Supergirl premiere recap: 'Girl of Steel'
Think back to your last breakup and how you got through it. Did you self-medicate with booze? Ice cream? Large-scale city repair and high-speed bullets to the chest?
If you chose the last option, then congrats, you’re grieving the Supergirl way.
As season 3 opens, Kara Danvers is plagued by gauzy dreams of walking through an alien landscape with Mon-El, whom she sacrificed in the season 2 finale, and her mother. But it’s just a beautiful fantasy; her joyless reality is keeping National City safe.
Tonight, she does this by shielding Alex and Maggie from gunfire as they pursue a thief, who escapes as Supergirl stops a semi from barreling into a family car. But she doesn’t stick around to acknowledge the thanks of the grateful kid in the backseat, and she’s equally all-business at the DEO, ordering Winn to test the blood on her hand so they can ID the thief. (Yuck.) Then, when Alex invites her to the tasting for the wedding reception, Kara blows it off.
Let me repeat: Kara. Blows off. Potstickers.
The rest of her team is as concerned as I am, and J’onn and Winn agree that Kara’s acting more like Alex than herself. When Alex objects, J’onn assures her that her unrelenting seriousness is one of her best qualities.
Now let’s meet new baddie Morgan Edge (Adrian Pasdar), a real estate developer who’s convened the city’s leaders to crow about how good business has been thanks to all the post-Daxamite reconstruction. When he overlooks a major player who did all of the (literal) heavy lifting, James and Lena say in unison, “Let’s not forget Supergirl.” Bless! The city hasn’t forgotten her, either, and will unveil a statue in her honor on the waterfront that weekend. (Um, I can’t be the only one who remembers how well that went with Laurel Lance, right?)
Morgan’s next scheme involves that very real estate: He wants to move low-income residents out of the waterfront area so he can build pricey high rises. Lena challenges him, and he accuses her of making decisions based on guilt over all the Luthor misdeeds and gloats that he has the power to summon all the power players in the city to his office. OMG, he’s awful. CRRRUUUUUSH HIM, LENA.
At CatCo, we learn that Cat Grant has a new job: White House press secretary! She’s on TV telling the press corps that of course the president believes in global warning, as the president is not a moron. Excellent timing, Supergirl!
This means James is still in charge at CatCo, and he, too, is concerned that Kara’s been so busy keeping crime at an all-time low that she hasn’t had time for her “exclusive interview” with Supergirl. As Kara’s promising that she’ll get it done in time for the statue unveiling, they’re interrupted by Morgan’s televised announcement that he’s going to buy CatCo. I…don’t think that’s how major corporate acquisitions work?
Naturally, this sends Kara to Lena’s office, where Lena amusingly refers to Morgan as a sentient bottle of cheap cologne and promises to try to talk Morgan out of buying CatCo. She also says that she misses Kara, who’s been blowing her off, and promises she’s there for her grieving friend. But they’re interrupted by the TV (again!) with news about a burglary in progress.
This puts the nail in the coffin of Kara making it to the wedding tasting, which bums out the assembled Super-family. Alex, in particular, misses her sister and is unenthused about the wedding in general, although she’s not sure why. The cost, maybe? I bet National City’s expensive.
At least they’ve identified the thief, Robert DuBois, codename Bloodsport. He’s a mercenary who bombed city hall a few years ago and used to work security at Fort Harrison, 20 minutes outside of the city.
When Kara zooms in to see why the base’s systems are offline, she finds all the military personnel down and is knocked flat by a blast that comes from, well, nowhere, when she enters a nearby building. A shot of heat vision later, she reveals Bloodsport sprinting away from a previously invisible Daxamite ship.
When James’ emergency beeper goes off, she leaves the scene and zooms to CatCo, where she’s furious to learn he summoned her because she missed her Supergirl profile deadline. James reminds her that she has a life, a job, and a whole existence outside of Supergirl, just like he does with Guardian. (So does this mean more Guardian in season 3? How excitizzzzzzzz.) Anyway, Kara says Supergirl is the core of her, and Kara is a distance second. With this in mind, she quits CatCo.
As Kara’s blowing up her life, the DEO has learned that Bloodsport stole the necessary equipment, some of it Daxamite, to cloak a regular aircraft so it can nuke a city with absolutely no warning.
And who is Bloodsport working with? Yep, the bottle of cologne himself. We learn this shortly after Lena fails to convince him not to buy CatCo, which he plans to use to tear down his enemies. (Lena also gets the best line of the night: “Morgan, you have all the charisma of a Michael Douglas movie from the ’90s.” Amazing burn, lady! Highest of fives.)
Also having no luck is Alex, who shows up at Kara’s apartment to yell at her for quitting the job she worked toward all those years. She’s done with the coddling and tells Kara that it’s time to ditch the pity party. “Who are you right now? Kara Danvers doesn’t quit!”
But Kara doesn’t want to be the sad girl who lost her boyfriend, and she refuses to grieve the way Alex would if she lost Maggie — that is, the human way.
