Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 9, Episode 5 - The Mask of the Red Death, Part 2

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


With the Red Death and her Rogues laying waste to Central City, Barry and Iris come up with a plan to stop them but it will require Cecile and the Rogue Squad, who are unwilling to help Team Flash anymore. To save the day, The Flash must face his greatest failure.


Kingdom Come (The Red Death's method of protecting Central City borrows from the Bat Sentinels and the speed with which The Flash protects his hometown.)


Allegra complains about The Rogue Squad not trying to save Chillblaine in the last episode. This would be fair, if Allegra weren't the one responsible for running Team Flash's teleport and controlling the evac that led to the team leaving him behind in the first place.

While it's a dick move on Barry's part that he never checked up on Grodd or Gorilla City, describing it as his greatest failure is a bit much. For that matter, how is the Crisis causing the Gorilla City gorillas to lose their sentience Barry's fault? (Okay, as the Paragon of Love he was responsible for remaking the universe, but still....)

Red Death says that Grodd is amplifying her telepathy. How did she get telepathic powers? Did she steal them from another hero the same way she copied Barry's speed?  If so, why didn't she use it before this episode when it might have been useful, like when she was talking to Iris West-Alllen and pretending to be the Ryan Wilder of Earth-Priime?

It never is confirmed that Red Death's Rogues were captured in this episode.

It never is explained just where Ryan Wilder has been all this time the Red Death was running around.

It also isn't explained how Ryan got to Central City or where she got an anti-speedster Batarang. (Perhaps Luke built one after discussing the problems Reverse-Flash caused with John Diggle? Or maybe he and Chester talk-shop off-camera? Or maybe he started building it after hearing about Red Death?)

Did Red Death kidnap Ryan to get her out of the way? If so, why didn't she just kill her outright or take all of her Batwoman gear to stop her from coming after her? Given her paranoia, wouldn't she be most afraid of the Batwoman of Earth-Prime becoming a threat to her?

This episode completely ignores the rules established in B112 which dictate that two doppelgangers cannot survive on the same Earth following Crisis on Infinite Earths. (It's possible the Negative Speed Force protects its users from this law in the same way it protects them from paradoxes. It may also not apply since Red Death says she comes from an alternate timeline rather than a parallel universe.)

Why is Iris so stunned by the revelation that she's pregnant? Haven't she and Barry planning for her pregnancy for the past few episodes?  Also, wouldn't that be the first thing she or Barry would think of if she were suddenly nauseous?


As cliché as they are now, Jesse L. Martin can still nail those inspiring Joe West speeches.


The make-up for Murmur with her mask off is disturbing.


By boosting Cecile's empathic telemetry and superimposing it over a grid of the city map, Chester can hone in on whatever she senses.

ARGUS upgraded the satellite security system on the GCPD roof.

The device Murmur and Captain Boomerang install on the roof of the GCPD allow Red Death to be in multiple locations at once.

Chester detects multiple reservoirs of psychic energy, which are like individual manifestations of a single telepathic consciousness. 

Allegra's light powers give her X-Ray vision.

Barry claims psychic manifestations cannot hurt someone. However, he is reminded that Psych was able to make a projection of Savitar hurt him in 705.

Batwoman has an anti-speedster Batarang.

Chester reprograms the STAR Labs satellites to find Grodd's tribe.

Dialogue Triumphs

Joe: If there's one thing I'm sure of after all these years, it's you have a gift for bringing out the good in folks, no matter how bad they started out.
Barry: Well, if that's true, I learned it from you.
Joe: Maybe. Either way... I have run out of things that I need to teach you. Just like I don't need to protect Cecile anymore, considering how much her powers have grown. I should tell you, up until a couple of days ago, Cecile and I were talking about moving out of Central City to the country for good.
Barry: What?
Joe: It's okay. We decided to stay. And it's a good thing because the team needs her here.
Barry: We need you, too.
Joe: No, you don't. I'm not a cop anymore, and I'm not a meta, so what am I doing here?
Barry: Joe... no one is more important to this team... to this family... than you. I mean, think of all the heroes you've raised over the years. We couldn't do what we do if we didn't have you to teach us how. Inspiring people is your super power.
Joe: That's nice. But if it's my super power, it's yours, too, Barry. 'Cause you've inspired me. What I learned about being a parent is whatever seeds we've planted, we have to trust that they take root, no matter how dark things get. So you have faith in your way of being a hero. If you do that, you'll always find your way and those who follow you will, too.

