A whole bunch of Warner Bros. TV shows have been bricked in order to help promote the upcoming LEGO Batman Movie.
On February 6, Warner Bros. revealed a series of Lego-inspired billboards advertising some of the studio’s biggest shows — Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, The Big Bang Theory, Mom, 2 Broke Girls, Gotham, and The Middle all got the Lego treatment. Warner Bros. said in a press release that over 10,000 Lego bricks were used to create the whimsical posters.
And because banners alone are not enough, there’s video fun to be had as well. A short animated video came out as well, featuring Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) interacting with some of The CW’s own superheroes. Batman, it turns out, isn’t so impressed by the Flash, the Green Arrow, Supergirl, or Atom (each voiced by their TV actors Grant Gustin, Stephen Amell, Melissa Benoist, and Brandon Routh, respectively).
More Batman and more Lego will be seen between February 6 and 8, when Batman will be crashing through the Berlanti Productions logo at the end of episodes of Supergirl, The Flash, and Arrow.
All of this is leading up to the theatrical release of The Lego Batman Movie on Friday, February 10.
The CW chose not to make fans wait when it came to seven of its shows.
On Sunday, January 8, CW president Mark Pedowitz announced the renewals during the Television Critics Association press tour. Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Jane the Virgin were all renewed for the 2017-2018 season.
All are veteran shows. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow will be coming back for their third seasons. The Flash and Jane the Virgin, meanwhile, will return for season 4 next year. Arrow, which started the network’s superhero trend, was renewed for season 6, while perennial favorite Supernatural will return for an incredible 13th season in the fall.
Not every CW program got the good news. None of the network’s new shows from 2016-2017 — Frequency, No Tomorrow, Riverdale — have scored renewals yet, while the spring’s returning programs — The 100, iZombie, The Originals — will have to wait as well.
“Early pickups of these seven series now allow our producers to plan ahead for next season and gives us a solid base to build on for next season, with original scripted series to roll out all year long,” Pedowitz told television critics of the choice to renew so many shows so early.
There’s something new to be thankful for this Thanksgiving — The CW has released the trailer for its upcoming four-way crossover event: “Heroes vs. Aliens.”
Characters from Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow will all work together to fight against an alien invasion in the four episodes making up the crossover. Considering that the plot seems to involve aliens — ominously called Dominators — invading Earth and causing all sorts of trouble, it may take every character in the CW’s comic-book universe to save the day.
What’s the plot of this series of episodes? Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. But who cares when all sorts of fun characters get to interact — Supergirl‘s Kara and Legends‘ Heatwave are a highlight in the trailer.
The CW crossover event starts Monday, November 28 with that week’s episode of Supergirl and continues on over the next few days.
Supergirl has been renewed for season 2… but not on CBS. Nope, the network that aired the first season of the Warner Bros.-produced superhero show decided to hand it off to The CW going forward.
It actually makes a lot of sense to go that route. Supergirl wasn’t really pulling in the kind of massive ratings that CBS likes, and the show didn’t exactly mesh with the procedurals and sitcoms surrounding it on CBS’ schedule. The CW, meanwhile, is crowded with superhero-fare, almost all of it from mega-producer Greg Berlanti (who is behind Supergirl, of course). Add in the fact that Supergirl already had a crossover episode with The Flash this year and the move makes perfect sense.
Because The CW couldn’t make just one announcement, there was pickup news as well on that network on Thursday. Three new shows — Riverdale (based on the Archie comic books), Frequency (based on the movie), and No Tomorrow (based on a Brazilian show) — will all air in the 2016-2017 season on The CW. They will join a host of already-renewed CW veterans in the crowded schedule — Arrow, The Flash, iZombie, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, The Originals, Reign, Jane the Virgin, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend will all be back.
Alone on the CW’s chopping block is its self-described limited series, Containment, which will not return. Beauty and the Beast is also going into its previously planned final season.
Supergirl’s future is uncertain, so in the first season finale, the show tries to tie up some loose ends while leaving just enough open-ended in case of a renewal.
At the heart of the show, Supergirl is about family – the family we’re born into and the family we choose for ourselves. This was no less the case in this first season finale. It starts with a fight between Supergirl and Alex, who is still under mind control. Alex is the better fighter, but Kara holds up better to Kryptonite exposure than one would expect. Still, she’s fighting a losing battle and is about to lose her head when Martian Manhunter intervenes.
Apparently even Martians hold to the adage that when things go to hell in your life, you can always turn to mom for help. He travels to the farm and picks up Ma Danvers to give her daughter a speech about how her strength can help her break through mind control. Jeremiah seems to be the key, as Alex later admits it was the reminder of him and his faith in her that finally helped her regain control. Sorry, Danvers gals, but sometimes it takes a former Superman to get the job done. Returned to her senses, Alex somehow turns off the meteor rock and they all gather for a tearful reunion, complete with a requisite “Sorry I almost decapitated you, sis, but I really love you, I swear.”
