Monday, July 15, 2024

Change In Store For Supergirl

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Supergirl Season 2 Reviews: Episode 02, “The Last Children of Krypton”

If it’s not clear, tonight’s episode features a lot of changes both for our hero and for the show. Clark Kent/Superman ends his guest slot on the show with a final battle showdown with Kara against Cadmus’ first major threat: Metallo. More significantly, Cat Grant announces that she is leaving Catco, ending Calista Flockhart’s tenure on the show as a main character. She’s still a recurring character, so she’s not gone for good, but it’s a huge change both for the audience and for the other characters. Kara gets a new boss, James gets a new job, Winn discovers his inner sass. But the big question is, do

Quick Recap

Introducing Snapper Carr. We like him already; he’s respectfully prickly.

We begin with a superhero teamwork montage: Clark and Kara stop a huge fire and a robbery. There is much cousin bonding. J’onn is still super (heh) grumpy about Superman still being around, though. At Cadmus, Metallo wakes up as a kryptonite fueled cyborg. Sidekick expresses the usual concerns about him being ready, but mystery Cadmus doctor (let’s call her Doctor Cadmus for now) gets kind of flirty when she turns on his kryptonite core.

Meanwhile, coma Kryptonian is draining power from the DEO to regenerate himself but still hasn’t woken up. Supes is mad that J’onn is using Kryptonite to keep him contained. Enter Snapper Carr. He’s grumpy, terse, and unimpressed with Kara. Clark tells Kara he has to go back to Metropolis, just in time for them to save one last person in National City, only it turns out to be Metallo. Psyche! (Worst. Psyche. Ever). They get a beat down, but Clark eventually sends Metallo flying and takes a wounded Kara back to the DEO after striking a famous pose (see below). Cadmus announces war on Kryptonians via a creepy hacker video and claims to be protecting earth from an alien invasion.

Snapper thinks Kara is as unqualified as she is entitled, so he refuses to let her work for him. She runs to MOM Cat for help, who tells Kara she needs to own her own abilities. Cat also announces that she’s leaving Catco. They pretend they’re not crying and hug. We get feels. Doctor Cadmus sends Sidekick to become “Phase Two” of the Metallo plan. J’onn and Clark head to the fortress of solitude to figure out what Metallo is literally made of (it’s ‘prometheum’ according to Kalex). J’onn confesses he keeps the kryptonite around to prevent what happened on Mars from happening on earth; Clark refuses to trust J’onn because of the stockpile of weapons that can literally kill him and Kara. Kara talks about her shitty day/boss with Alex, who offers ice cream. Kara says she wants to move to Metropolis because she is afraid of change wants to be with Clark, which hurts Alex. Winn tracks down Metallo and the Kryptonians tag team him only to find out,

Winn gives Alex a pep talk about her attitude and they figure out how to track down the DEO agent involved in stealing Kryptonite. She sets up a trap for Agent McGill, but it’s sprung on her when Doctor Cadmus shows up and taunts her about her dad. Doctor Cadmus offers to bring her into Cadmus by pushing her hot buttons about what life would be like without aliens. Alex rejects the offer in the best way possible and kicks some ass. Kara joins in and they make up. Winn crafts a chest plate to withstand the Metallos’ kryptonite chest canons.

The teams hatch a plan to use Cadmus’ own hubris against them. J’onn teams up with Superman, Alex (in her kryptonite power suit from the season 1 finale) with Kara to take out the Metallos. J’onn rips the kryptonite heart out of one, Alex flings a metal bar into the other (good thing they’re cyborgs and not people anymore). Obligatory final Supergirl and Kara Danvers deep meaningful conversation on the balcony. She promises to be back though, don’t worry. James is the new Cat. Kara gives Snapper an article on the dual Metallo attacks, and some sass. J’onn turns over all the kryptonite from the DEO to Clark; Winn gets a hug from Superman before he leaves. Coma man wakes up and starts strangling Kara.

