The Flash

Season 1 Episode 8

Ghost in the Machine

1
Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Dec 13, 1990 on CBS
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
24 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT

Barry befriends Doctor Desmond Powell, who was once a superhero called "Nightshade." When Nightshade's old enemy The Ghost, returns Powell must return to his hero ways.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Great episode if you like time travel themes.

    9.7
    Great episode if you like time travel themes. Gives The Ghosts lady a second chance at him, but rinds she is too old and tired for all the excitement. To Ghost, the amazement of the future, finding things he dreamed of 35 years ago. Only to be disappointed by the lack of other dreams. Things that we still dont have another 16 years into the future.
Alex Désert

Alex Désert

Julio Mendez

John Wesley Shipp

John Wesley Shipp

Barry Allen/The Flash

Amanda Pays

Amanda Pays

Dr. Christina "Tina" McGee

Ian Abercrombie

Ian Abercrombie

Skip

Guest Star

Jason Bernard

Jason Bernard

Dr. Desmond Powell/Nightshade

Guest Star

Lois Nettleton

Lois Nettleton

Belle Crocker

Guest Star

Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer

Joe Kline

Recurring Role

Vito D'Ambrosio

Vito D'Ambrosio

Officer Bellows

Recurring Role

Mike Genovese

Mike Genovese

Lt. Warren Garfield

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • The Ghost: You should have stayed in Helltown, frightening mobsters.
      Desmond: You're psychotic.
      The Ghost: One man's psychotic is another man's visionary.

    • Kline: Listen, Tina, I could show you things you never dreamed of.
      Tina: That's Dr. McGee. And I think I'd prefer to dream, thank you.

    • The Ghost: I control TV. To see through it, to travel the network. I had to wait 35 years for a techno-society sophisticated enough for my plans. And from the looks of things, it's been worth the wait. Of course, it's not the urban paradise of tomorrow we all expected. The future is like the present, only older.

    • The Ghost: By the way, who the hell are you? (removes his mask) A colored guy. Who would have guessed?
      Desmond: "Colored guy"? You really are a relic.

    • Barry: I guess we're lucky we're not dead. Or in a straitjacket.
      Desmond: There's not many people that ever know the thrill. The sky grows dark, the masks go on, and the criminal hearts thump with fear. Sorry. Too many pulp magazines when I was a kid.

    • Barry: What made you do it? Why'd you become the Nightshade?
      Powell: Someone had to be.

    • Powell: (indicating car) Hop in.
      Barry: No. Bad for the image! (speeds off)

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (8)

    • The Ghost: One man's _____ is another man's _____.
      The basis for this phrase has been around a number of years but one of the most well known uses was on May 31, 1986 during a radio address by Ronald Reagan. In reference to Yasser Arafat he said, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."

    • The Ghost: Orwellian doublespeak, like in Ninety Eighty-Four.
      Referencing the novel by George Orwell, which introduced the concept of a "Big Brother" government agency that monitors the populace through near-omnipresent security cameras. The novel itself doesn't use the term "doublespeak," although it features both Doublethink and Newspeak.

    • The Ghost: Play Mr. Sandman.
      Referencing the 1954 song written by Pat Ballard and originally sung by The Chordettes. It refers to the mythical sandman and the singer asking him to "bring me a dream." Since then it has been recorded by singers such as Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, and Linda McCartney.

    • Thug: Gremlins? You mean those cute little fuzzy dudes from the movie?
      Referencing the 1984 Warner Bros. movie Gremlins. Mogwai are small furry creatures with three rules that their owners must follow: keep them out of the light, don't feed them after midnight, and don't get them wet. All three rules are broken and the mogwai become vicious gremlins that run amuck.

    • Nightshade:
      The character of Nightshade combines elements of three specific pulp/comic book characters. His costume with the distinctive gas mask resembles that of the Golden Age Sandman, Wesley Dodds (1939). His dartgun and armored plated car resemble those of the Green Hornet, Britt Reid (1936), and his garage entrance concealed behind a giant-advertisement is similar to the sign that concealed the Hornet's lair in the 60s TV series. Finally, Dr. Powell's choice of profession matches that of Charles McNider (1941), the Golden Age Dr. Mid-Nite.

    • Ghost in the Machine:
      The title of this episode is a famous quote from British philosopher Gilbert Ryle which first appeared in his 1949 book The Concept of Mind. The phrase is intended as a derogatory description of Rene' Descartes' concept of mind/body dualism.

    • The Ghost: I will control the vertical. I will control the horizontal.
      The Ghost's boast to the citizens of Central City is a direct allusion to the credit sequence from the TV series The Outer Limits.

    • Nightshade: ...the old brewery on Shadow Lawn.
      The Ghost's hideout is on Shadow Lawn, a subtle reference to the pulp heroes of yore, such as The Shadow.

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