When this first season initially aired last fall, "Red Faced" was the first episode that I remember liking a lot. I still think it's excellent. "Red Faced" added a significant emotional facet to Kara's personality, and showed what a terrific lead actress Melissa Benoist could be.
Unsurprisingly, some people in the Supergirl-verse are afraid of the powers of two god-like aliens on Earth. Some of the best episodes of Smallville were about Clark out of control for some reason or another. Supergirl and her cousin actually could kill millions of people with ease if they wanted, which was nicely illustrated when she came close to breaking a man's hand in the opening scenes. General Lane's extreme antipathy for Kryptonians makes sense, although it was a bit much, trying to take Supergirl out with a killer android. (Or, okay, an "anthropomorphic pseudo entity with combat capabilities.")
But where this episode succeeds is that there is nothing artificial about Kara's anger; it wasn't caused by yet another flavor of Kryptonite. After so many years of keeping her secret hidden, Kara thought all her problems would evaporate when she came out as Supergirl, that she could finally be her true self. But now she has realized that she can never be normal, that she will always be an outcast, an alien. Even worse, unlike her cousin Clark, Kara is also burdened by the memories of her parents. The way Kara destroyed Red Tornado with her heat vision while she was screaming with anger made me feel her rage at her devastating loss as well as her grief, especially since it was accompanied by flashbacks to Kara leaving her family and Krypton exploding. It was quite powerful.
While I honestly don't care about this show's now obvious attempts to make Cat Grant more sympathetic, I really liked how Cat put a feminist slant on Kara's problem. Kara finally blowing up at Cat and crying "Why are you so mean?" was absolutely wonderful; gold acting stars for Melissa Benoist. So was the martini scene where Cat told Kara that professional women were not allowed to lose their tempers like their male counterparts, and that Kara needed to find out what was making her angry and fix it.
The Kara/James scene with the car and the heavy bag was also terrific, especially when James pointed out that black men can't get angry in public, either. I thought there was an undercurrent of racism behind the disparaging way General Lane treated James; it felt a lot like Lane's xenophobic treatment of Supergirl. Cat's mother and Lucy's father were the ultimate stereotypical supernasty parents with no redeeming qualities, weren't they? They're perfect for each other. Maybe they should start dating.
At least Lucy Lane turned out to be better than her father. Even though she started out ruining Game Night for Kara and verbally trashing Supergirl, Lucy ultimately chose to resign her commission and stay in National City with James. Which means that there will be more of Kara being jealous of Lucy, I suppose. Although I did notice the obvious, that James keeps looking at Kara, almost as if he can't help being attracted.
This episode left us with a double cliffhanger. Hank Henshaw and Jeremiah Danvers both disappeared at the same time, and Hank came back awhile later, alone. Gee, that looks suspicious. Plus, Kara appears to have lost her powers. That's sort of big.
-- Maxwell Lord was mildly helpful with Dr. Morrow while continuing to flirt with Alex.
-- Lucy Lane is super cute in uniform.
-- The president of the United States is a woman! Let life imitate art, please.
-- Cat worked for Perry White. We knew that, though. Didn't we?
-- General Lane called Supergirl "the lady in red," and Maxwell Lord called her the "maiden of might." Comics reference?
-- Also, I'm told that in the comics, Red Tornado is a good guy and part of the Justice League.
News anchor: "Supergirl scares young children at a local school."
Kara: "So apparently I'm fighting a robot tomorrow."
Winn: "Robot? So what kind of a robot we talking? Like a C-3PO, Terminator, Roomba?"
(While looking up the correct spelling of the word 'Roomba,' the top hit was this news story from a couple of days ago. My cat never has accidents, but he occasionally misjudges the location of the edge of the litter box. So I guess Roombas are not for me.)
Kara: "Game Night is the last shred of normalcy that remains in our crime-stopping, alien-hunting, DEO-hacking lives. Game Night survives. It has to."
Kara: "Girls are taught to smile and keep it on the inside."
James: "It's not like black men are encouraged to be angry in public."
This probably isn't a four star episode, but it's very good. Three and a half out of four anthropomorphic pseudo entities with combat capabilities,
Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.
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