There’s a rather steep learning curve when it comes to being a superhero, and this is a lesson most newbie superheroes are forced to learn in their first year in tights. You don’t just put on a cape and join the Justice League and start saving the world. You have to build up to that.
In tonight’s episode, Kara’s excitement and overconfidence gets the best of her, and she’s forced to check herself (after wrecking herself). “Stronger Together” is strong follow-up to last week’s fun, albeit super-stuffed, series premiere that includes some great character development for Alex and starts to reveal what kind of a superhero Kara hopes to be.
The show’s infectious joy returns right at the start of the episode. We open out in the desert, where the DEO is testing Kara’s skills. She’s zipping through the sky and dodging missiles like it’s no problem at all. Once she’s done with the assessment, Kara flies off to put out a fire that erupted right next to a docked oil tanker. Unfortunately, in attempting to move the tanker away from the fire, she accidentally breaks the bow of the boat, thereby flooding the bay with oil.
“I went from superhero to ecoterrorist in a single bound,” Kara complains to Winn when she returns to the office later that day. We’re only a week after her debut, and she’s already turned some of National City against her, like billionaire Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli), who is shown talking to reporters about all the damage and problems Supergirl will bring to their city.
Supergirl’s recent failing also has Cat Grant on edge because not only is she annoyed that Supergirl isn’t living up to her name, but The Daily Planet is running front page stories about her. Wishing to scoop Daily Planet hacks Clark Kent and Lois Lane, Cat orders James to use his connection to Superman to get her a one-on-one meeting with Supergirl. Yeah, Kara definitely isn’t going to agree to that.
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A Fort Rozz escapee attacks some workers at chemical plant, which leads to the DEO being called in. As she surveys the scenes, Kara realizes she knows what attacked these men: a Hellgrammite, an insect that can take the form of anything it wishes and must consume chlorine to survive. Kara knows all this because she remembers reading up on this species after her mother imprisoned one in Fort Rozz years ago.
(ASIDE: Tonight’s episode starts to touch on the emotional implications of Kara arriving on this Earth when she was 13, unlike infant Kal-El. Can you imagine how hard it must’ve been for her to adjust to life on Earth after knowing something different for 13 years? I really hope the show flashes back to her first few days on Earth. END ASIDE).
Hank is concerned that Kara doesn’t know “how not to be killed.” So, Alex takes Kara into a Kryptonite-lined room for some hand-to-hand combat. It’s actually a great-looking scene, and I love how the camera circles around the women. On an equal playing field because of the Kryptonite, Alex beats Kara and severely bruises Kara’s confidence.
Then, Kara returns to work and sees Cat’s latest headline, “Supergirl: Failure to Launch.” Naturally, she takes offense at it and tries to defend Supergirl by pointing out that Superman made mistakes when he first started. That argument doesn’t fly with Cat, who insists that this scene passes the Bechdel test by declaring she’s tired of talking about Superman and then, dishes out some Eli Pope-like wisdom: “Every woman worth her salt knows that we have to work twice as hard as a man to be thought of as a half as good.” Cat thinks Supergirl need to calm down and start small.
Meanwhile, Big Bad Aunt Astra and her minions corner the Hellgrammite. Astra plans on using the Hellgrammite as bait to lure her niece out.
NEXT: What does the “S” mean?