The Flash is in for a shock when he finds out who’s behind “The Mask of the Red Death, Part1.” Last week, Team Flash found out the Rogues were using weapons made with Wayne Tech. They also found out that Batwoman herself, Ryan Wilder (Lavicia Leslie) is missing! Coincidence? We know it’s not. Because Ryan Wilder is Red Death. She revealed herself to her Rogue team two weeks ago. The big question is, what’s gotten into her? 

On man! Buckle up because a lot happens in this episode.

RELATED: The Flash Recap: (S09E03) Rogues of War

Another shocking thing that happened last week was the betrayal of one Mark Blaine (Jon Cor). Chillblaine made a deal with Red Death because Team Flash won’t help him bring Frost (Danielle Panabaker) back to life. Now he’s actually building the cosmic treadmill for Red Death. The only thing it’s really missing is a power source. Red Death already has one in mind. 

Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) go over what they know about the Rogue leader. They know the Rogues weapons are upgraded with Wayne tech. They stole other tech to build a cosmic treadmill that has some serious consequences if used. And whoever the leader is, could be the new avatar for the negative force. All talk and no action makes for a dull story. Barry leaves to help Chester (Brandon McKnight) reset the satellites to find the Red Death. Iris is working with Luke Fox to find Ryan Wilder. 


Joe (Jesse L. Martin) told Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) that he wants them to leave Central City. He’s afraid of what could happen now that Cecile’s powers are growing stronger. But Cecile likes her new role on Team Flash. She even gets mad when she finds out that Joe is talking to a realtor about buying a house … without talking to her. Cecile knows Joe is holding something back and asks him to tell her the real reason he wants to move out of the city. It’s because of Jenna (Adina Insley). Joe feels guilty that Iris and Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) didn’t have a normal childhood. And he wants Jenna to grow up in a place she feels safe and can live a normal life. 

And then there’s Chester and Allegra (Kayla Compton). These two have been awkward with each other since last season. They shared a kiss recently, then Allegra started avoiding Chester every time he wanted to talk about the kiss. How long is this going to go on? Chester is even talking to his friend, Wookielover77 about the whole thing. Wookielover77 says they will sync up with the time is right, but Chester thought the time was right now. No time for love, they have a villain to find.

The satellites immediately pick up Red Death’s signature and Flash shows up in seconds. He offers to help Red Death if they just talk about what it is they want and who they really are. She says she is vengeance; she is the night; and she is the Red Death. She’s not alone. Roy G. Bivolo/Rainbow Raider (Paul Anthony) walks up, standing next to Red Death. Bivolo can make anyone lose control of their emotions. Flash succumbs to his emotions, leaving him vulnerable. Red Death claps her hands and sends out an electromagnetic pulse that knocks out all of the power in Central City.


Team Flash at the STAR Labs control room

The Flash — “The Mask of the Red Death, Part 1” — Image Number: FLA904a_0144r — Pictured: Brandon McKnight as Chester P. Runk and Kayla Compton as Allegra Garcia — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

When Flash wakes up , he’s chained up and is wearing a meta-cuff to dampen his powers. Mercer (Richard Harmon) attempts to take off Flash’s mask, but Mark stops him. He says Flash has a high voltage booby trap in his mask. Mark also reveals that he is building the treadmill for the Red Death. Flash informs them all about the consequences of using the treadmill, but they don’t care. Red Death returns and sends everyone back to work.

STAR Labs has a little bit of power, but not enough to bring up their communications. They have no way of finding Barry. They know Red Death and Bivolo took him. Khione (Panabaker) suggests that they contact Barry’s Rogues to help find him. Chester knows the frequency that Hartley Rathaway (Andy Mientus) uses to communicate with his employees. He sends a signal to get Hartley’s attention. 

Red Death toys with Flash a bit. He is sure that the negative force is behind all of this to mess with him. He wants to help her defeat the negative force, but Red Death has other plans. And those plans involve more than the Flash. Iris is a key part of her plan as well. Flash gets upset at the mere mention of Iris, but continues to offer to help Red Death. Red Death reveals that she is not controlled by the negative force. Her speed is artificial and she is more powerful. Flash knows the treadmill can only be powered by organic speed. So that means, he’s the power source and Red Death is going to use Iris to force him to run.


