Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 9, Episode 4 - The Mask of the Red Death, Part 1

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


The Red Death launches an assault on Central City and The Flash, with a surprising goal in mind. The new Rogues have to help Team Flash keep the peace as an EMP cuts out all the power in town, as Joe and Cecile have a discussion about where their relationship is going.


Injustice: Gods Among Us (Red Death is more like the corrupted Superman of this story than the Red Death of the comics, being a hero who crossed the line to fascism to try and build a safer world.)


Red Death refers to herself as the Red Death, even though it was apparently Goldface who gave her that name with no indication that was what she called herself.

Come to that, if she thinks she's a hero, why would she choose a name liked Red Death?

Barry calls Khione Caitlin in the final scene in STAR Labs. (This could be due to the stress of the moment, but it seems like a mistake and nobody corrects him.)


It's a small detail, but all the Rogues are shown to use ASL when talking directly to Murmur.

Flash Facts

The episode title is a play on the Edgar Allan Poe story The Masque of the Red Death, which Goldface quoted in 903.

Jenna West appears on-camera for the first time since 612.

Rainbow Raider appears for the first time since Season 1. While he doesn't have his full array of powers from comics, he can now inspire fear as well as anger.

Chester evokes the name of Otis Boykin - the inventor of the electric resistor.

Many of Red Death's lines are taken directly from various Batman comics and adaptations.

Red Death's line "I am vengeance. I am the night." is taken from the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Nothing To Fear." "

Red Death's line about criminals being "a superstitious and cowardly lot" was first said in Detective Comics #33.

Red Death's line "Everybody's got their limits. I ignore mine." is from Batman #497.

 Red Death's line "You wanna get nuts? C'mon, let's get nuts!" is from the 1989 Batman movie.


The Cosmic Treadmill requires enough power to light up the Eastern Seaboard.

Barry and Chester plan to reprogram the STAR Labs satellites to scan for the Red Death's tachyon signature.

The Flash's cowl is boobytrapped to administer 50,000 volts to anyone who tries to remove it.

Even with their backup generators, STAR Labs can only operate at 20% power after the EMP.

Pied Piper uses a CB frequency 160 hertz to communicate with his team.

Pied Piper's Harmonic Frequency Tracer can be used to detect Flash's vibrational biometrics anywhere on Earth. Unfortunately, it won't work if The Flash's powers are blocked by meta-cuffs.

A Red Team is a group of journalists who try to pick apart a major story before it goes to print.

Chillblaine overloads the capacitors on the Cosmic Treadmill so it shorts out after The Flash charges it. Instead of opening a wormhole, it shoots all the lighting The Flash put into it at Red Death.

Dialogue Triumphs

Barry: Mark, you don't have to do this.
Chillblaine: If I want Frost back, I do.
Barry: What happens when she turns on that treadmill and busts a hole in the timeline? Or decides it's a lot easier to just kill you than help you bring Frost back?
Chillblaine: If I die, I die. Who would even care?
Barry: You are a part of Team Flash.
Chillblaine: No, I'm not... not anymore. Now I'm just another dirtbag who double-crossed you. Aren't I?
Barry: Mark! Before Frost was one of my best friends, she tried to kill me. People make mistakes. I was so desperate not to make the same mistakes I made with Thawne that I rushed into thinking the Red Death was the new Avatar. But, actually, she's a new threat, one I wasn't ready for, and now the whole world might have to pay for my mistake, and the only one that can help me out of this is you.
Chillblaine: Me? You've got the wrong guy. It's too late for me.
Barry: No, you're wrong. It's never too late for second chances. 

Dialogue Disasters

Red Death:
 You want to know who I am? I'm the last glimmer of crimson a killer sees before he draws his final breath. I am vengeance. I am the night. I am the Red Death


As the episode opens, Chillblaine is assembling the Cosmic Treadmill 

Red Death says she will take care of the power source when Chillblaine asks how it is supposed to run.

Red Death leaves Chillblaine to recruit one more Rogue for their team.

At this point, Barry believes Red Death to be a man and the new Negative Speed Force avatar.

Barry theorizes Red Death may be a corrupted innocent, like Dr. Meena Dhawan from The Flash Season 8 finale, based on the fact that they could have killed him in 903 but did not.

Iris is sent Ryan Wilder's last GPS coordinates by Luke Fox.

Cecile finds out that Joe has been talking to a realtor without her knowledge.

Joe found a house with a big backyard in a good school district. Unfortunately, it's a two hour commute from Central City.

Chester talks with his podcast follower, WookieLover77, about Allegra.

The new Rogue Red Death recruited is revealed to be Roy Bivolo, aka Rainbow Raider, who last appeared 121.

