Someone’s playing mind games on The Flash. In “Masquerade,” an unknown enemy attacks Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) and Barry (Grant Gustin) to obtain an ancient and powerful object. Chester P. Runk (Brandon McKnight) tries his best to save them, but makes a mistake that puts everyone in danger.

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GONE IN A FLASH

After last week, it’s obvious that Cecile is not Cecile. It’s a good thing that her aunt took the baby so Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Cecile could have some alone time. But! Psycho Cecile is up to something. She encourages Joe to investigate Kristen Kramer (Carmen Moore); even gives him a lead to get him out of the house. Meanwhile, the real Cecile is trapped in a mental hospital inside of her mind.

Chester is making himself at home at STAR Labs. As he should, now that Cisco (Carlos Valdes) is really gone. He takes it upon himself to paint the walls in his workshop and set up his awesome sound system. But the speakers can’t take the bass.  Chester runs down to the Starchives to look for a part and finds Mom and Dad acting weird. Barry and Iris (Candice Patton) decided last week to start a family and thought the Starchives would be a good place to conceive. Awkward!

Psycho Cecile calls for Barry’s help on a case that is very familiar to him. That’s because it is. She used an old case to get Barry alone so she could knock him out. Psycho Cecile says she has a plan and needs him out of the way for it to work. She also admits that she’s not Cecile. Whoever she is, she has the power to send Barry into Cecile’s mind prison with the very real and very scared Cecile Horton.

MASQUERADE

The team researches the latest villain on The Flash

The Flash — “Masquerade” — Image Number: FLA713fg_0001.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Brandon McKnight as Chester P. Runk, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow, Candice Patton as Iris West – Allen and Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss

Psycho Cecile takes Barry to STAR Labs and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) quickly determines that Barry’s brain is under attack, but it’s something she’s never seen before. Chester asks Psycho Cecile to go into Barry’s mind to find out what’s going on. Psycho Cecile awkwardly works through Barry’s brain and comes up with a presence and she sees a gold mask. Chester knows exactly what she’s talking about. He pulls out Cisco’s binder of villains and finds a picture of Psycho Pirate.

Psycho Pirate wore a gold mask that he says gave him psychic powers. His real name is Roger Hayden and the last time we saw him, he was in Arkham Asylum in the Elseworlds crossover. He stole a gold mask from the Khandaqi Embassy. Hayden is still in Arkham, but the mask was donated to the Central City museum. How convenient! 

There’s a legend about the mask and of course, Chester knows it. According to legend, if you wear the mask, it doesn’t just give you powers, it feeds off your mind until you go insane. Then the mask seeks out a new wearer. Like a psychic parasite moving from host to host. 

The neurofeedback signal that Caitlin found on Barry is coming from the mask. It will keep feeding and feeding on Barry until it gets rid of all of the brainwaves. Chester suggests they put a cerebral inhibitor on Barry. Caitlin says it would work, but they would need the mask in STAR Labs first. Psycho Cecile suggests they steal the mask and Chester thinks it’s a great idea.

CALLED IN AN EXPERT

Now that you know who’s attacking Barry and Real Cecile and why, we get to learn more about Cecile. For starters, she hasn’t been herself since the Force storm two weeks ago. She’s too scared to try and find a way out. Of course, Barry is confident that they can get out. His speed isn’t working in that place, so they have to find another way. The door opens, so Barry tries to exit, but Cecile stops him. If they die in the mindscape, they die in real life. But they’re not the only ones in danger. Whoever took over Cecile’s body could also put Iris and Joe in danger. They have to get out.

Psycho Cecile is anxious to get the mask. Chester doesn’t know much about planning heists. Cisco left him the number of a pretty good thief though. Sue Dearbon (Natalie Dreyfuss). She quickly works through a plan with Chester and Psycho Cecile to steal the mask. Everything seems easy until they get to the part where they need a passcode. Chester suggests that Psycho Cecile go with Sue and make the guard give her the passcode. Easy peasy … too easy and Sue knows it. When she voices her concerns to Chester, he blows her off saying Team Flash makes it look easy.

MISSION POSSIBLE

Sue Dearbon returns to help Team Flash save Barry on The Flash

The Flash — “Masquerade” — Image Number: FLA713fg_0004.jpg — Pictured: Natalie Dreyfuss as Sue — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss

Iris and Chester watch from a van outside of the museum. Sue and Psycho Cecile get inside as easily as they planned. There is this cool scene of Sue ballet dancing her way through lasers. After that Psycho Cecile awkwardly drops into the room to complete the mission. 

Barry and Real Cecile walk around the hospital checking all the doors. He wants to go to the second floor, but Cecile says no. They see a portal and Flash knows it’s a way out. The portal disappears as quickly as it appeared. There is a girl behind the portal and Cecile is terrified of her. It’s another Cecile and she really is insane. She flashes a pair of Gold eyes at Barry and he collapses in the mindscape. Outside, in the med bay, Barry’s vitals go haywire.

The security guard checks the room where the mask is being kept. He has this overwhelming feeling to make sure the mask is still there and opens the vault. That’s when Psycho Cecile makes her move. She walks into the vault and looks at the mask. At the same time, Caitlin calls Iris to let her know that a third signal has shown up in Barry’s brain. Iris thinks the mask is targeting someone else. She remembers Cecile’s strange behavior the last two weeks and figures out that the Cecile in the vault is not really Cecile. 

