By Jahkotta Lewis
Recap of The Flash’s “Duet” (03 x 17)
Are you ready for tonight’s episode of The Flash? If not, here’s what happened on “Duet” and “Abra Kadabra.”
I’m going to be real honest; I’m not big on musicals. There are exceptions, but for the most part, I keep the dance numbers and lounge style singing to a minimum. So, it’s not too surprising that this episode of The Flash didn’t really do it to me. It wasn’t a bad episode and I can imagine that if you like tuxedo tap-dancing sequences and a La La Land kind of feel, this episode will likely be right up your alley.
The episode opens with Mon-El (Kara’s former boyfriend on Supergirl) and J’onn carrying a comatose Kara into Star Labs. They ask Team Flash to help them wake her up, but before they can help, a new villain introduces himself to the team as the Music Meister. The Music Meister is responsible for Kara’s condition and when confronted by our heroes, he makes quick work of both Barry and Wally West. Barry gets whammied during the altercation and finds himself in an alternative reality without any powers. While there, Barry meets up with Kara who is all dolled up La La Land style and belting out a rendition of “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. After the two figured out that they are in some sort of weird musical reality, they discover that it’s filled with characters that look like their friends but are completely different people. In this musical wonderworld, Cisco is a waiter called Pablo; Malcolm Merlyn is the club’s mobster boss; Cutter is a performer and Winn is a piano player.
As Kara and Barry attempt to navigate their strange new world, The Music Meister shows up and lets them know that if they can make it to the end of the musical (without dying), then they can go free. There’s some singing and dancing with Cisco aka Pablo showing off his musical chops and Kara and Barry end up searching for a way out of “their” musical prison. Eventually, they run into their former sweethearts only to discover that the two (Iris and Mon-El) are lovers! Iris aka Millie and Mon-El aka Tommy are from rival gangster families and have hidden their love from their parents.
Both Barry and Kara (who are visibly bothered by Millie’s and Tommy’s PDA) talk the couple into revealing their relationship to their parents. Joe West and Professor Stein (Iris’ parents) and Cutter (Tommy’s father) are not happy but listen to their children. There are some great singing performances by the parents, but in the end, their hate for each other overcomes their children’s love. A shootout ensues and because Barry and Kara don’t have their powers in this reality, they are injured and their bodies, which are in a comatose state back at Star Labs, begin to convulse.
While Kara and Barry lay fighting for their lives, their former lover interests are informed by the Music Meister that they are the only ones that can save them. Realizing that their love for Barry and Kara is the real deal, Mon-El and Iris hitch a ride to the Meister’s musical reality via Cisco and do a Snow White sort of deal, causing the consciousness of Barry and Kara to return back to their bodies. Mon-El and Kara make-up while Iris and Barry wait to discuss their feelings in the privacy of their apartment. Back at their apartment, Barry busts out his singing skills and serenades Iris, proclaiming his love and asks her to marry him. At the end of the number (Grant Gustin has some pipes!), the two are engaged again!
All in all, the episode was good and the singing and dancing was cute if that’s your thing. However, once again, the emotional depth of the characters wasn’t explored and the relationship issues between Iris and Barry that were highlighted the last episode weren’t really worked out. Perhaps things will start to get a wee bit deeper next episode. Speaking of which…
“Abra Kadabra” Episode 3×18 of The Flash
This episode of The Flash was all about honoring the wishes of those you love. Sometimes honoring loved ones’ wishes is a challenge, especially when it comes to issues dealing with life and death. This episode ultimately was about Caitlin and the quality of life she wanted if Killer Frost was to ever make an appearance again.
As we all know, Caitlin Snow has spent much of the season trying to figure how to rid herself of the Killer Frost metahuman personality. She wears a power dampening necklace to keep Killer Frost under wraps and even betrayed the team by taking a bit of the Philosopher’s Stone to try to cure herself of the evil personality. In “Abra Kadraba,” after encountering a super villain with magic-like nanotechnology, Caitlin is mortally wounded. Shrapnel from the incident gets lodged near her kidneys and she is forced to direct Julian (who is in love with her at this point) in an emergency surgery session to save her life.
Though there is an easier way to make sure she doesn’t die (remove her power dampening necklace to allow Killer Frost’s self- healing powers to kick-in), Caitlin is adamant about keeping the murderous Ice Queen under wraps. The surgery is initially a success, however, complications arise during her recovery and she flatlines. After Julian and Cisco attempt to revive her, Caitlin Snow dies. Then Julian does the unthinkable; he removes her necklace and Killer Frost is reborn. The fact that Julian went against Caitlin’s wishes is so obviously wrong. He essentially took away her right to choose what happened to her, rendering her a horrible killer. Dang Savitar and his prophecies.
The rest of the episode focused on Barry and Joe trying to get Abra Kadraba to give them information of Iris’ future death. Abra Kadabra spent the episode evading Gypsy and making snarky hate-filled comments towards Barry. Needless to say, he was absolutely of no help to the team and their Iris West mission. It was a real bummer.
Overall, the episode wasn’t bad. It successfully showed just how desperate the team is to save Iris. It also touched on an important subject that I hope is further explored in the series; women having no control over their narrative. This has been going on since the beginning of the series and has resulted in Iris, Caitlin, etc. being peripheral characters ruled by the decisions made by the men in their lives. Think about it. Barry and Joe hiding Barry’s identity from Iris. Joe insisting that Iris keeps away from a law enforcement career. Joe withholding information about Iris’ mother. The whole Zoom/Caitlin fiasco. Barry picking out an apartment without Iris’ input. There have been so many decisions made for Caitlin and Iris by their male counterparts that it seems like a narrative in itself. Anyway, I reckon Caitlin feels pissed waking up as Killer Frost after she told Julian that she didn’t want to live that way. I get the feeling she’s going to make Team Flash suffer for a bit.
Catch The Flash on The CW on Tuesday.
Jahkotta Lewis is a professional archaeologist, an amateur astronomer, and an aspiring writer. When she is not documenting Pacific Island archaeology, she spends her days hiking through native forests, spelunking within the depths of an active volcano, and watching/reading all things fantasy and science fiction. Follow her on Twitter @jahkotta
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