Meanwhile, Iris is alone in the dark when someone knocks at her door. She finds an injured Ryan Wilder and invites her in. Here’s the story that Ryan tells Iris. Red Death jumped her, beat her up and left her for dead outside of the Palisades near Gotham. He also ransacked her utility belt stealing her tech. She dragged herself back to the Batcave where Luke told her that Iris was looking for her. On her way into the city, her car was hit by the electromagnetic wave. The impact killed the car battery, fried the voltage cable and burnt her arm. Iris tells her what they know about Red Death. She asks a few questions of her own, like how did Ryan get to Central City so fast. Ryan says her car drives really fast. She has an answer for everything. And now she’s ready to stop Red Death. 

Iris is suspicious of Ryan and watches her closely. They talk about what Iris and Barry know about Red Death. Iris reveals that Barry has a rogue team of his own, saying they are reformed criminals. Ryan doesn’t believe that such a thing is possible. Iris walks over to a table and pulls out a laser gun. She says she understands how Ryan feels since her mother was killed by the Royal Flush Gang. Ryan says that is all in the past. Iris powers up the gun and points it at Ryan. She knows that Ryan’s mother was actually killed by the Wonderland Gang. So who is this person in her home? 

Hartley shows up at STAR labs with Goldface (Damion Poitier) and Jaco Birch (Max Adler). He also brought a harmonic frequency tracer that will help them find the Flash once they set it to Flash’s vibrational biometrics. But when he turns on the machine, there is no signal. Goldface reminds everyone that the first thing they do to meta-criminals when captured is to put a cuff on them. And if Red Death did that to Flash, they can’t detect his vibrational signal. Back to the drawing board.


Iris sits alone in the dark on The Flash

The Flash — “The Mask of the Red Death, Part 1” — Image Number: FLA904b_0008r — Pictured: Candice Patton as Iris West-Allen — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Here’s Ryan’s new story. In her timeline, there is no Batman. The Waynes when she was a baby. When Martha and Thomas Wayne were killed, Ryan swore to protect Gotham at all costs, becoming Batwoman. She tried fighting the criminals of Gotham and was losing. She decided to start studying the criminals, their weapons and technology to defeat them. 

Then she studied the abilities of her allies from the League, taking data from the Flash’s suit. She used that data to create her own suit and her own speed force. Her artificial speed allowed her to eliminate crime for good in Gotham and Flash didn’t like that. He released rogues from Iron Heights and declared war on Batwoman. Why? Ryan says even the Flash has his demons. 

Flash and his rogues tore up Gotham trying to kill her. Ryan tried to hide in her speed force but it kicked her out because her speed was artificial. And that’s how she ended up in this timeline. And now she needs to go back to stop the Flash. She wants Iris to return with her to convince Flash in her timeline to stand down.


Mark checks on Flash, offering him water. Flash says the only help he needs is for Mark to set him free, but Mark won’t do it. Mark knows he double-crossed the team and doesn’t think he deserves another chance. Flash says he is a part of Team Flash and people make mistakes. His mistake was believing Red Death was the avatar of the negative force, but she’s not. She’s a new threat. One he wasn’t ready for. Now everyone has to pay for his mistake. He needs Mark to help him. 

Iris lowers her gun and questions why Ryan didn’t ask the other Iris to help with the other Flash. Ryan says she and Iris had a falling out when the Flash turned on her. Iris doesn’t believe her, saying any version of Iris would have helped her friend. Ryan admits that her Iris can’t help her because Iris is dead. It was an accident. She was fighting Flash and his rogues when she threw a lighting bolt. It was meant for Flash, but Iris was standing close to him and she was hit instead. Ryan says if her Iris were alive, she would help her.

Our Iris believes that Ryan’s Iris is truly dead. And that’s the only part of Ryan’s story that she believes. Iris is a great journalist. You can’t fool her. She questions the real reason the Flash turned on Ryan. Ryan said it was because he was jealous. But Ryan is the one obsessed with her enemies’ technology. She’s the one trying to stop crimes before people think about committing them. Iris thinks the Flash saw Ryan’s obsessive behavior and tried to stop her. 

