Trickster is a new supernatural series revolving around a young teen trying to manage his dysfunctional family while strange things start to happen around him.
The CW’s latest Canadian import is a coming-of-age supernatural drama adapted from Eden Robinson’s 2017 novel Son of a Trickster. Trickster Episode 1 introduces us to protagonist Jared, an Indigenous teen and small-time drug dealer from Kitimat, British Columbia who often has to serve the adult role in his family because his immature parents depend on him.
Trickster Episode 1 doesn’t waste any time introducing us to the show’s supernatural elements. The cold open depicts Jared being kidnapped as an infant by a creepy man named Wade. His mother, Maggie, chases Wade through a dark forest and, in an act of desperation, lets out an unearthly shriek that causes Wade’s body to break down as she takes Jared and leaves.
We jump forward to the future where Jared is now a teenager, and Maggie is a grown woman who acts more like a teen than her son.
Jared’s parents divorced the year prior, and he lives with his mother while working at the town’s local fast-food joint Tasty Bucket and selling ecstasy that he makes himself on the side for some quick cash. Most nights, Maggie spends partying, drinking and doing drugs with her friends at home, leaving Jared to fend for himself and keep their home afloat.
As if that’s not bad enough, Jared also has to take care of his father, who doesn’t work and is living off of disability, with his pregnant girlfriend Destiny. His dad isn’t all that different from Maggie, as he’s also a frequent partier battling a painkiller addiction. The only person Jared really has on his side is his friend Crashpad, a hardcore gamer/loner-type who spends most of his days gaming alone at home.
It’s not all bad, though. Even for Maggie’s faults, she does genuinely care about her son. She also clearly has something else going on, potentially supernatural or otherwise — it’s not yet clear which. Throughout the first episode, she’s frequently seen talking to invisible people.
The main conflict of the first episode revolves around Maggie getting in trouble with her drug dealer Richie. She’s already in the hole $2,000 with Richie, but when she runs over his dog, he takes on another $1,000. Jared is stressed about where they’re going to get the money to pay Richie off, but Maggie doesn’t seem phased in the least. She assures Jared she’ll figure it out.
But things only get worse for Jared from there. First, he meets Wade, who is very much still alive. Wade appears to be some sort of shapeshifter as he slowly infiltrates Jared’s life. The teen is none the wiser, although he does start to get the vibe that something strange is happening.
In a bid to earn more money, Jared goes to his secretive drug lab in the woods to make more ecstasy, but then someone looking exactly like him (I’m guessing Wade) slips in and knocks Jared unconscious, stealing all of his drugs and cash in the process. Then his mom causes a scene at Tasty Bucket, resulting in Jared losing his job.
Luckily for Jared, Crashpad comes to the rescue. After working for years to create a high-profile gaming account with top-notch weapons and characters, he sells his account for $3,000 and gives Jared the money to pay off Richie. But when the teens show up at Richie’s trailer, they find the place burnt to a crisp. Worried for his mom’s safety, Jared rushes home.
He needn’t have worried. Maggie convinced Richie to torch his trailer so they could make it looks like an accident. He’ll get a much bigger cash payout this way — plus, she’s sleeping with him. So now they’re debt-free, but Richie will have to live with them until their ruse is complete, much to Jared’s annoyance.
But while Jared’s financial troubles might be dealt with, for the time being, he still has the very real problem of his doppelganger running around two and causing trouble. Even Crashpad catches a glimpse of the twin Jared at a local house party, although he doesn’t know exactly what he witnessed.
In the final moments of Trickster Episode 1, Jared finds a talking crow, which again, I’m guessing is Wade. He warns Jared that his time is almost up. What does that mean!? I guess we’ll find out soon.
What did you think of Trickster Episode 1? Do you plan to keep watching the series? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
New episodes of Trickster air Tuesday nights on The CW.