SUPERGIRL: TRIPLE HEADER REVIEW
By Jarrett Kruse
The skeptics, including myself, were all there a year ago when Supergirl premiered on CBS. Now a year later and a move to the much more fan friendly network that is The CW, Supergirl kicks off a second season and has been a delightful Monday night lighthearted addition to my TV schedule. It is very hard to dislike anything anything about lead Melissa Benoist. She's beautiful and approachable and all the while very dorky and a bit of an outcast despite her appearance. It is only since she has become Supergirl that she has built her confidence. Conversely, her cousin Clark Kent had to add that klutzy, nerdy persona to his alter ego and is constantly "acting" as to not raise any red flags to his secret identity. And that is what I think makes Supergirl so accessible to a new generation of viewers. She is flawed in her regular life and is only just learning the extent of her powers as Supergirl.
The season premiere brought us the arrival of Kal-El to aid Kara in the rescue of a spacecraft. Playing the part of the Man of Steel is none other than actor Tyler Hoechlin, who you might remember best as Tom Hanks' son in Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition in 2002. Hoechlin sticks the landing so to speak as the kid from Smallville and he is a much more watchable and way less boring Superman than the big screen's Henry Cavill. I dig the suit he has on the show and it captures a vibrant, colorful Superman as opposed to the DC movie universe's interpretation which is a very dark place where the sun never shines. The chemistry between Benoist and Hoechlin is right there from the get go making you wish that Clark would transfer from working for the Daily Planet and taking a job at Catco. Speaking of Cat, I adore Calista Flockhart as the funny, constantly dieting media magnate. She is sharp and funny but also very sweet when she lets her guard down. And she finally does by giving up "Kee-rah" as her assistant and giving her the choice of whatever job she would like at Catco. Naturally with Clark in town to visit and her idolizing him, she decides to become a reporter. However, be careful what you wish for as the prickly editor in chief "Snapper" does not take to her adorkable-ness the way everyone else does.
James Olsen is still around but the romance that had been building between him and Kara stalls after the first episode when both realize that they work better as friends. Winn has now taken a gig working at the DEO alongside Alex and Hank Henshaw, the Martian Manhunter. Seeing Winn in this environment just makes more sense than working as a clockwatcher at Catco. Plus it couldn't have been easy to see Kara pick Olsen over him. Through the first two episodes, we get to see a lot of new exposition including just who that failed spacecraft the Supe's took down was targeted to kill--none other than Lex Luthor's sister, Lena. The super hot sister of the incarcerated Luthor is again attempted to be taken out by the assassin John Corben. He fails and is shot by Lena before revealing that it was Lex that was behind the assassination attempts. However, the mysterious Project Cadmus takes Corben and turns him into the super-villain Metallo by episode 2 followed by another version of Metallo. However with Clark in town, he is taken care of with relative ease after Winn builds suits for Kara & Clark to withstand his capabilities. Clark heads back to Metropolis by episodes end but Kara definitely has a little more fire in her eyes now that she has worked with her famous cousin.
The original Wonder Woman, Linda Carter, guest stars as the President of the United States Olivia Marsdin in episode 3 but is attacked as soon as Air Force One lands by some kind of metahuman. Marsdin is in Central City to sign a bill making all aliens completely legal in the U.S. having the same rights as humans. It is an interesting concept and it can certainly be debated that it parallels our current real life concerns about illegal aliens. To be honest the new alien that is after POTUS was kind of a boring villain and very forgetful but Alex teams up with a beat cop from Central City to crack the case. She even shows the reserved Alex a dive bar catering exclusively to aliens that the cop uses for tips.
The alien ship's passenger from last seasons finale finally gets revealed to be Daxamite Mon-El. A lot of Junkies will know him from the comics, and I am suspecting that he is going to be playing a big part in season two. Cat has left her company for an unknown reason and I honestly hope she returns very soon because she is one of the big reasons I tune in. In her stead, she has charged Olsen to take her substantially sized office. Like Kara, he also butts heads with "Snapper" and will not stand for his behavior towards his reporters, Kara in particular, the way that Cat did. It was definitely the cheesiest of episodes this season and the line from Linda Carter about "her other jet" is a cutesy nod to her invisible airliner as the Amazonian Princess from the 70's TV show. Oh, and the President is an alien, shocker! Finally, J'Onn goes to the alien dive bar and discovers that their is a bartender there M'gann M'orzz, another survivor of the Mars destruction.
All in all, I am just having fun with Supergirl this season. It is a nice, lighthearted way to start the week and I think that with time, they can get to the level of The Flash which I think is the gold standard on The CW. It is nice to see a show that has snappy writing along with a robust effects budget, for TV that is, and it is just very hard to find any glaring parts of the show that I wholeheartedly dislike. Benoist is too cute not to watch.