The Flash hit the crescendo of its season in the musical crossover with Supergirl, “Duet.” All the time travel shenanigans were left behind and instead we saw actors we love shine as talented singers.
It’s always a risky proposition when a series does a themed episode, but The Flash was as perfect as possible in its execution of its first musical. It hit all the high notes with laughs, heart, love, and tears. The song selections were spot on for the scenes and for the actors singing them. Each of those performances are going to be fan favorites for a long time.
The setup of the episode was the aftermath of Kara getting whammied, Mon-El and J’onn bringing her to Earth-1’s Star Labs, though the Music Meister playing around with Barry to just whammy him too felt a little contrived initially. That may have been because everything else about the hour was so strong. Still, when reviewing the entirety of the hour, it actually made perfect sense and worked since Music Meister was controlling everything from the start. It was his plan and he worked it flawlessly.
Grant Gustin (Barry) and Melissa Benoist (Kara) were as charming as ever together. It’s an absolute delight whenever these two get to work together. With both Barry and Kara breaking up with their significant others prior to “Duet,” the story could have successful put them together romantically for the hour, but it was about the exact opposite. These two friends worked together to save themselves and to find where their true hearts belonged. It was touching to see how they navigated the problems in their own love lives through the musical.
In last week’s “Into the Speed Force,” Barry pushed Iris away after she forgave him and said she wanted to be his wife. His decision didn’t make much sense, especially if he only had a limited amount of time left with his love. That outcome worked given the events of “Duet” and offered a much more romantic reunion for Barry and Iris.
Millie and Tommy’s West Side Story provided the backdrop for both Barry and Kara to work through relationship woes and come to terms with what happened and accept that their love is more important. As Barry said, “All that matters is that they’re together.” In that moment, Barry realized that being with Iris was the most important thing. And, for Kara, she explained why Cutter’s son kept Millie a secret, “Maybe you’d understand why he didn’t tell you before now.” That was eye-opening for her as well. She didn’t listen or try to understand why Mon-El didn’t open up about his past.
Barry and Kara’s self-realization during these scenes were palpable. It changed them and allowed them to see outside of their own pain about what happened with Iris and Mon-El. The question then became a matter of whether their loves could save them or not.
Outside of Barry and Kara figuring out the script for the musical, there was a standout musical moment: “Super Friends”! It brought a smile to your face, didn’t it? The rhyming, banter and charm between the two was amazing. And, the Superman impression! All the songs were great, but this original song written by Rachel Bloom & Tom Root was pure joy.
The Music Meister ended up an unexpected villain when it turned out he really was there to help Kara and Barry. Most villains are out to cause as much mayhem as possible and in a reversal of that, Music Meister believes in the “good guys” and wanted to mend two broken hearts. So love ruled! Kara forgave Mon-El and they returned to National City. However, it wasn’t quite as simple for Barry and Iris. He had to forgive himself and decide to move forward despite Iris’ possible tragic future.
Barry did it in style, though, by serenading Iris with an original song, “Runnin’ Home to You,” written by La La Land songwriters, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul. That is how you make up with the woman you love, and it’s an even better way to propose. Barry got his marriage proposal right this time. He did it for the right reason and by singing his heart out to Iris. Swoon.
The Flash musical episode is definitely the best episode so far this season. The premise worked with the Music Meister having an agenda and following through to his conclusion. With all the heartache and suffering the superheroes go through day in and day out, it was time for them to get a little happiness and love in their hearts.
Rating: ★★★★★ Excellent
— “It’s like the Wizard of Oz.”
— Music Meister: “If you die in here, you die out there.”
— Barry: “Everything’s so simple when I’m running.”
Kara: “– Or flying.”
— You go, girl! Such an empowering moment for all the girls out there watching when Kara insisted on kicking in the door.
— Barry: “What the hell is going on?”
Millie (Iris): “All right, you caught us.”
— Tommy (Mon-El): “We’re in love.”
Kara: “Ugh, gross.”
— The snow made it look even cooler.
— Cisco’s reaction to J’onn’s transformation into Martian Manhunter … awesome!
— Barry: “Dads?”
Millie’s Dads: “You got a problem with that?”
Barry: “No, I love musicals, so…”
— Kara: “And if you’re not there in time you, you can just go back in time and give it another shot.”
Barry: “I’m actually not supposed to do that anymore.”
— Barry’s “more famous cousin” reference and impression FTW!
— Music Meister: “Love is about… letting yourself be saved. It’s not just about saving other people. Even if you are superheroes.”