Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 6, Episode 3 - Dead Man Running

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.




Plot

Barry takes Killer Frost in-hand to help him with tracking a new metahuman with a taste for dark matter, as he tries to figure out how to tell the rest of Team Flash about his impending demise.This leads him to the lab of Ramsey Rosso, who is quite overjoyed to help... himself to STAR Labs' dark matter supply. Meanwhile, Ralph uncovers a startling secret about his family as he works to clear his mother's name on a robbery charge.


Influences

The Flash comics of Joshua Williamson (character of Bloodwork) and the movies of George Romero.


Artistry

The opening scene, in which the zombie Romero kills his gang, is a neat stylistic tribute to George Romero's movies.


Flash Facts

The character of Mitch Romero seems to have been named in tribute to George Romero - the legendary director of many classic zombie movies.

Ralph makes reference to The Monitor as an Asgardian cosplayer. This is a nod to the Marvel Cinematic Universe Thor movies, which have been previously established as existing in the Arrowverse.

One of Mrs. Dibny's former boyfriends was a man named Marv Perez. This is a tribute to Marv Wolfman and George Perez - the chief writer and artist on the Crisis on Infinite Earths comics.

Ramsey Rosso name-drops Ted Kord while telling his lie about where he got his dark matter. Ted Kord is the head of Kord Industries and has been referred to (but never seen) in the Arrowverse many times. Originally Brandon Routh was meant to play Ted Kord in Arrow season 3, but rights issues caused his character to be reworked into Ray Palmer. In the comics, Ted Kord is the secret identity of the second superhero to use the name Blue Beetle.

Mention is made of a break-in at McCulloch Tech. This is the same company that developed the Mirror Gun from Season 5, which was named in honor of the second Mirror Master. Evan McCulloch.

Nash Wells is searching Earth-1 for a metal called Eternium. In the DC Comics universe, this is the metal which made up the Rock of Eternity - the seat of power for the wizard Shazam. After the Rock of Eternity was destroyed it acted like Kryptonite to a wielder of the power of Shazam, draining their powers and causing physical pain.


Technobabble

According to the pattern of these gene transcriptions in Mitch Romero's body, his dark matter-infused cells are destroying his normal cells and the more dark matter he absorbs, the stronger he gets.

Ramsey estimates that Romero's metastasized blood chemistry has given him the strength of ten men.

Ramsey claims that with gene splicing, he can use your dark matter to negatively charge Romero's blood.

According to Nash Wells, Eternium is a multiversal element.

Ramsey determines that dark matter infused with healthy blood cells create an even stronger biological substance - the strange goo bled by Romero.. This substance appears to heal any and all weaknesses in the human body including cells affected by HLH.


Dialogue Triumphs

Ramsey: So can I talk to Cait? Can she hear me right now?
Frost: One, it's Frost. I'm rebranding. And two, sure. She can if she wants to.
Ramsey: Caitlin, I want to explain myself. About purchasing dark matter from Kord Industries. I hope you understand if there's any chance of saving more lives-
Frost: You're gonna take it? (sarcastically) Right.
Ramsey: I didn't want to go behind your back, but you refused to help me-
Frost: Not listening anymore.
Ramsey: And you never told me that you were a meta. I thought we were closer than that, Cait!
Frost: Huh. Guess you two aren't as good of friends as you thought.

(Barry returns to the lab and finds Ramsey stuffing dark matter samples into his bag.)
Barry: I had a feeling about you. I hoped I was wrong. But I know a desperate man when I see one. Put them back.
Ramsey: No.
Barry: I can make you.
Ramsey: Go on, then. Like you said, I'm a desperate man. I have nothing to lose.
Barry: I thought you wanted to save lives.
Ramsey: HLH isn't just my mother's disease. First it killed her, and now it's killing me.
Barry: I still can't let you take those. Look at what it did to Mitch Romero.
Ramsey: I am marking a calendar every day until I die, waiting to fall off a cliff, powerless to grab onto anything or anyone! I watched my mother dive off that same cliff with a smile on her face. She didn't even fight.
Barry: I know what it's like to lose your mother. I know you're angry-
Ramsey: This isn't anger. This is the pain beneath my anger. It takes courage to fight death.
Barry: Maybe it takes more to accept it?
Ramsey: My mum had that same look on her face when she was first diagnosed. You're a dead man, too. Aren't you, Barry? So why don't you fight for yourself?!
Barry: I'm marking my calendar with the days I have left to live. And I'm gonna spend them saving as many people as I can.
Ramsey: You're not a coward. You're just naive.

Barry: There's always gonna be a crisis, or some metahuman that's threatening to take away the life that you love. Truth is, we're all living on borrowed time.
Frost: So, what, everybody feels this crappy all the time? That actually does kind of make me feel better.


Continuity

Mitch Romero's gang is killed by his zombie, while in the middle of robbing a warehouse

Barry and Iris tell the rest of the team about the approaching Crisis, but leave out the part about how Barry is destined to die during it.

Ralph's mother calls him Ralphie.

Ralph's mother was arrested for robbing the Avenue M Pawnshop at 10 pm the previous night.

Ralph's mother was directly identified by the shop owner, whom she allegedly held at gunpoint.

Ralph's mother has been accused of being involved with 14 different crimes, including robbery, larceny and bribery, but has never been convicted.

