The CW has released photos for “The Mask of the Red Death, Part 1”, the fourth episode of The Flash‘s ninth and final season. The episode is scheduled to air on Wednesday, March 1st. The series’ Season 9 premiere teased Red Death’s arrival with a red lightning Bat symbol at the end of the episode and a recently released synopsis teases that the team will have to make an impossible choice — and may tease the villain’s official arrival. The photos don’t show us anything about the villain, but do hint at the strain the situation puts on the team. You can check both the photos and the synopsis out for yourself below.
LET THERE BE DARKNESS – The Flash (Grant Gustin) is forced to make an impossible choice. With the power out in the city, Team Flash calls upon the Rogue Squad to help as Iris (Candice Patton) is visited by an old friend. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) work on finding a balance. Menhaj Huda directed the episode written by Joshua V. Gilbert & Emily Palizzi.
While the synopsis doesn’t expressly state that we’ll get to meet Red Death this episode, the tease about Iris being visited by an old friend could be a reference to Javicia Leslie’s Ryan Wilder, who showrunner Eric Wallace has largely confirmed is playing Red Death.
“It is fair to say that Javicia has something to do with that red lightning bolt,” Wallace said. “I don’t think that’s going to come as a surprise to anyone. The question is how does it happen and why is she here? And also, who exactly is she playing? That’s a mystery that doesn’t get talked about in her initial appearances on the show. Also, how will it affect her relationship with Iris?”
He continued, “One of the happy accidents that happened in Armageddon when we had Javicia over was the discovery of the incredible chemistry between Candice Patton and Javicia Leslie. After seeing that, I literally made a note, ‘We’ve got to do more of this. This is gold.’ When Javicia comes onto the show, one of the most powerful emotional moments is when her character finally interacts with Iris and it’s going to be in a way that folks are not expecting. And it may show you a side of Javicia Leslie that you haven’t seen before because she just knocks it out of the park with performance. It’s something that I think fans are going to just love.”
Who is DC’s Red Death?
A relatively new addition to DC canon, Red Death made his debut in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Dark Days: The Casting #1 in 2017. A member of the Dark Knights — a group of alternate multiversal versions of Batman led by The Batman Who Laughs — Red Death was revealed to be a dark mashup of Batman and The Flash. In the alternate universe of Earth -52, Bruce Wayne was traumatized by the death of his various Robins, and decided to escalate his crimefighting by harnessing the Speed Force. Bruce then absorbed his version of The Flash’s powers by combining his Batmobile and the Cosmic Treadmill and decided to suit up as the Red Death.
The Flash airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW. “The Mask of the Red Death, Part 1” airs March 1st.