REVIEW: ‘The Flash’ Season 7, Episode 13 – “Masquerade”

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Masquerade

The Flash Season 7 continues with its 13th episode, “Masquerade.” In the previous episode, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Camila (Victoria Park)  bid their farewells to Team Flash as they ventured life together outside of Central City. But before they could leave, the OG members of Team Flash went on one final mission to take down a new meta-human. In “Masquerade,” Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) is forced to face a secret from her past when a mysterious new enemy traps her in a mindscape. Barry (Grant Gustin) finds himself trapped in the mindscape with Cecile after Chester (Brandon McKnight) makes a questionable decision in his first mission since taking over for Cisco.

It was pleasantly surprising to see major elements from the horror genre included in “Masquerade.” Most of these horror elements were included during the scenes that focused on Barry and Cecile inside the mindscape. For one, the creepy asylum setting is meant to put viewers on edge, especially since Barry and Cecile can’t escape. With that added pressure, it’s no surprise that they were constantly scared. There were also several scenes where the figure keeping them inside the mindscape made frightening jolts in their movements. In addition, the color selection of the mindscape was completely white, which made everything much more creepy. However, it would have been just as effective to make everything dark and much more like the asylums that are typically found in horror films.

Cecile hasn’t been given a prominent storyline since getting her powers, but “Masquerade” aims to rectify that. I haven’t been shy in hiding my feelings for episodes of “The Flash” focusing on the recurring cast of the show, especially since they haven’t had much to do in a few episodes. However, “Masquerade” manages to tell a story with Cecile as the focal figure in a way that doesn’t seem forced or ingenuine. Much is revealed about her character than anything that has been leading up to this episode. It also helps that Nicolet can show such raw emotion that her character hasn’t really been given before. Cecile’s development opens the door for so many directions that she can be taken.

The most surprising thing to come out of “Masquerade” was the immense focus on mental health. The Flash hasn’t been shy about tackling this theme in previous seasons, mostly involving Barry. However, the episode did a tremendous job of having the focus of mental health be put on Cecile. Most of her character development comes from this, which was fascinating to see. It’s not often that characters of color on TV are shown struggling with mental health issues. This focus is something that viewers could possibly resonate with, which is rare for a show like this to pull off. With Mental Health Awareness Month having just passed, I can help but think that the timing of this episode airing could not have been more perfect.

Ultimately, “Masquerade” offers much character development for one of its recurring characters while focusing on the theme of mental health. The episode also included key moments where elements from the horror genre made scenes stand out. In what has been a disappointing season, “Masquerade” has been the shining moment that was truly unexpected.

The Flash Season 7 airs new episodes every Tuesday on the CW Network.

 


Masquerade
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Ultimately, “Masquerade” offers much character development for one of its recurring characters while focusing on the theme of mental health. The episode also included key moments where elements from the horror genre made scenes stand out. In what has been a disappointing season, “Masquerade” has been the shining moment that was truly unexpected.