With Alex once again on their team, they return to the plan from the previous episode of sending out a broadcast to give the people hope. If you miss the point of her speech, she’ll reiterate it a dozen or so times and, when in doubt, show the S symbol as the coup de grace! But if the speech and imagery are a little heavy-handed, they get the job done, as the people in the city slowly return to themselves and are free of Myriad.
Kara is momentarily lulled into believing that the threat has passed and is ready to grieve the death of Girl Who Had Never Appeared Before as well as to tackle some unfinished James-shaped business, but not so fast, Supergirl! Non isn’t one to be deterred by a single setback – or at least Indigo isn’t going to let him stand for that. As their Option B, they decide that the best way to save the world is to kill everyone on it. I really think Non fundamentally misunderstands the concept of “Save the World” as Astra wanted it to be applied since I doubt her major concern was for a huge chunk of rock. But, then again, they’re Kryptonian and maybe this plan makes sense on his planet. At any rate, Maxwell Lord is on the scene to declare that the imminent demise of every human on Earth in four hours is indeed “Bad. Really bad.”
This is, of course, a Serious Problem, and so General Lane arrives on the scene to demonstrate the tactical thinking and problem solving skills that have really set him apart in this series. His solution: Arrest Hank, who was taken back to the DEO to be treated for his injuries. Hank shows either a depth of compassion for humans or a naivete unbecoming in a man his particular shade of green when he tries to defend Sam’s actions but, seriously Hank, this is one battle you don’t need to fight.
With a level of devotion to her job that I think truly is superhuman, Kara takes a few moments as she prepares to deal with the threat and goes to work. Honestly, if anything warranted cashing in on a sick day, I would think this would do it. But she accepts that she may die when she faces off against Non, so she wants to say goodbye to her friends… and break up with James while she’s at it. Rather than telling him what she’s up against and being honest with her feelings, she pushes him away and tells him to find someone else with whom he can be happy.
Hank, ever a true hero, offers to take his injured self to the desert of Nevada to fight alongside Supergirl. She’s like “YES!” but General Lane hasn’t finished drinking his Idiot Juice so he argues instead that Hank should remain under arrest. Sure, the entire world is probably about to die and that almost-certain death becomes slightly-less-certain with his help (Superman is in a coma from Myriad), but Lane is a man of Protocol Above All Else. Also, as I mentioned, he’s terrible at thinking ahead.
Luckily for the world, everyone else in the room gives him a metaphorical slap upside the head and he caves – because, you know, world-endy-stuff. Supergirl and the Martian Manhunter fly to Nevada, where she takes on Non and he takes on Indigo. Things look dire for our tiny Justice League, until Martian Manhunter rips Indigo in half with all the rage of a person who has had to install Windows. For her part, Supergirl shoots her uncle in the eyeballs – they don’t call it heat vision for nothing!
The villain may be down for the count, but that doesn’t mean that the threat is over. With no other option, Supergirl calls Alex – the one person she couldn’t address probable outcomes with before – to wish her goodbye. She has a plan to fly Fort Rozz into space; Alex doesn’t want her to go because she’s concerned she won’t be able to get back, but Supergirl insists it’s the only way. They have a touching moment, in which Kara tells her to go be happy and do the things she was never able to do because she had a Kryptonian for a sister. Then she tells her she loves her and hangs up to save the world.
Luckily for Supergirl – and for the world – Alex isn’t one to give up without a fight, either. Like a teenager out for a joyride, she lifts the keys to Kara’s pod without permission and uses it to save her sister from the cold vacuum of space. So maybe she deserves a pass… this time.
With the world saved twice in twenty minutes, everyone has earned a happy ending. General Lane lauds Supergirl and declares that Martian Manhunter has been awarded a full pardon and is director of the DEO again. Poor Lucy is out of a job! Or she would be, if Hank didn’t immediately declare “the more the merrier” and indicate he’s up for running it together. He says that now, but the first sign of red tape, I think he’s going to declare very distinct parameters of who does what. For example, “Lucy handles the annoying stuff I don’t want to do.”
Speaking of undefined job duties, Kara has finally earned a promotion – and the right to have her name pronounced correctly by Cat (once, at least). They’ll work out the pesky details like “job responsibilities” later. Everyone in the audience who’s old enough to hold down a steady job let out a wistful sigh in unison, I’m sure, at this scene. National City truly is a magical place.
Of course, that isn’t all the good news! Kara and Clark text back and forth. Apparently, when he came to his senses, he couldn’t stick around long enough to say goodbye. It’s okay, though, because they have IM and he takes the opportunity to tell her he’s proud of her. Alex and Kara take a moment to tell their mother that their father is likely alive – qualifier mine because they are convinced it’s true but I remember it’s been over a decade since he’s been in the clutches of Cadmus so their father may be a human brain in a German Shepherd’s body at this point for all they know.
