Did you know the final season of The Flash has only 13 episodes? Ouch, last season had 20. I’m hopeful we’re getting quality over quantity because episode four absolutely ruled.

I am vengeance, I am the night, I am the Red Death.

The episode began with Mark building the cosmic treadmill. The Red Death needs the treadmill to open a wormhole back to her timeline. There’s one problem – the treadmill requires organic speed for power, and the Red Death has artificial speed. So, the Red Death kidnapped the Flash.

Kidnapping the Flash is one thing, motivating him to run is another. So naturally, the Red Death went after Iris. However, the Red Death and Iris apparently have a history, the truth of which was encased in lies.

The Red Death showed up at Iris’s apartment as Ryan Wilder with a cover story. Iris quickly poked holes in the story and pulled a gun. Rather than use her superspeed, Ryan told half-truths to earn Iris’s trust.

In Ryan’s timeline, there is no Batman. The Waynes adopted Ryan, and she became the hero Gotham needed, Batwoman. Ryan grew obsessed with creating technologies to defeat her foes. She realized that she could build her superspeed by mining the data from the Justice League Flash’s suit. With superspeed, she could stop crime before it happened.

The Flash in her timeline did not approve of Ryan’s actions. Apparently, Ryan and Iris were best friends, but they had a falling out. Then, the Flash allegedly became her timeline’s greatest villain. He freed the villains from Iron Heights and led them to a war against Ryan. She tried to hide in the Speed Force, but it rejected her because her speed was artificial. Ryan pleaded to Iris that she needed Iris’s help to convince the Flash to end the war.

Ryan underestimated Iris, and Iris continued to poke holes in the story. Why didn’t Ryan ask her best friend? Oh, because Ryan killed Iris with a lightning bolt “by accident.” Iris continued to piece the truth together. The Flash is not the villain. Ryan is. The Flash turned on Ryan because she built dangerous technologies and wanted too much power. It seemed like Iris had seen Minority Report. The truth was Ryan wanted to use Iris as bait to draw out the Flash in her timeline. The Red Death wants revenge.

Mark Died?

It’s never too late for second chances, even if you’re Mark and have changed sides multiple times. After a heartfelt plea from Barry, Mark rigged the treadmill so all the energy would hit the Red Death. Mark overloaded the capacitors, so instead of turning the Flash’s organic speed into a wormhole, the treadmill shot it all back at the Red Death.

The energy from the treadmill temporarily overwhelmed the Red Death’s artificial speed. Barry also needed his speed to recharge after giving everything he had on the treadmill. So, when the Red Death’s Rogues showed up, Mark started fighting them single-handedly. Luckily for Barry, his own Rogue Squad from last episode came to the rescue. Unluckily for Mark, the Rogue Squad left Mark to die because the Red Death was moments away from a full recharge.

We didn’t actually see Mark die. Do you think he’s dead?

Chuck and Allegra Avoid “The Talk” Again

The timing might not be right for Chuck and Allegra. Allegra decided after Mark died that she was ready to have “the talk.” Chuck couldn’t believe he was saying it (we couldn’t either), but he understandably felt they should wait because the satellites were down, Star labs had no power, and their friend had just died. They choose to figure out whatever their relationship is after the team takes the Red Death down.

Cecile and Joe Are Staying in Central City

Joe passive-aggressively left a listing for a new house on the dining room table for Cecile to find. The house is a two-hour commute from Central City. As expected, Cecile got mad. I mean, she has a law practice to run and a city to protect. However, Joe’s heart was in a good place – he wanted to give Jenna the normal childhood that he didn’t give Iris and Wally.

As the Flash used the cosmic treadmill, red lighting coursed throughout Central City. The lightning-caused the windows of their house to shatter, and Cecile used her powers just in time to save Jenna. Then, Cecile used her powers to save all their neighbors. Though this incident made Cecile more receptive to leaving Central City, Joe ultimately withdrew the request. Jenna needs to know she can be anything she wants, even a superhero like her mom. It looks like they’re staying in Central City for good.

To Be Continued…

This is only part one of “The Mask of the Red Death.” At the end of the episode, we learn that if the Red Death can’t get revenge on the Flash from her own timeline, then she is coming after ours. I can’t wait to see what goes down next week!