Best Quote: “Both men without a home, Kal. If we don’t preserve each other’s history, who will?”—J’onn Jonzz

Thoughts & Feelings

After last week’s hard hitting, busting at the seams season opener, this week felt more like the Supergirl we’re used to from Season 1. The pacing was much smoother. Still quick, but not a rush, and without losing the edge of last week’s premiere. While the season premiere was strong, episode two is riding right amongst the best episodes of the series thus far. The introduction to Snapper Carr worked seamlessly into Kara’s arc. Having already established the Kara-Clark teamwork trimmed up the narrative as well, allowing them to hone in on the various plot elements without them feeling overwhelming. At the same time, they were able to more fully focus on character interactions and resolving the family tensions among the Danvers-El-J’onzz clan and prepare for Cat’s announcement of her departure.

Not at all connected to the text, we just really like this gif, okay?
Not at all connected to the text, we just really like this gif, okay?

Speaking of which, we’re pleased to see that this season continues to create space to solve interfamilial and relationship conflict. James seems to have moved on well from his and Kara’s break up from last week and is ready to start working as the new Cat Grant. Praise whoever that he got a moment to say he’s making the move for himself, and that Kara won’t be working under him. That would be awkward. We’re still a bit irked at how rushed last week’s “let’s be friend talk” was, but at least they’re giving it the Winn treatment. Both characters are moving on and acting like adults. We appreciate that.

The tension between Alex and Kara over her prioritizing Clark to the point of wanting to move to Metropolis worked well and the resolution was paced in accordance with what we’ve come to expect from Supergirl. We can sympathize with Alex. She’s given up a lot to help and protect her younger sister, even her career. While Kara’s desire to move to Metropolis was fueled more by anxiety (we’ll get to that in a minute), Alex’s reaction felt justifiable. She’s been feeling neglected and underappreciated with Clark around, and Kara moving was the last straw. Of course, immediately after her confrontation with Kara Doctor Cadmus tempts Alex with seemingly the perfect offer: screw the Kryptonians, who only really hurt her anyway, and join her Father at Cadmus. But the ass-kicking, sister-protecting Alex can only stay angry with her family for so long, and we’re so happy.

The reunion between Alex and Kara strikes just the right note of apology laced with love and recognition of Alex’s importance in her life. The Danvers sisters are back together, ready to take on the world.

There were a few other weak points of the episode, like Alex going off alone to take on McGill. We get that she was still feeling frustrated about Kara, but why not take at least one other agent for back up? Alex is usually pretty good about following DEO rules, so this felt a bit out of character and plot convenient, though not annoyingly so. Superman’s rush to get to Metallo before the chest plates were done seemed a bit out of character, and we’re still a bit confused as to why the Metallos didn’t just target some other area of the body around the Superheroes’ chest plates, but whatever. Again, not glaringly wrong, just minor complaints. We’re nitpicky because we care.

The most compelling part of this season so far is Kara’s struggle to be human. Last season was the story of Kara Zor-El as Supergirl, but this season seems like it’s aiming to be a coming of age story for Kara Danvers. This episode especially, we see how much she dislikes change, or shall we say negative change. Her telling Alex that she wanted to go to Metropolis appropo of almost nothing? Yea we’re starting to piece together what the real issue was with James. Kara has put off developing an independent sense of self for a long time, which is what this season seems set up to address. She has to take charge of her own job, her own future, her own relationship.

When faced with such change, she will find a way to back out of it if she can (e.g., James, moving to Metropolis). You can see on her face when Alex tells Kara that Kal abandoned her with the Danvers that Kara has never seen it that way, and this confrontation with her self-identity is probably going to be the first of many. We’re convinced that’s not the last we’ll hear of that specific truth bomb, and any romantic relationship Alex might pursue will throw another wrench into Kara’s sense of self, as she’s always relied on Alex to be there when she needs her.

That’s not to say Kara can’t face it. She’s grown a lot since she was the stuttering, fumbling, and sporadically defiant assistant to Cat Grant. This season, she’s faced with a new challenge: how to take charge of her life as a reporter under Snapper Carr. And he’s not going to hold her hand or deliver empowered speeches. For, as demanding as Cat Grant was, she never challenged Kara to take ownership of her abilities until this season, when Cat herself is moving on to different things. Kara has become an adult at Catco, in that she’s now expected to fight her own battles, own her own talents, and stand up for herself. She needs to make her own place without Cat’s guidance and mentorship telling her how to do it every time.

