The Flash episode “Masquerade” aired on 15 June 2021.
It’s high time we had a Cecile episode. Dani Nicolet delivered this performance on a platter. We also had some decent cameos by old friends and foes.
Inside the Mind
Newly unemployed Joe is using his freed up time to investigate Kramer. Cecile also found a lead via a meta client who had encountered Kramer on a mission that isn’t in Kramer’s official file. After Joe leaves, we zoom in Cecile’s eye and see her trapped in a white room calling for help.
Chester has given the Starchive a fresh coat of paint. He also installed speakers, but they short circuit. When he goes to find a replacement cable, he finds Barry and Iris all mussed up. A W K W A R D.
Barry tries to apologise but ends up giving TMI. He runs off embarrassed when Cecile calls. Chester sighs. “Cisco did not warn me about this.”
Barry delivers a CSI report for the crime Cecile’s client is accused of. He suddenly gets a weird feeling and Cecile pulls him into the mind prison. “I’m not Cecile,” the things says.
Barry comes to in the white room where the real Cecile is. She tells him she was knocked into this mindscape when lightning struck her during the Force storm. (It’s always a lightning strike isn’t it?) Barry tries to phase out of the room, only to find the Flash’s powers don’t work here. Suddenly, a door opens…
NotCecile brings Barry’s body to Star Labs. Chester, not knowing she isn’t really Cecile, says Cecile can use her powers to sense Barry out. NotCecile puts on a show, saying she sees a golden mask. Chester recognises it as the mask of Psycho Pirate from Cisco’s notes. The original Psycho Pirate had been found clinically insane and is now in Arkham Asylum. Meanwhile, the mask is in a museum collection.
The team explain that the mask is cursed and control’s the wearer’s mind. It must be latching on to Barry and Cecile for their speed-thinking and empathy respectively. NotCecile laments that if only they could just take the mask… Chester gets excited, because Cisco left him a contact for if they ever need to pull off a heist.
Oho, they call Sue! Sue warns Chester that their plan feels too easy, but he is too excited to worry. During the heist, Sue dances through the lasers no problem. Then “Cecile” projects nervous emotions to the guard, making him unlock the super-encrypted vault just to make sure the mask is safe. In reality, NotCecile controls the guard telepathically.
Barry and Cecile wander through the asylum mindscape. They encounter a demon-ish Cecile in a straightjacket. Straitjacket Cecile mind-whammies Barry, and when he wakes up he is back in the room with the real Cecile. The door is locked again.
NotCecile gets her hands on the mask. When she puts it on, she can telepathically commune with everyone on Team Flash. Caitlin figures that the psychic spirit of the mask used the Force storm as a cover to hijack Cecile.
Back inthe mindscape, Barry wonders how Cecile had known the building only had one floor. Cecile reveals to Barry her darkest secret: she had once been admitted to a psychiatric hospital due to trauma from a family tragedy. The mindscape is that hospital. They are in her darkest memory.
Barry comforts her. While he doesn’t know what it is like to be afraid of losing one’s sanity, “I know what it’s like to lose a mom, and blame yourself for it even though it’s not your fault.”
Cecile had been suppressing that incident because of her shame. By acknowledging that part of herself, she unlocks the doors and returns Barry his powers.
It was nice to have some Barry/Cecile in-law bonding, since we had some Iris/Nora (sort of) screen time during the Forces arc.
Fast Minds of The Flash
Chester’s confidence is shot. He believes that when he thought he had figured everything out, it was NotCecile manipulating him. Iris gives Chester a pep talk to be Chester, not Cisco 2.0. Mid-ramble, he realises NotCecile is after the Thinker Chair because it would amplify Cecile’s powers.
Meanwhile, the demonish Cecile, now in a patient’s scrubs, taunts Barry and Cecile again. Barry takes a mind-lightning for Cecile. Patient Cecile binds Cecile in a straitjacket and throws her around.
NotCecile has borne the mask and gone full Psycho Pirate. She activates the Thinker Chair. But that won’t stop Iris, who has gone full gungho, ducking around and firing shots at the chair like a pro. She keeps Psycho Pirate occupied long enough for Chester to get an opening for his secret attack. He slices the thinker chair with the Thinker’s old katana. Talk about poetic!
Cecile confronts her demon (literally) and regains control of the mindscape – and her body. Crisis averted! Or was it too easy? Did anybody find this too easy?
Sue says she will stick around for a while and invites the team out for dinner. Barry and Iris assure Chester that “Your voice will always matter here. Just remember to use it.” So he tells them alright then, next time you wanna…you know…don’t do it in the lab.
What are you hiding?
Cecile tells Joe about her stay at the hospital, and he accepts it wholeheartedly. She then asks if he’s made any headway ragarding Kramer, which he has. On Kramer’s last military mission, she led her team into an ambush and was the only survivor. Joe believes she was a spy.
I’m surprised The Flash wrapped up the Cecile/Psycho Pirate plot so quickly. I thought it would be the main conflict for the second half of the season. Now I am left a little confused. I suppose Kramer will re-emerge as the chief antagonist now.
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