Catching Up: The Flash Episode 603, "Dead Man Running"

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Dead Man Running

With the Crisis bearing down on them in less than ten weeks, Team Flash has moved from grief to acceptance -- particularly Barry (GRANT GUSTIN) who has yet to tell the team what he knows of the future -- that he has to die in the Crisis.

And the Crisis has taken on its own identity as well, losing the "the" in front of it, and simply being called "Crisis" -- which sounds a bit odd and all proper-nouny when heard spoken about prior to its occurrence by those who are going to experience it.

To prepare the team to work without him, Flash decides he has to train them better, starting with Killer Frost (DANIELLE PANABAKER). But her anger gets in the way as the pair hunt down an angry zombie named Romero (thought we wouldn't notice that naming convenience, didn't you, @FlashTVWriters?), and Flash realizes he's going to have to find a way to cool down the ice queen's hot temper before she can be an effective hero.

Romero is the accidental by-product of Dr. Ramsey Rosso's (SENDHIL RAMAMURTHY) experimentation with dark matter and his research in curing blood diseases. The result gave him infectious blood that he can control, which he realizes when he manages to take control of Romero's actions, like a puppeteer, while working with Team Flash to subdue the raging creature. It's through his encounter with Dr. Rosso that Barry realizes he needs to tell the team the full truth about what to expect in the coming Crisis -- that he is destined to die so that worlds may live.

The side stories in this episode involve Ralph (HARTLEY SAWYER) teaming up with Cecile Horton (DANIELLE NICOLET) to clear his mother of a burglary charge. The problem: Debbie Dibny (AMY PIETZ) hasn't exactly led a squeaky clean life...and she's made a lifetime habit of lying to Ralph about some very important life events.

Iris (CANDICE PATTON) and Cisco (CARLOS VALDES) are also on a side quest, tracking down the mysterious Harrison Wells (TOM CAVANAGH) photographed by Iris's new intern, Allegra Garcia (KAYLA COMPTON). This particular Wells is a bit of an Indiana Jones adventurer, and the thing he seeks here on Earth 1 is... well, you can bet that it will play a role in the coming Crisis, and may , in fact, be what leads this Wells to becoming a "pariah."

Rosso is a bit of a disappointment as the "big bad" for the season, unless his powers get amped up. Although it is refreshing not to have another super speedster as the seasonal foil. The Thinker was a nice change of pace, and certainly a challenge to the team, but he was written almost too well: he was unbeatable and had to start showing character flaws late in the season for him to become fallible enough to defeat. With Bloodwork (Rosso's villainous codename in the comics) it's almost phoned in. Thankfully the real obstacle of the season is the coming CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, so the villain role is superfluous.

3.5 / 5.0