‘The Flash’ and ‘Supergirl’ Musical Review: “Duet”

The Flash
Season 3, Episode 17: “Duet”
Original Air Date: March 21st, 2017
Grade: A+++

IT WAS SO GOOD. It was just so good.

When I first officially heard that the producers of The Flash would be creating a musical episode, I thought that the episode would turn out ridiculous and unrealistic. But I pour truth into my statement as I say, the cast and crew of The Flash truly exceeded my expectations, which were pretty high as I saw sneak peek after interview after featurette fill my Facebook feed.

The reason that the Flash always impresses me is that they always reach for the moon, and somehow they land among the stars. (Cheesy? Sorry.) Gorilla Grodd in live action television? Oh please; you can try. King Shark? You’re crazy. Doppelgangers? Sure, okay, whatever. The Speedforce? Uh huh, right.

A musical episode? Not in your wildest dreams.

I guess that the Music Meister put me into a dreamworld, because it really happened. And it was awesome.

Alright, now let’s talk about it. The episode started with the classic “Singing in the Rain” playing on the television screen and a sweet moment between 9 year old Barry and Nora Allen. (How cute was Baby Barry though?!)

Everything’s better in song. When you speak, it’s just words. But when you sing, you open up your soul and let who you really are shine through.

The scene switched into a parallel where Barry was watching the same musical movie, 18 years later, sulking on Cisco’s couch. Cue a cute bromance moment between Barry and Cisco. You know, the classic “c’mon-bro-heartbreak-sucks-but-get-off-my-couch”, “you’ve-been-wearing-the-same-shirt-for-days” kind of thing. Best-man worthy stuff.

Sheesh Kara, doesn’t that hurt your neck?

Is that a bird? Is that a plane? No, it’s an unconscious Supergirl jumping in through a portal.

After realizing Supergirl was ‘whammied’ by this unknown alien-metahuman-villain (not villain?), Team Flash searched for the Music Meister through Cisco’s lovely vibing (which I will never get used to, yet I never want to lose), and that the Music Meister was probably after the fastest man alive as they spoke. As if on cue, Barry found Music Meister in the breach room, just… chilling.

My god, is Darren Criss (Music Meister) fine as hell. How could that cute, cheeky little smile be villainous?

The introduction to the Music Meister showed some interesting personality traits. He was a quirky, mysterious guy with a hint of arrogance (as all of masculinity has) as the character mocked Wally for “looking scared” and called Barry “slow.”

In general, the episode touched a bit on Wally’s recovery from being in the Speed Force but did not go too much into it. I supposed this could be due to so many components being jammed into this long-awaited musical episode, however I was hoping for some more character development on Wally’s part. On the other hand, I very much appreciated the development of Westallen, Karamel (I guess, I don’t keep too much up with Supergirl), and Barry’s outlook on the future.

Mon-El: “I’m keeping an eye on you, Barry. You better not do anything sketchy.”

Next thing we know, Barry becomes whammied as well, and he finds Kara singing “Moon River” in the dreamworld. Forget the acting, the set, the hair and makeup, or the costuming. They were pretty cool, but seriously, Melissa Benoist’s (Kara/Supergirl) voice is so precious and wonderful, and the song showcased it so well. Of course, I was already familiar with her as Marley because I watched Glee, but it’s different to see her blonde and playing a superhero while singing.

The chemistry between Barry Allen and Kara Danvers is something special, and something that we can only experience if they travel between universes (literally). I enjoyed every minute of it, especially while they played the part of “confused yet defiant puppies” when they first landed in the hallucination. Kara’s little snip bits about the Wizard of Oz made the episode so fluffy and adorable, and seriously, I love the tone of Supergirl because of her character.

Follow the script. But if you die in here, you die out there.

As Barry and Kara tried to discover what was going on, Music Meister appeared from the shadows, told them they were trapped there and may die, gave a “Hit it!”, and the next thing we knew, an elaborate musical number appeared onto the screen. All the characters that we ever dreamed of singing on the show began to sing “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”, and it was wonderful.

Everyone looks like they’re smiling and excited because it’s the 1940s.

Carlos Valdez (Cisco Ramon)? John Barrowman (Malcolm Merlyn)? Jeremy Jordan (Winn Schott)? Heck yas, heck yas, and heck yas. We also saw them dancing and it was the most wonderful thing in the world. And Barry agreed with me. Yeah, I saw him following some moves there. Let’s be honest, every time something majestic happened in the episode (so, like, every few seconds) you rewinded so you could watch it all over again. Each scene was just too good.

Back in the real world, Wally explained to the team that getting Barry whammied was “all his fault”, and he told them that it was his responsibility to go after Music Meister. He wasn’t wrong, but I’d tell him to tone it down and that we didn’t need a Barry 2.0 who blamed everything on himself.

Hello… friends!

While Wally, J’onn J’onzz, and Cisco went in through a breach to approach Music Meister, they and the audience gained a better understanding of the villain-not-villain. He (fetchingly, of course, it’s Darren Criss) told Wally that he thoroughly was a fan of his work, although he saw that Wally was not doing so well in the recent days. Probably because he was stuck in the speedforce for a week, but you know.

Basically, they fought a bit, and for whatever reason, Team Flash/Supergirl realized that Music Meister was making the team face their weak spots. Still, he as a villain was a mystery to them. It seemed that every time he had an upperhand, Music Meister disappeared without a trace. He could have won against Wally, Cisco, and J’onn, yet he simply left to play another game.

