The Flash season 9, episode 5 review: The Mask of the Red Death, Part 2

The Flash -- “The Mask of the Red Death, Part Two Image” -- Number: FLA905b_ 0144r -- Pictured: Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash -- Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
The Flash -- “The Mask of the Red Death, Part Two Image” -- Number: FLA905b_ 0144r -- Pictured: Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash -- Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

“Welcome to the era of the Red Death.” Spoilers for The Flash season 9, episode 5 follow.

With Team Flash having destroyed the Cosmic Treadmill, Red Death and her team of Rogues have set out to wreak havoc on Central City.

So, what does Team Flash do in a situation where there’s no right answer.

Here’s everything that went down on The Flash season 9, episode 5 “The Mask of the Red Death, Part 2”.

The Flash season 9 episode 5 review


The slaughter at the CCPD to open the episode is actually pretty great in concept, and execution, even if it could’ve gone on a bit longer. It honestly would’ve been a great opener to the season. Just having the season jump right into the threat of Red Death and immediately show the danger that she poses would’ve been incredibly interesting. But alas, that did not happen.

But after this pretty solid opening scene, the episode grinds to a halt. There’s utter chaos reigning down on Central City and instead of Team Flash actually doing anything to try and stop it, they just sit there and brood. It’s boring, it’s senseless, and it’s frustrating to watch.

But hey, at least Grodd’s back. The show retroactively making Gorilla City disappear because of Crisis on Infinite Earths is stupid, but Grodd will never not be fun to have on screen. It’s also a nice callback to when Barry shared his speed with Grodd and actually using that to further the plot of the episode. This also leads to a cool fight scene between Red Death and Flash (not counting Flash making a lightning shield) that, yet again, feels like it ends too abruptly.

But then the actual Ryan Wilder, Batwoman, shows up at the end of the episode to help fight Red Death, which is really cool. Javicia Leslie is great so it’s nice actually see her as the real Batwoman again. It’s too bad that this scene is immediately ruined but utterly terrible dialogue and banter following Ryan and Barry knocking Red Death out. It’s genuinely some of the worst writing the show has had in all its 9 seasons, and that’s saying something with how bad some of its been the past few years.

Stayin’ alive

Damn it. Chillblaine is still alive. I should’ve known better than to get my hopes up that the writers room would’ve made an intelligent choice on this one. But so, when Team Flash does discover that he’s still alive, instead of immediately going to get him (or leaving him cause it’s obviously a trap) Khione pops into frame to basically guilt trip them into going, being like “Nana-nana boo-boo. You’re all cowards,” thus getting Jaco, Hartley, and Goldface to actually save Mark. They’re trying so hard to give Khione a reason to be a part of this season and they keep failing. It’s such a worthless use of Caitlin and her many personas in this final season.

Also, of course it’s a trap when they go and get Mark and the fact that not a single one of them didn’t immediately realize that is just too ridiculous of a trope to put into words.

Leaving for good

So, also in this episode, Joe finally leaves for good and while this storyline has been a truly questionable subplot, Jesse L. Martin is fantastic as always. He’s heartfelt even with utterly terrible dialogue. But it’s incredibly disappointing that Joe leaving isn’t the major part of the episode, let alone getting tossed to the side at the end of the episode. Tossed aside for *checks notes* Chillblaine reassurance and the boring Chester/Allegra kiss. Some of the choices that the writers make this season are the worst, and these are just more examples of that.

While this episode of The Flash has some good parts, it’s still overwhelmed by the weaker elements that have been so frustratingly prevalent this season.

If you’re a fan of The Flash, listen to The CW Spiral Podcast for news, updates and announcements about its final season. Subscribe to their YouTube Channel here.

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What did you think of The Flash season 9, episode 5? Let us know in the comments below!