The Flash shook things up in a major way this week by debuting the much-anticipated musical crossover with Supergirl. I should start by saying I don’t like musicals. I’ve never understood their appeal, so I’m probably not the best person to judge the quality of this one. Whether it’s my overall disdain for the genre or not, though, I still found this week’s episode pretty corny. Most of the songs were uninspiring and the natural time constraints that come from an hour-long television show made the episode feel rushed and incomplete.
For as many problems the episode had, however, I thought the general premise was creative and entertaining. At the beginning, we learn that Supergirl is stuck in a coma because of a mysterious alien known as the Music Meister (Darren Criss) who escaped to Earth-1. When Barry and Wally attempt to stop him, they are quickly defeated and Barry is also sent into a coma and the rest of Team Flash is left puzzled.
Most the episode centers around Barry and Kara and their shared hallucination of a gangster-filled old-time Hollywood musical. Kara and Barry are singers at a jazz club run by a gangster named Cutter Moran (John Barrowman). They are eventually informed by the Music Meister that the only way out is to follow the script and get through the final number without dying. Their journey leads them through a world filled with doppelgangers of people from home, including Cisco, the club’s busboy, and Joe, a powerful mobster. And, the two are forced to play through a story that pays homage to West Side Story and The Wizard of Oz. It’s a predictable but spirited love story that actually left me wishing the episode was longer.
For how short and corny the episode was, I thought the musical crossover was creative and a nice shakeup in an otherwise monotonous season. But like I wrote earlier, there wasn’t enough time to make it feel truly satisfying. Instead, the episode felt like an awkward filler towards the end of the season. Also, for someone who doesn’t like musicals, I found myself surprisingly disappointed by how few musical numbers there were. I believe there were only four or five, and out of those, the original “Super Friend” was by far the most enjoyable.
In the end, the episode didn’t add much to the overall story of the season besides Barry and Iris getting back together (I told you it wouldn’t take long). But that’s ok. For as much disdain as I have for the genre, “Duet” added some humor and personality to a season that has been severely lacking its own identity. Between this week’s episode and this year’s fantastic crossover event, the “Arrowverse” has cemented itself as a power in the superhero genre.