Iris questions why Ryan wants to take her to her world. Ryan says to bring peace to her city. But Iris knows Ryan doesn’t want peace. She powers up her laser gun and says Ryan wants to kill the Flash. Ryan agrees and knocks the gun out of Iris’ hand. She throws Iris to the ground and is frustrated that she couldn’t convince Iris to just go with her. Ryan seriously hoped they could be friends when the dust settled. But it’s not meant to be. She takes two steps towards Iris as the Red Death armor flies toward her. Once the helmet settles on Ryan’s head, she says it’s time to get nuts. 


Allegra in deep reflection on The Flash

The Flash — “The Mask of the Red Death, Part 1” — Image Number: FLA904a_0098r — Pictured: Kayla Compton as Allegra Garcia — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Red Death arrives at the hideout with Iris. She also reveals her true identity to Flash. She says if Flash doesn’t run on the treadmill, Iris dies. But Iris reveals that Ryan needs her alive. True, but Ryan can still hurt Iris. She shocks Iris in front of Flash, forcing him to give into Ryan’s demands. 

Mark deactivates the meta cuff and activates the treadmill. Flash gets on the treadmill and starts running. An electromagnetic storm powers up outside. At the West house, Jenna comes downstairs and looks out the window at the storm. Lightning strikes the window, causing it to shatter and glass starts flying everywhere. Cecile uses her telekinetic powers to save Jenna from the shattered glass. She also feels the fear of her neighbors and leaves to help them.

At STAR Labs, Hartley’s harmonic frequency tracer starts beeping, revealing the location of the Flash. They need to get to the Flash right away, but can’t with the power out. They need a teleporter to get to him. That’s Allegra’s cue.

Iris appeals to Mark to help, but Ryan says it’s too late. Mark watches Flash run and says it’s never too late. He moves his hand over the controls, overloading the capacitors. It causes a burst of energy to backfire towards Ryan, overwhelming her artificial speed and knocking her out. It also destroyed the treadmill. 


The Rogues appear and Mark offers to hold them off while Flash and Iris get away. It’s four on one as Mark proves that he’s more than a pretty face. Allegra and Barry’s rogues appear to take him away. Flash won’t leave without Mark, but they see Mark fall. They also see Red Death’s suit power up. Mark is unconscious as the Rogues gang up on him. Flash tries to run to Mark, but Jaco and Goldface hold him back. They know if Red Death wakes up, they won’t be able to fight her off. Allegra teleports them away as they see Amar/Murmur (Alexandria Wailes) and Mercer stab Mark. 

Barry is upset that they left Mark behind and wants to go back for him. Khione hears them talk about Mark and asks what happened. She says they have to go back for Mark. The rogues know he’s dead and say it’s pointless. Khione says Mark’s life doesn’t matter any less than any of them. The rogues are focused on the fact that Mark turned on them. 

Barry says “Caitlin” is right. They can’t lose any allies. They have to figure out Red Death’s next move. Jaco suggests that maybe she will just pack up and go home now that the treadmill is destroyed. Iris reveals that Red Death is from another timeline and wants revenge on her version of the Flash. Goldface says Red Death probably hates this Barry as much as the other version. And holds him just as responsible for the destruction of the treadmill as Mark. Hartley agrees and says whatever she plans next will be worse. 


Chester mourns Mark in his lab on The Flash

The Flash — “The Mask of the Red Death, Part 1” — Image Number: FLA904a_0033r — Pictured: Brandon McKnight as Chester P. Runk — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Chester is sad that Mark is dead. Allegra finds him in his lab and says it’s time that they talk about their relationship. She says losing Mark reminded her about how little time they have. Chester is happy that she wants to talk, but the timing is wrong. They have so much going on with the satellites down, they have no power and Mark’s death. He says after everything is over, they will talk. (Or will they?)

Cecile gets scared that the lightning could have really hurt Jenna. She thinks maybe Joe is right. Maybe they need to move to a safer city. Jenna interrupts them to show them her drawing of Cecile saving the day. Joe says Cecile is a superhero and sends Jenna to bed. Joe changes his mind. He wants her to have a safe and normal childhood. And he wants her to grow up knowing she can be whatever she wants to be … just like Cecile. If they leave, Cecile has to quit. And what kind of message is that for Jenna. They are staying in Central City. 

Red Death is beyond upset that her work and dreams are crushed again by the Flash. He won’t let her go back to her world, so she will take his. This time, she will bring the war to the Flash.

RELATED: Catch up on all of The Flash recaps here



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