SUPERGIRL S1 EP5, "LIVEWIRE" REVIEW!
By Jarrett Kruse
Thanksgiving comes a week early to National City in light of real world's Paris bombings. In a storyline that was supposed to have Supergirl thwart a string of random bombing attacks around National City, CBS made the prudent call to shuffle around the episode order as to not offend anyone and be politically correct and not to "scare" anyone. I do not agree with this. This is exactly what the terrorists and mad bombers want. For us to change our lives around at their convenience. It is not about mixing up the narrative of the new series, it is about the fact that we have seen enough real life footage in the past 4 days to fill a year via social media and the regular news. Right about now, we need escapism like Supergirl and other costumed heroes that come to save the day when we need it when there is an explosion. Our costumed heroes are the men and women that don the apparel of the armed services from around the world, the good guys. There are plenty of explosions in the episode they replaced the original episode with and maybe if we stop being so hypersensitive, we can take the fight to the Lex Luthor's of the world. So, this week it is Turkey Day at Kara Zor-El's a week early and a new villain that I really think that they got right torn right out of the comic books.
I have really grown to love Supergirl and am just forgetting the haters. The cast is terrific and fun and relatable and I actually like them. Usually, no, always--there is always a character I dislike. I honestly do not dislike any of the characters on Supergirl. Yes, it has plummeted in the ratings but a lot of Junkies that I have discussed it with said a few interesting things. One, that it is the first time their daughters have asked to stay up to watch a female-themed superhero show when they really have never shown an interest in superheroes before. And two, it is fun and for the most part is someone their good that their daughters can look up to other than the Kardashians. That's a good thing, that is growth. Yes some of the shots are clearly shot on back lots somewhere at Warner Bros. but the show has pluck. Pluck goes a long way in my book and Kara Zor-El and Cat Grant are both filled with it. I dig that. I like power chicks being properly represented. When Cat and Kara are in their elements, they own it big time. And Cat, you can just tell because it is written all over herself is in awe of Supergirl. In some cases, Kara, in this episode specifically admires the hell out of Cat and the empire she has built. A mutual respect is building and I like that...a lot.
So a Cat creation by the name of Leslie Willis (True Blood’s Brit Morgan) is National City's number one shock jock that is just trashing Supergirl big time on the air. From her appearance to her sexuality to other shallow things about the city's newest caped hero, Leslie goes to town throwing Supergirl under the bus. It is not until big boss Cat Grant calls Leslie to HQ to reign her in. Using her super hearing on the meeting, Kara is giddy with glee as Cat actually says the words, "if I could, I would adopt her (Supergirl)." She continues to tell Leslie that she will stop with the taking down of body dysmorphia and sex life of the hottest alien of the skies. Leslie will zip it or be the highest paid traffic copter reporter in National City. Leslie calls and realizes Cat is deadly serious and that night, Leslie is indeed on the Cat-Copter reporting traffic! I really liked how this scene played out and for 100-pound stick figure, Cat Grant has the weight of a mob boss. Her word is first, middle and last when it comes to her empire especially when it comes to what has become her pet project, Supergirl. I actually like the matronly Cat and the mother hen vibe you get from her when she is around Supergirl and Kara as well. It is character growth and they are really doing it right here on a show like Supergirl.
Meanwhile in the Danvers, family, Mama Eliza Danvers (Supergirl herself Helen Slater) is in visiting and big sis Alex is a mess. You would think Kara would be the one all nervous since she outed herself as Supergirl but it is Alex who is a stress ball because she knows that she is going to hear it from Eliza for letting Kara show the world who she really is and how it was her responsibility to watch her kid sis. Turns out, Alex is dead on in her expectations and when Kara is out and about, Eliza is irate with her only biological daughter that she could let Kara do this. We also find out for the first time that, and I did not even think about this, that Alex's mom probably does not know she works for the DEO. That is probably not going to go over well either I am thinking.
That night during the stormy weather of National City, Leslie is reporting the traffic to the masses below when the chopper goes into what appears to be a flat spin. (That is what I always say when a vehicles that flies goes out of control. All of my knowledge of flying comes from Top Gun.) Supergirl goes up, up and away, saves the pilot and then a massive surge of lightning goes through what appears to be both Leslie and Kara. A little while later at the hospital suite that Cat is footing the bill for, Leslie is in a coma and her hair is like a cotton candy bluish white. As Cat and Kara leave from paying their respects, all of the electronics in the hospital room go all wonky and Leslie opens her eyes. Clearly she is not Leslie anymore and should think twice about crossing Cat Grant again.
