In this week’s episode of Supergirl on CBS, Kara (Melissa Benoist) quickly learns that having super powers and being a super hero are two different things.
We pick up a week after she revealed herself to National City as Supergirl and she tells us it’s going pretty well. Hank Henshaw (David Harewood) isn’t impressed. He says there are very rigorous requirements to be a field operative for the DEO and right now Kara’s airborne mph isn’t meeting them. She wonders if he’s being so fussy because she’s a … woman? …. nope. An alien.
Kara finds herself in a situation those who have extremely successful relatives can relate to. In this case, her cousin Superman casts a wide shadow. He isn’t a doctor or a lawyer — just one of the most famous figures in the history of mankind. Despite their similar super-ensembles, Kara strives for her own identity.
We begin with a fire at the National City port, where Kara saves the day, but ends up causing an oil spill in the process. Captain Planet would not be pleased.
Comparing Supergirl to Superman, the media questions if she is doing more harm than good. It’s during this news coverage we see Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli), a successful businessman who will play more of a role in the series as time goes on.
Back at the office, Kara’s boss, Cat (Calista Flockhart) wants to score a Barbara Walters-esque exclusive interview with Supergirl, and James (Mehcad Brooks) finds himself under a deadline to deliver it.
Kara summons James and Winn (Jeremy Jordan) for a pow wow about what can be done to help her image. Thinking practice makes perfect, she decides to start small where helping is concerned. In a particularly humorous spot, Supergirl saves a little girl’s snake — named Fluffy — that is stuck in a tree.
Kara also does a little added training with her sis, Alex (Chyler Leigh), at the DEO headquarters. An alert comes of a chemical plant killing. Henshaw think alien criminal Hellgrammite (Justice Leak, and yes, that’s a name, not a typo) has plans to plant a bomb or explosives where the insect-like being wants to feed. His confidence in Supergirl is not there yet, so she doesn’t fit into the equation on this case. Trying to lure him with some DDT, Alex is, instead, abducted by Hellgrammite and taken to Astra (Laura Benanti).
Supergirl comes to the rescue, which leads to our first showdown in this family feud. Astra says Kara’s mother imprisoned her at Fort Rozz for speaking her mind — this is why she survived when Krypton blew up. Now Astra wants Kara stand beside her as she conquers Earth.
Kara refuses and a battle ensues. The women show off their respective powers and Supergirl eventually gains the upper hand by using Alex’s earlier advice to use an opponent’s power against them. Speaking of Alex, she takes out Hellgrammite by first neutralizing him with a swift kick between the legs. Works every time.
Supergirl gets an assist from Henshaw who arrives and stabs Astra in the leg with a knife containing kryptonite. Henshaw’s new respect for Kara is apparent. Alex reveals they have created a room at base similar to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude where Alura (also Benanti) can serve as a guide. Sadly, she can only give advice and not hugs; her girl could use one.
Cat calls James to tell him his time is up regarding scoring her the interview. Suddenly, her car is lofted away to another location, where she meets … Supergirl.
The overarching message this episode is that it’s OK to ask for help when you need it — and I enjoy the uplifting tone of the series so far. I also like the explanation the writers gave for why people don’t know Superman is Clark Kent — because they can’t see him that way. The same is true for Supergirl. However, I think she does stand out, not just because she is female, but because she has a remarkably different personality than Superman. There is vulnerability in Kara that you don’t find in Clark Kent — at least in my eyes. Kara has certain flaws early on as she goes through growing pains as a super hero. She makes mistakes, and that is OK. There is a likable quality here that make her — and the freshman series — interesting.
You can’t help but to cheer for Supergirl. And for Supergirl.
- Watch Supergirl Mondays at 8/7CT on CBS.
- Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN.