It took me forever to vidcap that!!!!!!
So partly to celebrate the news that Supergirl got a full season order (HORAYH!!!!!!!!) I figured I do a quick review of each of the episodes that have aired so far (minus the pilot which we I've covered). These are shorter reviews without my usual full synopsis and snark, well some snark still. However still will give my thoughts on the episode and a rating out of 10.
"Stronger Together" EP-2
Supergirl continues to embrace her new status as hero and DEO agent, though not without some setbacks. When Kara does more damage during a rescue she gets hammered on by the people and press of National City. If she's going to have a chance to be a proper hero, Kara is going to need some help. While James and Winn help Kara get her start, Kara's sister Alex is abducted by an alien prisoner. Supergirl has to save her sister and in the process learn that she has a far more personal connection to Fort Ra'zz than she knew.
I was really psyched for episode two when it aired because well it wasn't the pilot. Now I loved the pilot but having ahem 'acquired' it through other means before the official premier, I had watched it numerous times. So I was real excited to see new Supergirl stuff. Overall I thought it was a good follow up to the pilot. The intro with Supergirl testing herself with the DEO and Alex proudly sharing that part of her life with Kara was great to see. I liked how they did address the fact that Kara was still learning. She's going to make mistakes but as true to character, Kara doesn't let that stop her. The big revelation for this episode is of course Aunt Astra, twin sister to Kara's mother and leader (we think) of the alien forces on Earth.
Part of me was surprised they revealed the big bad so early on but I liked the decision in the end. Opposite of the Flash that had a hidden adversary in Professor Harrison Wells, we have a more open foe for Supergirl to face. Bonus points though for making her not just a Zod clone, with Astra being connected to Kara personally and Kara even remembering her fondly.
My favorite parts of this episode include Kara's street level heroics (coolest being the shotgun bit above, funniest Fluffy the Snake of course). There were also some nice moments with Kara and James. I loved how Kara referenced Krypton in more than a few places in this episode, showing the writers won't forget she grew up there. Special note, loved the music when Supergirl met Cat Grant for their interview. All in all a good start to the season proper.
"Fight or Flight" EP-3
Supergirl's interview with Cat Grant has a few unexpected consequences. With the world knowing Superman and Supergirl are family, an old enemy of Superman's, Reactron comes to get revenge on the Man of Steel; by killing Supergirl. Kara not only has to battle the radioactive villain but also deal with what seems like a loss of faith in her abilities by James. It's a job for Supergirl as she has to not only save National City from Reactron but her newest friendship, and maybe something more, as well.
If 'Stronger Together' and the pilot were good, 'Fight or Flight' is just excellent. At the moment, it's probably my favorite episode of the series thus far. The episode has a mix of action, drama, humor all of which is well balanced. Team Supergirl feels like a great blended group, with the excited Winn, experienced Jimmy, and supportive Alex who risks her career at DEO to help Kara. I really enjoyed that Kara was still trying to figure out what Supergirl meant to her. How she doesn't want to eclipse her cousin but be recognized by a hero in her own right. I particularly love that Kara's first thought when learning about Reactron's motivations and history is to try and talk to him (though punching is always a fall back).
If your a James-Kara fan this episode definitely will fuel your shipping dreams. While I can't decide if I want Kara to end up with James or not (my answer is of course....Barry Allen ) I thought all of her and Jimmy's scenes were good. James not calling Superman in because he didn't believe in her, but because he was scared of losing her. Shout out to Winn who not only sets up a little SG HQ in Cat-Co but also for helping cover Kara in setting up Cat Grant's party. Speaking of Cat her writing woes were a nice bit a levity at times and I did really enjoy her interaction with Maxwell Lord. Lord who gets a more proper introduction here was also a nice touch, having Tony Stark vibe but also being a bit of dick; not crediting Supergirl for saving him. The one thing that felt a bit dropped in was Lucy Lanes sudden arrival but I'll forgive it for what happens next.
The stand out moment for me in this episode and pushes it up to a 10 was the end. After being dismayed by James going to see Lucy for dinner, Kara returns to her desk where there's a IM message waiting for her; from Clark. This so...SO made me happy to see. Due to the complex nature of DC and having characters in TV and movies, I figured we'd hear more about Superman than see him. Which is good as this is Kara's story....however he should still have some presence. I mean he's Kara's only living relative left (not trying to conquer the planet).
So this IM back and forth was both very clever and very touching. Special shout out to Melissa Benoist who makes me want to cry...and she's just reacting to IMs! She is such a great actress and why she's become my ideal 'Supergirl'. Clark's words to support his cousin and tell her she was doing great, that was such a sweet moment.
I really hope they can do something like this again, its such a sweet scene and one of my top three favorites of the show
"How does she do it?" EP-4
Kara is loving being Supergirl and she thinks she can have it all. She certainly puts that to test as she takes on watching Cat Grant's son, Carter, dealing with a series of bombings targeting Maxwell Lord, and a mysterious drone which was spying on her. For James he's torn between his new life in National City and someone from his old one, Lucy Lane. In the end, Kara learns that maybe she can have it all but there will be sacrifices along the way.
