Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Trickster’ On The CW, About An Indigenous Teen Who Finds His Hometown Is Also Home To Spirits

TRICKSTER: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?

Opening Shot: We hear a baby crying as we see the shot of the woods at night. A mysterious man is holding the baby, and a woman is chasing after him.

The Gist: The man holding the baby changes his eyes in some sort of fashion that makes him seem like a spirit, and he tries to slow her down. But she comes up with a scream that knocks him down and makes him start bleeding out of his mouth. She takes her baby back into her arms.

What Shows Will It Remind You Of? Trickster feels like many other “mysterious small town” shows, from Twin Peaks to Eerie, Indiana, but in Canada.

Our Take: Despite the fact that Trickster is made by and stars people of Indigenous descent, there isn’t anything particularly revolutionary about the characters or the story on the show, but at least it’s Indigenous people telling an Indigenous story. That by itself should be hailed.

We’re wondering how the spiritual end of Jared’s story will play out. Is he going to figure out that his mother has some strong powers? And just who is this Wade character, who can shape shift at will? In the flashback to Jared’s birth, we Wade is the one who’s carrying baby Jared from Maggie, and he’s the one who supposedly dies after Maggie screams. But it seems that “Wade” is just the human shape this spirit takes when it needs to communicate with flesh-and-bone types. When Jared finds out about this will he be able to channel powers of his own?

We’re pretty sure that legends of whichever Indigenous tribe that Latimer and co-creator Tony Elliott decide inhabit this section of British Colombia will come to the fore, but for now the show is about a teenager who has to be the adult in his very dysfunctional family. In a lot of ways, the first episode was awfully grim, with Jared going from one situation to another that just seemed hopeless. Is this a commentary on what Indigenous people face or just a story about spirits and powers? We’re leaning towards the latter, which could be fun but nothing that makes the show stand out.

Sex and Skin: All implied, nothing shown.

Parting Shot: Jared sees the talking crow and runs as fast as he can. The crow laughs, and we see him flying over the town, likely in pursuit of Jared.

Sleeper Star: Nathan Alexis plays Crashpad, who is Jared’s best friend and has enough gaming stock (weapons, etc.) saved up to help bail Jared and Maggie out of their predicament with Richie. We liked how he wasn’t your typical cringing dork, and stood up to both Jared and classmates who likely hate him just because he’s overweight.

Our Call: STREAM IT. We’ll give Trickster points for having a mostly Indigenous cast and writing staff. But the show itself has to become a bit less bleak for us to want to keep watching.

Joel Keller () writes about food, entertainment, parenting and tech, but he doesn’t kid himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Fast Company and elsewhere.

Stream Trickster On CWTV.com

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