For its short winter break, Supergirl went out with a bang with some big superhero slug fests and some potentially major revelations.
While everything still didn’t quite work for me, it was hard not to appreciate the toss the kitchen sink approach that had so much occurring it felt like two episodes in one … in a good way.
Supergirl had a run-in with Aunt Astra and some of her super friends, but instead of going for Smackdown Round 2, Astra tries to convince Supergirl to join her in saving Earth. I was getting a strong Darth Vader/Luke Skywalker vibe from this and moreso as Kara later learned the truth about her aunt and mother’s relationship.
Kara wants no part of this alliance let alone having a conversation with Astra, who she far too easily defeats in a third encounter. Eventually Hank aka Martian Mahunter and Alex realize Astra wanted to be caught, but by that point, it was way too late.
Astra reveals to Kara that her dear saintly mother used Kara to capture her. Astra and some of her allies, including her husband, Non (Chris Vance), were doing whatever necessary to prevent Krypton’s destruction. Kara, naturally, doesn’t want to believe it and confronts the Alura simulation, which indirectly confirms Astra’s allegations.
Typically, Melissa Benoist is asked to play Kara so bubble gum and sunshine that we haven’t seen more emotional moments from Kara. This episode had some great moments for her, but none stronger than Kara’s outburst over Alura’s bombshell.
While the effects for Supergirl using her powers is often well done for a network TV show, the fight scenes still need some work. There’s a jerkiness and stiffness to the scenes where I just as easily envisioned the harnesses, large fans and green screen instead of the onscreen action.
It’s mostly passable, but there’s room for improvement if the effects can match the vision of the fight directors.
Try as they might the writers just can’t make me invest in Cat. She continually is all over the place as a character making it harder to figure out why Kara views her as this odd mother figure.
This week’s other main subplot found Catco hacked and all of Cat’s sensitive information was being leaked online. Pretty topical subject, but Cat’s indifferent responses kept undercutting what could have been a nice change of pace to show Cat vulnerable instead of Alpha Alpha Woman. Not bawling uncontrollably mind you, but anything to make her come across more relatable or at least human.
With Winn and James’ help, Kara manages to track down the Catco culprit — the chairman of the board Dirk Armstrong (Peter Mackenzie from one of my favorite Fox shows Herman’s Head). The biggest issue I continue having with Cat is she’s such a horrible, miserable person who can’t even be bothered to get her employees’ names correct so it’s hard to see why Kara and crew feel so duty bound to help her. Beyond she’s a show regular of course.
And it’s not so much that Kara is a hero and always does the right thing even for not so good people, but she’s almost obnoxiously too squeaky clean, Girl Scout. Gotta figure most folks would be happy to see their jerk of a boss get screwed over. Through the course of their investigation, Kara learns that Cat has a secret son. Yep, solid way of making Cat more likable.
At least in the course of saving Cat from further humiliation this time, Winn and James bond and James finally realizes Winn likes Kara. Clearly James just now realized Winn existed as that hadn’t exactly been a Martian Manhunter level secret.
Proving much quicker on the uptake, Cat starts putting two and two together and tells Kara she knows she’s Supergirl and forces her to take off her glasses. And Cat’s convinced her secretary “Kiara” is actually Supergirl.
This seemed kinda early for this moment, especially since Cat is so self-obsessed to consider her lowly assistant as a superhero. On the other hand, at least this gets it out of the way. I’d love to see the writers have Martian Manhunter lend a hand to throw Cat off.
As Cat starts thanking Kara, Alex calls with news that Non and a slew of Fort Razz prisoners were invading Maxwell Lord’s office. The DEO managed to fight them off as best they could, but even with Martian Manhunter’s reserved aid, this was clearly a job for Supergirl.
And just as Supergirl arrives and faces off with Non, the episode ends. I appreciate a good cliffhanger, but the next episode really needs to pick right up and not cheat on this big set up.
I’m not sure what else the show could have done to keep viewers’ interest in seeing how the second half of the season plays out more. Let’s get to it!
Rating: 8 out of 10