Still, they’re celebrating, so a little over-enthusiasm is perhaps warranted. Everyone gathers at Kara’s place for dinner, and although Kara’s new promotion didn’t come with an increase in pay, it occurs to me that her place is pretty darn nice, given she’s living in the big city on an assistant’s pay. Hope springs eternal, indeed. Before they share some champagne, Kara and James share a kiss – apparently, saving the world warranted a little fence mending in the romance department, as well.
“To family!” they toast happily…but there is still one or two clouds in their sky. Unbeknownst to anyone at the DEO, Maxwell Lord and General Lane have teamed up to study the Kryptonian energy tech that almost ended the planet. And, just when things seem like they can’t get any better, a Kryptonian pod lands on Earth and Kara goes to check it out. Forgetting the she might need to use the pod again someday (if the past few minutes are any indication), Kara rips off the door and looks inside. What’s inside? Is it a bird? A plane? The glowing thing inside the briefcase in Pulp Fiction? No, it’s a cliffhanger!
My money’s on Krypto.
They Who Shall Not Be Seen References: 4 to Clark by his various names. 1 to Lois.
Putting the Cat in CatCo: “ That was either my eulogy or your dictated suicide note.” – Cat’s response to Kara telling her what she’s meant to her.
Episode MVP: While it’s hard not to give it to Supergirl in her own finale (she did a great job and handily dispatched Non with her heat vision), this episode highlighted that Cat is the character who has gone through the most growth over the course of the season – even if that growth is “finally learning how to pronounce her assistant and friend’s name.”
There’s a lot of standing around and talking, and emotions get the better of people this week on Supergirl. As is usual when that happens, things go downhill from there.
A Myriad of Threats
We open this week to discover that Non is amassing his army. He’s taken over every human in National City, including the entirety of the DEO. Lucy starts a T-minus countdown to open all alien cells (save the White Martian because that guy cannot get ANY love), and the fact that there’s a countdown makes me wonder what their plan was in the event they ever had to do an emergency evacuation. Apparently, the aliens would be on their own.
Supergirl shows up in time to stop them from releasing all the aliens but not quite soon enough to prevent a smackdown with Maxima – a character I thought they were gearing up to use in the final battle but apparently was introduced just to have a fight scene at the DEO. And to make the rather cringe-worthy statement that, since she can’t get any love from Superman, she’ll swear her allegiance to Non. Since that’s all we get of her motivations and it is accompanied with no context, it seems she desperately needs a man and any man will do.
Supergirl manages to defeat Maxima and even avoids what seems to be an excess of kryptonite bullets that Lucy fires at her. That level of ammo isn’t something that could have been cooked up on the fly. I think Supergirl should watch Lucy, because it could be she always had every intention of using these bullets on her one day.
She then flies to the Fortress of Solitude for help, where she discovers her cousin is off-planet. However, her trip isn’t entirely in vain. Myriad, that threat so great it Shall Not Be Explained, is finally explained. Basically, Astra developed it for use on Krypton. Kryptonians were environmentally destroying their homeworld, so she created Myriad to take over everyone’s minds to stop it so the planet could be saved. Of course, the question becomes, if you’re saving the world by basically making robots of all its people, who are you saving it for? That question will arise again but will remain unanswered. Bottom line is, there is supposedly no cure.
Meanwhile, we find that Alex and Hank are still on the run. She’s apparently borrowed the wig Black Canary is no longer using, and he’s posing as a little boy. Their getaway bus is stopped by the cops, and it seems that Alex is willing to straight up shoot a cop to keep her secret because she handles her handgun with intent. Happily, it doesn’t come to that, and they’re able to continue on their way to visit Ma Danvers on the farm.
A Ray of Hope
Not everything is doom and gloom. Ma Danvers is genuinely overjoyed to meet Martian Manhunter – once she’s told he’s not the man who murdered her husband. She takes the fact that he’s an alien shockingly well, since I would at the very least need to breathe into a paper bag for a few moments at the revelation. Then again, as the woman who raised Kara Danvers, this is just another day for her. It is a moment of unrestrained glee in an otherwise tense episode. (It is, however, no less chatty.)
National City isn’t without a ray of hope – and its own human Death Star. For a reporter and head of media conglomerate, Cat is remarkably unobservant. She saunters into the work with a pithy remark that someone needs to call Harrison Ford to turn him down because she doesn’t date older (let alone married) men. Of course, the joke is that he’s married to actress Calistra Flockhart in real life. She apparently hasn’t noticed that everyone in the city is a walking zombie, at least until Supergirl brings it to her attention. She does, however, take enough notice Supergirl has a cell phone to ask for her number – and Superman’s, while she’s at it.