Now I'm putting this episode in the proper order. For those who don't know, CBS made a switch between this episode and "Livewire" due to the Paris Terrorist attacks. The switch actually worked out pretty well with just the small plot nitpick of having James and Lucy back together in "Livewire" with the audience wondering how that happened. We see that in this episode and its probably the weakest bit of "How does she do it." Lucy Lane is going to need a little development I think as right now she seems mostly around to be the girl who steals Kara's love interest. While Lucy isn't a bitch, she does come off a bit whinny pining for James. Kara of course being the good person she is doesn't sabotage things between Lucy and James, though of course it now is costing her.
The love triangle business is less interesting than the bombing plot and Kara dealing with Carter. Carter is well a lot like myself and I'm sure other people watching. Nerdy, a bit shy, and has a crush on Supergirl. I thought he worked well in the story and it was nice to see Cat does care about her son and has shared things with him like, 'nerds come out in the end', or wanting him to just come a bit out of his shell. It would have been really easy to have Cat's continued Devil Wears Parada stuff with her kid, but this goes a bit to humanizing her.
What I liked about the bomb plot was that it was all designed to test Supergirl. This leads to my favorite scene in the episode, Kara's confrontation with Maxwell Lord. Now I think some will probably not be a fan of the Lex Luthor direction they seem to be taking with Lord but I loved it. The scene was everything I'd expect of Supergirl facing down a nemesis like him. It also adds an extra dimension to things as Kara needs an enemy outside the DEO/Astra. The scene was a real treat and I liked how Melissa played it. One bonus point granted for just this scene.
Something I haven't quite mentioned in the last reviews is the story of Henshaw. Since episode two we've been seeing something is up with him. Glowing red eyes is definitely a red flag and in this episode we see Hank also has strength and possible other powers (which allowed him to stop one of the bombs). His name suggests he could the Cyborg Superman but I think the red eyes and strength could also point towards Martian Manhunter. Which would be a cool addition to the cast.
Overall, a good episode but not as strong as the leading three.
It's Thanksgiving in National City. Kara and Alex's mom, Eliza is coming to town to celebrate though Alex is leery of the reunion. Feeling that Eliza will be upset with her for Kara becoming Supergirl, she's later proved right at a less than stellar Turkey Day dinner. While Kara has to deal with her family there's also a new supervillain, Livewire. Former employee Leslie Wills she wants to get revenge on Cat Grant and doesn't mind killing Supergirl if she gets in the way either. We also learn that Eliza suspects something about the DEO that's going to put the Danvers sisters, on edge.
"Livewire" is a really good episode that gives us the treat of seeing Helen Slater and Melissa Benoist on screen together. However the original Supergirl isn't just there as a cameo but delivers a great performance as the Danvers sister's mom. I like how the Danvers family dynamic isn't perfect, with Alex having issues with her mother. Things are improved with everyone by the end of the episode and I hope we get some more Helen/Melissa scenes in the future as I want to see how Eliza interacts with Kara when Alex isn't around.
Our titular villain of the episode is a little one dimensional but that's okay as this episode does a lot to flesh out Cat Grant. It was nice to see Cat accepting the role in making Livewire who she was. While it was an accident with a lighting bolt and Supergirl that gave Leslie powers, Cat admits that her lack of pushing Leslie to be better made her into a villain. The addition to of Cat wanting to know more about Kara's family and treating her like a human being was also a great touch. I also enjoyed Cat's scenes with Supergirl, the two teaming up to deal with Livewire. There was also a nice bit between Winn and Kara where we learn about his family (dad is Toyman if you didn't know) and how he's thankful for Kara (even went for a kiss on the cheek, bold dude).
The visual effects in this episode stood out, especially the Livewire electrical ones. Her power looked really cool on screen and I liked that in her and Supergirl's fight, the two seemed pretty balanced. While Kara took a few licks she never seemed completely overwhelmed. Special shout out to Supergirl making a Ghostbuster joke. The ending of the episode with Eliza sharing that Alex's dad died in a supposed plane crash and the girls making a pact to figure out what's up with Henshaw was a nice teaser for going forwards.
So, final thoughts?
I think the opening episodes to Supergirl have been very well done. Melissa Benoist continues to shine as the Maiden of Might, being everything that Supergirl/Kara is; kind, caring, beautiful, strong, and above all you do believe in her when she's wearing that S. The supporting cast has been fantastic. Alex and Kara come across as natural sisters while you feel for Kara when she wants to get closer to James. James is supportive and a good friend to Kara (so dump Lucy you smuck). David Herwood as Henshaw has been great. Nice quips, supportive of the Danvers sisters, and also apparently has something else going on. Winn is great as Kara's friend and I can't just help feel for him, nerds stay together.
Tonight "Red Faced" will premier and with the new season order I wonder if we'll see that long rumored crossover with the Flash (And my Kara-Barry shipping can become official!!!! Sorry Patty on Flash but if I have to choose between you and Kara.....well check out my DA Icon )
In any case, I look forward to the rest of the season with a big smile