Let’s face it, a musical was inevitable. With both Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin hailing from Glee, their musical background was going to burst into song sooner or later. So, this week’s Supergirl and The Flash crossover, “Duet” was hardly a shock. Director Dermott Downs – who has directed some of the best Flash episodes to date – succeeded in both making musicals fun and making fun of musicals. Even if musicals are far from your favourite genre, this episode could prove to be the exception. Glee star Darren Criss joins in for a mini-reunion playing the extra-dimensional being with supernatural powers, Music Meister who orchestrates a little tune for the Supergirl and Flash heroes to dance to.
Spoilers begin here.
Of course, you will need some context to fit this all in. A crash course then; Barry proposed to Iris for the wrong reasons so they broke it off. As if that was bad enough, Mon-El is actually drunken party boy Prince of Daxam and hadn’t told Kara so she dumped him. Both couples then went on a break. Trust us, we asked Ross. And a one, two, three…
Who Is Music Meister?
Towards the end of last week’s “Star-Crossed“, the DEO had a new prisoner – Music Meister. After using the essential glowing eyes that every good foe has, Kara collapses as Meister helps himself to her Breach device and heads off to catch the fastest man alive. Before the Scarlet Speedster can get a grip on the situation, he falls prey to the same trick. When he ‘wakes up’, he isn’t in Kansas, er… Central City anymore.
Music Meister proves to be an extremely powerful and finickity being. As well as taking down two heroes, he also began siphoning their powers for himself. Yet unlike most beings of his magnitude, Meister sides with the good guys. Throughout the episode, he guides the broken couples back together. When he promised to ‘teach them a lesson’ it wasn’t ironic but literal.
As for what he is, we’re apparently not ready to know. Music Meister could ‘see everything’ and avoided answering if he came from another universe, multiverse or ‘somewhere else’. Best guesses are his being envoy of The Source or possibly the Monitor. Monitors exist to observe – but generally not interfere – with each of the separate universes in the DC (and possibly CW now) Multiverse. Then again, maybe he was simply a not-so-subtle voice of the writers/public to get the super-couples back together.
Song and Dance
Instead of forcing the regular characters up to the mic, Meister’s dream world allows the cast to take on new roles. Malcolm Merlyn becomes club owner/gangster Cutter. Instead of police detective Joe West, Martin becomes Digsby with Stein his life/crime partner. It’s a clever way to avoid tarnishing the characters during their West Side Story singing gang wars yet still keep familiar faces on set.
Verging on breaking the fourth wall, Barry and Kara remain completely aware that they are in a musical. This allows them to take advantage of the stereotypical ‘convenient last song’ gimmick and ludicrously fast-paced story. Even the fastest man alive can barely keep up with the constant development.
It’s wonderful how Barry and Kara have been written for their dream sequence. Both are completely aware they’re stuck in a musical but loving every second of seeing their friends randomly burst into song. They also have to deal with seeing their recent breakups moving on without them.
Both characters knew it would happen eventually, but seeing Mon-El and Iris with somebody else (in this case, each other) is still a tough moment. Meister gives them an out by revealing to the waking team that only true love will wake them up. You know the drill – a flash of light, gooey eyes and everybody wakes up. Somehow, the old routine is still good enough to hold up amidst the rest of the fantastic episode.
Since their first shared appearance in “World’s Finest“, there has been a clear friendship between both Kara and Barry. This closeness really shines through in their final song – Rachel Bloom’s (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) “Super Friends” – and their reactions throughout it.
As for Wally, he really suffered in the Speed Force. Forced into Savitar’s prison, he had to watch his mother die over and over again. Though it might be a bit fast, Music Meister proved enough of a faux-villain to get him out of his funk and back up to speed. That aside, the writers will doubtless circle back to this low point when he next faces Savitar.
Going back to Earth Thirty-Eight, Mon-El and Kara seem prepared to give their relationship another shot. Time will tell exactly how much damage has been done – Mon-El probably has a lot of grovelling in his future. Returning home with Iris, Barry performs a rendition of “Running Home to You” to properly propose. Unlike the turbulent ‘Kara-Mel’ relationship, Barry and Iris have been together for some years. They might have an easier journey ahead except that Savitar is waiting at the end of it.