Little by little each week Supergirl is maturing into a stronger version of the well-meaning, but flawed show that began last fall.
There’s still some kinks that need to be worked out, mainly the Kara workplace drama subplots, but I’m far more optimistic about the long-term prospects of the show and its ability to get even better in the years to come.
With Winn friend-zoned and James on a romantic option time out with Lucy in town, Kara needed a new love interest, which comes courtesy of Adam Foster (Blake Jenner aka star Melissa Benoist’s husband). This isn’t an issue exclusive to Supergirl, but I wish those “Previously On…” segments wouldn’t spoil/foreshadow the episode we’re about to watch like this one reminding viewers Cat has another adult son.
In one of those goofy “only in a sitcom” moments, Kara decided to finish one of Cat’s dozens of drafted letters to her son attempting to reconcile and establish a relationship beyond a few paychecks. Clearly, the bigger agenda was to set Adam and Kara up, but I’m having a hard time seeing Kara with anyone at this point.
She’s a little too nerdy awkward with every guy her age range and it’s the one aspect of the show that feels outdated compared to its otherwise females are every bit the equal to their male counterparts stance. On The Flash, Barry may get a bit unnerved around Iris or Patty, but he has no problem carrying on a regular conversation with Caitlin or Kendra.
While somewhat frustrating, the subplot had the positive side effect of the return of Human Cat — Cat’s far more likable and non-evil boss caricature. Calista Flockhart is too talented to be stuck playing Cat so one-dimensional and it was a nice departure having her flustered and not belittling everyone.
The highlight of the episode though featured a Martian Manhunter heavy subplot. Borrowing from the pages of the X-Men and Donald Trump’s playbook, Senator Miranda Crane (Tawny Cypress) is launching an anti-alien bill. Forcing the overarching X-Men theme into the show was silly.
Who would honestly be complaining about a hero that’s saved the city countless times? The issue with the X-Men and mutants in general is people’s paranoia that they’re dangerous individuals hiding among them — minus the hero part.
Naturally, a white Martian (!) arrives at Crane’s rally and makes a mess of things before assuming her identity. For a group that’s supposed to have been around for years combating “the alien menace,” the DEO sure is worthless. I get this is Supergirl and not The DEO Case Files, but letting them show even the slightest competency would go a long way to making them not look like weekly cannon fodder. It’d help if they had some sort of technology to battle the aliens instead of standard bullets. Where’s the DEO division of Q branch when you need them?
Hank assumes the white Martian was drawn to National City after he used his powers at Lord Tech. I appreciated the writers coming up with legitimate reasons why Hank just can’t use his telepathic powers to make life easier for everyone each week.
David Harewood has benefited greatly since the Martian Manhunter reveal. His scenes this week were particularly strong as J’onn recalled how the white Martians enslaved his race and killed his people including his wife and daughters. Now he’s ready for payback. The Mars flashback sequences were too short to fully take in, but seeing green and white Martians on a network TV show is an amazing sight.
The Manhunter/Supergirl vs. White Martian fight was a bit dark and hard to make out, but made for a nice tease of future team-ups. Who’s working on that good guy update to Red Tornado again so we can make that CBS version Justice League a reality? The episode ends not with Maxwell Lord continuing to eavesdrop on the Danver sisters courtesy of his handy purse spy cam, but with the girls sharing ice cream and seeing Supergirl (?) save a trapped motorist. Time for Bizarro Supergirl apparently.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Once the silly romantic subplots get worked out and Cat antics get toned down, this show is really going to find its stride. Tonight’s episode was a great step in that direction.