Supergirl: 2.14 Homecoming

I feel this is another episode of Supergirl that falls into the good character work, poor story category. The basic premise is that Kara and Alex’s Dad, Jeremiah aka Dean Cain, conveniently returns, Mon-El doesn’t trust him but everyone else, like, literally, everyone else, does. While this of course leads to some great character interactions and development, story wise it comes with some gaping holes as well as being predictable and near tension free.

This episodes has one of the best opening scenes I’ve seen on the show, with Mon-El waking up alone in Kara’s bed all snuggly, then padding around the apartment listening to the morning news extol Supergirl's morning exploits which involves several rescues, crime stopping and delivering a litter of puppies. All in a mornings work for a Super. Once Kara is back, with breakfast and flowers for Mon-El, they kiss leading to a very subtle bit of dialogue about it being “nice to do that without braking a guys nose”. Kara referencing braking at least 4 guys noses with kissing is just enough information to placate Kevin Smith's favourite subject, superheroes and sex. With that line, we know that Kara has been physical with men, we know that he’s damaged men and we know that she and Mon-El don’t have that problem. And that’s all we need to know.

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Kara’s dad is rescued from Cadmus in a pretty impressive truck stunt, it always makes me happy to see Supergirl and Martian Manhunter flying through the sky! Thought the “roads” these trucks drive down always look a little like old airstrips or abandoned test tracks.

I'm a huge fan Dean Cain and I’ve watched a lot of Christmas TV movies were he gets second billing to dogs, so its great to see everyone’s 3rd favourite Superman pop up in this primetime show and remind us that he’s actually a good actor when he puts his mind to it.

Once back at the DEO everyone is, of course, extremely happy to see Dean Cain, except Mon-El and unfortunately this is where this episodes really falls down. Kara and especially Alex, trusting their father blindly works but everyone else, especially J’onn, doesn’t ring true. Within a couple of days J’onn has reinstated Dean Cain’s security access codes and is giving him unaccompanied, free reign of the facility. This I just can’t buy and it feels out of character for J’onn to be this blindly trusting and unprofessional, even with the conceit that they were good friends and Dean Cain made him feel at home on Earth. Though I wasn’t expecting, when having a dinner with his family, Kara’s mum to say they needed to “re-learn each other”. I really liked that she acknowledged that you cant simply jump back into a relationship after him being away for so very long – though she does still trust him pretty quickly. The whole family dinner scene is genuinely lovely but it’s a little undercut by the fact you know something bad is about to happen, it inevitably does when Mon-El refuses to toast Dean Cain and Kara and Alex get pissy with him. Dean Cain also tells Mon-El that he knows who he really is, hinting more at Mon-El being something other than he is.

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I like that Mon-El keeps messing up relationship wise, announcing to the DEO that he and Kara are dating after she told him not to for example. It makes its easier for Kara to ignore his very valid worries about Dean Cain but also his suspicions of her father allow her an inroad to call him on the relationship stuff, stuff which someone might have let slide in the early, honeymoon part of a relationship. Their actions and reactions really compliment each other this week and while I’m sick of the Alien bar, this week it was perfectly used when a sad Mon-El bumps into and chats with Winn. This scene felt important too as it's vital we as an audience know Mon-El wants to be better, if we saw his behaviour from Kara’s viewpoint too much it would be very easy to dislike him.

So Cadmus have a big bomb and Dean Cain seems to be the best person to help them find it but to no ones surprise, he was tricking them all along and betrays everyone. By the time Dean Cain turns, Kara has been convinced they need to be more objective and this does give us a well needed scene when she falls out with Alex who can’t be objective about her father at all. On discovering Dean Cain has betrayed them, J’onn’s rage is great but why in TV shows do people shoot computer monitors to stop computers form working? Computers don’t work that way.

Eventually Dean Cain runs off with Cadmus, the finale has a great scene of Supergirl having to fix a sabotaged railway bridge while Alex chases Dean Cain and its heavily implied that her father is helping the baddies to protect her rather than just be bad. Again, in what is becoming a slightly boring and predictable show, this leads me to think that Dean Cain will bite the bullet somewhere in the final couple of episodes in a protect his family/redemption arc. Maybe I’ll be wrong?

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There are some great moments this week;
I like that Alex seems to retreat to alcohol when things get bad. Not in any worrisome way but there is a consistency of character there that I like.
Mon-El’s apology scene at the end, shifting away from him actually apologising and becoming him simply being there for Kara was nice and more pertinent than an apology.
Cadmus Cream Egg made me laugh as did J’onn telling Kara and Mon-El to see “Pam in HR” about their relationship, every company has a Pam in HR. Also, NO JIMMY! YAAAAAY!
But I found the ease at which Dean Cain infiltrated and tricked everyone too unbelievable and the DEO couldn’t tell that he had a robotic arm?

I'm still worried that Supergirl is treading water. I don't feel like the balance between character development and ongoing/villain of the week stories is consistent. I enjoy watching these characters develop and interact but to what purpose? Cadmus isn't a very engaging enemy, despite the potential of the political/anti alien angle. Cadmus also doesn't feel big. There is no sense of actual conspiracy since all we ever really see is Lillian Luthor and sometimes Cyborg-Superman. It's so small and therefore doesn't feel that threatening. Some sense of infiltration on a wide scale would be good.

I love this show bust something isn’t gelling for me this season and the very soapy plots seems to wrap up too neatly each week, the show is losing its tension and excitement for me so I’m hoping they do something to re-capture it soon…