“Duet” – Review of S3 Ep17 of THE FLASH

The casts of THE FLASH and SUPERGIRL are filled with exceptionally talented people – and in this musical crossover episode we get a chance to see many of them at their absolute finest.  How does “Duet” fare? It’s a bit uneven, but with some exceptional moments…and a song that may become the official “Barry and Iris” anthem. Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Okay, let’s do a partial checklist here of the players:

  • Grant Gustin (Flash), Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) and Darren Criss (Music Meister) are all alumni of “Glee”
  • Jesse L. Martin (Joe West) was outstanding in “Rent”
  • Carlos Valdes (Cisco) is an alumnus of Starkid (as a musician and songwriter)
  • Jeremy Jordan (Winn Schott of “Supergirl”) has done musicals on film before as well in “Joyful Noise”

So…let’s check out the premise here…

  • Music Meister put the “whammy” on Kara at the end of last night’s SUPERGIRL, then uses her device (a gift from Cisco) to run to Earth One to find the Fastest Man Alive.
  • As this episode starts we find Mon-El and John bringing Kara to Earth One for help.
  • As they try to figure things out, Music Meister appears in S.T.A.R. Labs!
  • Barry and Wally run to check it out but are quickly overpowered.
  • This leads to Barry waking up in that same 1940’s kind of world that Kara was sent to at the end of her show.
  • And now…

Music Meister explains to the duo that the world they are in is a construct of their own minds. It’s a combination of Kara’s youthful fascination with “The Wizard of Oz” and Barry’s love from his childhood of “Singin In the Rain”. Their mission? Play out the plot…only when the plot of this musical world is over will they return home. One catch – if they die in this musical world, they will also die in real life. The team at S.T.A.R. monitors them, finding that Music Meister is “borrowing” their powers and draining their Speed Force and Solar energy while they are trapped.

From there we get a typical 40’s musical plot. They try to find a missing mobster’s daughter (who looks just like Iris), only to find she is in love with a rival mobster’s soon (who looks just like Mon-El). Barry and Kara convince them to tell their dads (“Joe”, “Stein” and “Malcom”).  As that happens (Barry going with “Iris” to her dads and Kara going with “Mon-El” to his dad), both Barry and Kara realize things about their real-life relationships. They succeed…only to see a mob war break out.

In the hail of bullets that ensues, both Barry and Kara are hit! Can anything save them?

Back on Earth One, Music Meister has been captured by the combined forces of Cisco, Wally and John. Music Meister talks to Iris and Mon-El, letting them know that only they can save the people they love…by somehow finding a way into the musical world. They use Cisco to vibe them there, to find both Barry and Kara dying. As they die, each declares their love…and that leads to…

Iris kisses Barry, and they return to Earth One. Mon-El then kisses Kara and they also return to Earth One. They learn Music Meister’s true intent.

He isn’t a villain, at least not in the classic sense. He seems to know everything about everyone here…and came to “teach a lesson” about love – “Love is about letting  yourself be saved” and not just saving others all the time.

This leads to…wait a minute!

I haven’t said a word about the music!

Okay – here we go…

MY TAKE ON THE MUSIC:

Singers:

  • There wasn’t enough music for a musical episode. Sorry, but it’s true. There were some highlights, but not enough…needed more songs.
  • Jeremy Jordan (Winn Schott) can SING! Of all the singers, quite possibly the best of the bunch.
  • Carlos Valdes (Cisco) can also SING! It’s a close race with Jeremy or best of the show.
  • Jesse L Martin (Joe) is an amazing singer – I could honestly listen to him sing all day.
  • Grant Gustin (Barry)…okay, life is unfair. How can anyone have THAT much talent?
  • Melissa Benoist (Kara) is a good singer, though she took on a deceptively difficult song at the beginning with “Moon River” (full of held notes).

Songs…a quite low point and one exceptional high point:

  • Some of the songs were great…except “Superfriends” – sorry. This was an attempt to be cute, and it did have some minor LOL moments, but we could have done without it
  • BUT, “Runnin’ Home To You” was outstanding! Written by the songwriters for “La La Land”, this number (sung by Grant Gustin in the epilogue) gives us an anthem for Barry and Iris’ love story. Beautifully written and beautifully sung!

And now…back to that ending –

Kara and Mon-El are back together (glad to see that, as I’m a big fan of this power couple in SUPERGIRL). And…

Barry asks Iris to marry him – and she says yes!