Ralph's mother says she was at the Avenue M Pawnshop that day, but at 5 pm - not 10 pm.

Ralph's mother says that she was at Cleaner's Royale on Oak Street - an illegal gambling establishment which is disguised as a dry cleaner - at 10 pm that night.

Ralph's mom used to date a man named Marv Perez.

Frost acts as Barry's metahuman consultant in order to go with him to the Romero Gang crime scene.

Frost notices that the guns on the scene of the crime are dark matter powered but are missing their power clips. This leads her to conclude (wrongly) that Ramsey Rosso must have taken them.

Barry notices that the same unknown substance that was at the Romero Gang robbery site is in Ramsey's lab.

Ramsey recognizes Killer Frost as Caitlin Snow.

Ramsey lies about Mitch Romero's attacking him and says that he was knocked out while working late. He says that he did have a small amount of dark matter in his lab, which was given to him by his colleague Ted Kord. This is also a lie.

Ramsey offers to help Barry with his research into the strange substance. Barry accepts his help, though Frost openly says she doesn't trust Ramsey.

Allega Garcia obtains footage of Harrison Wells breaking into McCulloch Tech. She was apparently friendly with one of the security guards there.

Iris shoots the story down immediately, knowing there is more to this than Allegra can possibly know and that it is a doppelganger rather than the Harrison Wells of Earth-1, who is meant to be dead.

Central City has yet another new mayor. Iris sends Allegra to get quotes from the city council about them.

Cleaner's Royale is run by a man named Tony, whom Ralph was once friendly with. Apparently he hasn't seen Ralph since he got his powers and lost weight.

Tony offers to give Ralph the security footage that will prove his mom was in Cleaner's at the time of the robbery. For $5000.

Ralph uses his powers to steal the flash-drive the security footage is saved on, while Cecile and his mother attempt to win the $5000.

Mitch Romero was the head of the largest gun-running operation in the Central City Underworld.

Barry and Frost confront Romero as he is robbing Mercury Labs of dark matter. Frost knocks him out the window, which angers Barry, despite Frost being sure he was tough enough to survive the fall.

Ramsey tells Barry that Romero has been biologically dead for 24 hours, but something in him is continuing to seek out dark matter, which is accelerating the decay of the body even as it becomes stronger.

According to Ramsey, he is the top hematologic oncologist in the Western hemisphere.

Ramsey asks Barry for dark matter from STAR Labs to see if he can study its effect on Romero's cells. Barry is reluctant but eventually agrees. However, this turns out to be a secret test to see if Ramsey will steal the samples for himself, as Frost predicted.

Cisco and Iris interrupt the new Wells as he is in the middle of stealing a gem which he claims gives nightmarish hallucinations to its victims.

Iris tasers the Wells before he can escape.

The security footage reveals that Ralph's mom left the casino at 9:30 pm. Another camera reveals that she was outside talking with Marv Perez, whom Ralph thought was dead.

Ralph's mom confesses to lying about how every boyfriend she ever had after her husband ran out on her and Ralph died. She wanted to spare Ralph the pain of losing another father figure because things didn't work out for her and another man.

The new Wells' full name is Harrison Nash Wells. He considers the Council of Wells to be a bunch of idiots and came to Earth-1 in search of an artifact that contains the same particles he is detecting weakly off of Iris West Allen. He notes the readings were stronger in the alleyway where Iris and Cisco confronted him.

Nash Wells is a skeptic, who doesn't believe in magic or gods or any sort of mysticism. He has dedicated his life to dispelling myths.

Nash Wells escapes after using a smoke bomb to blind Cisco and Iris.

Allegra comes back just in time to see Nash Wells in Iris' office. This causes her to try and quit her job because she refuses to work for someone who can't be honest with her.

Iris convinces Allegra to stay after promising to tell her everything eventually.

Frost has existed as a part of Caitlin for 30 years.

Frost doesn't have a favorite song or ice cream flavor.

Frost admits to Barry that the reason she's been on edge is that she's afraid of dying now that she's truly begun to live.

Ramsey discovers that the Romero zombie mirrors his movements, for some reason.

Frost has the inspired idea to feed the Romero zombie all the dark matter in STAR Labs in order to make him overdose on rage. Instead, this makes his corpse explode over her and Barry.

Ramsey blows off Barry's offer to listen to him if he needs to talk about his disease.

Ralph apologizes to his mom for freaking out and gives her an addendum to his book of Ralph - 22 Steps To Being Open To The Love Of Your Life. She says she doesn't think it is in her to settle down, but she encourages Ralph to try and find a woman he can devote himself towards.

Ramsey believes he can use the strange blood-like substance to cure his disease without further dark matter treatments. He commands the substance to enter his body and declares that he needs more.

Barry throws a birthday party for Frost at STAR Labs.

Barry and Iris finally tell Frost, Cisco and Ralph about Barry's impending death.

Nash Wells tracks the Eternium signal to a manhole cover.


The Bottom Line

A decent episode, though too much attention is paid to Ralph's mom and not enough is given to the new Wells or the season's alleged big bad, which is a shame as Barry's interactions with Ramsey are some of the best acting in the episode. Unfortunately, there's also a lot of forced moments, like Barry's sudden anger at Frost and refusal to trust her judgement.

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