Review: Musical episode of “The Flash” ft. Supergirl

First off: What was NOT awesome about this musical episode of The Flash with an appearance of Supergirl?

Summary of The Flash‘s musical episode

In “Duet”, the 17th episode of the 3rd season of The Flash, our favorite red-suited hero gets trapped in his own illusion: a musical world! But: He’s in there for a reason. Because Kara fell into some kind of “coma” after facing off an alien enemy, her “friend who is a boy” Mon-El and the Martin Manhunter bring her to Barry’s Earth. So technically, Barry only joins Kara in the musical illusion.

There, they have to follow the script: In a Gangster version of “Romeo and Juliet”, Barry and Kara become the sidekicks of their real-life loved ones – Iris as Millie and Mon-El as Tommy – and actually have to help them proclaim their love for each other to their fathers. But, as Shakespeare’s classic story goes: It doesn’t really end well.

Well, good that we are living in modern times. Cisco vibes the true Iris and Mon-El into the imaginary realm in order that for once, they can save their – this time respective – partners with a magic kiss.

Back to the real world – or at least to one of an infinite amount of worlds – Barry takes the Music Meister’s lesson to heart. The episode finishes with his moving and super sweet performance of “Runnin’ Home To You” culminating in the proposal that finally feels right – and gets the right answer from Iris: Yes!

Review of the musical crossover episode of The Flash

Heroes meet your human-selves!

Now, to the episode itself: In terms of contextualization, the flashback to Barry and his mother watching Singing in the Rain seemed plausible. Perhaps for some a bit cheesy, it was a nice starting point for the episode’s plot. And it reflected a subtlety which made the musical episode even more appealing: its humanness. The fact also that we get to see the heroes without their powers and confronting their own normal, human-kind of problems was somehow relaxing from the usual running & flying around-stuff and reminded us, that even heroes are sometimes just humans. Then, we saw a heart-broken, grown man lingering on a couch and watching musicals to feel better: Who does not know that kind of feeling? There was literally no better way to make the viewers relate to Barry.

The quick unfolding of the plot was very successful with Barry rapidly joining Kara into the illusion. And, ironically, it was pretty true to his character too: Just run into the danger, Barry, even when you know that the man put Supergirl into a coma only by looking at her…you sure are not going to be the one who’s falling right into the trap…

Musical Hits

Of course, Kara’s solo was a hit and Barry’s reaction to it was probably mirroring very adequately our faces when seeing and hearing her perform. Knowing that they produced this episode in the same amount of time than the regular episodes, one really has to take a bow before the performers and creators. Going to the studio and record while shooting? That must have been stressful – and what came out of it was worth the hard work.

With the Music Meister dropping in, the illusion gets a perilous twist: Barry and Kara have to follow the script and if they die in their imagination, they die in real life. With Cisco and Winn joining the ensemble musical number, it is now completely clear to all: this musical episode is for the WIN (and that is not a reference to Winn’s character, but still a nice pun!).

All you need is Love

And then of course, the reveal: Iris – as Millie – and Mon-El – as Tommy – are in love. The superheroes’ worst fears played out – or rather made out – right in front of them. But, because they have to follow the script and probably because their love goes so far that they’d rather see their loved ones happy with other people than with them (wait: isn’t that a little bit self-conscious? Oh, yeah, they’re heroes so they are constantly doubting themselves – how could I forget!), they help them convince their respective fathers (triple that please, because Joe and Stein became THE ultimate couple we never dreamt of but turned out to be the GREATEST OF ALL).

Although they do complete the musical with an additional song, just like in “Romeo and Juliet” – or like a lot of other musicals as Barry and Kara funnily point out – the fathers are not happy with their kids’ decision and go to war.

But: Before Barry and Kara get shot and actually bleed – yeah, crazy right? – they just have to drop the ultimate, greatest superhero-song bomb of all times.

Parallel to that going on, Kid Flash is back, though a little bit staggering still. And who did not like the constellation of Martian Manhunter, Vibe and Kid Flash? I mean, they could just as well make their own team. Or series…

And the fairy-tale does not end until the magic kiss wakes up the princess – and prince. Or in this case, Supergirl and The Flash.

The ultimate reveal however was that the Music Meister was not a Big Baddie, but rather a Big Fan of Love. Through his little illusion, our favorite superheroes found their way back to their favorite loved-ones. Because ain’t no hero without love!

A duckling’s rating on The Flash‘s musical episode ft. Supergirl

So, there’s really not much to say that would undermine this fantastic episode. Yeah, it would have been nice to watch what happens to Kara and whether she sings a little song to Mon-El too, but who knows, we’ll maybe get to see that next week. Or any other time, when we have another musical episode!

Therefore, a Super-A-Grade seems adequate for “Duet” – the must-see musical superhero-crossover-episode!

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The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2 Review

After years of following the tragic, suspenseful fight against tyranny and inhumanity, the dystopian series based upon Suzanne Collins´ trilogy comes with “The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2” to an end as true as the first part of the whole franchise.

Overall, the mega-blockbuster is a hit. It has everything that theatre audiences love: the action, the love-triangle and of course the happy ending. Though, through the brilliant acting job by Jennifer Lawrence, admirers of the art of visual storytelling won´t be deceived. Her anti-heroism does not losen up until the very last scene – which very different and somehow better than in the book – seems to highlight her true, but deeply hidden motive of her fight and to finally crown her with a heroism which is much more personal and everyday-like: to love.

However, let´s not forget some incoherences in the story-telling of the motion picture. While in the first part of “Mockingjay” Katniss seemed to be more obsessed about Peeta than anything else going on around her, his presence in the second installment made her mostly want to kill him until she suddenly changes her mind and loves him. Their difficult relationship was rather poorly portrayed and explained and is only sustained by the fact that the audience knows they´ll end up together. This is enhanced by the way Gale is changing from the strong, powerful hunter to the vulnerable, weak and coward-like soldier. Especially the scene where Katniss appears to be a reenactement of President Snow displays the shift of power.

In contrast to the previous films, “The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2” features multiple perspectives instead of focusing on Katniss´s which at multiple occasions makes it difficult to fully identify with the hero and thus understand her deep motives and feelings. Expect her one and only outburst towards the end, the “Mockingjay” seems to be getting colder and harder every second, only displaying emotion as a way to make a point instead of really feeling the pain.

But one element has been brilliantly achieved with the last part: the paradoxic parallel opposition between Katniss and Snow expressed through their gradual approach in their thinking-patterns. While they are very different from each other in their way of being – good versus evil, hero versus tyrann, human versus cruel – they each represent one pole of morality which comes to a final meeting point during the scene in the rose garden. Katniss is the expression of the other extreme of Snow, thus filling his place for the better and thereby realizing that she or anybody else is not better than he is. Instead, she finally sees the similarity and understands that those who want to be better than him, don´t want to be different, resulting in her decision to assasinate President Coin.

This episode which is thinly described in the book is greatly shown in the visual adaptation making “The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2” a honorable end of the franchise.

To conclude, my tip for you is: Go see it and feel it. May the goosebumbs always remember this great cinematic achievement.