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The Flash: The Mask of the Red Death, Part 2

“How did we get here?”

I loved the themes of this episode and there were a few legitimately heartfelt and LOL funny moments. However, the execution left a lot to be desired.

The Good:

The show is at its best when the themes of the episode tie into the main conflict. For the most part, that has been true of this storyline and of the series as a whole. Barry may be a superhero, but he cannot go it alone. He needs a team behind him. And teams are built on trust.

This has been what Barry’s relationship with his Rogues has been building towards. And there were subtle nods that they’d changed even before Joe’s final pep talk. They may have lost hope that they could defeat The Red Death. But they weren’t abandoning Barry to return to a life of crime. They left to spend their remaining time with their loved ones.

Unsurprisingly, they prove their loyalty when they arrive in the nick of time to defend him. Plus, their claim that they’re the only ones who are allowed to beat up on the Flash made me laugh out loud. My brother has been saying that about me for years.

I don’t like having to agree with the morally challenged, but Hartley had a point. Running into a fight with no plan and no powers is not ideal. It also made little sense to rescue Mark before trying to defeat The Red Death and rescuing all the police officers also being held hostage. Nonetheless, these actions were totally in keeping with Barry’s character. It made sense that he would try to save Mark and that Ryan would know him well enough to use it against him.

Then there’s the ongoing mystery of Khione. Despite her claim, she’s obviously not powerless. At first, I assumed she was empathic. However, it had to be more than that if she could tell Iris was pregnant. And, if I’m not mistaken, she healed Mark. Unless that was some type of “True Loves Kiss,” I’m guessing her abilities are tied to nature in some fashion. Without a decent payoff, this could fall into Meh very easily. But for now, I’m enjoying the ride.

Mark is another one to watch. Did that kiss signify a change in his affections? Has he, at least, made peace with Frost’s passing? Regardless, he seems to accept his place on Team Flash even if he doesn’t feel worthy of it quite yet.

Finally, I was happy to see Batwoman face off against her namesake. It would be a shame for the last appearance of Ryan Wilder to be as a villain.

The Meh:

Javicia’s scenery chewing aside, the Red Death storyline did not live up to the hype. Mostly because it was hard to square how a vigilante so dedicated to eradicating crime could a) work with and b) inspire such loyalty in a band of criminals.

Grodd, at least, straddles this divide. He’s lost faith in the hero’s journey just as this version of Ryan has. Yet, while he has always been a fan favorite, and bringing him back for a final swan song is a no brainer, his appearance made no sense. If The Red Death had gotten her way, Barry would have powered her return to her own world. When and why would she have sought Grodd out? Was this all supposed to be post cosmic treadmill?

Even if that’s true, Barry’s not wrong. Grodd can read minds. He would know what Ryan intended to do if he helped her. He’s also a genius. What could she offer him that he couldn’t do on his own? There’s also the implication that she intended to doublecross him. Wouldn’t he know that, too?

It appears this may be the last time Papa Joe graces our television screens. I may not be happy about this, but at least there are legitimate reasons for his departure. Besides, it’s easier to take knowing that the show will be coming to a close soon as well. Honestly, I’m amazed he’s lasted this long. They’ve had trouble finding meaningful storylines for him for several seasons now.

The SMH:

In a good story, nothing should exist without a purpose. The most famous example is Chekhov’s Gun. This is why Chester and Allegra’s storyline has bugged me so much. Not because I’m averse to them being together. It’s because there was no reason for them to be apart. There was no issue or hurdle for either character to overcome or even a conversation to be had? Hell, they’d already kissed! I’m with Iris. What took so long?

This certainly wasn’t the worst episode (Here’s looking at your Rogues of War), but it won’t win any awards either.

3 out of 5 psychic manifestations.

Parting Thoughts:

I did like the idea of the princess waking up the prince with a kiss.

Iris has been invited to the female Super Friends’ monthly brunch. So cool!


Ryan: “I will show you what true justice looks like.”

Goldface: “Are you paying attention, Lite-Brite?”

Cecile: “Everyone on this team has a purpose. This is mine.”

Goldface: “Did you lose your mind with all that speed?”

Ryan: “No, no, no, no. Down, boy.”

Grodd: “Give Grodd one reason why he shouldn’t kill you right now?”

Barry: “If we have hope, there’s always another way."

Hartley: “That’s not late. That’s making an entrance.”

Chester: “The level at which your badassery extends to is, like, beyond what I can comprehend.”

Cecile: “So, looks like I missed all the fun, huh?”
Joe: “If by fun you mean saving the world again from a Big Bad hell bent on world conquest...”

Barry: “You deserve to be here as much as anyone.”

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, the supernatural, and anything with a cape.

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