I should mention that when we finally get to Thanksgiving at Kara's, Winn has been invited as has Alex who is getting loaded from the mountain of guilt her mother has already spilled onto her. Just as Winn is going to make his Thanksgiving toast, James calls from Ojai where he is away with the very yummy Lucy Lane. It speaks volumes that Olsen is away with his super hot girlfriend but tells Kara that he is bored and takes the time to call her right at peak Thanksgiving eating hours. Not cool how he continues to box out Winn from getting anywhere with Kara. Alex decides that this would be a great time to tell her mother that she really works for the DEO protecting Kara's life. Thinking this was her last gambit at some love, Eliza goes even more off of the rails of the dangers she is putting her sister in. Alex makes a good point to her mother when she says, "Kara puts on a costume and saves people and is a hero and I do the same thing, and I'm not? I will never win with you, " and leaves the dinner. Man can I relate Alex, you have no idea. The DEO comes to clean up at Catco and Henshaw explains that it was Kara not Leslie that got hit by lightning and it must be this "Element X" combined with her Kryptonian DNA that made Leslie into Livewire. One Henshaw leaves, Cat and Kara have a sincerely tender heart to heart where the budding hero explains that she has a foster mother which Grant calls, "mildly intriguing." Then Cat goes on to tell Kara that her mother has never been satisfied with her and vice versa. She goes on to say that it was Leslie that led her on this path to becoming Livewire and needs to talk to Supergirl. I particularly liked this scene very much as the armor that Cat always has on shows the slightest chink and that is okay. It is refreshing and out of character but actually nice to see that she is not this impenetrable titan that she appears to be.
Alex and Eliza are able to mend fences back at Kara's place but not before her mother says she has something very important to tell her two girls. Just then, Alex is paged by the DEO the same time that Supergirl flies by Catco to hear Cat's proposal on working together to get Livewire. I didn't think it to be the smartest decision but Kara decides the best course of action to nab Livewire is to partner up with the diminutive Cat Grant. Kara consults the DEO on this and although she needs their tech, she will not disclose where her and Cat are going to catch Livewire. I thought that this was a little thin but I just went with it. The DEO gives her a GHOSTBUSTERS trap of sorts that will basically lock in the electricity of Leslie. Alex and Henshaw did warn Kara that the amount of electricity that Leslie can emit can most definitely kill the Kryptonian. Cat broadcasts a special message just for Livewire and the two meet at the place she alludes to with Supergirl in tow. Livewire and Supergirl engage in an epic battle where Kara is down but not out when Cat gets Leslie's attention giving the superhero enough time to get to the water pipe below. Water and electricity do not mix well it turns out and Livewire is down for the count now complete with the funky short hairdo we are used to from the comic books. Like dead on, the exact look from the books that actually sold me. However, Morgan as Livewire looks like an Anna Paquin as Rogue doppelganger. Like scary lookalikes; could be stunt doubles.
Eliza is leaving from her visit and she finally gets to tell her daughters the truth about their father. He did not die in a plane crash but instead perished while working for the DEO. They flash back to when Henshaw and the agency paid them a visit after the girls unauthorized flight from earlier in the episode. They want to take Kara from her home permanently for examination but Dr. Jeremiah Danvers convinces them to take him instead because of his intimate knowledge on everything there is to know about Superman. The DEO agrees and they welcome him to the agency that he will die working for. However back in the present, Eliza tells them that Jeremiah Danvers died working for a man at the DEO by the name of...Hank Henshaw.
Since we got this news a week earlier than we were supposed to, I am itching to see episode four to see if there is any foreshadowing of this momentous event. Does this have anything to do with Henshaw's "red eyes" that appear to be alien? Also just because you're working for someone and die does not necessarily mean that the death was by their hand. I am wondering how deep this conspiracy goes and what Mr. Danvers had to do with it. Plus we need to set up some kind of timeline already as to when this happened and how any of it relates to today's events. One thing is certain by the final scene, Alex and Kara are going to do everything they can to expose Henshaw. My gut is telling me he is not the bad guy though for some reason. It seems to be all scare tactics and bravado, nothing more with Henshaw. I just don't think he has it in him to kill a doctor that gave them so much information on Krypton's survivor's as well as the de-facto father of the future Supergirl. Still, it is setting up to be a good mystery that I am really enjoying. Plus there was a very human side to this alien show this week that I really enjoyed. Oh, last thing, Winn admitted to Kara on after the holidays that he never got to say what he is thankful for this year. In a word, he says "You. I am thankful for you," and gives a peck on the cheek. But it was a slow peck and we all know the slow peck means "I love you." Oh and the reason Winn does not celebrate holidays is because his Dad is in the joint. Hmmmm, how is that going to play in to the whole Supergirl mythos and which supervillain do I think he is? At this point, I am just praying that the show lasts its freshman season because after The Flash, this is my second favorite show.