So many shows before this have done it, the obligatory musical episode, and with the stars of The Flash and Supergirl both former cast members of Glee, and their supporting players in their respective shows also musically inclined, it was only a matter of time before this happened. With a villain pulled from the DC animated universe, the Music Meister, it just gets better. Meet me after the musical interlude for my thoughts on “Duet.”
The first part of this pseudo-crossover begins with the Supergirl episode “Star-Crossed.” Most of it concerns tying up loose ends from that series in so many ways. An alien ship comes for Mon-El, as he is revealed as the cowardly lying prince of Daxam. Teri Hatcher and Kevin Sorbo make appearances as his parents. We also see Lynda Carter reprising her role as the US President who is also a Durlan. And Win is dating a thief from Starhaven who doesn’t have wings. Sometimes I think the Supergirl showrunners have heard of the Legion of Super-Heroes secondhand, but have never actually read a Legion comic book themselves. Sheesh.
All in all, it’s a very lopsided episode with one-third about Mon-El, one-third about the art thief Lyra, and finally the Music Meister makes his appearance. Similar to the last crossover event, the Supergirl segment barely qualifies as part of it.
Despite a throwaway reference to musicals in the opening minute, the Music Meister doesn’t show up until 58 minutes in… and even then it doesn’t make much sense, only that it’s to be continued on The Flash.
The Music Meister
Played by the amazing Neal Patrick Harris, famously of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, the Music Meister was the villain of another such musical episode of a TV series, in this case, Batman: The Brave and the Bold. With the power to mesmerize folks into singing as if in a musical, he forced many superheroes and super-villains to break into song, as he did as he pleased, with his eye ultimately on world conquest. Between its zaniness and fantastic score, the episode was one of the most memorable of the series.
As NPH was unavailable for the live-action debut of the Music Meister, a fellow Glee castmate was chosen to fill the role, Darren Criss, who had formerly played the good Blaine against the evil Grant Gustin in the series. Supergirl‘s Melissa Benoist, also of Glee, never got to appear with Gustin, but did with Criss. This is quite the reunion. Also apparently the Music Meister is an alien criminal in this version, perhaps so any powers the showrunners want can be bestowed upon him.
Singin’ in the Rain
We open on Barry, now living on Cisco’s couch, similar to the opening of “Star-Crossed,” watching a musical, Singin’ in the Rain, one he used to watch with his mom. Cisco wants him off his couch so he tries to get him up and out. They go, where else, to work. Just as they arrive, someone comes through the dimensional portal.
It’s Mon-El and J’Onn J’Onzz, with an unconscious Supergirl. They’re just not here for help, but they’re also on the trail of the Music Meister, who is apparently after the Flash. Once he appears, both the Flash and Kid Flash (back in costume and back on the horse) go to confront him. Displaying speed and strength (and knowledge not unlike Savitar) beyond what should be, the Music Meister takes out Kid Flash and sends Flash into musical limbo.
Put a Little Love in Your Heart
Barry finds himself in a period night club watching Supergirl sing “Moon River.” As it turns out, they have been imprisoned in their own minds by the Music Meister, in a Hollywood musical. All they have to do is follow ‘the script’ and get to the end to get out. In the meantime, the villain is rampaging through Central City.
Before our heroes, who are conveniently bereft of their powers can react, they are swept into another musical number. This one is “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” sung by among others the talents of John Barrowman and Carlos Valdes, and not in roles they’re known for in the Arrowverse – sort of like what happened in The Wizard of Oz.
While Barry and Kara discover that Iris and Mon-El are together in their musical dream world, the real action is happening in the real world. Kid Flash, Vibe, and the Martian Manhunter go after the Music Meister, who has siphoned off Flash and Supergirl’s powers. The brief superhero action makes up for the slowness of the dream world when nobody’s singing.
The Iris/Mon-El romance is akin to West Side Story with warring gangsters on either side. When the romance is revealed to their ‘fathers,’ the song is kinda disappointing. I wanted more from Barrowman, and Jesse L. Martin, and especially Victor Garber whose voice I always enjoyed on Eli Stone.
As the gangs prepare to go to war, Barry and Kara prepare for their final number, a tune called “I’m Your Super Friend,” which if I’m being honest, is the only song worthy of this musical episode. It’s catchy, funny, and fits the theme. This should have been the centerpiece. It makes up for what comes next.
The Music Meister turns out to be some sort of angel or imp who came to fix the broken hearts between Barry and Iris and Kara and Mon-El. Groan. I suppose I shouldn’t complain about the silliness of the episode, it was a gimmick musical. Everything turns out okay in the end, including a musical re-proposal by Barry. Let’s see how long it lasts this time.
Next: Abra Kadabra!