written by Dayna Abel, Jason Froikin and Cara Russell
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
Dear Supergirl showrunners: for the love of tiny orange kittens, please please please keep Tyler Hoechlin under lock and key because I NEED HIM. Well, him and the entire writers’ room (although seriously hire Sterling Gates already because duh). Supergirl being an all-ages show is absolutely the single best thing you can do for Kara and Kal-El, because this is always how the cousins should be portrayed in live-action. Look. Real life has gotten incredibly awful for a lot of people recently. If a lighthearted tone isn’t your cup of tea, fine. People still watched Batman v Superman. But you can’t dismiss something like Supergirl as childish or stupid because there are a ton of us who need this show so so so badly. For me, this show is like visual ice cream. There’s still action and danger and drama but it just feels…good. That’s how Supergirl and Superman should make you feel: that doing good is rewarding. “Truth, justice and the American way” and “hope, help and compassion for all.” Benoist and Hoechlin are gifts to humanity.
Lest I take up my entire allotted space raving about Superman and how well he meshes with Kara without overshadowing her, I need to bid a fond “to be continued” to Cat Grant, who will be taking her radiant flawlessness to greener pastures until, presumably, the CW can afford to fly Calista Flockhart up to Canada or whatever the reason was. I felt for Kara when she was shocked over her mentor’s imminent departure. Things do change fast, and sometimes a lot of things change all at once. But Cat assured Kara (and us) that we can stand on our own, that we can own our power. Growth is painful and terrifying, but it’s also exciting and liberating. I look forward to seeing Kara find her own inner Cat Grant (who totally knows Kara is Supergirl don’t pretend like she doesn’t for one second, show).
Alex Danvers, cybersuit wearer and kicker of asses, shines in this episode as well. Justifiably jealous of Kara’s relationship with Clark, it’s easy to relate to Alex feeling shunted aside in favor of Clark. She raises an amazing point during an argument regarding what she’s done for Kara about how Clark doesn’t understand that he “abandoned” her on the Danvers’ doorstep – and neither does Kara. Which, incidentally, is something I’ve been dying for more details on since the very first episode. Or if you want to get right down to it, it’s something that’s deserved an explanation since Action Comics #252. There has never been a good reason behind Kal-El, Last Son Of Krypton, up and pawning off his only living relative on someone else. Exploring this via Alex (and possibly Jeremiah and Eliza later in the season?) is something I’m very anxious to see.
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Left over from last week’s review (didn’t make it in due to length), I’m really enjoying the new classical soundtrack the CW added to Season 2 of Supergirl. It’s somewhat thematic, so each character and location has its own audio feel to it. Subtly done, but it adds a lot to the hopeful mood the entire show carries through.
Cat Grant, somewhat as usual, breaks straight through the fourth wall. She has really gone as far as she can as a character in Supergirl, and she made sure to convey that to us viewers as well as the characters in the show. And she gets in one last tease for our benefit (“a plane?”) hinting, probably not for the last time, that she still doesn’t really believe Kara and Supergirl are different people. After her fourth-wall smashing, I realized one more reason why Cat had to disappear for a while (behind-the-scenes contract stuff notwithstanding): Cat Grant has become our avatar in the show. She often says what we’re thinking, and looks to know more than she lets on, but “plays along” for the benefit of the other characters.
Superman, of course, had to leave for a different reason, which most of us are already familiar with. This is a different Superman than we’re used to, though. Not the man who’s been doing this superhero thing for so long that he always has to be right. He learns something from being around Supergirl and her adopted family and friends, and he embraces change. He learns to respect the “grey area” that Supergirl often finds herself in. I anticipate a lot of fans of Superman might not like that. To them, I would say, you should respect the grey area, too.
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Another week that I’ve been reduced to “green fire bad, cape pretty” due to work, and another glorious week where I get to wrap myself in a new episode of Supergirl like the warm fuzzy blanket that it is. All is well, there is faith and hope to be found in humanity, heroes exist, and Martian Manhunter is still the best at hiding in plain sight.
We find our heroes as they were, fighting the good fight and finding strength in unity, but while Kara is thrilled to have her cousin Clark around, there are ripples of dissent from Alex, who feels pushed aside, and Hank Henshaw, with whom Superman is at odds over the DEO’s possession of Kryptonite. The status quo is shaken elsewhere in Kara’s life as well, as Cat Grant finally starts regularly pronouncing her name correctly, foreshadowing her depature later in the episode. She places Kara under Snapper Carr’s tutelage, and James Olson gets promoted to fill the seat at CatCo’s helm.
It’s a bittersweet episode in many ways, with several graduations and much of the air time devoted to new interpersonal conflicts and setting a new bar now that Superman’s guest appearance winds down. But I am fully impressed by how these conflicts are resolved – characters talk to each other, learn and react differently with new information. As one might expect from adults, and yet so infrequently happens – especially in dramas, where so many plots could be resolved if two characters just spoke to each other honestly.
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