This week’s Supergirl was something of a packed episode. There was the focus on Kara’s (Melissa Benoist) romance with James (Mehcad Brooks), the interview with Cat Grant (Calista Flockheart) that went awry, and the multiple battles with Reactron (Chris Browning) to contend with. Factor in a small but notable guest appearance from the Man of Steel himself (sort of) and it becomes one heck of a ride.
Breaking it down, the first and best place to start is Kara’s relationship with James. While the show seems to be toying with the idea of a love triangle between Kara, James, and Kara’s best friend Winn (Jeremy Jordan), right now, the viewers at home get all the fun of a flirty, awkward-cute Kara that laughs at James’ nerdy jokes. It’s one of the most endearing scenes of the entire episode, and the chemistry between Benoist and Brooks is palpable.
Also worth noting is the unexpected but growing chemistry between James and Winn, who have an enjoyable, amicable rivalry going on. Hopefully, the show won’t sabotage the super fun friendship between the three for a messy romantic plot; it’s already very clear that Kara only has romantic interest in James. And while James’ ex, Lucy Lane (Jenna Dewan Tatum), has come to town, that’s no reason to start layering on the romantic drama with a wide brush. For one, rumor has it that Lucy and Kara are going to have a very promising friendship, so hopefully that will be built on in the next episode!
Moving to the Cat Grant plot, the show cleverly uses Grant’s own cynicism and narcissism to discuss and dispel criticisms of Supergirl. Grant is something of a mouthpiece for the writers. If the episode is going to make a point, Cat Grant will somehow be involved.
This week the show looked at Millennials, and at Grant’s wide stroke critique of them as a whole. Kara serves as the millennial voice piece, and came across as both intelligent and powerful in on fell swoop. In a discussion with her boss, Kara manages to both assert herself and her generation, reminding Grant that Supergirl has barely been given a chance to prove herself.
That brings us to our quote of the week: “When people are hurt or scared, they think of Superman. But they can also think of [Supergirl,] too. She is every bit the hero he is. She just needs a chance to prove herself.”
Supergirl continues to empower its audience on a weekly basis, and it’s a show that’s not ashamed to be a little corny to get a message across. It’s brightening TV every week, is what it’s doing.
Which brings up the final part of the episode, the Reactron battles and the Superman cameo. Interestingly enough, Kara spends most of this episode talking about how little she wants her cousin to come help her out. When the battle with Reactron heads south, it’s Superman’s silhouette that swoops in and saves Kara’s life.
Supergirl can’t exist as a show without acknowledging Superman’s influence. If they tried to dance around it, the show would sink. Having him show up on occasion, even if it’s in this blurry, casual manner, is better for the show in the long run. It means his presence is there, and that the show can address how it benefits and detracts from Kara’s own superhero experience. Everyone has been talking about Superman enough that it makes sense for him to show up. Especially because now, Kara moving forward will feel more organic.
Also, the IM conversation Kara and Clark had at the end of the episode was a nice touch, and a good way to keep Superman’s opinion in the loop.
Worth noting is a subplot that seems to be brewing with Hank Henshaw (David Harewood.) Is he possessed? Does he have powers? How much of him helping the Danvers sisters is of his own free will, and how much of it is whatever’s going on in his head? We’ll have to keep watching to find out.
On an ending note, every episode of Supergirl should have at least one food/bonding moment between Kara and Alex (Chyler Leigh.) Leigh continues to be a standout every week, and the bond between sisters serves as the driving force this episode. It’ especially pertinent when Kara is dealing with other family matters.
Supergirl airs on CBS, Mondays at 8/7c.