The Flash has proven time and time again that even the worst criminal can become a hero. But some people are just too far gone. Central City is under attack in “The Mask of the Red Death, Part 2,” and the Flash/Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) discovers he may be the cause of all of the unrest. 

Last week, we found out that the Red Death is Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) from another timeline. The difference in this version is that she is the daughter of Martha and Thomas Wayne. She became Batwoman to avenge her parents’ deaths and became obsessed with stopping crime for good. Her ambition started a war against the Flash on her world. Basically because she stole his gig. She ended up on this timeline and is trying to bring order to the world and creating chaos. The scary thing is, she’s faster and more powerful than the Flash.

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INVASION

At the CCPD, Capt. Kristen Kramer (Carmen Moore) comes face to face with the Red Death and her band of Rogues. She sends Murmur (Alexandria Wailes) and Owen Mercer (Richard Harmon) to the roof to set up some type of equipment. Kramer uses her powers to mimic Bivolo’s (Paul Anthony) powers, scaring both him and the Fiddler (Magda Apanowicz). Unfortunately, the powers don’t work on Red Death. She puts a meta cuff on Kramer and says she will show Kramer what true justice looks like. 

Back at STAR Labs, Team Flash discusses their next move. Barry’s Rogues are ready to accept defeat. Allegra (Kayla Compton) is upset that they left Mark (Jon Cor) behind, possibly dead. And Barry lost most of his speed running on Red Death’s cosmic treadmill. Things look bleak. They have to find Red Death though and find a way to stop her. 

Iris (Candice Patton) suggests they use Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) to channel Red Death’s emotions. That way they don’t have to put themselves in danger. Cecile picks up on her and Red Death can feel her in her head. Chester (Brandon McKnight) set up the computers to use Cecile’s powers to pinpoint Red Death’s location. Cecile finds her and Mark. He’s alive and in chains at Red Death’s hideout.

Barry asks his rogues to help him rescue Mark. Jaco Birch (Max Adler) is worried about his kid. Goldface (Damion Poitier) wants to attack Red Death instead. Hartley Rathaway (Andy Mientus) agrees, but is the first to agree to help because of Khione (Danielle Panabaker). She is ready to rescue Mark despite her lack of powers. They all agree to help based on her bravery.

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Cecile’s powers are growing. She is gaining new powers every time she uses them. It’s draining though. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) is concerned but understands her role on the team better. She is resting and asks him to get her some food. She picks up on his emotions and asks if he’s okay. He’s understandably worried and says he’s going to check on their daughter.

MASK OF THE RED DEATH

Javicia Leslie is Red Death in The Flash

The Flash — “The Mask of the Red Death, Part Two” — Image Number: FLA905fg_0002r — Pictured: Javicia Leslie as Red Death — Photo: The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Red Death hacks into the CCPD database, which is protected by ARGUS. Mercer and Murmur set up an attachment on the CCPD satellite. Red Death calls it an upgrade. She tells Kramer that she should be grateful for what she’s about to do. Criminals have free rein and they go. Unpunished. That’s Kramer’s fault. 

Red Death says she will have eyes and ears everywhere. She will be the judge, jury and executioner. It’s the dawn of true justice. Several versions of Red Death show up all over Central City. They tell people to stay in their homes because justice is being served. This is the Era of the Red Death.

Chester picks up all of Red Death’s sentinels. He says they are reservoirs of psychic energy; individual manifestations of a single telepathic consciousness. He thinks she’s getting a neural boost from a mega powerful psychic source. Chester leaves to investigate.

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Khione is ready to go on the rescue mission. Barry says she has to stay. It’s not safe for her since she has no powers. She is as important as everyone, but they can’t risk losing her. Especially after losing Frost and Caitlin. She understands and wishes them luck.

