THE FLASH “Duet” Review
BY The Screen Spy Team
Published 5 years ago
By Justin Carter
I’ve been looking forward to the Flash/Supergirl musical crossover pretty much from the moment it was announced — not just because the announcement came at a time when both Hamilton and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend managed to captivate me, though that definitely helped, but also because, well, when’s the last time a superhero show did a musical since Batman: Brave and the Bold? That alone would’ve made things worth watching, but the episode itself being a delight from start to finish has cemented it as one of the best episodes of both respective shows.
The setup is pretty simple, all things considered: an alien prisoner in Supergirl’s world knocked her into a coma, but not before saying he’d go after the “fastest man alive,” so J’onn and Mon-El come to Earth-1 for help. It’s not too long before our bad guy, the Music Meister, played by a delightfully manic Darren Criss, comes for Barry, putting him in the same coma that Kara’s in, which in this case is an old-Hollywood style musical. Here, both our heroes come across alternate versions of friends from their respective series. Malcolm Merlyn is club owner Cutter Moran, Joe West is his gang rival Diggsy Foss, and the only way the two of them can get out of their musical predicament is if they learn whatever lesson it is the Meister wishes for them to learn. Oh, and to up the ante, if they die in the fantasy world, they die in real life too.
If you’ve seen more than two or three musicals, you’re pretty much going to love this. All the conventions of musicals are made fun of — several times, Kara and Barry point out how surprisingly easy it is to get people to go along with plans in this world — and the songs provided make good use of the vocally talented actors on hand. While Melissa Benoist’s opening number of “Moon River” is astounding, and “More I Cannot Wish You” is beautifully done by Barrowman, Martin, and Victor Garber, it’s the episode’s original song that steals the show. The Crazy Ex star co-wrote “Super Friend,” which feels perfectly in line with what fans of her show have come to expect. It’s just a joy to watch Barry and Kara sing, dance, and have some lyrical barbs about the goings on of their current seasons. (“You can just go back in time and change things!” “I’m actually not supposed to do that anymore.”) That said, I did find myself wishing we got more of Winn and Cisco singing, mainly because I don’t think their musical talents are as comparatively well known.
Complicating the musical adventures is Diggsy forcing Barry and Kara to find his missing daughter, who it turns out is this world’s version of Iris. And to make matters worse, she’s fallen for this world’s Mon-El, who just so happens to be Cutter’s kid. It’s cliche as far as these things go. Once that reveal is dropped, you pretty much know that Barry and Kara will have to realize how wrong they were to deal with recent romantic problems as they did. But the visual sight of the two of them mortified that their love interests are making out is pretty funny in and of itself, and there’s a peppy energy throughout the whole episode that helps it elevate as high as Kara can fly.
With the help of Cisco, Mon-El and Iris are able to Vibe to the dream world and give their respective loves their True Kisses to bring them back into the real world. The Music Meister is proud of everyone for understanding his lesson of love, and all is well. Mon-El has promised not to lie to Kara again (he doesn’t want a mountain literally dropped on him), and Barry has re-proposed to Iris, this time for the right reasons and with the help of a song from La La Land’s Justin Paul and Benji Pasek. It’s a lovely note to end the episode on, and given how successful this seems to have been on social media, I reckon the next year will see another one of these on the horizon.
- If there was one downside to all of this it’s that we didn’t get to see Tom Cavanaugh show up in the dream. I have no idea if he can sing, but all alternate worlds deserve a Tom Cavanaugh appearance.
- J’onn casually revealing himself as a Martian to the Flash crew was pretty funny, with Cisco’s reaction taking the cake.
- Thankfully, all the songs in the episode are available for you to buy on iTunes or download on Spotify, so enjoy listening to those!
- Given how often they timehop, I see no reason the Legends can’t have a musical episode. If, you know, everyone who’s not Victor Garber can sing.