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Arrowverse Wiki
For other uses of Trickster, see Trickster (disambiguation)
"I've had 20 years to come up with the perfect trick. It's going to be my masterpiece. My Mona Lisa. My Breaking Bad season five."
The Trickster

"Tricksters" is the seventeenth episode of the first season of The Flash, and the seventeenth episode overall. It aired on March 31, 2015.




Special guest star

Guest starring




Barry Allen and Joe West see parachute bombs in gift boxes landing towards a playground. This reminds Joe of a criminal named James Jesse who also committed a series of terrorist attacks under the name “The Trickster” 20 years ago and has been imprisoned since. In order to stop the copycat villain, Barry and Joe meet with the original Trickster, who appears enraged that "a rank amateur, a mere pretender" is stealing his legacy. However, the new Trickster Axel Walker sets a diversion for the Flash, where he breaks James Jesse out of prison and take Barry's father Henry Allen prisoner.

The bomb on The Flash's wrist placed by The Trickster.

In the Trickster's lair, James says he had years to come up with "the perfect trick", claiming it was a masterpiece, his "Breaking Bad Season 5". James also reveals to Axel that he is his father. Jesse and Walker attempt to extort patrons of fundraiser by poisoning them and ransoming the antidote. When the Flash arrives, Jesse and Walker fit him with a bomb that will detonate if he stops moving. Harrison Wells coaches Barry on how to vibrate his molecules so that he can phase through objects, which removes the bomb. Afterward, Barry provides an antidote to all the patrons before capturing Jesse and Walker. The Flash reveals his identity to Eddie and convinces him to keep Iris from investigating Mason's disappearance. Barry tells Eddie and Joe that he knows "Wells" is the Reverse-Flash.

Eobard Thawne looks down at Harrison Wells.

In flashbacks, 15 years ago, Harrison Wells and his wife, Tess Morgan, drive home. The car hits a speed trap and flies end over end, killing Tess. Wells tries to get a man who leans down to help, but he says the girl has been dead for centuries before introducing himself as Eobard Thawne. He connects a tube between himself and Wells, killing Wells and giving Thawne his appearance and identity so he can develop the particle accelerator sooner. Thawne hides the body and pretends to be Wells when the police arrive.


Preparation began January 9, 2015 and ran until January 19, 2015. Shooting began January 20, 2015 and ran until January 30, 2015.[1]


  • There are a few scenes that that are similar or bear some resemblance to scenes from the TV show Smallville.
  • The episode contain multiple references to the 1990 TV series The Flash, specifically the episodes "The Trickster" and "The Trial of the Trickster".
    • Shirley Walker's themes used for the Flash episodes featuring the Trickster can be heard.
    • Several cast members from the 1990 series appear in the episode.
    • The original Trickster's attacks were 20 years ago. From the date of airing, the day "The Trial of the Trickster" aired was May 18, 1991, which is almost 23 years before this episode premiered.
    • When Joe West tells Team Flash about the Trickster, he describes James Jesse as "like Jesse James, only more twisted." In the 1990 series, P.I. Megan Lockhart describes Jesse as " Jesse James, only backwards and twisted."
    • When Barry and Joe follow a lead to James Jesse's old Trickster hideout, old costumes, props and set designs from the 1990 series can be seen.
    • The trench coat Henry Allen wears, at the end of the episode before Joe takes him back to Iron Heights Prison, is the same jacket John Wesley Shipp wore several times as Barry in the 1990s series.
  • The scene where Barry and Joe visit the Trickster in his prison cell is reminiscent of the scene where Clarice Starling first visits Hannibal Lecter in his prison cell in the 1990 film, The Silence of the Lambs. Additionally, both criminals are said to have talked someone into committing suicide.
  • When listing two locations of two bombs, Axel says that they are between 52nd Street and Avenue B. This is a reference to:
    • The New 52 comic book storyline.
    • Christopher Nolan's 2008 film The Dark Knight where Heath Ledger's Joker, who is also a chaotic antagonist using explosives and deception, much like Axel, uses 250 52nd Street and Avenue X, which is similar to Avenue B. Mark Hamill also voiced the Joker in various animated movies, television, and video games, starting with Batman: The Animated Series.
  • James Jesse references multiple famous films and TV shows:
    • While describing his latest trick, he compares it to the Mona Lisa and the fifth season of Breaking Bad.
    • The scene where James Jesse told Axel, "I am your father" is taken from Mark Hamill's most famous role as Luke Skywalker; in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader revealed he is Luke's father. The music played right as this is shared with Axel also resembles the music played at that moment.
    • When the Flash has a bomb placed on his wrist, James Jesse compares his predicament to the 1994 film Speed, and namedrops Keanu Reeves.
  • Axel and James attaching a bomb to Flash's wrist and warning it will explode if he stops running is similar to the 2012 animated film Justice League: Doom where Mirror Master did the same thing under the same threat. Similar to how Barry gets rid of it in the episode by vibrating through a truck, in the film he gets rid of the explosive by vibrating through an iceberg.
  • Harrison Wells talks to Barry about learning to phase by immersing him and calming him down. Barry uses this same technique in "Nora", even having a flashback to that moment.
  • The final scene of "The Speed of Thought" takes place during and after the scene in this episode in which Eobard kills Harrison and takes on his appearance. In the latter episode, Harrison is resurrected moments later through, as explained in "Mother", particles of the other Wellses that were left behind by the destruction of the artificial Speed Force.
    • In the latter episode, Eobard is also shown using his speed to bury Harrison in the nearby grove where his body was found by Cisco Ramon, Joe West, and Quentin Lance in "Who is Harrison Wells?". It's unknown if Eobard's use of his speed is a change caused by the Crisis, but if not, it would imply he retained some of his speed after killing Nora, which would contradict Gideon's statement in this episode that his cells contained no trace of the Speed Force.