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'Supergirl' recap: 'The Last Children of Krypton'

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Robert Falconer/The CW

Supergirl

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
1
run date:
10/26/15
performer:
Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, David Harewood
broadcaster:
CBS
genre:
Action, Adventure, Scifi

If Supergirl‘s season 2 premiere was a pseudo-series premiere meant to introduce the show to its new CW audience, then “The Last Children of Krypton” definitely feels like a take two. Whereas “Stronger Together” saw Kara dealing with the superhero learning curve, tonight’s hour finds Kara realizing that you can’t just become reporter. Moreover, defeating tonight’s bad guy requires Team Supergirl to put aside their various differences and come together in order to succeed, because they are stronger together. 

The fun begins with Supergirl and Superman flying through National City saving the day. They’re having #TooMuchFun (to borrow Kara’s words) fighting crime together, much to J’onn’s annoyance. But their fun time comes to an end when they’re called to the scene of a potential suicide jumper at the National City Bridge. 

When they arrive on the scene, they come face to face with none other than John Corben who now goes by Metallo, and is sporting a cool Kryptonite heart upgrade courtesy of Cadmus. Obviously, Kara and Clark are no match for the Kryptonite energy beams Corben shoots from his chest and lose this round of the battle. The fight ends with an awesome homage to Crisis on Infinite Earths, with Superman picking Supergirl up in his arms. Thank god, Supergirl doesn’t actually die tonight.

The appearance of a Kryptonite powered villain has everyone worried, especially Clark, who wants to know how someone other than the DEO has access to the one thing that can kill him and his cousin. J’onn and Alex admit that a shipment was stolen four months ago and they still haven’t been able to figure out who did it. This entire situation reignites the conflict between Superman and Martian Manhunter, and I’ll say that Winn isn’t alone in being both bummed and excited by the prospect of a Superman vs. Martian Manhunter showdown. But, alas, their conflict never gives way to fisticuffs.

Last week, the Superman-Martian Manhunter conflict felt shoehorned into the premiere, but it feels more natural here. The dispute works because it fleshes these characters out and it’s easy to understand both sides of the conflict. As the head of the DEO, sworn to protect the Earth from extraterrestrial threats, J’onn wants to make sure he has some Kryptonite on hand god forbid there’s another a group of evil Kryptonians or if Clark and his cousin turn on Earth. At the same time, Clark is upset because Kryptonite can kill him and his cousins and the fact that J’onn has it means he doesn’t trust him. There doesn’t feel like a right answer.

Handling this week’s villain-of-the-week isn’t the only thing on Kara’s plate. This is the first day of her new job as a reporter and Cat has assigned her to the magazine’s investigative unit, headed by the misanthropic and grumpy Snapper Carr, who has no patience for Kara. In fact, he doesn’t even want her working on his team because he doesn’t feel she’s earned it, which is valid. Obviously, Kara runs off to Cat for help.

Unfortunately, Cat is unable to help Kara with her current problem because (a) she doesn’t want to because she thinks Kara needs to stand on her own, and (b) Cat is taking a leave of absence. Cat feels as though she’s plateaued professionally and is ready to try something new. “I need to dive,” she says, quoting herself because she’s a boss. While I hate to see Calista Flockhart go, the show wrote her off in a way that feels true to the character and leaves the door open for the occasional return, so I cant be mad.

NEXT: It’s hard to say goodbye [pagebreak]

With Cat leaving and Snapper firing her, Kara is starting to freak out about all of the changes in her life. So, she decides that she’s going to follow Clark back to Metropolis once they’re done with the Metallo situation, which upsets Alex because Kara has been blowing her off ever since Clark arrived. Kara says he’s the only one who understands what she’s going through and Alex rightfully points out that he’s the one who abandoned her with the Danvers.

It would be easy for this drama to feel contrived, but the show plants enough seeds at the beginning of the episode that hint that Alex does have a problem with how Kara’s been acting. I also love how the writers are continuing to develop Kara. As they’ve displayed on both The Flash and Arrow, they know the key to making us become even more engaged with the narrative is to create a complicated and flawed hero, as they are doing here with Kara. On the one hand we know why Kara is so excited about having Clark around, but on the other hand, she isn’t really taking into account Alex’s feelings with her big and impulsive decision. 

Unfortunately, this problem is going to have to wait because Cadmus—that evil organization that kidnapped Alex’s father—has created a second Metallo to terrorize Metropolis and split the Krypton team up. This makes Winn’s work on Kryptonite shields for Superman and Supergirl all the more important.

Looking for a distraction from her problems with Kara, Alex buckles down on finding the Cadmus mole responsible for stealing the Kryptonite shipment. With Winn’s help, she discovers Agent McGill is behind it, but when he sets up an ambush for her, Alex comes face to face with that Evil Cadmus Scientist played by Brenda Strong. When Alex refuses to join Cadmus, Evil Cadmus Scientist instructs her men to kill her. The ensuing gunfight and chase through the warehouse was thrilling and introduced some new visual language to the show’s action scenes. Also, I love any opportunity to see Alex engage in some badass hand-to-hand combat.  Thankfully, Kara arrives in time to lend a hand, and afterward, she apologizes to Alex for what she said before.

Making up with Alex also gives Kara an idea for how to defeat the two Metallos terrorizing Metropolis and National City: a team-up. So, Supergirl and Alex, sporting her cool Kryptonite-powered suit, hang back in National City to take on Corben while Superman and Martian Manhunter join forces to take on Metallo #2 in Metropolis. The latter team-up is just as amazing as you’d expect. Go teamwork! 

With the day saved, Supergirl pays Cat a visit to say goodbye. On a list of things I love about this show, scenes between Supergirl-and-Cat are second only to Kara-and-Cat scenes. Cat is excited about the prospect of diving into the unknown and promises Supergirl that she’ll be back; that felt a little like a nod to the viewers too. From there, Kara changes and pays Snapper Carr a visit with a 500-word article on the Metallo battles, which she files as a hard copy, because dramatic effect trumps verisimilitude. Snapper reluctantly agrees to teach Kara how to be a reporter.

As the episode ends, J’onn gives Superman all of the DEO’s Kryptonite for him to do with what he wants. I don’t believe for one second that Superman is naïve to destroy it all. After Superman flies off for Metropolis, Kara pays Mon-El a visit in the infirmary and Mon-El wakes up and immediately grabs Kara by the throat. 

Wall of Weird:

  • Cadmus still remains a pretty nebulous organization, but tonight’s episode revealed its motives: to kill every alien on Earth, including the good ones, because it views them as a threat.
  • According to Kara, Clark doesn’t drink wine, but he loves Veep. I’ve been so confused about a character before. 
  • My one complaint about the introduction of Metallo is that it looked as though Clark and Kara weren’t super weakened when they were in his presence. The shields Winn built only covered their chests and were only meant to protect them from the energy blasts.
  • I love that the show isn’t letting Kara slide by at work. I’m very excited to see how she struggles to meet Snapper Carr’s high standards. 

Episode Grade: B+

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