Screenplay by Aaron Helbing and Todd Helbing.
There’s an episode of Doctor Who called Death in Heaven. What I thought of the episode doesn’t really matter, but one scene has a character watching events on screen and thrusting his arms in the air to shout “Permission to squee!”.
Do you see the problem with that? That line, Hell – that entire setup, was created to elicit an emotional response from the audiences. Of course, all storytelling exists for this reason. If we don’t feel anything from a story, what’s the point? But there’s a certain way of doing it. If you want your audience to feel something, you give them a situation that will hopefully do that. If you want them to feel excited, show them something exciting. You know, it’s not hard.
Now with The Flash: Crazy for You, the scene that really sums-up why this episode really is written tremendously well takes place in a karaoke bar.
In a television series, sometimes story-arcs are pushed to the back burner in favour of highlighting certain aspects of character. People who aren’t overly fond of story arcs consider this a good idea, as it allows things to be more self-contained, while those that invest for the long run like to see character development. What I think is something I bring-up a lot, particularly with this show: I don’t care what approach a writer takes if it makes me feel something strongly in a positive way (not necessarily a positive emotion, but to appreciate the way I’m being made to feel, rather than being bored to death). For this episode, there are a few story arc moments, like Gorilla Grodd’s ending cameo, but most of it is a nice little piece for The Flash* and Caitlin Snow.
And so as part of that sees these two characters’ development together, they find themselves deciding “to Hell with it!”, and embracing their twenties-ness by going on dates and getting as much from the world as possible. Snow gets a little too drunk, and persuades The Flash* to go on stage and duet Summer Nights with her.
Some people might find it strange that this is the moment I want to talk about, especially as there was much more happening in the overall run of the season around it, but I choose to talk about this moment, because it makes a point. Yes, there was comic book action with F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M., and Pied Piper had a minor role, as well as the aforementioned Grodd, but for me, it was that scene that was the most memorable because it was the most characteristic.
Which is surprising, since karaoke bars are a baneful cliche to writers, used mostly as last-resort gags in sitcoms. But that doesn’t mean people don’t use them in reality. Plus, there’s only about a minute of it. See, I know in my head that this might have only been included to showcase Grant Gustin’s singing, but then, in my heart, I love that scene because it showcases Grant Gustin’s singing, which I’d never heard until that point due to not watching Glee. But that’s a whole different article.
And Gustin’s sexy, buttery voice was not only arousing to listen to, but also contrasted with the intentionally bad singing from Snow. And yet, that’s the point of the scene. He can sing, she can’t, but they don’t care, because this is part of their intention to seize every moment, even if it means not quite being sure whether they’re doing it as friends or something else. But life’s like that. It’s ambiguous, unsure and complex, but works for the moment.
Which is why I love that scene so damn much: as a character piece, it demonstrated more depth to these people, and told us more about them than anything else in the episode, which was also very strong anyway – Pied Piper’s acting, the miniaturised relationship model used across the episode, and the consistent quality this show’s almost unknowingly upholding.
But for me, I don’t watch this show for its genre, at least not anymore. I’m in it for the characters, the actors and where they’re going, so it’s scenes like these that keep me watching, because it accomplishes so much with so little. Even if that’s not what The CW might want me to watch for. But I do, and they can’t argue with that. Yes, I think I’m now watching it for my own fan-girlish satisfaction, but I admit that, and I can justify it. My other episode reviews prove that I can still appreciate the other things when that’s all there is, and that counts for a lot.
Snow: # Summer lovin’ had me a blast, summer lovin’ happened so fast
The Flash*: # I met a girl crazy for me
The Flash: Crazy for Me — small but evocative character development 9/10.
*Yes, I said "The Flash" to refer to the character, big whoop, wanna fight about it?