Kara does get a gleam of hope when she hears Superman is on his way to help, but he’s caught up in the mind control like everyone else. To hell with Zod, this Superman is no match for Non and kneels before Zod’s minion. It’s baffling to me why they even bothered to bring him back from off-planet to do this, but his mind control does not go without explanation. Since he was raised on Earth, episodes of Sesame Street and, presumably, The Real Housewives of Metropolis turned his brain human.
But Kara and Cat aren’t alone. Evil Genius Maxwell Lord has also avoided mind control, having figured out that the Kryptonians were using his satellites to broadcast the Myriad signal. He’s also the reason Cat is free of mind control, thanks to a gift of not-really-diamond earrings – and Cat takes the revelation she’s not wearing real diamonds in surprisingly good stride, considering her character.
Bad Plans and Worse Plans
Non reveals he plans to use Myriad for the same purposes that Astra planned to use it on Krypton. The environment is being destroyed, and he is going to enslave the world to stop it. Again, with a world full of robots, who is he saving the world for? This question is always an obvious one for these kinds of evil schemes, and yet nobody has ever bothered to answer it. Certainly Non doesn’t. He does demonstrate his power by forcing James, Winn, and Girl Never Before Seen on This Show to jump off a building, daring Supergirl to catch them. She saves two out of three, and I think we can all guess which one doesn’t make it.
Happily (I suppose) the humans have a savior or three… if Maxwell Lord can be called that, given his plan to stop Myriad. He’s going to use a kryptonite bomb to kill all the Kryptonians. It’ll also have the side effect of making the city uninhabitable for Superman and Supergirl for fifty years or so, as well as killing an estimated 8% of the populace. Although he protests he doesn’t like this plan more than they do, I don’t entirely believe him. He does go so far as to get approval from General Lane, which I find entirely in-character for this show’s depiction of that character. I’d expound more on my thoughts of Supergirl’s General Sam Lane, but I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to keep these recaps PG. Suffice to say, I am not a fan and do not think he would do much soul-searching after giving this kind of go order.
Although not thrilled with this idea, Supergirl is willing to go along with it, afraid what happened to Krypton will happen to Earth. She asks Cat what she should do, and it takes her boss to tell her that she should try to think of another plan, for crying out loud. She also gets said idea from Cat – Supergirl represents hope, so she should bring hope back to the city. She’s very satisfied with this plan, though it seems incredibly nebulous to me, and takes it to Maxwell Lord. Although he blathers on a bit more about his tragic backstory, he’s finally won over by Supergirl’s winsome charm (and probably Cat’s presence, since he seems to have a Thing for her) and decides to try it their way.
Meanwhile, back wherever it is that Ma Danvers lives, Hank has resolved to return to the city to help and Alex demands to join him. Apparently, she doesn’t understand the concept of “mind control.” Although he could fly his way back to National City and leave it to her to catch up in several hours or maybe even overnight, he dawdles for what feels like days and is certainly long enough for her to make her pitch. She didn’t have a say in what happened to her father, and she doesn’t want that to happen again. Again, Alex… “mind control!”
However, Hank’s a bit of a sucker when it comes to Alex, and he’s swayed. Of course, things go downhill pretty much immediately upon their return to the city. The Myriad signal is strong, so he has to focus to keep her from getting taken over. Indigo attacks and stabs him, demanding he give up or she’ll kill Alex. It is entirely possible none of this would have happened if she hadn’t demanded to go back to the city where she absolutely would be taken over by mind control because it’s already been established – to her – no human can resist. She may be Supergirl’s sister, but she’s apparently forgotten that she is 100% Grade A Human as well.
Of course, it all ends as would have been entirely foreseeable if Alex had pondered the situation for three seconds and not just acted on her emotional need to return to help the sister she left for a reason in the first place. Non takes over Alex, puts her in a Kryptonite suit, and tells Kara it’s kill or be killed – either she has to kill her sister or she’ll die and he’ll get his revenge for Astra. Oh, Alex. See what happens when you don’t use even a smidgeon of forethought?
He Who Shall Not Be Seen References: They were out of hand this episode. Rather than just establishing he was off-world and thus couldn’t help, they made 5 references to “Superman,” 3 to “Kal-El,” 1 to “Clark,” 3 to “Cousin” and 1 to “Son of Jor-El.” And, of course, a distant blur as he was taken over by mind control. Seriously, just leave him off-planet next time. Kneeling to Zod’s minion is just degrading.
While I may have started reading Marvel comics, DC has always had my favorite superheroes. Christopher Reeve’s Superman was probably the first superhero I ever saw, and Dean Cain’s Clark Kent in Lois & Clark was probably my first crush. I’ve loved iterations of these characters in comics, animation, TV shows, and movies. I could probably watch these stories play out a thousand ways and never get tired of them. Which is why I have never understood why there seems to be an firm policy against having the same characters (even if played by different actors in different situations) on the big and small screen at the same time.
