Supergirl: 3.02 Triggers
This season is not wowing me so far. After last weeks less than engaging season opener (Legends of Tomorrow is the only DC show that really came back with a bang!) Supergirl offers up much of the same in Triggers, an episode which kind of feels like it's treading water.
The series is showing its CW roots this episode with a very cheesy, soft rock soundtracked opening sequence showing the difference between Alex and Maggie’s cutesy loved up morning routine and Kara’s moping, empty bed, sad and loveless morning routine. Last week ended on the upbeat note that Kara was perhaps coming back to the bosom of her friends and family but it looks like she’s still gonna be gloomy and whiny for a while.
So, just, what is going on with CatCo? I have no idea? Lena turns up at the office this week where Jaaaames practically gets on he’s knees to thank her for “saving” CatCo but nothing has been very clear about the nature of the takeover, buyout, whatever happened? And I don’t buy for one minute that Cat would just sit back while some man tried to buy her company, she’d be down there like a shot to take on Morgan Edge herself, not leaving it to chance that a benevolent Luthor would make a counter offer. The whole thing stinks of thoughtless plotting just to get Lena into Cat’s office.
Also, Jaaaaaaames’ reaction to Lena declaring she’d be in the office everyday is tiresome. The complete mishandling of Jimmy has become too jarring and his behavior too easy to read as problematic to brush over. He gets so grumpy this week at Lena’s intrusion onto his patch, a patch that still literally makes no sense for him to have! Why did Cat leave a staff photographer in charge of her media empire? I mean, he basically let the company get bought out form underneath him too? My biggest worry here is that they’re trying to set up some kind of Moonlighting, Sam & Diane thing with these two. If they do it would be a really damaging misstep for Lena’s character. Man, I hate Jaaames so much.
The main plot this week revolves round a criminal called Psi, who psychically triggers people’s fear as a distraction in order to commit various crimes. After her initial encounter wth Psi, which leaves her shaken but okay, J’onn shows he can scan Kara’s mind for residual psychic energy. That probably would’ve been useful many, many times in the past, J’onn! Also, Maggie just seems to be part of the DEO gang now, too?
The basic plot is very monster of the week, which is fine and Psi’s evil powers do offer up some pretty cool set pieces (one set on our favourite red-sun circling planet is especially well executed) but ultimately she's just a cipher (or Psipher? No? Okay...) for Kara's ongoing gloom plotline. Kara does start to come out of her gloomy state through this episode but it really feels like we’re re-treading the same beats from last week.
I never thought I’d say I want more Winn but I wish this show had more Winn, he’s one of the few characters that still feels upbeat.
Throughout the episode we keep cutting back to Samantha Arias and her daughter. Although this is setting up for the series big bad it’s so far pretty boring and is slightly jarring how we keep popping back to check in on this character we don’t really care about. Maggie and Alex are still showing the emotional maturity of teenagers in their relationship and I’m increasingly disappointed at the show for creating such obvious, fake tension, which feels almost like a betrayal of the characters. I can’t decide if they’ll break up because Maggie dies or Alex is unfaithful? Maybe both but it feels inevitable.
I’d never say ‘this was the worst episode ever’ but this was a slog to get through, which isn’t great for episode two of a new season. I think maybe Supergirl would benefit from being a shorter run of 13 or 16 episodes as I’ve found each season to be almost 50/50 good and bad episodes. For a show that prided itself, even sold itself, on being bright, upbeat, fun and hopeful when it first hit our screen, the darker, gloomy approach so far this season isn’t interesting or contrasting, its just dull.