SUPERGIRL S1, EP2 "STRONGER TOGETHER" REVIEW!
By Jarrett Kruse
I have to admit that although my days of daily Pirate Bay use are long behind me, when CBS leaked the entire SUPERGIRL pilot episode back in June, I made every excuse in the book as to why I should not download it. But I rationalized to the point that I downloaded it, watched it 5 times and wrote AFJ's first review which you can check out right here. Against all odds, I thought that SUPERGIRL was terrific fun led by the adorkable lead Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El aka Kara Danvers. I love her. I absolutely adore her; she is the cutest thing on TV. I pray she is single and we bump into each other. I did not think that a former GLEE cast member could pull off the big job of being a super powered Kryptonian but Benoist does it with ease. So after catching the real premiere last week and catching up legitimately, we move on to episode two, "Stronger Together" which if possible I liked better than the pilot.
Kara is still going through a series of tests by her sister Alex and Director Hank Henshaw of the Department of Extranormal Operations (DOE). Dodging missiles, bullets and high-tech weapons, Kara seems like an old pro at this but Henshaw still has his reservations about this alien. When a big fire is called in from National City, Kara takes off to help an oil tanker that is aflame but while moving it, she causes a crack in the vessel leaking oil into the ocean. Not exactly good PR for her boss Cat Grant at Catco where Kara moonlights or daylights as the diva's personal assistant. After holding a staff meeting about the oil spill, James Olsen steps up and says that the big guy in Metropolis had his share of missteps when he first donned the cape. However, Cat is deadset on getting a video interview with Supergirl by the end of the week telling James to use his connections to Superman to get National City's new hero to do the interview. James balks upsetting Cat but in private, he secretly tells Kara that she indeed should do the interview.
Jimmy/James (whatever) is very supportive of Kara and their is clearly something there but anytime the two get close, clumsy Kara retreats. Now that she knows that he knows her big secret along with co-worker Winn, she seems to be more guarded than ever to protect her loved ones. Winn also clearly has a thing for Kara so I am sure that this love triangle is going to play out as the first season continues. Oh, did I forget to mention that the premiere episode did boffo ratings for CBS last Monday? One more thing, for you die hard fanboys and girls may have blinked and missed it but bad guy Maxwell Lord was introduced last night ever so briefly. I am sure we will see more of him as the season progresses.
Meanwhile at Plastino Chemicals, some kind of alien called a Hellgrammite that escaped from Fort Rozz is leaping around the facility like Spider-Man and when approached by security, he opens his mouth super wide showing major teeth immediately reminding me of PREDATOR. According to the DEO, this type of alien is a major threat that in addition to its aforementioned abilities, can also camouflage itself. Apparently the escaped Hellgrammites need some sort of chemical from these types of factories to survive and have been feeding on similar plants around the country.
Back at the DEO, Alex sets Kara up in uniform no less in a special room that emits Kryptonite. Suddenly, Kara's powers are weakened and the sisters are in a major catfight! It was good to see Kara get brought back down to Earth so to speak and after the scuffle mutters, "I think this I know why my cousin works alone." Still, it is Alex trying to protect her sister and show her that their are far worse things on Earth now since Fort Rozz followed her ship to Earth. However, Kara does realize that she needs more hand to hand combat training.
Back at work and all riled up, Kara actually stands up to Cat telling her that she has to stop tearing down Supergirl in her media empire. Then in a move I did not see coming, Cat gives some sage advice to Kara about her career. Apparently Cat started much like Kara as Perry White's assistant, fetching coffee until she got her first writing gig in the gossip column. The takeaway is that Supergirl is taking on too much too fast; that Rome was not built in a day. Not everyone can be saved in one afternoon. Humbled, Kara actually seems frazzled that Cat of all people gave her such wisdom to ponder.
Kara decides to meet James and Winn in a back alley that is so obviously a lousy back lot at some studio I shuddered that the producers couldn't spend a couple of extra bucks to do a location shot. Anyway, Kara swoops in and both James and Winn realize that they both know her big secret. The two guys look at each other almost jealous that the other is also privy to Kara's secret identity. She needs help, her friends help, and fast. She pleads with them to help her start slow and improve her public image at the same time after the oil spill debacle. In a two minute montage set to Pat Benetar's "Hit me with your best shot," Kara performs a plethora of heroics improving her media image. Apparently no one in National City works and all of these heroics happen on the weekend and lunch hours. More importantly, Cat gives James an ultimatum that if he does not get her a video interview with Supergirl before the Daily Planet, he can start looking for a new art director job. Yikes.
The Hellgrammite situation has escalated causing Kara's mothers twin sister and Aunt, Alura Zor-El to get involved. Alura was a prisoner on Fort Rozz imprisoned there by her own sister, Kara's mother, before Kryptonite went boom. Alura is yet to see her niece on Earth just yet and seems almost giddy at the prospect. As expected Alura sends the Hellgrammites after the DEO to draw out Kara. The Hellgrammites shoots these cool things that look like colored icicles at Alex's transport and are agile and strong enough to peel open the top of the DEO SUV like a can of tuna kidnapping Alex. Alura wants to know where the Kryptonian is but Alex, of course, refuses to talk.
While James is morose mulling over the ultimatum Cat has given him, Kara tries to help out saying that she will do the interview to avoid getting him fired. Somehow they get into talking about the House of El Coat of Arms and something I did not know in all of my years studying comics is revealed. Apparently the House of El's motto is "El Mayarah" which means "stronger together." It is then that Kara gets the call from Henshaw telling her that Alex has been kidnapped. I like that Kara is not afraid to be pissed at Henshaw who has not believed in her or supported her in any way since the beginning. Alura tells Alex that they are "here to save you all" which I am still trying to decipher on what that could mean. Flying around National City, Kara gets a bead on Alex and a seriously awesome battle ensues between her and Aunt Alura who is known as General Astra among her minions. It is a seriously epic superhero battle for TV, no joke. I was very impressed with the visual effects. Especially the heat vision battle the most because it was so cool when they are both locked in on each other. Thankfully Henshaw saves the day and stabs Alura with some type of alien blade that causes major pain and for her to retreat. I gotta think that it is a Kryptonite knife because it makes Alura/Astra very sick. Oh thats another thing, I'm not sure if it is General Astra or Alura. Like what would she prefer if we were dating?
Back at the DEO, Alex although wounded, tells Kara about Clark's Fortress of Solitude in the arctic. As it turns out, they built a room solely for Kara to commune with her mother that only she can access. In tears at seeing the hologram of her mother, she has one query and it is to tell her everything she knows about her Aunt Alura. When Alex thanks Henshaw, he responds in kind but while walking away, his eyes light up a super bright red! Has Henshaw been an alien all this time??
The final scene was epic with Cat getting into her chauferred Mercedes while on the phone with Olsen telling him that she presumes he is leaving the paper. Like a scene out of the Christopher Reeve SUPERMAN where he carries the armored car to the front of the police station, Cat's car takes off up, up and away to what looks like the top of a skyscraper, I could not tell. Hovering above the car is Supergirl and a wide eyed Cat gets out of the car as Kara says, "James Olsen says you wanted to talk? Let's talk." Priceless. I guess Jimmy is keeping his day job.
I am loving this show. It doesn't take itself too seriously and it seems to be getting better as the season progresses. I know its only two episodes in but Benoist is so damn likable in both roles, Kara Danvers and Kara Zor-El/Supergirl. I wish the show was streaming so that I could watch the whole season all at once. I like the narratives that they are setting up for the show and although its not THE FLASH, it is a worthy runner up.