The first time I realized they had this policy when it came to characters, it was in the show Smallville. The show wanted to use Lois and it took them some time to get the green light – with a series of caveats that was simply mind-boggling. Of course, at the time, Superman Returns was hitting the theaters, and there was apparently a concern that the audience would be confused if they saw a Lois Lane and Clark Kent on the small screen at the same time they saw them on the silver one. So Smallville’s Lois couldn’t work in journalism, couldn’t be in a relationship with Clark Kent (even in a dream sequence), and so on.
Why? Why is there this idea that audiences can keep comics and movies straight, that we can differentiate between stories told on television and in animation, but if we see a movie and a television show air at approximately the same time but with a different cast and different plots, WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HANDLE THE CONFUSION.
It is particularly baffling given how drastically in the opposite direction Marvel has chosen to go, integrating their movies and shows into a larger cinematic universe. Of course, I’m not suggesting DC has to – or even should – do the same thing. I have no objection to Grant Gustin playing Flash on the small screen while Ezra Miller appears in the movies. I don’t object to a shared universe, but I don’t require it and I can certainly understand how it can cause its own share of headache and hassle.
But with The Flash, DC has introduced the concept of a Multiverse. And – at least as far as one can tell from Flash and reactions to Supergirl last night – the audience has embraced this idea. Even if we were completely ignorant of the idea before (and, come on, most people have consumed entirely too many movies and television shows for this to be an entirely foreign concept), for almost a full season, television audiences have understood the basic concept of multiple universes existing simultaneously but entirely independently of each other. Oliver Queen is Green Arrow on Earth 1, but his father may wear the green hood on Earth 2. Barry Allen is Flash on Earth 1, but on Earth 4, who knows? Maybe it’s Diggle. Anything can happen!
And yet there remains this insistence that a character slated to appear in the movies cannot appear on television – or, if they are currently on a show, they must be written off (with very notable exceptions, such as Barry Allen himself – however, without changing the foundation of the show entirely, they could hardly demand The Flash stop using him). Actress Willa Holland from Arrow recently discussed as much recently in an interview, speaking specifically of Harley Quinn. Arrow supposedly had plans for the character, but with Suicide Squad hitting movie screens in the relatively near future, the plug was pulled on that idea.
This frankly illogical business model undermines the integrity of their various stories. It is, after all, entirely conceivable that the writers of a television show and writers of a movie could both have incredibly awesome ideas about Harley Quinn, for example, concurrently and completely independently. In that happy event, everybody – audience and those who make money off the properties in question – is a winner! Instead, the writers of Supergirl have to do plot parkour to justify why Kara knows her cousin and speaks to him regularly, but he cannot ever, ever, EVER come to town to visit or help. Even if the safety of the entire planet is at risk. Or if she needs a hug. Or even just to talk to someone who has been there and understands what she’s going through as literally nobody else can. Holidays are completely out of the question; don’t even ask.
It also insults the intelligence of the audience themselves. This line they’ve drawn in the sand presupposes that audiences might watch Tom Welling and Brandon Routh both play a character Clark Kent – of different ages, with different levels of experience as a hero, and one without the S shield entirely – and remain completely incapable of grasping the concept that their stories are completely distinct from each other. “But they are both playing a character named Clark Kent! Only their fathers died twice? How can this possibly be reconciled? It’s so confusing!”
As a fan who has both read and watched far more than my share of stories about my favorite characters, I will never understand the illogic of this decision. The Flash has already established an incredible idea that Marvel hasn’t even hinted at in the Multiverse. That concept alone opens up an infinite number of creative story possibilities, and the sheer variety would be different from anything else in movies or on television today. I don’t know many fans (if any) who would object to the ability to enjoy both a movie and television series at the same time. Heck, I could watch three weekly shows just about Superman and never get tired of the character (but I recognize that in that respect, I may be a little unusual).
It’s time for DC and WB to let up on the reins a little, trust their audience a little more, and fully embrace the Multiverse they have already established. They may be concerned about audience confusion between movies and television, but the truth is that it would only make the stories told in both better.
In what has to have been the most promoted episode of either The Flash or Supergirl this entire year, this week’s episode of Supergirl was the episode with special guest star, Flash. I’m sure Grant Gustin enjoyed this episode more than any other he’s ever done, and I can only hope they made him a Superman shirt as a gift. He’s such a fan, and seeing a happy version of Flash had to be the highlight of the episode for me. I’ve missed the more cheerful Barry from season 1.
Barry and Kara are the only ones enjoying themselves in this episode, however, as everyone else seems to be suffering from varying degrees of misery. The villains of the week are Siobhan – now fully Silver Banshee – and her partner in crime, Livewire.
