Supergirl crashed this week as the show undid a lot of the positive momentum it built the last few weeks by needlessly rushing through subplots and some bizarro characterization.
Supergirl’s weekly challenge is to justify its existence beyond being a Superman-stand in. I was a bit leery with the reveal of Bizarro Supergirl as that character is a firmly established member of the Superman Rogue Gallery. Bizarro was one of a handful of near comatose girls Maxwell Lord experimented on with Supergirl’s DNA in hopes of using Bizarro to destroy Supergirl.
Bizarro was the next step of Max’s weakly developed hatred of Supergirl. Beyond considering her a menace, what’s occurred to escalate his mindset to the point he’s creating clones to kill her? The show runners clearly want to create this Superman/Lex Luthor dynamic without putting in the work to set up the rivalry or at least put a unique spin on it. Max’s development from Tony Stark wannabe to sinister season-long villain has been a tough sell.
This season would have been better served slow-burning his growing distrust and fear of Supergirl and paying it off next year as opposed to making him the preening billionaire bad guy filling Luthor’s shoes. Bizarro’s appearance had me wondering if Superman has encountered his own Bizarro and if so, why Kara didn’t hit him up on stopping the menace with her powers?
The flight scenes between Bizarro and Supergirl looked less polished than usual. The in-flight sequences are still a work in progress to not look like Melissa Benoist is simply being suspended via wires and the effect seemed more pronounced this week. It was neat seeing Bizarro use heat breathe and freeze vision, which was hard to distinguish since Supergirl’s heat vision is blue instead of red. Benoist had an uphill battle this week, but she was able to salvage the scene where Supergirl stayed at Bizarro’s bedside while she was placed back into a coma. The episode managed to convey Bizarro was more a weapon pointed at Supergirl and not a traditional villain intent on harming her.
Alex had enough of Max’s gloating and took him in to DEO custody. Alex slamming Max on the desk was one of the few satisfying moments of the episode.The DEO must have a massive budget to be able to set up chambers for each prisoner. Still smiling, Max asked Kara and Alex about their mother yet they oddly didn’t immediately think to check in on her.
This James/Kara thing is so weird. Their ‘romantic’ chemistry is awkward and comes across much more forced than some star-crossed crush. Some of the frustration is likely because James wasn’t with Lucy when he came to National City and easily could have gotten with Kara without any obstacles or complications. There was clearly a mutual interest and it just seems like the writers are trying to delay the relationship they think the audience desperately wants to see without creating any genuine fizzle to make a James/Kara pairing interesting. And Winn’s pep talk to encourage James to tell Kara how he feels came across so random since Winn has considered him a romantic rival since he arrived at Catco.
At least the pairing with Adam had potential. It also gave the unexpected terrific side effect of showing another side of Cat — as date facilitator and romantic adviser. Cat always had more potential than being a one-note tyrant boss and I’m glad Calista Flockhart is getting the opportunity to do more with her character. Cat’s scenes this week were easily my favorite part of the episode.
Kara really needs to work on her date bailing excuses. My grandma fell and I need to get to the hospital? If you’re Adam would you want to be with someone that randomly remembers their grandmother fell and was in the hospital? I’m already ready for Kara to tell him she’s Supergirl if the writers want to go to such goofy means to keep it a secret. It’s one thing for Peter Parker to need to bail on Mary Jane, but for characters like Supergirl and The Flash, a built-in fun use of their power is if they can save the day in the span of a reasonable bathroom break and return to a date. It doesn’t have to be an either/or prospect all the time.
But instead of building up the Adam relationship, Kara ends things the second Bizarro crashes their date. Considering Adam’s been around all of two episodes it’s doubtful anyone will miss him, but there seemed to be little purpose to his introduction beyond making James jealous.
Supergirl returns home to find some spore on the living room table and gets attacked by a Black Mercy. It made for a decent cliffhanger, but after this episode, I’m not nearly as excited about the payoff. Hopefully things get back on track next week.
Rating: 3 out of 10
Poorly developed characters and rushed subplots led to an uneven episode that never clicked despite the appearance of a classic Superman villain.