ETERNAL HOST

Iris warns Sue that she’s in danger, but it’s too late. Psycho Cecile put on the mask and is now at full psychic power. She makes Sue shoot herself with a tranquilizer dart to get rid of her. The mask sends out a signal to the rest of Team Flash, letting them know that they can’t stop her. Iris tries to reach the real Cecile as Chester finds out he’s the reason the mask is winning. The mask declares Cecile as it’s host and says she will feed it for eternity.

Everyone goes back to the med lab. Sue is okay, but Caitlin wants her to rest. They fill in Sue on how this happened to Cecile. Team Flash needs to find Psycho Cecile and the mask so they can save Barry. Chester suggests they track Psycho Cecile’s neurological signals and Sue suggests he stay on the sidelines from now on. She’s frustrated with him because she told him something wasn’t right and he didn’t listen to her. Chester agrees with Sue. He played right into everything the mask wanted and now the Flash and Cecile are in more danger.

Barry wakes up and asks Cecile about the hospital they are in. Cecile tells him that when her mother died, she blamed herself for not being there with her. All of the pain and guilt led to depression and anxiety. Cecile checked herself into that hospital after having a breakdown. She eventually told herself to toughen up and pretend none of it happened. But Cecile still carries a lot of fear and guilt.

Barry tells her not to blame herself for her mother’s death. Facing her fears can be scary, but it’s the only way to heal. He knows she can do it. He asks what she was thinking about when the door opened. She was thinking about her time in the hospital. Cecile thinks about it again and Barry’s lightning starts showing up. He says if she can face her fears, she can get them home. 

THINK-ER

Iris cheers up Chester on The Flash

The Flash — “Masquerade” — Image Number: FLA713fg_0007r.jpg — Pictured: Candice Patton as Iris West – Allen — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss

Iris checks on Chester, who’s also feeling a lot of guilt and shame for not knowing that’s not Cecile. He thinks it’s because he barely knows the team. Iris says those bonds take time and patience. They all have Chester’s back because they know he has their backs. Chester is grateful and promises to up his game and … he trails off and looks around. He knows where Psycho Cecile is headed. 

Chester reminds Iris that the mask wants to make Cecile it’s permanent host because she’s an empath. To keep Cecile as the host, the mask will have to create a permanent food source. It would need to find something to amplify Cecile’s abilities. And there is such a device in the Starchives. The Thinker’s chair. And Psycho Cecile is already in the Starchives, looking at the chair. 

Barry’s brain is about to die. Iris and Chester look at the Starchives and find Psycho Cecile is already there. Chester is a little unsure, but Iris has faith in him. Psycho Cecile sits in the chair and senses someone else in the room. She shoots a laser at the door and Iris jumps up to fire back, hitting the chair. Psycho Cecile puts up a force field to protect herself and the chair. Iris keeps shooting, but runs out of places to hide, coming face to face with the gold mask. 

CONTROL THE CRAZY

Cecile has to face her crazy self to get out of the mindscape. The crazy one doesn’t want to let Cecile go. Crazy Cecile blasts her alter ego with gold laserbeams. Barry runs and takes the hit, knocking him out. When Cecile tries to stand up to her, she is put in a straight jacket. Crazy Cecile taunts Real Cecile about her mother. Real Cecile starts talking to herself, saying she’s not ashamed anymore. The straight jacket disappears. She faces the crazy one and says she is done wearing a mask. She shoots white laser beams at the crazy one making her disappear. The portal shows up. Cecile wakes up Barry. He grabs her and races through the portal. 

Iris finds a hiding place, but Psycho Cecile finds her. Iris steps out to face her. She stands in front of the chair and nothing is happening. Chester jumps out of nowhere and stabs the chair with a sword, causing it to short circuit and fall. Barry wakes up in the med bay. Cecile wakes up in the Thinker’s Chair with Iris and Chester in her face.

FULL FLEDGED TEAM FLASH

Cecile tells Joe about her past on The Flash

The Flash — “Masquerade” — Image Number: FLA713b_0260r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton and Jesse L. Martin as Captain Joe West — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss

Caitlin takes the gold mask to ARGUS where Cisco will help her retrofit a vault with mental dampeners to keep the mask from finding more victims. Sue apologizes to Chester about being so harsh to him. She decides to stick around for a while and invites everyone to dinner at her hotel.  Cecile thanks Barry for helping her get out of her mental prison. He says it was all her and he knew she could do it. He’s not the only one who believes in her, so Cecile decides to go home and tell Joe everything.

Barry and Iris invite Chester to dinner. He’s not sure. He fell for an omnipotent psychotropic immortal mask. Sounds ridiculous so he agrees to join them. Iris says he’s a full fledged member of Team Flash. His voice will always matter. He decides to use it to ask Mom and Dad to go home if the “the mood” ever hits them again. Or go on vacation. Everyone awkwardly leaves on that note. 

Joe is very understanding about Cecile’s past and why she didn’t tell him. He says mental health is looked down upon in their community. But with what their family goes through, they have to start taking care of themselves. And he will always be there for her.

Cecile asks about the Kramer investigation. Joe found out that Kramer led a squad sent in to take out several strategic facilities. She never completed the mission because she led the squad into an ambush. And Kramer is the only one who survived. Joe thinks Kramer was working with the enemy.

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Noetta Harjo
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