Supergirl: Midvale

“I’m sorry I broke the imaginary rules for a weekend I didn’t ask for.”

Kara and Alex, both depressed, go visit their mother in Midvale and we experience an experience from their past.

This episode has very little of the main characters. Only Kara and Alex have much to do, and for most of the episode they are being played by different, younger actresses. J’onn Jonzz shows up, but just for a cameo, and we don’t see James Olsen, Winn, Samantha, Lena or anyone else.

First, I must confess I generally don’t like these types of episodes. On the other hand, it’s logical to come back to Midvale. Also, the actresses playing the younger versions were very good. They looked and acted like their older counterparts.

The episode is apparently about a nerdy friend of Kara’s getting murdered and how Alex and Kara come together to solve the crime. It’s actually a vehicle to show how their relationship developed. At first, Alex resents Kara being in the house, blaming her for the disappearance of her father, in which she has gone from having the full attention of two parents to having to share the attention of just one. Kara is annoyed and resentful about everything. She misses her real parents, finds calculus ridiculously easy, but is dreadful at American history and confounds Isaiah Washington with George.

The high school scenes are mostly rather typical, but reasonably well done. I did find it interesting that Josie was defending Samuel Bernard. What do you do when a minor and an adult date? Sometimes the feelings are genuine and endure (look at the current leader of France) and sometimes the whole thing is completely unsavory (look at the senate race in Alabama). Yes, I agree that it’s illegal and that it should be illegal but that does not make feelings go away.

I knew from the start that Mr. Bernard was a red herring and that Sheriff Collins was the guilty party, mostly because we kept running into Collins. The plot has holes, though. Collins tries to run them off the road – but how would he know to do that? How would he know where they were and be able to see them in the dark? And then, as Kara had super powers, how come she couldn’t see who it was? Was she just too startled to look?

The appearance of J’onn Jonzz in the guise of Kara’s mother is cute, allowing Erica Durance to have a scene. And I liked how Kara decided to ignore her promise and rescue Alex anyway. Sometimes you can’t wait for permission.

In the end, Alex and Kara are in a better mood as they get in the car to go home, but I’m not sure why. Because they had a talk with Mom? Because Alex had a full night of sleep? Because they remember their childhood?

Title musings: Midvale is the name of the town of Kara’s adoptive family. I love the plain names of the places in the comic books, e.g. Metropolis, National City, Central City, Smallville – and now Midvale. But besides having this wonderful generic, main street quality, “Midvale” evokes the sense of the middle of the valley – the middle of the depression. Both Kara and Alex are struggling with their depression, and so the title works very well.

Bits and pieces

I love the car they’re driving in as they return to Midvale, which might excuse them using a car, as they could just fly. Alas, I am useless with respect to cars. Does anyone out there know the make and could they put it in the comments?

Liked how Kara says she can’t afford to be vulnerable, that too many people depend on her.

Loved how Eliza had to remind teenaged Kara to remember her glasses before going to school.

I thought it was a nice point how Alex finally gets a decent night’s sleep in a bed without Maggie in it. If there’s any reason to go back to a childhood home when you’re depressed or stressed, getting a good night of sleep might be it.

The Danvers house sure looks nice! And enormous! Given the size, it’s kind of surprising that Kara and Alex have to share a bedroom and a bathroom, although it’s useful for the story. What are all the other rooms used for?

Quotes

Eliza Danvers: This is the mom fine print. When your child’s in agony, you show up regardless the hour.

Kara/Supergirl: You are edging on mean drunk and I only signed up for sad drunk.

Kenny Li: The asthma is what gets me the girls.

Alex: You suck less than a lot of people today.

Kara/Supergirl: What good are my powers if I can’t use them?

Collins: Get paid like a dog protecting rich folks.

Overall Rating

As a standalone episode, this was mostly solid if predictable. The acting was very good even if the plot was something I’ve seen too often. For that I am hovering between two and a half and three. But as part of the arc, I really miss Kara. We don’t seem to have a Big Bad for the season and we don’t even to seem to have Kara-centric episodes – at least not the Kara from our time period. Two out of four telescopes.

Victoria Grossack loves math, Greek mythology, Jane Austen and great storytelling in many forms.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you guys going to be reviewing the Flash anymore?

Billie Doux said...

Our Flash reviewer has stepped down, and we are currently looking for a writer to cover it for us.

http://www.douxreviews.com/2001/01/so-you-want-to-be-guest-writer.html

Anonymous said...

This episode screams ''we were filming the crossover''
Everyone must have noticed by now the reserved roles Oliver, Barry , Sara and Kara have had on their own shows. Oliver hasn't been the Arrow for a while, Barry just had an episode with no Flash, and Sara has suited up but done minimal.Its been pretty noticeable but cleverly disguised by a pretty good ensemble cast on all the shows.

Billie Doux said...

Just saw this one and great review, Victoria. :) I had the exact same thoughts about the size of the house and Kara and Alex having to share a bedroom and bathroom. I was also confused about the two of them taking the same class. Isn't Alex older than Kara?

But I mostly liked this one. The young actresses who played Kara and Alex were spot on -- maybe Kara a little more than Alex -- and it was nice to see the sisters do some bonding because of their mutual interest in law enforcement.

But I think I enjoyed the little easter eggs the most: I loved the use of Chloe, one of my favorite characters from Smallville. But the best was J'onn as Kara's mother, played by Erica Durance, who played Lois Lane on Smallville for what, six years? Erica Durance introduced herself as Noel Neill, and I knew that name sounded familiar. Noel Neill is the actress who played Lois Lane in the original Superman series with George Reeves.

The car is the same one that they used to fly to Mars, although I'm completely in the dark as to the make and model. That's pretty much true of my knowledge of every car, though. :)

Victoria Grossack said...

Yes, Anonymous, the actors were obviously all busy doing something else - the Crossover. Well spotted!

And Billie, I can only find my car in a parking lot because the license plate frame says "I'd rather be reading Jane Austen."

Nick said...

As Billie said, Chloe was one of the best easter egg; she was easily the best thing in Smallville. I was kinda hoping for "Chloe" to make an appearance somewhere down the road until i read what happened to the actress.

Major bummer.

2017 is turning out to be a year for being disappointed in people.

Billie Doux said...

Nick, I hadn't heard about Allison Mack. OMFG. Recruiting for a sex cult??? Wow. Ten years of Smallville and you think you know someone, and then you realize that an actor is an actor and you don't know them at all.

Lamounier said...

My jaw is dropped. I had no idea about Allison Mack either. I wasn't a fan of Smallville, but I was a fan of her Chloe. I'm glad to hear that Supergirl brought her into its universe in some capacity.

And you guys, there is more to this bizarre story with Allison: Kristin Kreuk was the one who recruited her, but according to the reports Kristin left before the group became too bizarre.

I'm so shocked. Billie, can we have a "About this Allison Mack thing" too? No, I'm kidding, but, wow, this sex cult slave thing is just too much.