Dialogue Disasters

Most of Javicia Leslie's dialogue as Red Death.

The Rogue Squad saying "It's a Wednesday" in unison and everyone laughing when Ryan Wilder asks if Central City is always like this. 


As the episode opens, red Negative Speed Force Lightning is striking randomly around Central City.

The shipyard, Central City High School and City Hall are said to have been set on fire.

Murmur breaks into Captain Kramer's office and steals her pager for summoning The Flash.

Captain Kramer tries to copy Rainbow Raider's power and turns it against him and Fiddler. Somehow, Red Death is able to resist the effect. 

Barry is still depowered after using most of his speed to start up the Cosmic Treadmill.

Barry says they need to do something, but the Rogue Squad point out that they need a plan first.

Iris suggests they can use Cecile's powers to track Red Death's anger and hatred of Barry.

Red Death somehow senses Cecile looking for her, but not in time to stop her from figuring out she and the Rogues are at GCPD HQ.

Cecile also senses intense pain and fear from someone at the Red Death's base. She recognizes the person and informs Team Flash that Chillblaine is still alive.

Barry wants to rescue Chillblaine but the Rogue Squad refuse, saying they should take the fight to Red Death while they know where she is and saving the city is more important than rescuing one guy.

Khione offers to go rescue Chillblaine if nobody else will, but Barry refuses to risk her after losing Frost and Caitlin. 

The Rogues agree to help rescue Chillblaine, guilted into it by Khione's courage.

Cecile tells Joe that her powers are growing the more she uses them.

Cecile senses that Joe still feels uncomfortable about something.

Red Death left Chillblaine alive specifically to set a trap for Barry so she could drain the rest of his speed.

Red Death explains that her newfound psychic powers came from Gorilla Grodd, who is now connected to her.

Barry last saw Grodd in 613, where he was going to find Gorilla City and live with other intelligent gorillas like him. It turned out, however, that the Crisis caused the gorillas in Gorilla City to lose their sentience and they all became scattered across Earth-Prime.

Grodd agreed to amplify Red Death's telepathy in exchange for reuniting his tribe.

The Rogue Squad quit, saying there's no way they can beat Red Death and they want to spend what time they have left with their loved ones. 

Khione watches over Chillblaine but tells Iris that she feels useless. Iris says she feels that way sometimes too, but she eventually found her place on the team and she's sure Khione will figure it out someday.

Khione kisses Chillblaine and this seems to heal him.

Joe tells Barry you have to have faith in the people who follow you. This inspires Barry to try to talk to Grodd again.

Chester is able to track Grodd's telepathic signal.

Grodd is confirmed to be the most powerful telepath on Earth-Prime.

Barry persuades Grodd that he can help him save the formerly sentient gorillas.

Grodd restores Barry's speed with the energy Barry loaned him in 613.

The Rogue squad show up to help fight Red Death.

Batwoman shows up to help fight Red Death.

Batwoman has never been to Central City before.

ARGUS takes Red Death into custody.

Ryan Wilder is a fan of Iris' writing.

Joe decides to move himself and Jenna to the country, telling Cecile she can come be with them on the weekends.

Chillblaine comes to Joe's going away party, but tells Barry he still feels awkward, despite Barry insisting he's part of the family now.

Chester and Allegra kiss again in front of everyone.

Iris complains of feeling lightheaded, leading Khione to tell her that she is pregnant. When asked how she knows, she says she just knows.

Untelevised Adventures

Ryan Wilder gets to know Team Flash off-camera.

Ryan Wilder has a monthly brunch with Kara Danvers, Alex Danvers and Nia Nul. She invites Iris to come to the next one.

The Bottom Line

An easy contender for the worst episode of all time. The Grodd subplot comes out of nowhere and doesn't make any sense.  The new Rogues are completely forgotten partway through the episode. Nothing about Batwoman's appearance makes sense. 

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