Siobhan developed powers at the end of last week’s episode, and the DEO tests her this week to try to determine the cause. Little do they know, her family was cursed by a banshee generations ago, so these powers will manifest when she’s been wronged. I still don’t think she has been, but she still blames Cat and Kara for her own actions, and I’m assuming the curse is more interested in her perception than in reality. She has to kill those who wronged her or maintain her powers – and lose a piece of her soul.
While at the DEO, Siobhan overhears Lucy interrogating Livewire because the super-secret organization has never really learned how to nail down that “secret” part, apparently. She knows that Livewire also hates Cat, so she decides to adopt that old adage, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and break her out of jail.
Meanwhile Kara is still struggling with the city’s distrust to the point where she suggests Siobhan may be the hero the city needs. Either her pity party has hit an all-time low or the show really does want the audience to believe Kara’s somehow responsible for Siobhan’s predicament on some level. The two women worked across from each other for at least a couple of weeks. Kara has to know that a viper the size of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man would make a better superhero for the city than her former co-worker.
Winn isn’t entirely ready to let Siobhan go, so when Livewire and Silver Banshee go to CatCo for revenge, he tries to talk his girlfriend – or at least friend with benefits – down. She’s not listening, though, and rejects his attempts with a pretty decisive sonic scream.
Luckily for Supergirl, she doesn’t have to take this team on alone. The Flash is in town, having accidentally sped his way in from another dimension. After he thinks he’s saved Kara when she’s falling from a building (and speeds her to Utah, apparently, because his super speed is a little overenthusiastic), he discovers she’s an alien.
This is, of course, the coolest thing he’s ever heard. After establishing that he’s in another dimension – one with a Central City but not with a STAR Labs, he volunteers to help Supergirl with her superhuman problem if she helps him get home.
To that end, Kara takes him to the DEO, which doesn’t please her new boss, Lucy. Lucy points out there are protocols in place for visitors, which I assume were put into place in the fifteen minutes previously, because Siobhan certainly had no problem listening in on an entire top-secret interrogation.
After bonding over the highs and lows of being a superhero (Barry tells Kara to have faith she’ll win the city’s trust back in time), they team up and take on Livewire and Silver Banshee. Supergirl puts her life on the line to save a single helicopter, which is apparently enough to win the city’s trust back. It seems Barry overestimated how much time it would take. The city is now firmly back on her side.
Cat is suddenly all aboard the Karolsen train, as she tries to push Kara and James together. This would be fine with me if there had ever been even a 30 second conversation about her totally inappropriate behavior that lasted for weeks after Kara broke it off with Adam. Don’t get me wrong — I’m glad they moved on past that, but it is something that went on long enough, I feel it should have been addressed within the show and not just swept under the rug.
But that’s apparently entirely forgotten, and Cat gives Kara some truly terrible advice about making James jealous. While I cringed, her advice does seem to work as James is clearly not happy about the Scarlet Speedster’s presence in town.
After a short pep talk from Barry, Kara decides to act on her feelings with the most awkward pass ever and lays a kiss on James. With unfortunate timing, since James – and the rest of the humans of National City, apparently – is put under mind control just at that moment. Just what dastardly deed will Non attempt next?
They Who Shall Not Be Seen References: Too many to count, if you consider all the name dropping this episode has. One to Superman and a bunch of references to characters on The Flash. Continuing their trend that Iris West is not allowed to participate in crossovers in any way, however, she is the one main character who is not mentioned in this crossover. Of course.
Putting the Cat in CatCo: “He was so unfailing charming and nice he either had to be a superhero or a Mormon.”
While one would have expected this episode of Supergirl to focus on Kara’s relationship with the people of National City, trying to regain their trust, this episode instead focuses on Hank’s past and his relationship with both the DEO and the Danvers sisters. I might be irritated by that, except I think the actor who plays Hank does a hell of a good job.
On the Outs
Kara still isn’t trusted by the people of National City, although they know she was not in her right mind when she went crazy last week. Cat is irritated that they aren’t willing to let it go, but she takes solace in the idea that if Mel Gibson can present at the Golden Globes, the city can forgive Supergirl eventually, too. She might be overlooking the fact that he may have presented an award, but he’s hardly forgiven. (She must not have stuck around for Ricky Gervais’ comments towards the man in question.)
With that subplot percolating in the background, the plot turns to Martian Manhunter, who is also distrusted by the people of National City. Worse, he’s being investigated by Pete from Warehouse 13, who is no better of a person than General Lane was. This show doesn’t seem to have a high opinion of military members.
In Supergirl, he’s a Colonel who was friends with the real Hank Henshaw and isn’t feeling in a particularly listening mood. No matter what Hank says, he’s determined to see him as a threat and has both him and Alex arrested to be carted off to Cadmus Labs, where he unapologetically admits Hank will be used as a lab rat. Cadmus tests on aliens to make weapons for the military, and even Superman is afraid of them.
