Thanks for reading my weekly recaps of Supergirl. To read about past episodes, click here.
“Bring our girl home.”
After what felt like an impossibly long hiatus Supergirl is back and, for the most part, it hasn’t lost the credible steam it had built up in the first part of it’s second season. What worked is still pressing on while what drew some raised eyebrows make appearances as well. I still am 100% in the boat of believing that Kara is presented as being a terrible reporter. If I went rogue against my editors for my local news stories (which typically involves the excited times of budget and town meetings) they’d find another writer. Also, 8,000 words! In what world.
She still hasn’t reached Karen Page level bad, but she’s starting to reach that level of frustrating with how she manages to even keep her job.
Mon-El also continues to ring a little flat, despite a rather charming performance and some believable chemistry. The issue is that there is nothing about his character both in his mannerisms and motivations that hasn’t been done before and the character suffers due to it. Quippy man-child who tries to better himself for a girl he likes? It’s tried and tired territory and Supergirl has moved past it.
Moving forward, here are the three things I really enjoyed about the episode.
The atmosphere gave great sci-fi
“I am not a red shirt!”
Winn delivered one of my favorite lines of the night not just because it relied on a science fiction but that considering this episode gave me some pretty serious Star Trek vibes it felt perfectly befitting to the overall tone. A touch tongue and cheek, sure, but in line with the overall campy, sound stage aesthetic. This is one of the first (if not the first) times we’ve spent a long portion of time on a different planet and while we’re kept primarily in one or two settings on said planet, it’s enough to give us an idea of the barren wasteland of a planet that lays beyond. The themes of human trafficking also rang loudly and, like Star Trek before them, was uninhibited by being bold and unsubtle with their messages of freedom and unity. It’s not a point that is going to lure in any new fans but as someone who is a big fan of Supergirl, a big fans of Star Trek and all of the science fiction that fell in-between, it’s nice to see the series embracing its genre roots beyond the superhero genre.
Winn is a character again! Hooray!
For a dire moment at the start of the season it felt as if the writers had forgone the need to make Winn his own individual character and instead sought to make him an unconvincing hybrid of Felicity and Cisco (of Arrow and The Flash respectively). He was playing the role of all knowledgeable, socially awkward, tech nerd and any character depth that was crafted in season one had seemingly vanished. But then, The Guardian came into play, and Winn was allowed to have stakes in the story once again.
This is only furthered in the winter return as he experiences the consequences of working with a vigilante. His fear is palpable when he’s approached by Alex to come with her to save Kara which just makes him all the more human and thus making him all the more appreciated as the human insert for the series. We’re supposed to identify with Winn and his curiosity with the unknown and by showing him fearful of danger and of risking his life he became just that.
Alex! Alex! Alex and Maggie!
Listen, from here on out let us just all assume that Alex and the incredible work that Chyler Leigh is going to be mentioned each week in my reviews because I continue to be moved by her entire season long narrative. Her story with Maggie this week hits a bit of a familiar speed bump as we see Alex getting in the way of her own happiness but by the episode it’s been resolved and we understand the actions Alex made and why she made them. Here is a woman who has always been asked to prioritize her emotions and her heart second to her sisters, a responsibility she’s always taken seriously. And for one here she is, able to think of herself and her own happiness and it’s daunting so any hurdle is going to seem monumental.
If there was anything to hope for going forward it would be for the show-runners to trust in its audience and its writers and let these two be happy, no matter how greatly that bucks against typical television convention.
How did everyone else feel about the shows return?