The Flash Duet review S3 Ep. 17

Duet was one of those cute ideas on paper. ‘Hey! All these actors in the Arrowverse were on Broadway and Glee and can sing! Wouldn’t it be fun to make an entire episode of The Flash spotlighting those extracurricular talents?’

Maybe just doing an Arrowverse Talent Show in one extended musical showcase scene would have worked. Instead, Flash, Supergirl and the Super Friends unite to jump through hoops for Cupid masquerading as The Music Meister.

Duet doesn’t leave much room for middle ground. You’ll either love it or loathe it. But give the cast credit. They’re amazing singers.

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Still, everything about Duet felt forced. We get a quickie flashback with young Barry and his mother, who tells him everything is better with song. That was a lazy way to explain why Barry, who’s never so much as busted out a verse or two, is suddenly into show tunes and big musicals. At least Kara mentioned loving Funny Face earlier.

The premise of Duet was questionable enough, but the timing of the episode at this point in Flash’s season was poor. Barry and company are buckling down to prepare for this major battle against Savitar. This isn’t some playground throwdown. Iris’ life literally depends on it and this was a dramatic change of tone from the ultra serious one Flash has been in for most of this season.

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With Kara in a music coma, Mon-El and J’onn travel through to Earth-1 to get Team Flash’s help. Before they can describe the culprit, Music Meister (Darren Criss) pops up to create some chaos. First, he sends Barry to Music World and runs wild (literally) in Central City with Flash and Supergirl’s powers. On the plus side, we got a sweet mini Justice League Detroit scene when Martian Manhunter and Vibe team up with Kid Flash to stop Music Meister.

In this music world some things are haywire. Merlyn is the shady nightclub owner with a temper. Winn is his right hand man and Cisco is the bartender. Oh and Joe and Professor Stein are together. This is just a needless gay twist since they’re both straight in the regular world. That’s almost as silly as making a character gay after decades of them being straight…

Right. Music Meister’s big plan is to reunite Baris and Karel (hey look, I can cobble together random ship names too!) naturally by pairing Iris and Mon-El together in Music World. That doesn’t set well with the gangsters Joe & Stein and Merlyn, who don’t want their kids together. Barry, meanwhile is happy to geek out listening to everyone sing. Barry’s reaction is probably similar to everyone working behind the scenes, but I doubt that will translate well to the audience.

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Once again it comes down to Mon-El needlessly apologizing to Kara to win her back. Barry one-ups him by singing before proposing to Iris (for the third time?). And that’s all Music Meister wanted all along. Seriously?

It’s hard to truly buy in to CW reconciliations since couples break up 50 times each season. Kara breaks up with Mon-El if he forgets to put the seat up. And there’s little chance Barry won’t foul this one up again.

I found it pretty weak for an otherwise throwaway episode to feature such important resolutions to relationships in both Supergirl and The Flash. Duet is strictly for fans enamored with the thought of their favorite heroes playing Broadway. For the rest of the fanbase, this just might be one of the least satisfying and worst episodes of the series.

Rating: 3 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

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