Meanwhile, Siobhan is crying into a liquid lunch about her hatred for Kara, blaming her for her predicament. My opinion of this character only continues to dwindle, as she refuses to show an ounce of self-awareness about her own culpability for her situation. Winn tries to encourage her, and while he’s not my favorite character on the show, he also deserves better than this storyline.
In order to get back at Kara, Siobhan sneaks into CatCo and tries to frame Kara with a very nasty e-mail to her boss. Unfortunately for her, Winn has analyzed her typing patterns and tips Cat off to the truth. Cat’s sole regret is that she can only fire Siobhan once, and still Siobhan refuses to recognize that she’s lying in the bed she made. Instead, she gets drunk, falls off a building, and develops her superpowers – which she will undoubtedly use against Supergirl next week.
A Little Backstory
We do get a few key flashbacks this week. The first is to the real Hank, who was the kind of jerk you’d expect a man like the Colonel to befriend. After the Martian Manhunter saves Jeremiah Danvers from the world’s slowest snake, the two men become fast friends.
Hank isn’t having any of it and tries to kill the alien, regardless of his good intentions. He even seems to enjoy causing him pain. Jeremiah saves the day, though he loses his life in the process – or, at least, the Manhunter thinks he does. It turns out he may be alive after all…a prisoner of Cadmus.
Our second flashback is to the meeting of Alex and Hank, and why she has such respect for him. She was a drunk, aimless party girl and he gave her purpose and a job.
Finally, we get a flashback to Kara as a young girl, learning she has to hide her abilities from people in order to stay safe. As an old fan of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, I was thrilled to see the heart-to-heart between Jeremiah and Kara. He even said “Superman!” It’s the little things that make me happy.
On the Run
Although Lucy was the person to arrest Alex and has never given any indication that she would be willing to help Supergirl if she were on fire, Kara reveals her secret to her current-crush’s-ex to enlist the other woman’s help.
It’s a pretty bold move, since Lucy has never made any pretense about liking anyone wearing the “S” shield (and isn’t terribly happy about helping the girl she knew her boyfriend had feelings for. She pushed him at Kara while dumping him, but she apparently didn’t really want him to act on her suggestion). I really hate what they’ve done with Lucy on this show, so I could only groan at the big reveal.
More because the plot demands it than because it makes sense for the character, Lucy comes around after hearing Kara’s story about what it’s like to be an alien. She still doesn’t trust anyone who spends every day lying (and must really hate her sister, given Lois’s connection to Superman). But she helps Kara break Alex and Hank out of jail, and they go on the run.
In the end, Lucy is named the new head of the DEO, which is definitely a good thing given her unabashed hatred of aliens and people who have to lie all the time to everyone. It should in no way be a problem for her that, working for a super secret organization, she will now have to lie to everyone she knows about her job.
Next week, the Flash comes to town. For the record, while I’m sure that they will leave the question of who’s faster in the air, the Flash should win this race. It’s kinda his thing.
He Who Shall Not Be Seen References: 4 references to Clark/Superman.
Line of the Night: “The world already has a Superman. All you need to be is Kara Danvers.” Thanks, former Superman!
If only it wasn’t for the guilt that follows, of course.
While watching this week’s episode, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend about this show a couple weeks ago. (Bear with me; it’s pertinent, I swear.) She said that her main complaint with Supergirl is that, like many CBS shows, no real character progression is allowed. Two steps forward, one step back, and they try to find a way to regress relationships.
I hadn’t really thought about it much before that conversation, but I couldn’t help but think of it tonight as I watched the show. My initial impression is that this may have actually been one of my favorite episodes of the show, but I can’t help but think about the two steps forward they took… and the one step back.
If we didn’t know what tonight’s episode was about, we probably could guess by how much the show concentrates on showing what a hero Supergirl is and how loved she is by the city in the first ten minutes. I have to admit, even my cynical heart is warmed by her saving the little girl from the school bullies – moments like that are everything a Supergirl (or even Superman) character should be.
We are also treated to a scene where she and James come oh so close to admitting their feelings for each other, as he both lies in saying that she had nothing to do with his recent breakup and tells the truth that he perhaps didn’t love Lucy as much as he should have. I could swear warning bells tolled as he spoke that line.
Of course, the happy glow of hero-ness and burgeoning love couldn’t last. Kara unwittingly gets exposed to Red Kryptonite, and the game is officially on. As in Smallville, Red Kryptonite in Supergirl seems to lower her inhibitions – at first making her rather like a petulant teenager. She’s snarky to Hank, to Cat, to Siobhan… basically to everybody. She isn’t thrilled about doing either job. Of course, her wardrobe gets a makeover – enough to stop James in his tracks and momentarily forget that ex girlfriend of his. She is not here for any of that nonsense she usually tolerates, like “patience” and “friends” and “steady employment.”
