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It’s been six months since the events of the season two finale of Supergirl. A lot has changed and not necessarily for the better. “Girl of Steel,” Supergirl’s season three premiere, walked quite the dark road. The episode drew quite a lot of parallels to The Flash’s season two premiere, “The Man Who Saved Central City,” what with the brooding, convincing Kara to rejoin the team, and the unveiling of the Girl of Steel statue. It all felt familiar and yet not quite the same. The circumstances are different and, while “Girl of Steel” had a few misses, it was largely a strong opening episode for what I can only hope to be a more tightly-knit season than its predecessor.
The episode is quick to give us updates on the characters: Snapper Carr is away on sabbatical (which is fine because he didn’t quite fit into last season) and Cat Grant is now the press secretary to the president. Her presence was there, her voice lingering in the background while a TV was on, but she’s never there to address Kara personally. James is still Guardian, though we don’t see him don the suit in the premiere, and Alex and Maggie are engaged. Meanwhile, Lena and James are battling a rich, sexist, businessman named Morgan Edge who hates the media’s coverage of his business and offers to buy CatCo (before he tries to destroy half the city, of course), but Lena ends up buying it instead.
So there’s a lot going on, but throughout all of this, it’s Kara who is suffering emotionally despite her friends’ efforts to help. She’s heartbroken about what’s happened to Mon-El and the decision she made that made him leave Earth. Kara’s pain is palpable and you can really tell she’s struggling. This pain latches onto her and seeps into her everyday life, mostly to her detriment–an example is when Kara (dramatically) quits her job because she no longer sees the use of Kara and instead wishes to only be Supergirl. The way she talks about herself in the episode speaks heavily of an identity crisis, but deep down, it’s Kara’s way of separating her more stoic Kryptonian upbringing with her humanity and emotions. She believes letting herself feel will make her less than who she wants to be. However, by cutting out her feelings, she’s taking away the best parts of her. After all, we didn’t fall in love with Supergirl; it was Kara whose kindness and good heart allowed for the Supergirl persona to flourish. Emotions can be a strength, not a burden, and I did like that the episode tried to make that clear.
Kara has a rocky start, but it’s clear by the end of the episode that she will find a way to put one foot in front of the other and move forward. I hope this continues because I’m not sure I liked Kara’s attempt at getting rid of her emotions at all. It brought out her hurtful side as she pushed everyone away. In certain instances, it was a bit scary to watch, to be honest. Overall, while understandable that Kara is having a hard time with the decision she made and the consequences that came from it, her storyline in the episode was the weakest in terms of emotion and story.
It was Alex who stole the show in the premiere and had the most emotional storyline of all the characters. Missing her sister, Alex tries to talk to Kara, letting her know it’s ok to feel and grieve. While Kara says some hurtful things, Alex stands her ground and her compassion truly comes through. Meanwhile, Alex is also planning her wedding to Maggie, but keeps stalling and it’s because she’s upset her dad won’t be there to walk her down the aisle. She then asks J’onn to do it, telling him he’s always been like a father to her, and it was the best and strongest moment of the episode. Praise to both Chyler Leigh and David Harewood for bringing such palpable emotion.
“Girl of Steel” was a bit dramatic at times, certainly when it came to some of Kara’s behavior, but it laid the groundwork for the season by introducing a new mystery character from the pod we saw in the season two finale and brought us a new businessman to hate in the form of Morgan Edge. While I hope that the rest of the season isn’t quite as dark as the first episode, Supergirl is off to a decent start.
- It was so nice to see Erica Durance again! She wasn’t in the episode for very long though, which is a shame. I hope she’ll show up with a bigger role if future episodes.
- It’s amazing that Kara can just up and quit her job (being Supergirl won’t make her money) and then come back to it the next day like nothing happened. I guess everything is really better on TV.
- Alex and Maggie are still going strong. They had some sweet moments, but I’ll refrain from being too happy about them knowing what’s possibly coming down the line.
- “Kara Danvers is my favorite person. She’s saved me more times than Supergirl ever has. Think about that while you’re trying to get rid of her.” Alex always knows the best things to say.
- “Guardian means a lot to me, but so does James Olsen.” James was also very wise this episode. I hope he and Kara continue to interact regularly.
- They still can’t include James in the bar scenes, I see.
- I cried when Alex asked J’onn to walk her down the aisle. I lost it and I’m not ashamed.
- The dream sequence was more creepy than nice. It had a “there’s something definitely wrong here” feel to it.
- Cat Grant is now the press secretary and delivering some political shade. I like that they found a way to keep her around even if she’s not there to interact with the characters in this episode. She’s better in doses.
- I’ll admit the rescue at the end gave me goosebumps. Kara in the water, the music, the suspense. Really well done.