We gave it an A-
So, Barry takes Millie back to her fathers, and Kara takes Tommy back to Cutter, and the two lovebirds come clean about affair. Barry and Kara find themselves having to defend Millie and Tommy, which ends up making them realize how they’ve screwed up their love lives: Barry realizes that this stupid breakup with Iris needs to end because all that matters is that they’re together, and Kara now understands why Mon-El would’ve lied. Stein, Digsby/Joe, and Malcom/Cutter then go into a moving as hell rendition of “More I Cannot Wish You” from Guys and Dolls, which is their way of telling their children they support them. All of the men give amazingly poignant performances, especially Martin, who does that thing with his eyes where he looks like he’s just on the verge of tears. That being said, the song really only works in the context of the movie musical and doesn’t have that much to do with the real characters themselves — unless you read the scene as reminding Kara and Barry of how important love is. However, as soon as it’s over, both Millie’s dads and Tommy’s dad tell their men to prepare for war.
Barry and Kara return to the club, where they realize that they still need to finish the movie by going through with that original number Cutter requested. Cue: “Superfriends,” the tap number written by Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s Rachel Bloom. It’s the most Rachel Bloom song ever. It’s a clever and cheesy but self-aware ode to friendship that made my heart soar. The lyrics felt very natural for these two characters, whose chemistry has been irresistible since they met for the first time in last year’s great “Worlds’ Finest.” Naturally the tap dancing was great, too, and I found myself very jealous of how great Grant Gustin’s pullbacks looked.
Unfortunately the West Side Story-esque war starts as soon as the song ends. Barry and Kara run out to try and stop it, but they both get shot in the crossfire.
Meanwhile, in the real world, Cisco, Mon-El, and Martian Manhunter apprehend Music Meister, who siphoned off Supergirl and The Flash’s powers in order to rob a bank, and toss him in the pipeline. Kara and Barry’s vitals start dropping in the real world after they get shot in the dream, and Iris and Mon-El decide follow the Meister’s advice and ask Cisco to vibe them into the dream world. Despite Cisco’s reservations, it works, and Mon-El and Iris save Kara and Barry, respectively, with a kiss that wakes them up, because love is the fifth element! It’s basically like last season’s “The Runaway Dinosaur,” where Iris was the one who helped bring Barry out of the Speed Force.
When Barry and Kara wake up, the Music Meister escapes from the pipeline and explains he’s been watching both of them, loves the good guys, and wanted to teach these two people with broken hearts a lesson: Love is about letting yourself be saved. His motivation is a very literal interpretation of “Put a Little Love in Your Heart,” and it turns him into an audience surrogate of sorts. If we had the power to enter the show, we would probably want to help these two fix their love lives. I personally liked the twist that Music Meister actually had good intentions. Furthermore, the episode was way better for not trying to explain what the Music Meister is or where he came from. With this ordeal over, Kara reconciles with Mon-El and they all return to their Earth.
Barry definitely took a lot away from this latest adventure. When he and Iris return to their apartment, Barry turns on a backing track on his phone and starts singing the ballad “Runnin’ Home to You,” penned by Dear Evan Hansen songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. It’s the most character driven song of the entire show, and Grant sings it beautifully. (Also, part of the chorus sounds like John Legend’s “All of Me.”) While it ends with Barry proposing to Iris, the song doesn’t really take Barry to a new place emotionally when you think about it. We’ve seen Barry say similar things like this before with just as much sincerity (and I’m not even thinking about the last proposal, which was motivated by fear). Furthermore, based on the way the episode was constructed, it would’ve been better for the show to find a way for Barry to have sung this to Iris while still inside the movie musical. That being said, this does raise my issues with the conceit of the episode.
I understand the appeal of having Barry and Kara stuck in an alternate reality. It gave the writers an opportunity to get really meta, which is fun. However, did anyone else think the emotional push of the episode could’ve been a bit stronger if the singing had actually taken place in the show’s real world? It would’ve allowed for the music to be a lot more character specific and character driven. Team Flash has other issues to deal with apart from Barry’s love life, and it would’ve been nice to see Wally, for example, work through his post-Speed Force trauma through music. (Also, Keiynan Lonsdale is a musician). However, I’m very content with the episode itself. It gave the season a necessary injection of sunshine, which was necessary in and of itself.
Wall of Weird:
- In the episode, H.R. pushes Wally to push past his trauma and to get back out there saving the world, and that’s why he tries to help Barry fight the Music Meister at first and why he teams up with Vibe and Martian Manhunter to capture the Music Meister.
- That Vibe-Martian Manhunter-Kid Flash team-up was great, by the way.
- The cast’s accents in the movie musical were hilarious. I loved it.
- “Convincing people in musicals is easy,” Barry, to Kara after Millie and Tommy agree to tell the truth to their parents.
- “How have we not made a GIF of that?” Cisco, after finding out that Caitlin has seen and heart Barry sing before.
- “You wouldn’t even understand where I come,” says Music Meister when H.R. asks where he’s from, which raises so many questions! Given the fact that he’s been watching both Barry and Kara and has these godlike powers, I think he might be a Monitor, which in DC comics mythology is someone who is responsible for monitoring the Earths in the multiverse. The other option is that he’s from the Fifth Dimension like Mr. Mxyzptlk.