There were a lot of important world-building moments in this episode, and some character moments that started to shape some of the secondary players.
The main thrust of the episode was basically a spin on the everyday struggles of a modern working woman. For Kara, juggling work obligations, her job at the DEO and her role as Supergirl. Except she's been doing all of stuff for a while, so to make things more difficult the plot has Cat go out of town and leave her adolescent son with Kara.
As far as the situation goes, it works by showing how Kara depends on her network of friends and allies to help her do the things she doesn't have to do directly as either Kara or Supergirl. In fact, the only reason she doesn't outright fail is because she knows and accepts she cannot do everything herself. It shows how different she is from the standard hero, one who isn't afraid to accept help when necessary.
Take for example the climax of the episode, where Supergirl has to choose between stopping a bomb from going off on a train with a hundred people, or saving an airport full of people. Because her charge, Carter Grant, was on the train, and her powers allowed her to handle the speed of the train, she prioritized that rescue, depending on her sister and the rest of her colleagues in the DEO to save the airport.
Unfortunately, she did actually choose wrong. Not that saving the train was the wrong choice exactly, but if it hadn't been for the fact that Hank is clearly not what he says he is, the airport bomb would've gone off killing hundreds. Kara's faith in her friends is well placed, but perhaps it also a bit of a crutch. Sure, her powers were better suited to dealing with the train situation, but she ultimately failed in her approach to dealing with the two bombs.
Which brings up the big question of the episode: what is Hank Henshaw? Is he another escapee from Ft. Rozz? Or is there a bigger story there that has only been hinted at so far? Those red eyes can be attributed to several DC characters, including some villains and heroes. Given his actions, I'm inclined to think he might be a hero, but there is no way to know for sure at this point.
Maxwell Lord, on the other hand, has finally revealed himself as a villain, or at the very least an adversary to Supergirl. All of the bombings were in fact an intricate plot to test Supergirl's abilities and weaknesses. Which ultimately showed him that there was someone on the train that she cared for. While true in a sense, he is barking up the wrong tree. Carter was an obligation that shifted her priorities. If she had known how precarious a position her sister was in with the airport bomb, she probably would've gone there instead.
This episode was not aired in the proper order, so the events of the last episode involving James and Lucy going on vacation together and Hank showing some clearly supernatural abilities felt very jarring.
The canned romance between James and Lucy felt tacked on and ultimately irrelevant to the overarching story. It's clear that Lucy is just an obstacle to keep James and Kara apart for the moment, which feels like a bit of a disservice to Lucy Lane as a character.
Carter Grant was mentioned in a previous episode, but this is the first (and only) time he appeared on screen.
Winn had several good scenes in this one, and he is finally growing on me as a character.
Cat: "Get me a salad for lunch. I don't care what kind as long as it has a cheeseburger on top."
Carter: "My mom says it's okay to be a nerd. She says if you can face your fears and come out of your shell, then... nerds can win in the end."
Lord: "Supergirl's just a glorified fireman. She's not going to solve the underlying problems that are actually destroying this planet."
Kara: “I need you to watch Ms. Grant's son."
Winn: “Whoa! Like, really? 'Cause I am not good with kids."
Kara: “You eat cereal for dinner, and your desk is covered with toys."
This was a solid episode with good action and a decent plot. With the movement on certain fronts, Cat trusting Kara with her son, and James/Lucy starting up their romance again, and more importantly Hank showing unequivocally that he is not human to the audience, we are left with more questions than answers.
2 and a half out of 4 Super tests for the Girl of Steel
J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.
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