Everyone has a case of the anger feels this week on Supergirl. Kara, James and Cat spend most of “Red Faced” four, five seconds from wildin’, except one of them actually ends up losing their chill.
“Red Faced” is a nice rebound from last week’s lame installment. As I mentioned last week, Supergirl is at its best when it focuses on family dynamics and moments of connection between its characters that don’t focus on romance, and this episode definitely showed that off. It lures you into thinking Kara’s anger issues are tied to her crush on James, but then it quickly reveals there’s a deeper and more complex reason.
Like most Supergirl episodes, tonight’s opens with Kara soaring through the sky. It’s the only place she can find peace and quiet. Sadly, her peace is ruined by two drivers with road rage who almost hit a kids’ soccer team. Preventing an accident requires she total both cars, which angers one of the drivers, who tries to punch her. Supergirl instinctively blocks him and breaks his wrist, which scares both the children and the rest of the city.
Naturally, this incident makes the news and Maxwell Lord uses it as an opportunity to hurt Supergirl in the press. His glib comparison of Supergirl’s incident to police brutality doesn’t work at all.
Everyone else in Kara’s life is also on the verge of losing their cool. Lucy informs James that her father, Gen. Sam Lane (Glenn Morshower), is in town and would like to have dinner, which is something James isn’t looking forward to because the two men don’t get along. Then, there’s Cat, who is dealing with her mother, Katherine, being in town. Oh boy, is Mama Grant a character. She effortlessly belittles her daughter’s achievements and is just rather unpleasant.
Agent Pierce Gen. Lane shows up at the DEO to request that Supergirl be handed over to his command to test Red Tornado, an anti-insurgent android created by Dr. Morrow. Red Tornado Lucy Lane shows up at her father’s side and says Supergirl must comply with the order because the president said so. Really, Supergirl can’t catch a break from this girl. First, James invites her to their weekly game night without asking her and now this.
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Game night is the only thing keeping Kara from wildin’ because it’s the one piece of normalcy she has left in her life. She doesn’t even let Cat, who takes out her anger over being ditched by her mother on Kara (“Don’t you think you’ve made enough of a fool of yourself over James Olsen for one day?” says Cat, revealing she’s not blind), keep her away from it. Kara heads home for the big night where it’s her and Winn versus perfect couple James and Lucy. Winn and Kara actually make a terrible team. The conversation eventually turns toward Supergirl, and Lucy says she was unimpressed when she met her. And Kara sits there trying not to lose her chill.
The next day it’s time for the big Kara versus Red Tornado fight, and luckily, Kara is aching for a fight. She unleashes all of her power on Red Tornado and wins the fight. Unfortunately, this beating activates Red Tornado’s emergency self-preservation protocol, and it flies off, which isn’t good news for National City. More bad news: Gen. Lane fires Dr. Morrow.
NEXT: Kara finds the anger behind the anger
When Kara returns to work, Cat starts yelling at her for some unimportant reason. National City’s Queen of Media picked the wrong day to mess with Kara, who yells back. Kara is immediately embarrassed and apologizes profusely, but Cat is actually impressed and decides they’re both taking the rest of the day off to drink. During their midday boozing, the conversation touches on how (Caucasian) men can be angry in public but women can’t because it’s looked down upon. Several drinks in, Cat tells Kara she needs to find out what the anger is behind the anger because Kara is obviously pissed off about more than just Cat’s yelling. This scene works because it humanizes Cat Grant without dulling her edge.
Meanwhile, James, Lucy, and the general go out for dinner, which goes terribly because the general thinks James isn’t good enough for his daughter. As they leave the restaurant, Red Tornado shows up and attacks Gen. Lane. Supergirl arrives on the scene and has a harder time fighting him because it seems as though he learned from their first round. Using her humanity against her, Red Tornado unleashes a tornado on the street because he knows Supergirl will save the civilians, giving him an opportunity to flee.
The DEO is at a loss as to how to track Red Tornado, but thankfully Maxwell Lord comes through. Alex approached him earlier for help, but he initially declined. Now, he’s agreed to help them. When Alex shows up at his office, he has a candlelit table waiting because he wants to get to know Alex more. Building on their chemistry in “How Does She Do It,” the two bond over their parents dying in service of the government. Eventually, Maxwell reveals that he found out that Dr. Morrow is controlling Red Tornado. Seriously, former employees have no chill on this show.
Meanwhile, Kara and James work through their anger issues by punching things: Kara a car and James a punching bag. Through this exercise, Kara realizes she’s not angry about the fact that James and Lucy are together but that it reminds her that she’ll never have a normal life. Her parents guaranteed that the moment they placed her in that ship. Remember what I said at the beginning about this being deeper than her crush?
Realizing Morrow wants revenge on Gen. Lane, they decide to lure Red Tornado out with a hologram of the awful general. While Kara channels her rage into fighting Red Tornado, Alex goes after Morrow. Unfortunately, Morrow is controlling Red Tornado with a telepathic relay, so the only way to stop him is to kill him. Alex tries to avoid killing him, but in the end, she has to. However, that doesn’t stop Red Tornado, who has apparently become sentient. Drawing on all her rage (flashbacks to her parents loading her into that ship are shown), Kara unleashes the full power of heat vision on the android. She destroys him, but the fight leaves her very out of breath.
The next day, Alex meets Kara and Winn at her apartment. Earlier, Alex asked Winn to hack into the DEO to find out what happened to her father. Winn found a redacted file that says her father and Hank ventured to South America to capture an alien but disappeared and were presumed dead. However, several months later, Hank returned without a scratch. Hmm, suspicious…
Kara heads to work to be berated by Mama Grant for not ordering a car to take her to the airport. Cat stands up to her mother and defends Kara’s honor — Cat’s the only one who gets to yell at Kara. Afterward, Kara hands Cat a glass of water that breaks. Kara goes to pick up the glass and cuts herself. Yes, you read that right. Glass makes her bleed.
Wall of Weird:
- What happened to her powers? We’ll find out next week, but I think her fight with Red Tornado severely exhausted her and drained all the solar energy stored in her cells. It would actually make sense given what we saw last week: Hank using a solar chamber to recharge her cells after a bomb knocked her out. Or, it could be something else…
- Lucy quits working for her father to stay with James because she knows he’s good enough for her. The general doesn’t buy it.
- [SPOILER ALERT] Assuming Hank Henshaw is actually Martian Manhunter, we can guess that the real Hank Henshaw and Alex’s father traveled to South America to investigate some kind of Martian ship that contained the Martian Manhunter. In the fight or whatever, the Martian Manhunter accidentally kills both agents and decides to assume Hank’s identity to blend in and accomplish some goal.