Her behavior spirals increasingly out of control, until even Cat can’t help but notice. And if Cat is noticing your attitude is Perhaps a Bit Much, you know you need to go have some quiet time and maybe a nap somewhere. To her credit, Cat had finally, finally, thank you god finally put her anger towards Kara behind her this week, no longer mad at her assistant for not using her feminine wiles to get her son to stay. (Yes, the fact that it lasted as long as it did leaves a bad taste in my mouth still, but she reminded me why I liked her so much before that arc so I am trying very hard to forget it.) Maybe they realized only one person should be acting irrationally angry each episode, and Kara pretty squarely had that market covered.
From flirting shamelessly with James (while calling his ex-girlfriend every name in the book), to insulting and taunting everyone around her, the only thing nice about Kara this week is her makeup and hair. Okay, awkward segue, but I really wanted to throw in a shout-out to the makeup and hair department because I really don’t think we’ve ever seen her look better. Seriously, well done.
At any rate, in line with her current mood of not being worried about making – or keeping – friends, she prompts Siobhan’s exit from CatCo. Well, to be fair, Siobhan herself does the trick. She’s so jealous that Kara’s finally getting praise from Cat again and she’s Assistant Number Two, she tries to go behind Cat and sell a story that trashes Supergirl (by revealing she let a bad guy go) that the woman in question rejected to the Daily Planet. Kara overhears and reveals the plot, and Siobhan is unceremoniously booted to the curb.
While I certainly don’t like Kara’s attitude – and taunting after – the simple fact remains that the fault for Siobhan’s abrupt unemployment is squarely on her own doorstep. After all, Kara’s revelations and attitude aside, she didn’t twist Siobhan’s arm to go behind Cat’s back. I can’t find it in my heart to feel sympathy for her. In fact, it’s exactly the kind of thing Siobhan would have done, given the chance, and no amount of flirtation with Winn over the span of perhaps one episode can make me mistake her for a better-intentioned character.
At any rate, Kara’s downward spiral hits its low point when she throws Cat off a building to make a point about power (catching her before she hits the ground, of course) and threatens the city. Cat renounces her for the public good, and all the people who loved her in the first ten minutes are now heartbroken. Maxwell Lord reveals he was – supposedly unintentionally – behind the creation of Red Kryptonite and helps the DEO come up with a cure.
They do manage to use it on Kara, but not before Hank is forced to reveal his true nature to take her down. Alex begs him to escape, but he winks at her and nonchalantly lets himself be captured instead, because even when he’s eight feet tall and green, he still has more swagger than you.
Once she recovers from her Red K steam bath, Kara doesn’t need to be told what she did when she was under the influence – she remembers too well. The scene where she cries to Alex and confesses how horrible it was that she couldn’t stop herself has to be some of the best acting we’ve had from Melissa Benoist all year.
She tries to make amends, but apologies don’t always make things better. Hank is under arrest by the DEO for being an alien, though he doesn’t hold a grudge against Kara for his predicament. Although he seemed to be getting a little burgeoning love interest earlier in the episode in the form of the previously anti-alien Senator Crane, she slams that door pretty hard in his face now that the truth is out. She’s also anti-alien again, naturally. Love is a fickle mistress. (Has he tried winking at her? I’m pretty sure that would do the trick.)
Leaving Hank’s love life aside for the moment, it’s time for apologies all around. Kara apologizes to Alex for the horrible things she said, and Alex admits there was some truth to her words. She tries apologizing to James, as well, but when she tries to admit her feelings, he shuts her down. It’s a little too much for him at the moment, and he needs time. She apologizes to Cat, who is definitely way more willing to forgive the woman who threw her off a building than I would be. Cat leaves Kara with the encouraging sentiment that if anyone can win back the trust of the city, it’s her.
I’m actually intrigued to find out how Kara will win the city back. While I certainly don’t want her on the outs for too long, I hope it isn’t wrapped up with a shiny bow in the next episode. This could be a really pivotal episode for the series, tackling the important issue of trust in our heroes and what the consequences may be when that trust is broken. But when she gets back into the city’s hearts – as well she should – I really want that moment to be earned.
He Who Shall Not Be Seen References: One to Superman, two to Perry White. As it turns out, Perry will not be hiring Siobhan in thanks for her backstabbing efforts, thank you very much.
“I’m Supergirl!”: Saving the little girl at the beginning from bullies, using her x-ray vision to learn her name and pretend they’re friends (as she would be with all non-bullies in the city). A perfect Supergirl moment.
Putting the Cat in CatCo: “Brazen. That’s a new color on you. I don’t mind it. Yet.” Thank you, show, for not making me hate Cat this week, as I have for entirely too long.
Episode MVP: I’m really tempted to say Cat (for finally being likable again) or Hank (for being awesome in the face of handcuffs), but Melissa Benoist really deserves all the accolades this week, culminating in a crying scene that brought tears to my eyes.