The Flash S3E17, Review – Duet

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When most of your show’s cast have a strong singing background, a musical episode is a must! While this episode had little effect on the plot, it’s not one to be missed.

Barry is living in breakup hell, watching his favorite comfort movie “Singin’ in the Rain,” when he receives a text from H.R. about a portal breach. It’s Mon-El, carrying an unconscious Kara, with Hank trailing behind asking for help. They don’t know why she’s unconscious, but they do know the person that did it to her has come to Barry’s world looking for the fastest man alive. It doesn’t take long to locate him within Star Labs, and it takes even less time for Barry to fall unconscious as well.

The mysterious visitor is the Music Meister, but not quite like one we’ve seen through DC’s history. He’s put both Kara and Barry in a shared dream where they must play out a live musical to escape. It’s to teach them a lesson, and while not immediately clear what that might be, both Kara and Barry jump into the plot to play their part. Musicals have always been a part of Barry’s life, and it’s a common bond Kara shared with her adoptive family. The two don’t put up too much of a protest about living through one.

While they fall into the story’s plot, on the outside Team Flash is monitoring their vitals with concern. Caitlin notes Kara and Barry’s powers are being drained, and her best guess is that it’s the Music Meister who is responsible. While Wally is still affected by what he went through in the Speedforce, Barry means a great deal to him, so he’s ready to take the Music Meister out on his own. Lucky for him, he won’t have to, as Cisco and the newly revealed Martian Manhunter are ready to fight too.

The team up is a perfect combination to take the Music Meister. Even with Kara and Barry’s powers, he’s no match for the three and is quickly brought back to Star Labs. Within his cell, the Music Meister is confronted by Iris and Mon-El who demand he fix Kara and Barry. In his words, he can’t, as Kara and Barry are responsible for the plot of their escape. Nevertheless, he believes Iris and Mon-El will find a way to help them through the power of love.

Within the musical, Kara and Barry are caught between warring criminal families. Malcolm Merlin makes an appearance as the head of one, with Joe West and Martin Stein as the heads of the other. At first, it seems to be part of the story; their children, played by Mon-El and Iris, are in love and are hiding it from their families. But with encouragement from Kara and Barry to be truthful, the two come clean and unknowingly start a war. From their confessions, a missing piece snaps into place for both Kara and Barry. While they’ve both broken it off with their partners, hearing Iris and Mon-El spill their love for each other and the added ballad performed between the fathers, has shown them how wrong they are. It’s a small development that could not have happened without a musical number.

Thinking they’ve taken care of the main plot of the musical, there’s only one way to end it from here: a dance number! Unfortunately, as they finish, they are caught amid a shootout between the families. Without their super powers the two are taken out quickly, and even though it’s a dream, their bodies are affected in real life. Desperate to help, Iris asks Cisco to vibe them into the dream so they can save them.

It seems impossible, but it works! Through the power of love, Kara and Barry are saved and wake up in the real world next to the ones who came to save them. They should have known better; musicals end with love revelations, not just a show-stopping dance number. The two are met with applause from the Music Meister who assures them he was on their side from the start. He was there to teach everyone a lesson– he sees everything, and he wanted to help those with a broken heart. The lesson? Love. Love is more than saving who you care about; it’s also allowing yourself to be saved.

The lesson did teach Barry a lot, who has been obsessed with saving Iris and is terrified he won’t be able to do it. After a heartfelt goodbye to team Supergirl, Barry returns to home with Iris to do what he should have done a long time ago. He sings his proposal to Iris, pouring his heart out for her rather than jump the gun out of fear. It’s a beautiful song, and I have no idea how Iris wasn’t a sobbing mess like me as she accepted the ring. Finally, they are back together!

Crossovers between the DC shows tend to have little effect on the plot of the show. While couples getting together isn’t usually the biggest deal, Barry and Iris’ relationship has been a major focus this season and them getting back together will certainly change how the team faces Savitar. The Music Meister is portrayed a little different this time around, but it was still well done. Even if you jump into it without watching Supergirl or Flash, I feel it’s an enjoyable stand alone episode.

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