RESCUE MISSION

Goldfinger and Allegra look out for Red Death. Harley, Jaco and Barry make their way into the warehouse. They get Mark but it’s too easy. It feels like a trap. One second later, they are all hit with red lightning. Red Death arrives and takes the last of Flash’s speed. That’s what she kept Mark alive. She knew Flash would come for him and she needed to disable him from stopping her plans.

Red Death says she is going to erase crime in Central City through her rule of law. The sentinels keep watch and maintain peace at any means necessary. The Flash vows to stop her, but she says it is all happening because of him. Because of his greatest mistake. She gets into Barry’s head and sends him to the forest. He sees Gorilla Grodd standing there with a device attached to his head. 

Red Death explains that after Crisis on Infinite Earths, all of the gorillas lost their sentient abilities. Grodd wasn’t able to find his tribe and was left alone. Barry never checked on him and Grodd felt abandoned. Red Death found Grodd and offered revenge on the Flash. All she asked for was a boost in her telepathy from Grodd. Red Death disappears, leaving Flash with an unconscious crew. 

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COLD KISS

Mark is in really bad shape. They get him back to STAR Labs to recuperate. Harley and Goldface are ready to give up. Barry tries to convince them to stay, but it’s hard. He has no speed and they have no information on how to depower the sentinels. Jaco agrees and leaves to protect his son. Hartley says if he’s going to die, it’s going to be with the man he loves. And Goldface leaves to apologize to Amunet for putting her in jail. He wishes Barry luck. 

Khione watches over Mark, unsure of how to help him. She tells Iris that she feels useless, especially since she doesn’t have any powers. Iris says she is still a valuable part of the team. Iris doesn’t have powers, but she has her pulse rifle and lots of spunk. She says Khione has a place on the team. She just has to find her place. Khione compares herself to an acorn that grows into a majestic oak tree. She always references nature to understand the situation. 

Khione turns back to Mark, asking him to wake up. She leans in and kisses him. When she pulls back, a breath of frosty air enters Mark’s body. He immediately wakes up. Khione mentions that the room just got cold, but Mark says he feels warm. Hmmm …

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FATHERLY INSPIRATION

Jesse L. Martin says farewell to The Flash

The Flash — “The Mask of the Red Death, Part Two Image” — Number: FLA905a_0176r — Pictured: Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West — Photo: Justine Yeung/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

It’s time for Joe to give Barry some insight. Barry tells him about everything that has gone wrong with Grodd. He thought Grodd wanted to be a hero, but it turns out he was wrong. Just like he was wrong about Hartley, Goldface, and Jaco. Joe says Barry has always seen the best in people, to which Barry says he learned it from Joe. 

Joe thinks he has given Barry all of the advice he can give. He tells Barry that he wanted to leave Central City and Barry is shocked. He says there is no one more important on the team than Joe. Joe has raised so many heroes and they couldn’t do what they do without him. Being an inspiration is Joe’s super power. Joe says that’s Barry’s super power too. 

Being a parent has taught Joe that, whatever seeds they plant, they have to trust that the seeds will take root. No matter how dark it gets, you have to have faith in your way of being a hero. If you have faith, you will always find your way. And those that follow you will find their way too.

That’s it! Words of wisdom from Joe West. Barry realizes that he has to have faith in Grodd to do the right thing. He has to believe that deep down, Grodd wants to be a hero. So they ask Chester to locate Grodd in Africa. Barry teleports to his location to talk to his old enemy. 

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GRODD

Grodd is not happy to see Barry. Barry quickly apologizes for abandoning the gorilla and says he needs his help. Meanwhile, the sentinels are catching criminals and killing them. Back in Africa, Barry has to convince Grodd to disconnect from Red Death. Grodd says Red Death offered a way to rebuild his home, but Barry says Red Death could turn on him. He knows that Grodd is the most powerful telepath on the planet. So he could have looked into Red Death’s mind to see what she is capable of. 

