The Flash/Supergirl Crossover Recap: Barry and Kara Sing a Sweet, Fluffy “Duet”
"I'm your super/that has a double meaning/friend!" -Barry and Kara
The long-awaited, highly-anticipated musical crossover episode between The Flash and Supergirl has aired, and it was … pretty okay! It was nothing Earth-shattering (though it was multiple-Earth visiting), but it was an hour of fun, laughter, and adorableness, and that’s all it needed to be. Welcome to Season 3, Episode 17 of The Flash, titled “Duet.”
**THIS IS A RECAP – SPOILERS ARE PART OF THE TERRITORY.**
“DUET” – THE RECAP
- FLASHBACK: Young Barry and his mom watch Singing In the Rain, and his mother tells him that musicals make everything better.
- In the present, Barry sits watching the same movie at Cisco’s, where he’s been staying since he broke off his engagement to Iris. He’s depressed, and wallowing in musical theater. Cisco tries to get him out of the apartment to cheer him up, but it’s no use. Barry has no interest in being cheered up any other way. Cisco gets a call from Star Labs, however, and the two are off.
- Mon-El (Chris Wood) arrives at Star Labs through the portal with J’onn (David Harewood) beside him and an unconscious Supergirl in his arms. There’s some awkward break-up talk as Mon-El tries to explain who he is to Kara and Wells speaks a little too freely about the situation between Barry and Iris. Team Flash agrees to help them figure out what’s going on with Supergirl, and just as Mon-El and J’onn explain what happened, the Music Meister (Darren Criss) shows up, luring Barry to come and chase him, which he inevitably does. Wally follows, after a pep talk from Wells telling him to “get back on the horse” after his experience in the Speed Force.
- The Flash and Kid Flash catch up to the Music Meister … who seems to have some super-speed of his own! After some passive-aggressive banter on his part, where he explains that he wants to teach The Flash and Supergirl “a lesson,” he gets aggressive-aggressive and hands the speedsters’ asses to them. Then, he puts the whammy on Barry, and sends him to the same place he sent Kara.
- When Barry arrives, Kara (Melissa Benoist) is on the same stage where we left her at the end of Monday night’s episode of Supergirl, singing “Moon River.” Beautifully. He’s impressed. He’s also confused. When she’s done with her number, they meet up in the backstage area, grateful for each other’s presence, and try to piece together what might have happened. Barry tells her that “her boyfriend” brought her in unconscious, and she immediately corrects him. Angrily.
- Suddenly, their boss Cutter Moran, who looks an awful lot like Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) but isn’t, tells them that they’re not paid to chat, they’re paid to sing, and if they don’t [*insert switchblade noise here*]. Then Winn, who is not Winn but is Grady the pianist, shows up to warn them against not crossing Cutter. Then Cisco, who is not Cisco but Pablo, shows up, and he may be a busboy now, but he has big dreams of taking to the stage someday.
- Finally, the Music Meister appears and explains that they are in their own minds, and that thanks to Barry and Kara’s shared love of musicals, they created their own environment based on musicals, and in order to get out of this pickle, they need to get to the end of the musical they’re in by following the script. He then gets the entire staff of the club together to sing Barry and Kara a rousing rendition of “Put a Little Love In Your Heart.” You know, just in case they need a little more convincing.
- Kara and Barry return to her dressing room to try and piece together what they know so far, when another element of the story pops into place: gangsters. One of whom is Stein (Victor Garber). They show up, guns drawn, and ask if Kara and Barry work for Cutter. Stein then knocks Barry out with the butt of his gun.
- When Barry comes to, he discovers that he and Kara have changed locations. While sitting there alone, they have a conversation about their respective broken relationships. Kara tells him about how Mon-El lied to her about who he was (hey, Barry! Remember that time when you lied to Iris about being The Flash for over a year??), and Barry tells her about how he asked Iris to marry him for the wrong reasons and then reneged on the engagement. They are not having a good time of it.
