Thursday, June 20, 2024

Supergirl: 1.5 How Does She Do It? Review

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Despite being aired out of order, not a bad effort, and it furthers several story arcs.

This episode is a liiiiiittle out of order. Because of the bombings in Paris, it was flip-flopped with “Livewire”, so while only a little bit of plot had been furthered, we do get to see what’s up with James and Lucy.

Alas, no Brit Morgan this time around.

Kara finds out that someone’s spying on her as Supergirl, and she’s not happy. Also unhappy is Winn: covering phones for her is apparently super frazzling.

Man, watching this and knowing it’s an episode before last week’s is weirding me out. Kara spies on Cat Grant having a phone argument with her mother, and knowing what we do about their relationship from “Livewire”, it’s interesting. Grant’s mother refuses to babysit for her, and so, despite beating out Lois Lane for a prestigious award, Grant doesn’t get to go to the ceremony.

So Kara offers to babysit Carter. Grant thinks she’s going to have to owe her a favor but loves the idea that Kara’s standing up for herself and taking advantage of things.

We also get to see Lucy Lane trying to win back James, which is intriguing given that she was the one to break up with him. There’s a cool parallel between her and Grant, too; she broke up with James because she needs to win, she has to be in charge… she prioritizes her career. It’s not framed as a bad thing, which is great. It’s just an interesting comparison.

Someone’s bombing National City, by the way. Hence the episode delay.

It’s the same group that was spying on Kara.

And might be connected to Maxwell Lord.

So en route to investigate, Alex and Kara gossip about James, and Alex doesn’t want Kara in the friend zone.

Yep, a full conversation about the friend zone. Complete with, “You spent more time in the friend zone than in the Phantom Zone.” Whoop de do. “You listen to their girlfriend troubles instead of being their girlfriend, Kara.”

Luckily, it’s ignored almost right away, and Kara goes to pick up Carter and babbles away, trying to get him to open up. He gives us some character for Grant, too, saying that she believes nerds can win as long as they face their fears and come out of their shell. It’s easy to forget that she’s a writer, I feel like. Considering she’s the head of a multibillion-dollar company, and the business aspects are more emphasized than the fact that she started out just a lowly reporter like anyone else, it’s unsurprising that I’d forget, but it’s a nice reminder.

Carter is a huge Supergirl fan, harboring an adorable little crush. She’s one of the few things that get him talking, and the sparkle in his eyes, when she’s mentioned in the news, brings a grin to Kara’s face. Winn and Kara have a great friend dynamic with Carter in the mix, and when Winn tries to brag he knows Supergirl, well… Kara’s insistence otherwise gets some great backpedaling.

Also backpedaling is James. He and Kara share a moment—no affection, no touching, just a moment—and almost immediately Kara steps back and tells him that they need to focus on work. Lucy Lane is in town, and though James is over her and doesn’t like her trying to win him back as a way to prove she’s amazing, Kara thinks they should focus on reporting rather than their personal lives.

By the way, Maxwell Lord might not actually be the villain of the week. The lab that was attacked was his though he’s reticent to reveal it, distrusting the government because they played a role in his parents’ death. While Alex believes working for the government can help others, Lord would rather do things on his own and fix the root of a problem peacefully. He sees Supergirl as a glorified fireman, a bandage on a symptom instead of attacking the causes of the problems.

Problems including the bomb in his lab.

So Kara recruits Winn to take care of Carter: “You eat cereal for dinner, and your desk is covered with toys.” He really is just a big man-child, so maybe he’ll do well.

She gets the bomb from Lord and takes it up, up, and away… only to wake up and see Hank Henshaw’s glowing red eyes. It’s played off as a hallucination, but it makes me wonder if he’s going to be more of the season’s big bad than even Kara’s aunt. It’d be a little reminiscent of the Grant Ward twist from Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, but not unwelcome. We’ll see where the show takes us with it.

Lucy Lane is worried that James will be with Supergirl instead of her. She broke up with him because he always made time for Superman instead of her, and she feels inferior knowing that it’s the same for Supergirl. Kara ends up admitting to Jimmy what happened, and once again we get to see that she’s a caring person: she only wants him to be happy. Even if it means that he’s with Lucy. Even if it hurts her. She wants him to either be with Lucy out of love or to be able to finally move on so whoever he’s with next (read: Supergirl) can have him whole instead of being unfair.

With the romantic subplot mostly out of the way, the other plots converge. Carter sneaks away to Lord’s debut of a new train, and Supergirl is patrolling it to find the bomber, one of Lord’s former employees. The bomber isn’t after the train, though, and Supergirl leaves to save the airport… and Lucy Lane. While Winn dashes after Carter—and is too flustered to actually tell security why he needs to get past them—the bomber exits one of the cars.

So Kara flies back, leaving the airport to the DEO. Recruiting Carter to help move passengers to a safer area, and rolling her eyes at Lord for making an automated train that can’t be stopped, Supergirl goes after Knox while at the airport, Hank evacuates everyone, including Alex. With his red eyes, it seems, comes super strength, because he pulls apart the airport bomb and reaches inside to defuse it.

Supergirl can’t talk the bomber down, though. He almost has a change of heart, and gives her permission to save the train passengers, but he’s done either way. It doesn’t add up to Kara, and Alex has similar suspicions, knowing the bomb was real when she takes it apart. While Alex’s suspicions aren’t going to be confirmed for at least another episode—remember, the Danvers only ended up suspicious of Hank Henshaw in “Livewire”—Kara finds out that Lord could have stopped the bombs… because he bartered the life of the bomber’s daughter for the bombs themselves. It’s another arc the writers are setting up for the long haul: Lord is testing Supergirl, but for what? To deduce her identity because she tried to save the train? Or some other nefarious reason?

The good news is that Carter’s safe. He even cracks a joke, which surprises Grant when they reunite and she grills him about Supergirl. She’s not pleased that he got away from Kara (how did she even know?), but she teaches her exactly how she manages to balance her life the way she does: one step at a time. Little by little. She has it all, but it took work to get there, and trying it immediately would only burn people out.

It’s a life lesson, really.

Image courtesy of CBS

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