SUMMARY: There were some definite highlights in this episode, and we do see a pivotal point in the story of Barry and Iris. But, this musical could have used some more music…and one less song (looking at you, “Superfriends”). Add to that the almost inexplicable “villain” turns magical good guy ending and you have a somewhat uneven episode. It’s a good attempt, but one that somewhat misses the mark. I’ll still give it a 7/10, if only for that great song at the end. But, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave  your comments below!

12 thoughts on ““Duet” – Review of S3 Ep17 of THE FLASH

  1. Rob

    I felt like the episode needed like one or two more songs, there were a couple moments when I was expecting singing, but it never came.

    Also, this version of the Music Meister is way different than the one from Batman the Brave and the Bold. Wasn’t expecting anything like that. I’m wondering if he’s like from Bat-mite’s dimension. He really felt like Bat-Mite.

    Reply
  2. Javi Trujillo

    I had so much fun with the episode, but it felt short. For a 42 minute show, I think they squeezed in as much music as they could. I’d have loved to have heard more, though.

    Reply
    1. Tido

      I think it’s entirely possible for them to have had more music. If I recall, Buffy the Vampire Slayer did a musical, and I believe it had far more music in it.

      Reply
      1. Kelson

        They did, but Buffy had four advantages for singing time:
        1. They got the network to let them run over the usual time limit.
        2. Commercials took up less of the hour a decade ago.
        3. The musical was set in the real world, rather than splitting time between the real world and the musical world.
        4. Just about all of the songs advanced the story and characters, rather than being production numbers, so time wasn’t split between story and music that way either.

        Two of those are part of the TV landscape, and two of them are part of the format they went with.

        Reply
  3. Kelson

    I wanted to like this episode more than I did.

    I agree that it felt short — both the musical/dream plot and the outside plot resolved very abruptly, and I would have liked to see more going on with the secondary characters in the musical.

    The supporting cast was great, probably because they could pick and choose among the best singers. Melissa Benoist impressed me more with her singing than Grant Gustin did. (Though the first verse or so of Moon River threw me off until I realized she was playing it as Kara being put on the spot, then getting stronger as she settled into the situation. By the time she got to the line about “My Huckleberry friend” she was spot-on, and managed to hold that *with* the reaction.)

    Music Meister’s motivation and appearance left me shaking my head as well — where does he come from? What can he do? Why is he called Music Meister if the musical setting was pulled form Kara’s and Barry’s minds?

    I wonder: if they’d made it a 1 1/2-length special they might have been able to fit a little more story and a little more music and made both more satisfying.

    Overall, it was fun, but not up to the level of “Once More With Feeling.”

    Reply
    1. Javi Trujillo

      Music Meister was the moniker Barry stuck him with since the real Cisco wasn’t around to name him in the dream.

      Reply
  4. Tido

    Can someone please explain to me…

    If the Music Meister was solely around to help mend their hearts, why was he draining their powers?

    Reply
    1. golddragon71

      I felt that was just him giving them a handicap. If they were allowed to have their powers they would have rushed through “the story” without learning anything.

      My only problem was in the Super Friends song Barry says he’s not impressed with Kara’s cousin. Barry never met or saw Clark/Superman!

      That said, It was really an enjoyable episode and I’ve worn out my iphone’s battery listening to Running Home to You…

      I have a theory about Music Meister. I think he’s very Much like Mike from the Lois and Clark Episode “Swear to God! This Time, We’re Not Kidding! Mike was an angel who was always around to give Lois and Clark (and evidently, everyone in their lives) a little word of encouragement or advice to help them get through the rough patches (but they never remember afterward)

      Reply
      1. Ted

        I get them not having their powers in the dream world, the part I didn’t understand was him draining and then using their powers out in the real world. Was he just doing that to get attention to get caught on purpose? And if that’s the case, why didn’t he just stay in STAR labs where he already was at the beginning of the episode?

        Reply
        1. Nick!

          He drained their powers for a couple of reasons. The first was so Barry and Kara couldn’t rely on them in the fantasy world. The second was to get Wally out of his post-Speed Force funk. He purposely made himself a target and reasonable physical threat so Wally (with some help) could take him down. This wasn’t said outright, but it was heavily implied with his pointed taunts towards Wally and the revelation that he allowed himself to be captured since they couldn’t keep him imprisoned.

          Reply
  5. Ben

    Remember that Music Meister was teaching Wally a lesson too. To be more confident. He mentioned it the first time he confronted the Flash and Kid Flash.

    Reply

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