“I am not a human. I tried to be, but I’m not. Kara Danvers was a mistake,” she says, crushing Alex (and the audience). So Alex gives an update on Bloodsport and turns to leave. Before she does, she reminds her sister that Kara Danvers is her favorite person. “She saved me more times than Supergirl ever could. So just think about that while you’re trying to get rid of her.” Yessss, sister tough love! (Next page: Kara wakes up)
Next, J’onn tries his hand at an alien-to-alien bonding session as he and Supergirl patrol the statue ceremony from a nearby rooftop. “You have a human heart now,” he tells her. “If you try to cut it out, you’ll lose something essential.”
Kara in turn asks if he still dreams about his family. He does, and she confesses that she does, too, then turns her eyes back toward the skies, scanning for invisible aircraft.
On the ground, Alex and Maggie have a huge relationship chat over their comms as they patrol the crowd. Alex reiterates how much she wants to marry Maggie but says she doesn’t want the big wedding because her dad won’t be there to walk her down the aisle. Maggie, who knows a thing to two about building your own family, reminds Alex of all the people who love her and will make their day special. Awww! And of course, Winn was listening in on their whole exchange, which is a little creepy.
Alex is then jostled by a cute preteen named Ruby, whose mom Samantha (Odette Annable) makes her daughter apologize. Gee, think we’ll see them again?
Lena takes the stage to start the ceremony, calling Supergirl an inspiration, mentor, and friend, and Supergirl’s ready to fly down and join her on stage when a massive impact rocks the waterfront. The team can’t see or sense anything and quickly realize that Bloodsport’s stolen goods were designed to cloak a submarine that’s firing on the city’s underwater foundation. Clever!
While this is clearly a job for Aquaman, Jason Momoa is busy posing for the world’s greatest photos, so Supergirl listens for Bloodsport’s heartbeat underwater and plunges in (even though she doesn’t have any gill-based powers).
The sub fires another missile, and not only does Supergirl not stop it, but she gets caught in the explosion, which knocks a steel girder onto preteen Ruby. When Samantha discovers that her daughter is trapped, she summons the strength to pull it off and free her daughter, mangling the metal with her fingers in the process. Yep, seems like normal, everyday single mom stuff!
Meanwhile, Supergirl’s unconscious body drifts downward in the water as her team calls her name over the comms. It’s not until dream Mon-El screams at her to wake up that she comes to and hefts the entire submarine into the sky as the grateful citizens look on.
Gotta say, I wish it had been the voices of Supergirl’s team and not her absent love that woke her up, as it would’ve fit the “return to Kara” theme (and would’ve reminded me less of ghost Edward from the second Twilight book/movie, if you’ll forgive me for the comparison). Regardless, it’s the first step in getting our Kara back, if a little sadder than before.
When Kara and Lena meet again, Lena announces that she bought CatCo so Morgan couldn’t and says she hopes to run her new media empire with some help from her best friend — her best friend who just quit. That fight is delayed when a furious Morgan storms into Lena’s office. Kara’s sassy with him as she leaves, and Morgan tells Lena that she now has all of his attention.
Then comes Supergirl (mere moments after Kara left, conveniently), who tells Morgan she knows he staged the attack to level the waterfront for his development, and now he has all of her attention. (She flies him to a container ship in the middle of the ocean for this conversation, then abandons him there. Ha!)
Now some closing scenes:
Underwater, an alien ship flashes to life. This is obviously not the last we’ll see of this.
At the DEO, Alex tells J’onn that she and Maggie are planning the biggest, gayest wedding National City has ever seen and then asks him to walk her down the aisle. They’re both near tears as he says it would be his honor.
At Kara’s apartment, she’s rummaging through a box of what I’m assuming are her CatCo belongings when she finds photo booth pics of her and Mon-El. She whispers imaginary Mon-El’s words, “Wake up,” and texts her best friend/new boss that she’ll see her tomorrow. Lena texts back a heart. Awww, all the hearts, you two! All the hearts!
At the bar, the super-group turns in excitement when Kara joins them, apparently ready to give being human another go.
And finally, we see Kara’s mother again in the beautiful, gauzy dream, but this time when she turns around, her face is a zombified horror. Aaaaand cut to Samantha waking up in a panic.
Wall of Weird
- Alex and her lovely warm heart (and her plans to get married in Kevlar and boots) win the week for me. So glad to see her and Kara’s relationship in the forefront again!
- If you didn’t recognize Alura Zor-El in the dream sequence, don’t panic. Erica Durance has replaced Laura Benanti as Kara’s mother, which is in keeping with the show’s tradition of sly casting decisions; Durance played Lois Lane on Smallville. And if you followed casting news over the summer, you’ve got an inkling of what’s going on with Samantha. If not, that’s a cool little mystery they’ve set up.
- I’m loving new villain Morgan so far. A smug, preening captain of industry out to take down Lena Luthor and Supergirl? Delightful. But is he too similar to the gone-and-mostly-forgotten Maxwell Lord?
- If your politics swing that way, you probably got a huge kick out of Cat Grant calling the house speaker a pathological liar and denying planting listening devices. However, isn’t White House press secretary a step down after running CatCo? Sure, it’s a vital job, but I’m not sure it compares to being queen of all media. Regardless, it lets Calista Flockhart film her scenes off site, and I’ll take all the Cat I can get.
- So what did you think of the premiere, Super-friends? Let me know in the comments!
Kara (Melissa Benoist) steps out from her super-cousin’s shadow to become Supergirl and defend National City in the third Arrowverse show.