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The Return of Supergirl

Wow.  Let's talk about the turn around of Supergirl since we've returned from the break.


First, more Kara.  Way more Kara. More Supergirl doing stuff.  More time with the ladies in general. Okay. Better. Also, the return of Lena Luthor.  Clearly the break-out character of season 2.

The first episode back from the break is episode 18 - "Ace Reporter" and prominently features Lena Luthor.   We get some backstory to her character that is unrelated to her infamous brother or her villainous family.  We meet her ex, Jack Spheer, played by IZomie's Rahul Kohli.  They worked together trying to find a cure for cancer and other noble deeds.  While it was totally unnecessary for him to be a past lover or Lena's "Kryponite", rather than just someone Lena had a deep connection and bond with or someone she just trusted or someone she just worked closely & passionately with. Our female characters were once again reduced to using that trope to feed us the information.

We open the episode with Kara ready to kick ass & take names, but there is absolutely nothing for her to do.  She goes home to "grief bake" over the loss of her Catco job.  Lena pops by and asks Kara to go on another "date" with her because she fears she will fall back under Jack's spell & do something she will regret because he is a "weakness" for her.  Okay, yeah, kinda yucky, but also if you ship Supercorp, you had to grin at the fact that Lena was taking Kara along to keep her from ending up with Jack.  Just sayin'.

Kara of course goes with her & runs into her ex-Catco boss Snapper Carr, who insults her in front of Lena & all she can do is come back with a ageist slight.  She does manage to get the first question and get Snapper to shut up after trying to cut her off. Jack later states that she "grilled" him.  I guess we are supposed to believe she shined with the journalism after seeing one question. Next, we see Jack chasing Lena as her & Kara leave & asking her to dinner.  Kara, feeling like a third wheel, despite Lena asking her to go so that she wouldn't fall prey to her "Kryptonite", leaves the two alone.  Ummm....okay?

A man approaches Kara on her way out & says he has damning evidence that Jack's nanobots are dangerous & he wants to meet her alone with intel later.

So, what the writers have done is set up a scenario with Lena & Jack & Kara, in which Lena will have to choose between Jack & Kara/Supergirl.  Hmmm...interesting.  Supercorp shippers were pretty happy with the outcome.

Kara meets the source who is killed by the Nanobots right in front of her & we get a cool CGI effect of Kara on fire with her shirt burned just right to show us her Supergirl crest beneath.  Cheesy as hell, but, I'm okay with cheese.  In fact, I eat it up.

Supergirl later saves Snapper Carr from the Nanobots as they kill the second source that had contacted Snapper with similar damning evidence.

Nanobots 2, Supergirl ZERO.  Hmmm....okay.   Kara/Supergirl doesn't really seem too affected by the deaths either.  No outrage, no tears, no feelings of failure.  Just a quick scene with her hand over her mouth. Um, yeah, okay.

She goes home to Mon-El & he tells her Lena called her to try & talk her out of going to dinner with Jack.  Kara rushes off to crash their dinner with Mon-el in tow.

After an awkward exchange between the characters at dinner, Kara & Mon-El break into Spheerical Industries to search Jack's computer for more damning evidence with the Security badge that Mon-El snagged off Jack.  He never seems to notice & doesn't mention it later.

Now, this moment with Kara & Mon-El was fantastic.  They are really fun to watch when they are being sleuthy goofs.  I really wish we could have seen more of this type of relationship between the characters and less of the romantic & slave-owning, self-absorbed, abusive d-bag characterization we got all through season 2. It felt very scooby-doo and it was fun.  Melissa & Chris have great chemistry together but the writers really made Mon-El completely unlikable early on in season 2 & they never came through with the hero-training/mentor relationship we thought we would see.  It could have been hilariously fun.  I was totally on board for Karamel (Ship name for Mon-El/Kara) early on, but that just wrote him as such a dick, I dropped it. Sad, really.  Unfortunate for Chris Wood, who would have shined.

Anyhoo...back to the episode. Kara & Mon-El hack Jack's computer & find a video of him injecting the nanobots into himself & becoming the nanobots Kara saw killing the two sources.

At the same time, Lena & Jack are back at L-Corp making out when Jack becomes aware of the break-in via being a nanobot & sensing it.  He stops making out with Lena & leaves her cold & confused.

Kara shows up the NEXT DAY to warn Lena.  Sure glad those bots didn't seduce her into a similar fate that night.  Good thing Jack had to leave.  Whew!  It was almost bots 3, Kara ZERO.

Lena is hesitant to believe Kara & promises she will not go confront him, then, as soon as Kara leaves, she goes to confront him.  We learn that he is indeed the bot & has indeed killed the two sources but that he was not in control. Instead, his greedy coworker has been in control all along.  He was innocent & truly felt for Lena & missed her but now, the greedy corporate employee of Mr. Spheer plans on making Lena a controllable bot swarm as well!

