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THE FLASH: The Power of Music

The Flash’s 17th episode (“Duet”) was everything my theater nerd heart could’ve hoped for. It proves Barry’s (at the time maudlin) quip, “Everything’s better in song.” Because it’s true. There is something inarguably magical about music. How it can conjure an old feeling on capture one you never could put into words before.

And man, the hodgepodge Supergirl/Flash/Legends cast put on a helluva show, complete with tap dancing. Kara sang “Moon River.” Not Joe and Not Stein were a gay couple (“You got a problem with that?”) who sang a Guys and Dolls song. Be still my heart! And John Barrowman…y’all, I cannot help but gush. I’ve loved his singing for years, and he was (as ever) a showstopper. Oh, and Jeremy Jordan as the piano man? Hell to the yes. I have expected him to start singing “Santa Fe.” Spoiler alert: I would’ve flipped my gourd.

*ahem* Okay, fangirling over. Mostly. You know what cracked me up? Music Meister pulls kind of a Disney: “The same thing I want with both of you: to teach you a lesson.” So, he steals Kara and Flash’s powers for no other reason aside from bringing the two brokenhearted couples back together. Weird, but I’m okay with it. It’s kind of like what would happen if Puck had a crack at a musical. And I love it. And I need him to come back for a two-episode crossover extravaganza, because this was so charming.

Few things amuse me more than Barry and Kara teaming up. (Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist are absolutely fantastic together. I smiled every time they were onscreen together.) Their friendship, honestly, just shines. I did not stop smiling the entire episode, even when Barry made bad song puns. They both had ample time to bond over their respective breakups, support each other, and learn where their hearts lie. Did Kara—who hilariously spat, “I’ve reached my limit for magical creeps.”—forgive Mon-El too quickly (Kara: “Although, if you lie to me again, I will drop a mountain on you.” Mon-El: “You mean figuratively?” Kara: “No, I mean geologically.” SNORT.)? Maybe. Definitely. Was Iris and Barry getting back together a little predictable? Possibly. But you know what? I don’t care.

This episode pulled a successful Wizard of Oz. It was well-constructed, action-packed, and full of more charm than is reasonable. The plot made perfect sense, the motivations were clear, and, by the end of the episode, there was character growth. And I enjoyed how both Barry and Kara had his/her relationship lightbulb moment while offering advice about Not Iris and Not Mon-El. It felt like an organic evolution, kind of like when you realize (in the middle of an argument) that you’re wrong. You just kind of stop and think, “Oh. Oh.” Really spot on.

And Darren Criss was superb. Mischievous and oddly benevolent, his Music Meister was infuriatingly cheeky—and unfailingly wise. The ‘lesson’ of the superhero sleeping curse? “Love, Supergirl. Love is about letting yourself be saved. It’s not just about saving other people, even if you are superheroes.”

And hell if that isn’t 110% true. That’s vulnerability and trust, honest and partnership, all wrapped up in a neat little package. And in the end, it gave us Barry singing to Iris, which…okay, fine, this musical-loving heart may have grown three sizes while watching that scene. It was sweet and touching, and yeah—shut it. I know I’m a sap.

But I’m a sap who is a sucker for a happy ending.

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