- Their relationship convo is interrupted by the arrival of Joe, or rather a gangster named Digsie. They’ve taken Barry and Kara because Digsie’s daughter, Millie (who looks an awful lot like Iris), has gone missing, and he wants them to use their position working for Cutter to investigate where she might be. Since they have to follow the script to get home, Barry and Kara agree to help.
- Later, Pablo takes Barry and Kara to an apartment building and up the stairs to Apartment 4B, where they will supposedly find Millie. OH, do they find Milly … and she’s making out with Mon-El, er, not Mon-El?
- Back at Star Labs, Caitlin informs the rest of the crew that the speed force in Barry and the solar radiation in Kara are both depleting. The Music Meister is draining them of their powers. Wally and Cisco volunteer to go after him, and J’onn volunteers to go help. Cisco tries to shut J’onn “the agent” down. Then J’onn goes full Martian Manhunter. Suddenly, Cisco’s impressed.
- Kid Flash, Martian Manhunter, and Vibe are out on the street as the gang back at HQ pinpoint Music Meister’s location. When they find him, they have some trouble at first. However, once Vibe opens some strategically placed portals allowing Martian Manhunter to knock him out from above, and Kid Flash to knock him out from below, Music Meister was out cold.
- Back in the musical, Barry and Kara explain (with Wizard of Oz references and everything!) that they were sent by Digsie to get her, because he thought she’d been kidnapped. Turns out, she’s just in love with Mon-El lookalike Tommy Moran — Cutter’s son! FORBIDDEN GANGSTER LOVE. Barry and Kara try to convince them to tell their fathers how they feel … and the lovebirds agree. Because things really are easier in musicals.
- Barry accompanies Millie back to her dad. Er, her dads. Turns out Digsie and the Stein lookalike are a couple! When Barry expresses shock (because he knows them in real life), and they ask “You got a problem with that?” he answers, “I like musicals. So …” It’s true. Theater people are all a little bit gay, even when they’re straight.
- Kara has accompanied Tommy to see his father, and as Tommy and Millie tell their parents about their feelings for each other, Barry and Kara each see parallels to their own situations with their respective ex-partners. Rather than be angry, the parents end up singing a group number to express their unconditional love for their kids, and their desire for their kids’ happiness: “More I Cannot Wish You.” Barry is giddy over the musical moment, but tries to restrain himself. After each of the fathers lovingly send off their kids to live their best lives, they decide to go to war with the opposing family anyway. Because gangsters.
- At Star Labs, Music Meister has been locked up, and Iris and Mon-El go to him to demand he tell them how to cure The Flash and Supergirl. Music Meister explains that while he did cause what’s happening to them, only they can control their fate now. But, he also says that Iris and Mon-El can help them. He asks, “How much do you love them?” Love, it appears, is the key.
- Back at the nightclub, Barry and Kara rehearse the original music that Cutter requested with Grady. They sing an adorable original ditty called “Super Friend” (written by Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s Rachel Bloom and Tom Root).
- As our heroes sing, there’s a STREET WAR going on between Cutter and Digsie’s people outside the club. Gunfire galore. When Barry and Kara come out after their number, they both GET SHOT. Which really sucks, because neither one of them has use of their powers.
- As they watch over Barry and Kara at Star Labs, Iris and Mon-El realize that they need to get to wherever Barry and Kara are to help them. Cisco is able to vibe them there.
- When they arrive, Iris and Mon-El rush over to Barry and Kara, who are barely hanging on. Barry confesses his love for Iris, and Iris does the same. They kiss True Love’s Kiss, or whatever, and Barry comes out of his coma on the other side. Meanwhile, Mon-El apologizes profusely to Kara and tells her how much he loves her. She forgives him, they kiss, and Kara wakes up.
