Supergirl premiere recap: Season 2, Episode 1
Supergirl is finally where she belongs. After airing its fun, charming, uneven first season on the CBS, Supergirl has moved over to The CW, where it should’ve been from the beginning. The series even nods to this fact in Kara’s narration in the opening sequence. “After so many years of being lost, I am finally home,” says our favorite Kryptonian hero.
Having arrived where it was meant to be, the show is looking ahead in the season 2 premiere “The Adventures of Supergirl,” which finds both Kara and the show trying to decide what they want to be going forward. Yes, at times it’s clunky, but the shows feels a lot more confident, which is reassuring. So, let’s dive into the episode.
The premiere picks up right where the finale left off: Kara and Martian Manhunter fly to the crash site and find Mon-El (Chris Wood) peacefully asleep in the pod. (Note: At this point they don’t know his name.) So, they take him back to the DEO headquarters (which has moved to a skyscraper in National City) and are running as many tests on him as they possibly can. So far, they haven’t been able to figure anything out, and it doesn’t help that he still hasn’t woken up.
Kara has quite a lot on her mind in the premiere. In addition to this mysterious stranger, she also has to worry about picking a career path — Cat Grant has only given her two days to make up her mind. Plus, she has her first date with James. But, there’s no time to think about any of that because someone sabotages the launch of Venture, the first commercial spacecraft, interrupting her date with James.
As Superman, Hoechlin is perfectly fine. He has Superman’s winning smile and warm personality; however, he’s missing a certain air of authority. When he arrives at the DEO, it’s clear there’s some tension between Superman and J’onn (Superman is pissed that J’onn has a stock pile of Kryptonite), but I’m not totally convinced by Hoechlin’s performance in those scenes.
That being said, I think Hoechlin makes for an amazing Clark Kent, which, if I’m being honest, is a bit more important for me since we haven’t had nearly enough of Clark in any of the recent movies. He’s charmingly mild-mannered, and I didn’t find it hard to imagine his version of Clark running around to find a story. I especially loved the scene where Clark meets Cat, who has a crush on him, and she bugs him about whether things are working out between him and Lois Lane.
NEXT: The season Big Bad is revealed
While investigating the failed launch, the DEO discovers that Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) was supposed to be on the flight, but was absent, making her a suspect. Clark and Kara pay her a visit as journalists, and despite Clark’s obvious distrust of Luthors, she cooperates and gives them evidence to help with the investigation. She also says that she’s trying to step out of her family’s criminal shadow by renaming her company. The show comes rather close to drawing a parallel between Kara and Lena, but I’m glad it doesn’t — Supergirl coming out from Superman’s shadow was so last season.
Further investigation reveals Lex Luthor hired wanted criminal John Corben (Frederick Schmidt) to kill his noble sister Lena. After the Venture plan fails, Corben uses drones to take down Lena’s helicopter, but Supergirl and Superman thwart his efforts. While Supergirl handles the chopper, Superman flies off to protect civilians, who Corben is targeting with a fleet of drones.
Kara may be crushing it in her superhero life, but she’s struggling when it comes to choosing a vocation and her relationship with James. He calls her out for seeming like she no longer wants to pursue this relationship — and the truth is she doesn’t know. The episode doesn’t do a terribly good job of showing Kara’s change of heart, but there’s no time for that now. Kara has to go see Cat, who delivers a classic Cat Grant inspirational speech.
“The question is, Kiera, what the hell is wrong with you? You’re young, brilliant, and have the world at your feet,” says Cat, who can’t understand Kara’s hesitation. “You’re standing on the shore afraid to dive into the news waters…In order to live, we must keep daring, keep diving.”
This speech, along with pretty much every other Cat Grant moment, was a highlight of the episode. It was funny and inspiring while not being too hammy. Calista Flockhart is truly the MVP of the show, and I’ll miss her this season in her new recurring guest star status.
The next day, Lena Luthor hosts a ceremony to celebrate renaming her family’s company L-Corp. As to be expected, Corben attacks the event. He tries to topple a nearby building to distract the Kryptonians while he goes after Lena. Thankfully, Alex is also there and has a pretty impressive fight scene with him. Meanwhile above, Supergirl is able to stabilize the building, making her big cousin rather proud. And, Corben is put down when Lena manages to put two bullets in his back.
In the end, spending time with Clark actually helps Kara make up her mind about what she wants to do: She tells Cat she wants to be a reporter, which is what Cat predicted when Kara first came in to interview for the assistant job. With that done, Kara goes to see James again and confesses that she thinks they’ll be better off as friends, which is frustrating since the first season spent so much damn time trying to make James and Kara thing. You’d think the show would dive into all of their lovey-dovey-ness now that it was on The CW, but apparently not.
The episode ends with a stinger that reveals Cadmus picked up John Corben’s body and is preparing to save his life by turning him into Metallo.
Overall, this was a strong start for the season, but not exactly smooth. There was weird exposition about Kryptonians aging differently on Earth and other nonsense that just wasn’t necessary, and the villain of the week was kind of sleepy. However, the episode rebounded with the natural sibling chemistry between Benoist and Hoechlin and Flockhart’s fierce performance.
Wall of Weird:
- The episode also starts to setup Cat’s exit from the show. Throughout, she seems to be suffering from ennui and the end of the hour, she decides to make some calls. About what? Well, we’ll find out next week.
- Also, J’onn decides to hire Winn to DEO, which we already knew was going to happen.
- “This lettuce is drowning. It’s floating in a sea of ranch, like little Kate Winslets in Titanic.” —Cat, to her new assistant who messed up her salad order
- “She cries more than Halle Berry at award shows.” —Cat, to Kara about her new assistant
- Going forward, I’m going to refer to Hank as J’onn because I suspect we’ll meet the real Hank Henshaw at some point down the road and that’ll make it easier to avoid any kind of confusion.
- The episode mentioned Intergang and Corto Maltese. Intergang is an organized crime organization in the DC Universe and Corto Maltese is a fiction country that we previously met in the Arrow season 3 episode “Corto Maltese.”
Episode Grade: B
Kara (Melissa Benoist) steps out from her super-cousin’s shadow to become Supergirl and defend National City in the third Arrowverse show.