The charming affect that Music Meister had, his mysterious powers, and his unknown end goal made him a villain that did not fit the form of being a villain. This all made sense in the end, when apparently Music Meister saw that they needed help falling back in love and realizing where to go foward, and decided to go into their world to help them. Then, poof, he was off. For some reason, I really like that idea, and I hope Music Meister can come back to help them again. (Just get Darren Criss back!)

Back in the dream world, Kara and Barry realized that they needed to follow the script, which they discovered to be just like West Side Story. Two gangs, the children fell in love, and now they’re at war.

Although this plotline was extremely rushed and hard to enjoy (Mon-El and Iris kissing? Merlyn and Stein/Joe suddenly agreed? Now they’re at war?) I once again understood that there were probably so many things that the producers or writers wanted to include and so little time to include it. All of the other components that were added made up for this silly plotline, and I can still say the episode was fantastic.

Look, dads…
Yeah! You got a problem?

As we found Mon-El and Iris kissing (Yuck! And Barry thought so as well. Loved that, by the way), and they decided to tell their respective fathers, once again a musical number came along. A decades-long-awaited duet/trio was sung, to “More I Cannot Wish You”, by John Barrowman, Jesse L. Martin, and Victor Garber. This was probably more favored by those who are a fan of RentGodspell, etc. You know. Old people. (Editor’s Note: HEY. WATCH IT.)

Heh, moving on from that slightly offending joke… I feel as though all of their musical numbers were so carefully chosen, and these three phenomenal singers matched so well in the song, and I could not have asked for a better choice. Once again, I praise the Flash cast and crew for attempting such an ambitious idea of having a musical, and also for being so careful with their decisions regarding it.

Many times throughout the episode, we got to see Kara/Barry’s charisma onscreen. And of course, we relished in it because oh-my-god-they-are-just-such-puppies. But this did not show quite as much as in their adorable original tapping number, “Superfriend”.

Obviously, we enjoyed Grant Gustin’s (Barry) tapping. Because he is someone who specializes in tap dancing, it was just so awesome to see Grant be able to show it off in this show (which we thought would never happen). Their improvisation and little snide remarks were awesome and so natural between them.

I’ll flash over…
What? That was funny!

Look at these puppies and how much fun they’re having. I wanna have that much fun while working.

Unfortunately, right after this fun-filled uplifting number, both characters got shot point blank in the chest with… machine guns? You know, during the mob war that happened in 10 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, this was a HEARTWRENCHING scene. But, the change in tone was a little bizarre and moved a bit too quickly.

At this moment in the real world, Barry and Kara are (Seizing? Having a heart attack? It remains unclear). Their vitals are crashing, and Iris is basically panicking. She reminds to the group what the Music Meister said, “Only your love can save them”, and tells Cisco that he has to bring her and Mon-El to their dream world.

Where was Mon-El’s thoughts during this? I don’t really know. Or maybe I just focus on Westallen moments on the show because they’re just so damn beautiful.

CUE THE SUPER EMOTIONAL SCENE WHERE HELL I CRIED BECAUSE OH MY GOD BARRY WAS DYING IN IRIS’ ARMS? Also, Karamel was there. But seriously, WESTALLEN. (I love Karamel, but… Westallen. Yeah.)

Iris. I love you.

AND THEN THE KISS FANGIRLED AROUND THE WORLD HAPPENED, and they were back in the real world. I WRITE IN ALL CAPS WHEN I’M EXCITED. In this moment, I actually had no idea if it meant that they reconciled yet, and boy did I have no idea what was going to happen later.

In the next few minutes the musical part of the episode was concluded, and all problems were resolved. Both groups filled each other in on what had happened, and the Music Meister explained his true end goals and disappeared, as he seems to always do. Some cute moments from Karamel and Westallen.

While I thought there would be no more musical numbers, and I was a bit disappointed that there was not enough of Grant Gustin, a scene was taking place as Barry returned with Iris to their apartment. Let me just remind you: there were no sneak peeks of this scene, no foreshadowing, no promo pictures, and no mention that anything similar to this would happen.

But it did. And I died a little inside.

The best musical number of the episode, hands down, had to be “Runnin’ Home to You”, as Barry explained to Iris and the audience everything that he felt about her and the future. As it was written by the songwriters of La La Land, everything was so catchy and the lyrics were so meaningful. THERE IS AN ORIGINAL SONG ALL ABOUT WESTALLEN AND IT SUMS THEM UP SO MUCH. I love it. Immediately the next day, I had the song on repeat. I will never stop listening to it (until I get tired of it eventually).

Dear producers of the Flash and/or Blake Neely, I know that the musical numbers are all on iTunes already (And slowly rising in the charts, may I add), but I have a Samsung. And I would really very much love it if these songs were on Spotify. Please. I love you.

I will seriously be rewatching this episode over and over again. I already have watched it three times.

If this review was too long and you didn’t read it, I can sum it up for you: Musical. Very good. Westallen. Everything. 10/10.

Stay tuned for the Flash at 8/7c on the CW.

Yvonne Tang
Yvonne Tang
A sophomore in high school who manages to watch six ongoing shows every week. Just a question of priorities, I guess. That was a Flash reference. Heh heh.

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  1. Not your typical crossover, but a “light” episode in the middle of both show’s dark season arc. Not surprised that Oliver didn’t join in the fun. Hopefully, rumors of Supergirl’s ratings are overblown and this isn’t a “jumping the shark” episode. Maybe shouldn’t have used Music Meister so soon after Myxzptlk but enjoyed the numbers and showcasing of the DC stars’ other talent.

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