- Both heroes are now back at Star Labs with the people they love most. That’s when Music Meister, who’s escaped from their metahuman prison, because apparently nothing can hold him, shows up to take credit. He said he wanted to teach them a lesson, and that lesson … was love. No really, it was love. And then he just left. Because he legit just wanted to teach them how to better love each other. So … cool?
- As Kara, Mon-El, and J’onn say their goodbyes, it seems that Kara and Mon-El are back on track and together again, with Kara having learned from Millie and Tommy that sometimes we lie when we know that the person to whom we need to tell the truth will overreact based on irrational biases. She understands Mon-El better now. As for Iris and Barry …
- … they go back to what was once their shared home to talk things over. Suddenly, Barry pulls up a music file on his phone, and he sings Iris an original song called “Runnin’ Home to You” (written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul) to express how he feels about her. He then gets down on one knee and proposes. Iris accepts. It seems they, too, are back on track and together again.
“DUET” – THE REVIEW
It wasn’t as giddily infectious as “World’s Finest,” and the “Once More With Feeling” episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has yet to be dethroned by another show’s musical episode, but “Duet” was a lot of fun.
Not only did we get a mini-Glee reunion while getting to watch Melissa Benoist, Grant Gustin, and Darren Criss sing and dance, but we were also reminded that the DC universe on The CW is chock full of musical talent. I was thrilled to hear Jeremy Jordan in top form, and was happy to see Broadway veterans Victor Garber and Jesse L. Martin getting back to their musical theater roots. The biggest and happiest surprise for me was hearing Carlos Valdes rock it out. That dude has a voice! Now, I just want him to do musicals exclusively.
Aside from the singing talent, I was glad that, despite being made up of mostly covers, that there were two original songs written for the episode. Both of them were awesome for different reasons. Rachel Bloom and Tom Root’s “Super Friend” was a cute, funny number that was totally the superhero version of “Friendship” from Anything Goes, and I really appreciate that.
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s “Runnin’ Home to You,” however, got me in all my mushy, saccharine places. It was beautiful and heartfelt and sappy in exactly the right way. The song was made all the more beautiful by Gustin and Candace Patton’s performances in the scene. They have such lovely chemistry together, and the emotion in that scene was palpable. And we finally, at long last, have the real, honest-to-goodness (hopefully!) Flash love story we’ve been waiting for! It’s nice to see this legendary comics couple finally get together!
Meanwhile, I’m thrilled that this experience has allowed Kara to get off her high horse about Mon-El and see him as a guy who’s really trying. He genuinely loves her, and it’s great to see that she loves him, too.
There were a couple of disappointing things about the episode, too. I wish all the music would’ve been original, rather than only two songs. I know that TV operates on a much faster schedule, and they likely didn’t have the luxury of time, but they also didn’t need to do this episode now (unless there’s something I don’t know about cast availability). Having more songs directly about the plot of the episode would’ve elevated it.
I also feel like they wasted Garber and Martin. “More I Cannot Wish You?” Really? I mean, it’s a sweet song and all, but when you’ve got Broadway veterans like that in your back pocket, you don’t have them sing together, and you try to give them material that will show off how awesome they are. Them doing this song just felt really bland, well-sung and acted though it was.
I was also disappointed that we didn’t get to hear more of the cast sing. They might not have wanted to (they might not all be as musically inclined), but I know for a fact that Tom Cavanaugh can sing. It would’ve been nice to have more folks get into the act. More songs! More solos!
“Duet” was light, fluffy fun. If you missed it, there’s nothing important in it plot-wise except that Barry and Iris are back together. However, watching it might just put a song in your heart. I know it did for me! After the episode, I busted out all my favorite Broadway cast recordings on Spotify. Because musicals.
And now, please enjoy some additional images from the episode in this here gallery! All photos courtesy of The CW. Until the next crossover, I’ll bid you adieu!
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8PM ET on The CW. Supergirl airs Mondays at 8PM ET on The CW.
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