Grodd says he’s been alone for three years. There are no other gorillas like him and the Red Death can fix that. Barry says there has to be another way and he will help Grodd find that. Right now he needs Grodd to help defeat Red Death … like the hero Barry knows Grodd is. 

Red Death expands her rule across the world. Chester watches red dots appear all over the map, Some of those dots start turning yellow as he picks up a surge of psychic energy mixed with speed force lightning coming from Africa. Red Death’s satellite explodes on the roof of the CCPD. Her connection to Grodd is cut off. Red Death feels her connection cut off and screams in frustration. She knows the Flash ruined her plan. She runs outside and asks the Flash to face her. 

WEDNESDAY

Max Adler, Andy Mientus, and Damion Poitier become heroes on The Flash

The Flash — “The Mask of the Red Death, Part Two” — Image Number: FLA905fg_0013r — Pictured (L – R): Max Adler as The Hotness, Andrew Mientus as Pied Piper and Damion Poitier as Goldface — Photo: The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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The Flash arrives, speed intact. He explains that years ago, he gave the gift of his speed to an old friend (Grodd). And he returned it to the Flash to help in his fight. The two run around Central City, fighting. Red Death is still faster and more powerful than the Flash. But he still has friends. 

Goldface, Jaco and Hartley show up to help fight Red Death, but all they do is aggravate her. She prepares to finish the Flash and a tiny bat strikes her in the chest. Will the real Ryan Wilder please stand up? Batwoman, our Batwoman arrives in the nick of time. The bat boomerang nullifies Red Death’s speed and she is forced to fight Batwoman. 

Red Death says Batwoman can’t beat herself. They are pretty evenly matched. But Batwoman is not alone. The Flash is up and quickly removes Red Death’s armor. He stands next to Batwoman. Red Death is enraged and walks towards both of them. Batwoman punches Red Death, knocking her out. Barry’s Rogues are impressed with Batwoman and she is confused. They’re supposed to be the bad guys. Ryan says she’s never been to Central City and asks if it’s always this crazy. Well … it is a Wednesday!

A DECISION IS MADE

Chester gushes over Ryan back at the team debrief. Barry explains how he got his speed back and that Grodd is ready to be a hero. Chester also set up the satellites to help find Grodd’s family. Ryan says she has to leave, but makes sure to let Iris know that she’s a fan of her work. Iris is surprised. She likes this Ryan better than the other one. Ryan invites her to brunch in Gotham City with herself, Kara, Alex and Nia (Supergirl Baddies!!!)

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Cecile wakes up and discovers the fight is over. Joe is happy that she’s okay. Cecile picks up on his anxiety and asks again if he’s okay. Joe is anxious because he’s a parent. He wants to give Jenna a good life but there’s so much stress in their lives. He is going to shield Jenna from that. Joe wants to move out of the city with Jenna while Cecile stays with Team Flash. And Cecile can come to the country on the weekends. Just the three of them, together, no alarms, no craziness … just the three of them. Cecile is all excited for the plan.

FAREWELL

The family gathers at the West house where Joe gives a farewell speech. (It’s actually really sad because this looks like Jesse L. Martin’s last episode.) After nine years on Team Flash, Joe is teary eyed to say goodbye. He loves all of them and he’s not that far away. Thank you Joe for being the voice of reason in all of the chaos. (sniff)

Mark steps away from the group and Barry follows him. Mark thanks Barry for coming after him. He doesn’t feel like he should be there. Barry says he deserves to be there as much as any of them. 

Allegra and Chester talk in the dining room. She says the kiss they shared was the best kiss she’s ever had. Chester kisses her again and the rest of the team stops and stares at them. Barry asks when that happened. Iris asks why it took so long to happen. 

Iris gets woozy and has to sit down. She says she feels lightheaded and Khione says she is pregnant. Everyone looks at Khione with shock. She’s surprised that Iris didn’t know. Iris and Barry are excited because she’s not supposed to be pregnant for another three months. What a great surprise!! But how did Khione know? 

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