Bivolo has upgraded his powers and can now cause fear by looking at people as well as anger. This allows him to paralyze The Flash, who becomes so scared he hyperventilates and passes out. 

The Red Death uses the Negative Speed Force to generate an EMP that knocks out power in Central City.

The Flash asks Bivolo why he's working with the New Rogues when he had previously only cared about money.  Bivolo says he wants payback for being locked in the STAR Labs pipeline for nine months.

All the Rogues are revealed to know ASL so they can communicate with Murmur.

Khione suggests calling in Barry's Rogues when the Team Flash comms are shorted out.

Red Death tells Barry that their real target is Iris.

Red Death, posing as Ryan Wilder, shows up at Barry and Iris apartment.

Red Death lies, telling Iris that she was driving into Central City when her car batter got fried and her arm was burned by the EMP  She also claims to have encountered the Red Death on Gotham City and to have been nearly been killed by them after they looted her utility belt.

Red Death claims that Luke Fox told her Team Flash was looking for her and that she drove from Gotham City to Central City in a day. When Iris questions this, she says her car goes fast.

The Red Death has the ability to control their armor remotely and is confirmed to be talking to Barry through an empty suit while simultaneously talking to Iris.

The Red Death reveals they kept Barry alive to use him as a power source for the Cosmic Treadmill, as only organic speed can charge it.

Red Death claims she is a big fan of Iris podcast.

Iris catches Red Death in a lie when she notices her distaste about the idea of Barry working with Rogues and says that attitude is understandable given Ryan's foster mother was killed by the Royal Flush Gang.  In truth, Ryan's mother was killed by the Wonderland Gang.

Iris also noticed that Red Death was familiar with the layout of her apartment, when the Ryan Wilder of Earth-Prime had never been in Barry and Iris' home before.

Red Death claims that, in her timeline, Iris West-Allen was her best friend and The Flash became the world's biggest villain. She also says she lied because she knew Iris well enough to know that she'd need to build a rapport first, because she wouldn't believe her if she had just said "I am your best friend in another timeline."

Red Death also claims that there was no Batman in her world, that she was adopted by Thomas and Martha Wayne just a few days after she was born and that it was she who saw them gunned down in Crime Alley as a child.

Red Death claims she protected her Gotham City for 10 years as Batwoman, fighting villains like Hush, Simon Hurt and her own brother.

Red Death began studying the technology her enemies used and then began studying the technology of her allies in a group called The League. (Presumably The Justice League.)

Red Death created her own Artificial Speed Force to imitate The Flash, knowing that with his powers she could put criminals behind bars before they could even think of committing a crime. She claims she was so successful in stopping crime that The Flash became jealous, freed his Rogues from Iron Heights, and turned them into an army that tore apart Gotham trying to get to her.

Red Death tried to hide in the Speed Force, but was rejected and kicked into the Earth-Prime timeline. She needs the Cosmic Treadmill to return home, so she can stop her Flash from destroying her world. She claims that she needs Iris to help her do this because the Iris of her timeline is dead and she's the only one who could talk him into surrendering. 

Joe tells Cecile that he wants to move so that Jenna doesn't have to grow up knowing the hardship that Iris, Barry and Wally did.

Red Death tells Iris that she accidentally killed Iris' doppelganger in her timeline

Iris points out all the holes in Red Death's story, like how she claims her Flash was jealous of her, but she was the one who created an artificial Speed Force to imitate him.

Cecile uses her powers to save Jenna from the breaking windows as a Negative Speed Force storm rages across Central City.

Pied Piper is able to detect Barry by Route 119 once he is put on the Cosmic Treadmill.

Allegra uses her teleportation clouds from Nash to take The Rogue Squad to Red Death's hideout.

Chillblaine betrays Red Death and rigs the Cosmic Treadmill to explode.

The Rogue Squad rescue Barry and Iris, but leave Chillblaine behind as they escape.

Allegra tries to talk to Chester about their relationship but he says it should probably wait until after the crisis is over.

Cecile considers that Joe might be right, but after Jenna draws a picture of Cecile saving her, Joe decides they should stay in Central City because it would send a bad message if he made Cecile stop being the hero she is.

Red Death swears revenge on The Flash, promising to destroy his world since he won't let her go back to her own.

Untelevised Adventures

Red Death describes her world and how she became Red Death.

The Fridge Factor

Averted with Iris, for once, as she manages to see through Red Death's lies and tricks her into revealing her real plans.

The Bottom Line

A bit of a disappointment compared to the build up. Most of the cast is on stand-by while the episode focuses on the cat-and-mouse game between Iris and Red Death. This would be fine, except Javicia Leslie hams it up to show how crazy Red Death is when it would be much more effective for her to be cool, controlled and more like the Superman of Injustice her character imitates.

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