John David Mazzarella ‘20/ Emertainment Monthly TV Staff Writer
Warning: The Following Contains Spoilers for The Flash season 3
Following last week’s drama, Team Flash is met by J’onn J’onzz (David Harewood), Mon-El (Chris Wood) and a comatose Supergirl/Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist). Team Flash rush to find out what’s wrong with her. When everyone arrives, S.T.A.R. Labs receives an unexpected visitor. The trespasser is identified as the same man who put Kara in her coma, Music Meister (Darren Criss). After a brief scuffle, Music Meister proceeds to trap Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) in a similar state as Supergirl. The two reunite in what appears to be a musical of their own design, where Barry and Kara discover that the only way to escape is to follow the script.
This is technically the second biggest crossover in the CW Arrowverse, with John Barrowman and Victor Garber bringing representation from all the CW DC shows. The episode is nowhere near the scale of “Invasion,” however, it’s still nice to see these actors interacting with each other. This is the first time some of these actors encounter each other in this continuity, as is the case with Barrowman and Benoist.
It was great seeing all these iconic characters interacting with each other, however, Wally West/Kid Flash’s (Keiynan Lonsdale) reintroduction to crime fighting was rushed. It only took mere seconds for H. R. (Tom Cavanagh) to convince Wally to get back on the horse after the trauma he experienced the previous two weeks. They could have given him more time. If he didn’t start back up immediately and Barry got whammed, that would have been a great motivation for him to get back in the game.
Despite this, Wally’s return led to the best part of the episode. Halfway through “Duet,” there’s a fight between Music Meister vs Kid Flash, Vibe (Carlos Valdes) and Martian Manhunter. The fight only lasts around a minute, but it’s a glorious minute. The scenario isn’t dissimilar to the fight between Reverse-Flash, The Flash, Firestorm, and The Arrow. It’s nowhere near as plot-important, but it’s still fun.
Normally musical episodes of long-running series usually end badly, but the scenario the writers created made it so that the episode still fit into the rest of the series. The greatest criticism against this episode is that the songs feel tacked on rather than playing an important role. The music takes a back seat rather than serving the story. “Super Friend” is the best number in the episode, which is fitting seeing how it’s one of the only original numbers in the show. The actors are great singers; this episode was probably made more for them than anyone else. “Duet” was a distraction, but it was a fun distraction.
In “Duet,” the overarching story elements are mostly glossed over, with the new musical story taking up most of the time. The writers make up for this by making the musical world easy to invest in. It’s very old-school musical, with more emphasis on story than musical.
This episode is more of a love letter to fans of Glee, but the average The Flash viewer can still appreciate it. It is as though Music Meister is the writers/fans of the show taking it upon themselves to fix everything that was going in the wrong direction. Still, this late into the season, distractions can only satisfy so much.