Supergirl: 2.02 The Last Children of Krypton
Another fun episode of Supergirl this week but I have to confess, I feel like a little something is missing so far this season.
The opening sequence is lovely, with Super cousins happily saving buildings and people together (and we're given an awesome close shot of Superman spinning around clouds to make rain, it may not be turning the earth backwards but it looks pretty cool). Just a casual day of upholding truth, justice and the American way. We soon see that J'onn and Supes really do have beef with each other, which while a nice touch, is perhaps a plot beat too many. Kara's line to J'onn about being nice to her cuz, "How hard is it to be nice to Superman, he's Superman!" is perfect!
We get a little more development of Supes this episode; this is a ten year established Superman, in a relationship with Lois and a commemorative park in Metropolis BUT there is no Justice League that we know of? An interesting angle would be if Supergirl, with her desire to work alongside her cousin was in some way the catalyst for the Justice League forming, with the promise of multi show crossovers later in the run and Kara's deep desire for family it would be a fitting path to take the idea.
Something pretty upsetting this week; Cat is leaving. This is devastating as Cat (and Calista Flockhart) was a revelation for me last season, blowing my expectations out of the water. The skill in her development, writing and performance was far more sophisticated than I had expected and I'm sad to see her go. However I do think it's actually very wise because he usefulness to Kara's story is over and she would just become an empty character if we kept her around, possibly unravelling what made her such a strong character in the first place. Her slightly meta leaving speech was nice and touching as was her hug with Kara. Though I'm still convinced she knows who Supergirl really is...
Her kind of replacement, Grumpy Boss Guy, feels a little redundant. Sort of half Cat, half Perry White. I once again feel like I'm being presented with a fairly two dimensional workplace foil for Kara and I'm worried I can see exactly where his development and relationship with Kara will go; hopefully the show will surprise me again. There is a fine line between cruel to be kind and illegal abuse in the workplace.
I'm never sure how I feel about Metallo as an on screen villain. Some of my favourite, older comics involve Metallo but he's never that menacing on screen. I think as a character he appeals to a TV budget because he's cheap, a guy with Kryptonite clamped to his chest is easy to do but I'd like to see a full on, Terminator style Metallo. Failing that, an engaging character arc (something Smallville almost pulled off). Unfortunately Supergirl doesn't deliver this and these Metallos, even if they're just prototypes, are pretty underwhelming.
There are some great touched this week – Winn being unable to decide if Superman and Martian Manhunter fighting is terrible or awesome is great, I feel like Winn has very quickly found a place as a kind Cisco Ramon character and he fits much better at the DEO than at CatCo. We also get some beautiful stuff at The Fortress of Solitude which is a perfect mix of Donner and comic book. We get a little bit of Metropolis too this week though just a glimpse. Everything between J’onn and Supes is lovely and director Glen Winter does a great job throughout this episode.
There are some odd moments this week, like when Kara and Alex are hanging out in Kara’s flat, Kara flies off to do some Supergirling then flies back to the DEO moments later and Alex is there, and completely changed outfit? But we’ll let it slide. Also, Alex’s reaction to Kara wanting to hang out with Clark felt a little forced, though Winn making her see sense was nice development for them both.
This was another fun but wobbly episode, I’ve loved this Superman who hugs people and smiles and winks and helps people, I’m sad to see Cat go but hope it opens things up and general feel that getting Supes out the way will allow for a far more open exploration of Kara and her stories.
One big downer, just when I thought we’d got away with a Jimmy free episode he pops up at the end… now running CatCo? What? This makes no sense whatsoever and I just watched a guy with a glowing green heart fight a flying woman in a cape!