“Masquerade” – Review of S7 E13 of THE FLASH

Last episode we gave a fond farewell to Cisco and Kamilla. But, we were also introduced to a new danger to Team Flash, tied to Cecile. She is trapped in a mindscape, along with one other critical member of the team. This episode includes some great acting on the part of Daniele Nicolet (Cecile Horton) and Brandon McKnight (Chester P. Runk). And, we see the return of another great character. You won’t see a lot of Flash in uniform, but you will see a great episode. Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

NOTE: This review is posting prior to this episode of THE FLASH being see in the Pacific Time Zone USA. If you haven’t seen the show yet, STOP HERE and come back afterward. You’ll be glad you did!

This episode centers on the curse that follows the Psycho Pirate’s mask. That supposed Force lightning that hit Cecile sometime back was NOT connected to the new Forces. Instead, it was the power of that mask taking over Cecile’s body and sending her consciousness into a mindscape, trapped in a padded room.

Before long, Barry is trapped there with her. His powers don’t work there, so he can’t speed his way out of trouble. They spend much of the episode wandering around this mindscape, attempting to escape. Eventually, it’s revealed that Cecile recognizes this mindscape location all too well. More on that in a moment.

Meanwhile, in the outside world, “Cecile” is manipulating Team Flash into getting the Psycho Pirate’s mask out of the Central City Museum. That, combined with the Thinker’s Chair (conveniently stored at S.T.A.R. Labs) would bond the power of the mask permanently with Cecile. Chester is fooled into calling Sue Dearbon in to help steal the mask. Sue realizes this is just “too easy” but Chester pushes ahead. 

Of course, that’s a bad idea. It puts “Cecile” directly in touch with the mask. Chester is beating himself up over his mistake, but eventually he does come up with a plan that helps to defeat “Cecile”, at least in the outside world. 

But, there is also a battle inside the mindscape. We eventually learn that this mindscape is a replica of a mental health facility where Cecile had stayed years ago. She had suffered from anxiety and depression and eventually needed inpatient care for her mental health. Cecile has hidden that fact out of a sense of shame, and the entity behind all the trouble is using that against her, to keep her trapped in the mindscape. 

In the end, it is Cecile herself who saves the day within the mindscape. She overcomes her fear and uses her own psychic abilities to stop the entity behind that mask. Barry, having recovered his speed, gets them both out of the mindscape through a portal that appears and all are safe. That takes us to the…

EPILOGUE – where Cecile finally talks about her experiences with Joe. There are some great messages here about mental health and that it is more than okay to seek help. This ends with Joe turning to info he has on Kramer. He suspects that in that ambush we keep hearing about, Kramer may have been working for the enemy! That’s where we leave it for now.

NOTES:

  • The episode starts with Chester accidentally walking in on Barry and Iris…er…working on making a family. It’s played out with humor, and reflected in a couple of comments near the end of the episode.
  • This episode highlighted the characters of Cecile (in the mindscape and outside as “Cecile”) and Chester. Both actors were MORE than up for the challenge. And, we gain extra depth for each character – which is always a good thing.
  • In the end, we have one “official” and one more “unofficial” member of Team Flash fully recognized – “official” being Chester, and “unofficial” being Sue. Ralph is written off still, but Sue plans to hang around Central City a while. That’s also a good thing.

SUMMARY:

I enjoyed the emphasis on Cecile and Chester – especially since the actors came through so well. It’s a great one-off episode, and I’m looking forward to whatever comes next for the newley rebuilt Team Flash. I’ll give this episode a 9/10. Of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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