Supergirl: Girl of Steel

The third season follows from where the second ended, with Supergirl very down, but she spends her depressed time by floating way up in the sky and by throwing herself into Supergirl activities. She misses Mon-El, who, because of his own super strength, is one of the few males on Earth (or who used to be on Earth) whom she can love without injuring.

The other characters miss the bubbly and optimistic Kara. Her friends feel as if they have given her time to grieve and that she should be returning to her former joyful self. The fact that this note is played several times may be a problem for some viewers, especially as it shows up in pretty tame stuff: she is canceling brunch dates, not showing up for game night, and she’s late in her reporting assignments. I must say that I appreciated it. I appreciated the fact that her reaction was normal instead of over the top (for example, she does not go back in time to change events, as happens with dizzying regularity in other parts of the Berlanti-verse). I liked the fact that she did not take her depression too far, the way that happens in so many series. Kara is throwing herself into her Supergirl work, which is a pretty healthy choice. And which sure benefits all the people she’s saving!

Kara also is facing some questions and some truths. She says several times that she is not human. Obviously, she has realized before that she is not human, but this time she is feeling this truth from a different angle. This could lead to some interesting character growth. She also realizes that she might not have it all, or at least not have love. The odds are against her, certainly.

The other characters were in support mode, but not entirely neglected. James was not out playing the Guardian (thank goodness), but instead working as the guy in charge of CatCo, meeting with other VIPs in National City and haranguing Kara for missing deadlines. Alex was there for Kara but her sister’s depression was depressing her (and everyone else, but it impacted Alex most, which is appropriate). Cat Grant is now the White House Press Secretary, which allows Calista Flockhart to keep her toe in the series without having to find a storyline for Cat Grant every week. And also serves as a reminder of what press secretaries do. Lena Luthor had some especially good stuff, ending up by buying CatCo – that sure gives us some potential plotting!

Kara quits her job as a reporter during the episode, a natural act for someone going through what she is going through. The episode implies at the end that we may hit the reset button by the next episode. I do wonder how good a reporter Kara Danvers really is. I don’t think we’ve ever seen her do much besides write Supergirl exclusives (except when she was working for Snapper Carr). A story that is overdue by several months is seriously overdue.

We met two new baddies during this episode: rich guy, Edge, and the weapons guy, Bloodsport. No one was surprised to see that they were working together, as happens in every Nancy Drew story, but at least in this one it was logical. No more resistance to developing the waterfront if all the poor people have been killed by a nuke! The ladies took care of the threats at the end: Lena purchased CatCo to keep it out of Edge’s hands, and Supergirl left Edge atop a cargo ship in the middle of the ocean (great visual).

Title musings: “Girl of Steel” suits on several levels. They are honoring her at the waterfront with a statue – perhaps made of steel? Kara is giving preference to the superhero side of her, because the non-hero side hurts too much. She is trying to be “of steel” – to ignore her feelings.

Bits and pieces

It’s cool that Supergirl’s X-ray vision can be used to, you know, X-ray people. And evidently scan for other medical issues, such as internal injuries.

Could the dreams combining Mon-El and Kara’s mother have something to do with the trinket Supergirl gave him at the end of the last season? The necklace given her by her mother?

Supergirl can’t breathe underwater? Does she really need to breathe? Or is that a plot device that will be used in this episode and then conveniently forgotten at some later point?

Did we see Mon-El's ship at the bottom of the ocean? Waiting for the lead dust to make its way out of the atmosphere? If so, he's at the wrong spot. Lead is a very heavy element and will eventually sink ... to the bottom of the ocean.

Liked how the mom was able to lift the metal beam off her daughter. This seems to be more than adrenaline-inspired strength, as she actually bent metal while doing it. Has this mom been affected by the explosion in a manner that will give her special powers in future episodes? She appears in one of the stills for the episode, which is a pretty good harbinger of things to come...

Quotes

Lena: “I hate that sentient bottle of cheap cologne.”

Supergirl: “The world’s not going to save itself.”

Lena: “You have all the charisma of a Michael Douglas movie from the 90s."

Alex: “If you cry, I’m going to cry and then everyone around here will actually know that we can cry.”

Alex: “I choose you to be my family.”

Supergirl: “I am not human.”

Overall Rating

I’ve been oscillating between two and a half aluminum tubes and three on this episode. I felt it was solid; the characters were consistent, and although others may deplore the lack of over-the-top drama, to me the episode was satisfying. I’m a little concerned about the lack of potential conflict and what the writers will do with a hero who is emotionally balanced, but some possibilities were set up and a lot felt natural instead of contorted. So, perhaps I am being generous, but I’m going with three out of four aluminum tubes.
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Victoria Grossack loves math, Greek mythology, Jane Austen and great storytelling in many forms.

10 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Congratulations on posting your first Supergirl review, Victoria! I thought you got a good episode to start with, too. I get the reporter thing. I really do. but part of me thinks Kara should spend her working life as Supergirl. Can't she be Kara in her downtime?

Loved Cat Grant as press secretary. And the reference to "moron" made me wonder if the Supergirl writers are psychic, since it's such a big deal this week. I was also really happy to see Erica Durance, who is taking over as Kara's mother. Erica Durance was my favorite Lois Lane ever.

Alex asking J'onn to walk her down the aisle almost made me cry -- practically worth the price of admission.

Hate Alex's new hair. :)

Victoria Grossack said...

I hate Alex's hair too! But so many of the women have luxurious long dark hair that I confound the characters.

I enjoy Supergirl, but I don't have a lot of depth with previous shows or with comic books or with all these heroes. So I may miss some stuff.

Billie Doux said...

I don't have a comics background either, and I reviewed a lot of episodes of Supergirl and Legends. You'll do just fine. :)

Raelonus said...

The mom is actually Reign: The baby who appeared in the flashback when Krypton died as some Kryptonian elders send her to earth at the end of season 2. Also I'm surprised you didn't mention Alex asking J'onn to walk her down the aisle for the wedding

Victoria Grossack said...

I guess Alex's asking J'onn to walk her down the aisle was so obvious that it did not feel worth mentioning - although implied with the quote that I included, about choosing your family, which I think has a deeper significance.

There are story reasons why Alex cannot turn to her own father - but shouldn't she be asking her mother? Of course, J'onn is regular cast!

But you're right. Hard to hit on everything.

Billie Doux said...

Hard to hit on everything. Yes. That's what comments are for. :)

sunbunny said...

I've never read a comic book in my life and I managed to make it through a season and a half of Supergirl before my hatred of Mon-El finally defeated me. Did anyone else think the beginning was pulled directly from the season 3 premiere of Buffy?

TJ said...

Yes sunbunny!

Dream sequence a la Buffy season 3 - was my immediate reaction.

Anonymous said...

In the season one finale she can't breath in space (Alex as to rescue her when Kara sends Fort Roz into space).

Victoria Grossack said...

Thanks for the info, Anonymous! My brain cells are cluttered with memories of an ancient comic book with Superman flying around in space, but apparently that's now out in this rendition. And I always appreciate consistency. Except when it's hobgoblinning.