I'm glad that Corporate Greed was the real villain here.

Supergirl shows up just in time to put save Lena but put her in the situation where she has to choose between saving Jack or Supergirl.  It really wasn't much of a choice though.  Jack was nothing but a bunch of mind-controlled bots now.  She could never truly free him from them.  He pleads with her to kill him and so she does, by destroying the bots & in turn saving Supergirl, but she is badly broken emotionally.

Poor sad tortured Lena.  This character is truly one of the most tortured characters to ever exist on TV.  I really hope they don't go with the good girl turns evil because of her past tortures trope.  It would be far more interesting to keep Lena grey and struggling throughout season 3 & to see a good outcome for the character.  I really feel like that's where Xena failed.  It was a show about a character who had committed unspeakable wrongs struggling to be good & find forgiveness.  Unfortunately, she never found that forgiveness & ended up dead at the end.  Just once, I'd love to see a strong, smart, woman with a dark past come through & defeat her demons to stand in the light.  Just once.

Anyway, the next to last scene was extremely satisfying for the Supercorp shippers.  Kara shows up with flowers, Lena confesses she's afraid of who she will be when she feels again & Kara swears to always be her friend and always PROTECT her.

Lena's reaction to this is subtle but telling.  I'm pretty sure if she didn't know Kara was Supergirl (which I think she does) she certainly does now.  This scene is a wee bit subtext heavy & Supercorp squee'd with delight.

In the last scene Snapper gives Kara her Catco job back.

So, there's still some pretty big problems with the handling of the female characters & what drives them & we're still falling short there, but we are seeing the main character more & the other female characters more and less time spent on the failed romance plot.  Kara is much less isolated.  She got her job back.  Better, but we've got a ways to go.

Episode 19 is titled: ALEX

Alex is Kara's sister.  Hooray! Sister time!  Something that, once again, was a great part of season 1 that just fell away in the move to CW & season 2.  Chyler Leigh (Alex) and Melissa (Kara/Supergirl) have amazing chemistry together on screen & can really pull at your heart strings.  The sister connection feels real & it really was the heart of season 1.  We get some great scenes in this episode.  Kara & Alex & Sawyer (Alex's GF) are the main focus. Hooray!  Another female-centric episode.  Lena is also prominently featured in the side story.  Hooray!

This episode deals with cop (Sawyer) vs Hero (Supergirl) as well as Sister (Kara) vs Girlfriend (Sawyer).  Alex is kidnapped & Sawyer & Kara are at odds on how to save her as well as who has more to lose & who has the last say in what to do when it comes to saving Alex.  It was a good story idea.  Kara & Alex have always been close & allowing Sawyer, her girlfriend, a say in Alex's fate is a struggle for Kara.

I do think they really missed an opportunity to close the book on the whole first season Maxwell Lord thing here.  It would have been great to see him be the villain in this episode.  He learned who Kara was & it would have been completely buyable that he was behind this.  Most of the fans speculation lead to that conclusion.  Too bad.


Meanwhile, Mon-El's evil Mother Rhea has tried to trick Lena Luthor into working with her under the guise of saving the world.  Lena is far too smart not to see she is an alien & not being truthful, but Rhea manages to twist her words & Lena's feelings into something that Lena appears to buy into.  We shall see.  Lena wants desperately to do good & if she thinks there's even a small chance at succeeding at that, she's going to try.  Rhea, however, is in reality, just using her to build a portal that will allow masses of the Daximite Army in to conquer Earth under the guise of creating portals to transport food & goods & emergency supplies anywhere in an instant.  I also think that once again, we are subtly told that Lena knows Kara is Supergirl BECAUSE she chooses to trust Rhea.

Lena was brought up to hate aliens.  All the humans she has trusted have betrayed her.  The only person to ever NOT betray her & to protect her & be there for her is Kara/Supergirl, an alien.  So, she decides to trust another alien. Rhea.

It's going to be real exciting to see how this plays out.

Dear Supergirl Writers, please don't go with the predictably easy "Lena becomes evil" trope.  Thanks. Keep her grey & struggling to do good despite the pain & setbacks.  Thanks.

The whole episode was pretty exciting & kept me on the edge of my seat.  It might well have been the best episode of season 2.  Keep moving this direction guys.  We might get a season 4.

I will say this.  With these two episodes, I am committed to watching the rest of the season.  I was just about to tune out, but they brought me back.  I am excited to see what the last three episodes reveal & the direction they go.  There's still quite a bit of work to do, but it really feels like they are trying now.

This post first appeared on Art, Love, & Action Figures, please read the originial post: here

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The Return of Supergirl


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