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Series / Trickster

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It's tricky being a teen

Trickster is a 2020 CBC fantasy drama series. It saw its US release in 2021 airing on the CW.

Adapted from a series of novels written by Eden Robinson, its first season is six episodes. A second season was already confirmed but then cancelled after it was revealed that Michelle Latimer, the lead executive producer and director of the show had faked her claims to Indigenous ancestry.

Jared (Joel Oulette) is a 17-year-old First Nations kid of the Haisla tribe doing his best to balance school, work, and his responsibilities at home. Normal, everyday life.

That is, until he starts seeing things he can't explain...

Trickster provides examples of:

  • Action Mom: Maggie impresses upon Jared that she would kill and die for him. Considering she does the former in the opening moments of episode 1, the audience knows she means it.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Maggie calls her son Jellybean.
  • Beleaguered Boss: Jared's boss at his fast-food job is forced to fire him after what is outright stated to be yet another public, whacked-out display of Maggie's while her son is on the clock.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: The guy at the beginning of episode 1 flashes these as he's carrying Jared away from Maggie.
  • Bigotry Exception: The first customer we see Jared assist at his job is a white man who praises him for not being "one of the lazy ones."
  • Burger Fool: Jared's job in episode 1 as a cashier for a fast-food chain, complete with mustard-yellow and ketchup-red hat and polo.
  • Cool Board: Sarah reveals she's a skater girl in episode 2, and shows off hers to Jared.
  • Cool Kid-and-Loser Friendship: Implied to be Wade and Phil's relationship. In episode 2 it cuts between Wade going wild and playing his guitar at a party while Phil struggles to shotgun a beer can.
  • Creepy Crows: At the start of episode 2, Jared runs into one that startles him.
  • Domestic Abuse: What Jared endures while his mom's drug dealer is living with them.
  • Double Vision: Multiple times in episode 1, Jared will be onscreen - and another one of him will be onscreen as well. At one point Crashpad remarks how he just saw Jared in a completely different part of Dylan's house.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Dylan bullies Crashpad this way, calling him Asspad and Maxipad multiple times.
  • Fat Best Friend: Crashpad fits the bill. He sells his game account he's been working on for years for 3k, allowing Jared to get the money needed so his mom doesn't get killed for an outstanding drug debt.
  • Foster Kid: Jared's brand new neighbor Sarah is one, being the new child of his neighbors the Jacks.
  • Gilligan Cut: When asked if he wants to go to Dylan's party, Crashpad says no; he just got done getting bullied by the guy earlier in episode 1, after all. Cut to the next scene, and at the party they are.
  • Hearing Voices: Maggie argues with voices only she can hear. When Wade asks with suspicious interest if Jared is experiencing the same, he answers in the negative.
  • Insurance Fraud: How Maggie settles her outstanding 3k drug debt to her dealer Richie. She torches his home and makes it look like an accident so they can split the payout.
  • Language Barrier: When Wade drops a phrase in Haisla in episode 2, he has to translate it for Phil's benefit.
  • Light Is Good: Right before having their first actual conversation, Jared sees Sarah literally glowing. She turns out to have a good heart and a passion for social activism.
  • Long-Lost Relative: What Wade is revealed to be to Jared in episode 2.
  • Mama Bear: Maggie, made aware of the fact that Jared was told Wade is his real father, goes to said man and threatens to kill him (again) if he comes around.
  • Meaningful Echo: When the two are watching a movie halfway through episode one, Jared asks his mom if she regrets having him. Her response, "What kind of stupid question is that, idiot?" is heartfully echoed to her moments later when she asks if he wishes he had a mom without anger management issues.
  • The Reliable One: Jared goes to school while working to keep income coming in while his mom appears to be unemployed and his father leeches cash from him.
  • Once More, with Clarity: The opening scene of episode 1 is replayed in season 2, showing Wade present at Jared's birth, then taking him from a newly-post-partum Maggie and heading into the woods.
  • Same Face, Different Name: In episode 2, the disfigured bar patrons refer to Wade as Weeg'it, and he corrects them, telling them the name he's currently going by.
  • Soapbox Sadie: In her very first conversation with Jared, Sarah asks him if he knows there's a "direct link between the industrial exploitation of land and violence against indigenous women".
  • Talking Animal: Episode 1 ends with Jared meeting a talking crow. When Jared tells himself he's tripping, the crow corrects him.
  • Tears of Blood: What Wade cries before falling over dead in episode 1, and in the flashback to this event in episode 2.
  • Tell Me About My Father: After Wade presents the possibility that he, not Phil, is Jared's father, he confronts his mother over whether it's true or not.
  • Romantic Wingman: Crashpad very helpfully informs Jared that the red-shirted girl at Dylan's party, the one who invited him initially, wants him.
  • Wild Teen Party: Two in episode 1! One at Jared's home and the other at Dylan's.
  • With a Friend and a Stranger: Phil describes his, Maggie and Wade's friendship in their younger days in terms akin to this.