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The Flash - Duet - Review: "The Stupidest, yet Funniest episode of the show"

22 Mar 2017

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After 5 episodes that drained me of any enthusiasm, 5 episodes that were so mediocre that I wondered if The Flash could ever be entertaining for me again, it finally happens: it took my love of musicals, the chemistry of Grant and Melissa and the on point songs through episode (one of them made by Rachelm Bloom! Which made my Crazy Ex Girlfriend sense tingle) to finally get me to say: boy, this was a jolly good time!

Don’t get me wrong, this is probably the stupidest episode The Flash has ever (and will ever, maybe) produced. The whole driving force of the episode is a Deus Ex Machina, the Music Meister could easily be god or the writers room represented into one entity and it was obviously made for the sake of lighthearted fun and finally burying the hatchet between the couples of the two shows. But as stupid as it is, and as badly plotted as it is (seriously, whoever wrote this was probably laughing his ass of the script), boy it was fun, fun, fun. And that’s something the show hasn’t been since Gypsy’s first introduction.

Look, I know people will disagree with me (I have got used to it through this whole season where a lot of people don’t see eye to eye with my reviews), and I know a lot of you already hated this episode for either: A) Being a musical, B) Pandering to shipers, C) Being stupid as f***, or D) All of the previous ones combined. And while B and C would be red flags under usual circumstances for me, the situation is just so silly, whimsical and funny to me that I can easily just roll my eyes at everything else and have 40 minutes of sheer enjoyment.

I don’t take this episode seriously beyond the incredible song composition, the impressive musical numbers, and the stellar performances: seriously, Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist should have their own “Superfriends” show together, maybe blend in The Flash and Supergirl, because when they are together they are dynamite. They proved it last year when The Flash had its crossover with Supergirl, and now they amped it up to unbelievable limits. Their duet is simply incredible.

I have to give it up to Rachel Bloom and Tom Root for writing “Super Friend”: the song was excellently delivered with an undertone of the Crazy Ex Girlfriend humor that I love, while being true to Barry and Kara, and it was amazingly delivered by Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist. Hats off: I never saw them in Glee. I knew they could sing, but this was beyond impressive for me: every time they sang it was awesome, but “Super Friend” was not just fun, it was adorable, and the chemistry of the two actors just lighted up their charisma and made so happy. As Rebecca Bunch would say on CEG, it was like glitter was exploding in my chest; and I loved every minute of it.

Whenever the cast of the Arrowverse gets to play a new role, they shine: Jesse L. Martin, Victor Gaber and John Barrowman killed it: they were awesome. Their roles were smell and underdeveloped, but who cares? They sang the hell out of it, and I finally could see these actors playing their charisma right. John Barrowman has had a good season on Legends, but Gaber and L. Martin had more downs than up, but here it was just ups, and ups, and ups, as they just pushed the fun pedal and run with it.

Outside of musical world, things weren’t as interesting: there was a brief team up of Kid Flash, Martian Manhunter and Cisco, which is the cool comic book like moments the show thrives on every now and then, but it wasn’t all that impressive since the fight ended pretty quickly and the Music Meister probably let himself be beaten. But still, it was a fun concept to play around with, but it didn’t fully come together. It felt more like a filler scene than anything else.

And of course, there is cheesy shipper territory: turns out Music Meister ships WestAllen and Kara-El (I made up that ship name, I don’t really know how they are calling it) and tells them to save them through the power “of love”. This is where the cheesy whimsical parts of the show is just eye rolling to me. It was a bit too much to ask for the answer to be true love, but it’s a bit easier to forgive due to the silly, whimsical nature of the episode.

So of course, a true love kiss in the end will solve it all. But before we get to that, I have to say that it was fun to see Barry and Kara reacting to see Iris and Mon-El together in musical world: and while it seems like a very simplistic way to make them understand where they were wrong… wait, that’s exactly what it is… oh well, honestly, it’s pretty fun to see them reacting to it up until their own (plot demanded) realizations about the need to accept love and forgiveness.

In the end, in true cliché fashion (and both The Flash and Supergirl have been riding on them lately), the true love kiss saves the day. I could have done with just the “I love yous”, but of course the show went for the Disney kiss (even OUAT has been more subtle with kisses in the forehead doing the trick), and I was just like “ok, let’s just roll with it”.

What I don’t like about the episode, aside from the cheesiness, is the complete lack of effort to explain Music Meister. He’s 110% Deus Ex Machina done wrong: he pops up, he creates chaos to save the day (or rather, to save “love”) and then he goes away. There could have been just a little bit more effort: I can deal with Deus Ex Machina, it can be done right, but here the writers dropped the ball and obviously said “who f****** cares? It’s whimsical!”, but as a reviewer I can’t let that slide, and as a viewer, while I can be forgiving since I was pretty much entertained, I did roll my eyes.

So that ends up the relationship dramas on both Supergirl and The Flash and I couldn’t be happier. Now, I just hope next time either couple breaks up it is rooted in their own flaws as people and their relationship dynamics rather than the meddling of metaphysical entities and intergalactical drama that is reminiscent of bad space opera. If they are together forever, cool, if they break up, cool, but do it right.

The last moment with Barry singing to Iris was pretty darn cute. I just hope this time the engagement sticks, because I’m sick of all the “we are engaged! we are not engaged! I love you! I have to do it alone!”, that kind of flip flopping gets old really fast.

The Flash can’t carry itself with these episodes more than once per season, otherwise the show would lose any kind of ability to be serious and it would be impossible for them to reach again the heights that the show obtained with episodes like “Fast Enough”, but it was a great way to freshen up after 5 weeks of boring/frustrating episodes. And because I know we won’t get another one of these at least until next season, I’m not really optimistic about The Flash building on this momentum, but boy, I am super happy I enjoyed this as much as I did.

Grade: B+