“Supergirl” soars with uplifting and fun series premiere

Photo: Darren Michaels/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Melissa Benoist proves she is the perfect choice to play Supergirl during the first episode of the CBS series.

Photo: Darren Michaels/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
SUPERGIRL — Melissa Benoist Photo: Darren Michaels/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

She’s also the second hero to emerge from the Glee stage. Grant Gustin, who played shifty Sebastian Smythe, has been running with the ball as Barry Allen on The Flash. The new addition to the DC Universe has a similar feel of that CW show, only with a slightly different message. There is a sense of female empowerment when it comes with many characters in “Supergirl.” Namely, girls can rule — and save — the world.

We are introduced to our heroine Kara Zor-El (Benoist) as she is sent by her parents to protect her cousin Kal-El of Superman fame. Things don’t go as planned and the then 12-year-old gets stuck in the Phantom Zone for two dozen years. She doesn’t get any older so when she finally escapes the pod, she finds Superman is actually grown and no longer needs her, so Kara lives a normal life with Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers (portrayed by Helen Slater, Supergirl in the 1980s movie) and Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The Adventures of Superman) respectively. The couple also has a daughter of their own named Alex (Chyler Leigh).

We then go to present day where a 24-year-old Kara is fully acclimated with her life on Earth. She is an assistant to Cat Grant — wonderfully played by Calista Flockhart — who heads up CatCo, a multimedia powerhouse. The relationship between the two is very Anne Hathaway/Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada.

SUPERGIRL-Calista-Flockhart-as-Cat-Grant
SUPERGIRL — Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant. Photo: Richard Cartwright/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Kara is clearly reaching a point where she is tired of fetching coffee and feels she has a greater calling. She thinks it could be time to flex her superhero muscle. Sister Alex doesn’t think it would be a good idea. Her co-workers include tech-guy Winslow “Winn” Schott (Jeremy Jordan), who is clearly smitten with Kara. There is also photographer James “Jimmy” Olsen (Yes, The Daily Planet’s Jimmy Olsen, who is winningly played here by Mehcad Brooks) — whom Kara seems to have the hots for.

Trying to convince herself that normal life is just fine, she decides to go on a blind date, which ends up being a bust. However, Kara learns of a flight to Geneva experiencing engine failure — and her sister is on it. She saves the day and feels pretty good about herself, but Alex is not happy and feels she opened a can of worms.

Feeling like that she needs to confide in someone about her true identity, Kara chooses Winn. After the shock fades, he helps her decide on superhero attire. “It’s not an S, but my family’s coat of arms the House of El,” she informs him of the outfit’s decoration.

Photo: Darren Michaels/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Photo: Darren Michaels/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Supergirl is brought in by the DEO (Department of Extranormal Affairs), a government agency who deals with aliens like Kara. Turns out Alex is an employee for this organization. Her boss Hank Henshaw (David Harewood) basically blames Kara for an enemy ship from Fort Rozz arriving the same time she landed — a series of events that set dangerous criminals free on the planet. These baddies were sentenced by Kara’s biological mother Alura, so they don’t really want Kara’s help.

Still, Supergirl is determined to lend a hand and engages in a knock down, drag out fight with Vartox (Owain Yeoman, TURN: Washington’s Spies), who was responsible for the plane ordeal in the first place. They meet, but the bad guy proves too much for her. Luckily, the DEO is there to help and Alex starts to believe in Kara. She gives her a confidence boost via a message from her mother (Laura Benanti) that her destiny goes far beyond protecting her now famous cousin.

Alex is able to track down Vartox using metal extracted from Kara’s arm. Another fight ensues, but this time there is a plan for Supergirl to use heat rays from her eyes to cause the enemy’s ax to explode. Vartox gives an ominous warning of things to come and then kills himself.

Photo: Richard Cartwright/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
SUPERGIRL — Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks Photo: Richard Cartwright/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

In her civilian life, Kara is almost fired by Cat for questioning her choice to refer to the mysterious figure in National City as “Supergirl,” but Jimmy saves her job by giving her credit for a photograph of Supergirl. Jimmy later heads to the roof with Kara to reveal that he knew all about her background because of Superman and that he was sent to National City to watch over her. Finally, Jimmy gives her a box from Superman containing the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby.

The episode ends with Alura’s twin sister — and the worst aunt ever — Astra (also played by Benanti) who is dead set on taking over Earth and making Kara pay for everything her mother had done.

So what did you think of the Supergirl premiere? Will the ratings continue to soar? Which characters are your early favorites? Who do you hope shows up as the series progresses? And how about that girl’s ability to take a punch? Let’s talk about it in the comments section below.

  • Watch Supergirl Mondays at 8/7CT on CBS.
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