written by Dayna Abel, Jason Froikin and Cara Russell
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
Welcome back to another season of Supergirl reviews on Made Of Fail! Same Super-time, same Super…okay not same Super-channel BUT YOU GET WHAT I MEAN
I have limited space and a ton to say so I’m gonna get right down to it (and artificially pad my paragraphs because I do that). This was one of the best season premieres of any show I’ve ever seen. The pacing moved along at a perfect clip, the cinematography was top-notch, the script by Andrew Kreisberg and Jessica Queller made everybody sound and feel real, but can we talk about Tyler Hoechlin because oh my god you guys.
I’ve seen Dean Cain, Tom Welling, Brandon Routh and Henry Cavill all try to fill the red boots left behind by the late, great Christopher Reeve, and for the first time I can honestly say that Tyler Hoechlin is a worthy successor to Reeve. The heart and spirit of Superman which Reeve captured so inimitably is finally replicated in Hoechlin’s portrayal of the Man Of Steel. Clark is earnest, friendly, and cares deeply about his loved ones and protecting people. AND PROTECTING PEOPLE, ZAC SNYDER. MAYBE TAKE A FEW NOTES. *ahem* At no point does Superman overshadow Kara in her own show. He’s there to help, and twice the show explicitly reminds us that Kara has a subtle position above Clark – she grew up on Krypton. At the end of the episode, he asks her if she would tell him more stories about his parents. NO YOU’RE CRYING SHUT UP.
The MVP of the episode goes, of course, to Cat Grant, utterly flawless as ever, who hands Kara a life preserver when our heroine feels adrift in her life. It’s hammered into us that this season is going to be about being Kara Danvers as much as Supergirl, and how to come to grips with growing into adulthood and discovering who you truly are; how to continue growing and even admitting that what you wanted may not be what you truly need. The line of the episode was Cat telling Kara “in order to live, we must keep daring.” It was a magnificent life lesson, and one even I should attempt to remember from time to time as I navigate this thing called life. I love this show so much and I’m grateful to all involved that it exists.
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I tried out the CW’s new app to watch this first episode of Season 2 of Supergirl. Not completely by choice, mind you, but because I don’t have access to live broadcasts of the CW where I am. It did, however, present a unique opportunity to review not only the episode, but also the streaming service itself. The CW app delivered the episode the next morning, as did the alternative, an iTunes subscription. While the CW’s app is free, and iTunes isn’t, the app’s consistency of quality wasn’t very good – it regularly became very pixelated – and it had only a total of three ads, which played very often. Then again, it is free.
I just happened to look away from the screen for a moment during Clark Kent’s first appearance. Upon hearing the voice inflection during that phone call with Perry White, I had to believe right away that Tyler Hoechlin had watched endless footage of Christopher Reeve’s Superman, and did a spookily decent job at mimicking that. However, the mimic didn’t last, and at times his performance turned wooden (in particular when he chided Martian Manhunter for having Kryptonite). Like in other “guest episodes” during Season One, the writers tried hard to make sure the guest didn’t take too much focus off of Supergirl. At the same time, they did leave a lasting impression of the gap in the two heroes’ experience. The two placed in a similar task, it’s obvious which of the two has been doing the superhero thing longer.
Cat Grant, while upstaging everyone as usual, took more of a back seat this episode, and I suspect will for much of this season. After practically sitting in the driver’s seat for the entire first season, doing so for the second might start to impede character progression for both Supergirl and Kara. This series has shown that it’s willing to loop back to the beginning of the season toward the end, and we’ve been thrown some pretty obvious hints that this is the one where Kara finds herself – her career along with her place not just in National City, but among all the superheroes in the CW universe. The fun part is that we get to watch.
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Supergirl Season 2 finds us in a world much more tense than it last left us, and reminds us why it’s as essential as breathing. Theirs is a world where hope exists, where kindness isn’t a weakness, and the stars are in reach. Truly, the cast and creative team behind Supergirl are the heroes we need and deserve right now.
This episode is also the first official appearance of Tyler Hoechlin as Superman. I’ve been a fan of this fellow since his Teen Wolf role as bad-wolf Derek Hale, and I’m delighted that he can turn on a pin to play squeaky-clean, affable Clark Kent, as well as fit so well into Kara’s life as someone who could offer personal advice on her personal dilemmas. He also seeks out wisdom and company from her, as she is the last keeper of their family’s history, and therefore in a unique position of being the only other person who understands much of what he has experienced as well. An equal partner, rather than the hero to Supergirl’s sidekick as they are so often portrayed.
Honestly, many other plots have been set in motion and several others resolved, but they all pale beside just how happy I am to see that there are people out there who can see more than desperation and hate in the world – and two of them have an S on their chest.
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