How else can he get back to his own time?

Maybe — juuuust maybe! — there is still a bit of Wells' personality fighting through when he promises to have Allen and Team Flash's best interest in heart.

And using such an educated speculation, it's no wonder Wells is as creepy as he sometimes has been. It's likely because that's Thawne's personality becoming dominant.

As I said when we learned Wells (or is it actually Thawne?) is the Man in the Yellow Suit, actor Tom Cavangah "deftly plays Wells as a sleazeball whom we just can't trust." But maybe we can. But only a little. Or can we trust Wells at all?

And here "The Flash" writers had us convinced Dr. Harrison Wells was the Reverse-Flash. …
Tuesday's episode reveals Matt Letscher is the "Man in the Yellow Suit."
(Photo courtesy of Primetime Unreality TV.)
The character arc for S.T.A.R. Lab's director suddenly has gone to a whooooole new level. What else can I say but: Wow. Just wow!

The Big Reveal of Thawne taking over Wells' body: A (Rare air indeed on Cary's Comics Craze!)

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