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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews The Flash Season 9 Episode 5: Mask Of The Red Death Part 2

March 9th, 2023 by Todd Black Comments

I hate to say, “I told you so…” …but I totally told you so. Tonight’s episode of The Flash was exactly what I feared it would be, a lackluster end to a arc that was boring from the start, and had plenty of plot holes throughout.

I’ll start with the big one…where was Ryan Wilder this whole time? I watched the whole episode, and she never revealed where she was for the past several weeks after her “disappearance.” And remember, they specifically said that Ryan was “missing” and that Team Bat had no idea where she was. Ryan even referenced Team Flash “looking for her,” but where was she? They never explained, and that’s crap. What’s more, the fact that she had a Batarang that could “cancel speed” and Team Flash not having anything like that…is bull. Remember, Lucas Fox is the tech guy of the team. If he had something, ANYTHING like that, why wouldn’t he have given it to Team Flash? Exactly.

But even if you call it a “comic book moment” of her showing up to save the day, it was hardly the only thing that was “off” about the episode. Barry’s defeat of the Red Death was lackluster at best with him ripping off her armor after Ryan depowered her. That’s it? That was pretty lame. What’s more, the way that Red Death acted this whole episode was so over the top it was cringe. There was plenty of that to go around, just to be clear, but it stuck out. I would argue that Red Death is the worst Speedster villain because she was poorly explained, had little true impact, and was dealt with in a lackadaisical way.

To that end, the “speed battle” with Flash and Red Death was lame because it only took one shot to rid Barry of his speed again…and I’m still not sure how that works because they said it wasn’t the Negative Speed Force, it was artificial speed. And if she could rob a Flash of their powers, how did she have so much trouble with her own Flash on her world? It doesn’t make any sense.

Speaking of which…let’s talk about Grodd. Yeah, that came out of nowhere, and as you would expect, it was reversed just as quickly. Oh, and apparently Barry “sucks as a hero” because he “abandoned Grodd” after Crisis even though Grodd didn’t even TRY to contact him and ask for help. You know…like a hero would? But then, all it took was one speech to help get Grodd back on track, reverse Red Death’s plans and give Barry’s speed back…because apparently Grodd still had that “spark” from before…? What…?

Not to mention, Barry’s whole “arc” in this episode was basically failing to be a leader only to come back in the 11th hour and get everyone back on his side. This is Season 9 Flash! He should be at “peak leadeship skills” right now and yet they’re acting like he’s still a rookie!

Can I keep going? Cause I need to talk about Joe and Cecil. Dear gosh, this was worse than I could’ve imagined. Not even ONE EPISODE after deciding to NOT leave Central City…Joe is taking Jenna and leaving Central City…and leaving Cecil behind because “she’s the hero Team Flash needs”…but she can come visit on the weekends…because that’s totally fine…and she’s happy about that…


MANY fans have raged about the growing role of Cecil over the years, but this just takes the cake. She’s basically abandoning her daughter and husband because…she’s a hero the team needs some of the time? Let’s ignore the fact that her only “role” in the episode was to find Red Death and then be tricked into luring the two into a trap…and they didn’t even go to CCPD to try and stop her! So her “help” in the episode was exactly…zero. Also, Joe just NOW telling Barry about leaving, only to say he wasn’t, and THEN to leave for real was lame…and you notice how he didn’t talk with Iris about this? Only for it to be revealed (terribly) that she’s pregnant, and he’s now going to leave still even though his granddaughter is on the way. None of that makes sense and it’s the worst way for Joe to go because it looks like he’s abandoning his family “to shield his family from harm.”

Other plot holes in this episode include what happened with Kramer after she escaped Red Death, why Red Death could resist Roy’s powers and resist an Empath (telepathy isn’t the same as being an Empath), and what happened with Roy and Fiddler after they “guarded the permiter.” Let’s not forget that the other two Rogues were taken out by a basic explosion…because why not at this point?

Oh, and I’ve given up on Snow, and next episode likely won’t be better in that department.

In the end, “Mask of the Red Death Part 2” brought the first arc of the final season to a close in arguably the worst of ways. Few things made sense, very few things progressed, and there were plot holes and forced issues everywhere. The only good thing is that we’re running away from this plotline.


Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!