It’s a bittersweet moment for us, as we love the dynamic between Cat and Kara, but Kara could not stay “Kira” forever. She had to grow up. The things that make Kara a great team player are also the things that make Kara reluctant to go on her own. It speaks well of her safety net, but also makes it clear that she’s never been forcefully thrown out of the nest before. This week’s confrontation with Snapper Carr is an excellent beginning, and we hope to see even more growth over the season.

Speaking of Cat’s departure, her exit this season is so damn graceful. Like, other screenwriters take note. This is how you let a beloved character leave. No drama, no death, no violence, no kidnapping or hate or relationship problems. Just a woman moving on with her life and finding an adventure elsewhere. It happens in real life, you know (more often than people in your life are killed off with

The same applies to Clark’s. Some might wish he had a longer tenure, and we sympathize. Tyler Hoechlin brings to life our vision of what Superman ought to be so well that we wish we could see more of him (spinoff maybe? We’d be into it). But ultimately, this is Supergirl, not Superman. He was always going to play second fiddle to his cousin Kara, and by now, he’s served his purpose on Supergirl. On a metanarrative level, he provided a transition to the new network and a new audience, one used to superhero shows with male faces.

Within the show itself, he also helped Kara to transition to her new roles as well as boost her confidence and prepare her for the changes coming her way. He represents the good sides of Krypton to her as well, something she was sorely in need of remembering in the aftermath of her battle with the other side of her Kryptonian family tree. He’s ready to get back to his life in Metropolis, and we’re ready to return to focusing on the girl of steel.

Though we are going to miss this.
Though we are going to miss this.

Finally, we have to mention Winn. WINN. He’s really coming into his own this season. One of the writers clearly has a nerd boner over Winn and we’re so glad they do because Season 2 Winn is the best. He’s funny, adorable, nerdy, and sassy as hell. He’s also much better utilized as a character at the DEO. With his skillset, nerdy lab assistant with a mouth is far better than a desk jocky who occasionally sets up a video camera. Also, we’re pretty sure he has a crush on Superman. Plus we get to see him establish a friendship with Alex and J’onn, further cementing the wonderful emotional core of Supergirl: the Super Team. Winn, we’re glad we didn’t lose you to the villain side, you magnificent, plaid wearing dork.


Random Thoughts

  • For anyone annoyed that Clark carried Kara and not the other way around, it was a visual reference a cover from one of the old comics. >>
  • There’s more stunt work in the fighting this season, and more crushed cars (more destruction to property in general).
  • The voiceover at the beginning of the episode has already shifted to reflect Kara’s new position as a reporter.
  • Where is Lucy Lane, isn’t she supposed to be helping J’onn run the DEO?
  • Winn and Alex is our new brotp.
  • Kara saying “#toomuchfun” was #toomuchadorable.
  • Kara watches Veep
  • I’m sorry, but Metallo having to flex his chest/pecs to send out pulses of kryptonite is ridiculous and hilarious. He basically has a man boob laser.
  • J’onn and Clark hanging out in the Fortress of Solitude speaking Kryptonian is everything
  • Alex dropped the bomb that she hasn’t been on a date in two years, is this supposed to mean something? Maybe something about her maybe finding a love interest soon??
  • Did anyone else notice that J’onn disguised himself as a tiny blonde, white girl with a supergirl shirt? Like, his disguise is to pretend to be tiny Supergirl?
  • “Now it’s time to punch your face”—Kara Danvers, to Metallo
  • We love that Kara’s is unable to call anyone a name meaner than “jerk guy”
  • OMG, Clark is as nerdy with his boss as Kara is with Cat.
  • James as the new Cat. First off, good for him for doing it for himself and not to avoid Kara. Second, hot damn are we excited for him to be the new Cat Grant. He deserves it.
  • Coma Kryptonian x Kara better not be a thing. Please no. We do not want her to have given up on James Olsen for generic white boy, even if he does have superpowers. Make him Maxima 2.0 and we’re down, but not a love interest. If Kara x James really is over, we’re team Give Supergirl a Girlfriend.
  • Speaking of which, no Lena this week 🙁 But it looks like she’s going to be back next week, with Maggie Sawyer joining her. I’m not sure our ovaries can handle that much Woman on screen. #sendhelp

In Conclusion

We’re not crying, you’re crying.

Images courtesy of CW

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