The Adventures of Supergirl
Warning! Full spoilers for the episode below.
Supergirl picks up immediately where Season 1 ended, with Supergirl discovering a Kryptonian pod that crash-lands on Earth. Supergirl joins the D.E.O. (The Department of Extra-Normal Operations) shortly after in their fancy new facility, now located in the city and much closer to most of the action that occurs. Thank goodness, we can finally be rid of those generic Humvee and military-vehicle montages every time we jumped to the previous D.E.O. facility! Things resume just as they were in Season 1, but now with added Winn involvement due to his Kryptonian language skills. Again, another convenient addition to have all of the right players in the right spots, without Winn being forced to jump between jobs and follow the same threads as Kara. This mystery Kryptonian isn’t discussed much in this first episode, but will certainly play a large part later in Season 2.
Kara, on the other hand, is still tasked with discovering whom she wants to be, constantly challenged and pushed by Cat Grant. Kara is still adapting, learning, and deciding who she wants to be. Among these changes, comes Kara’s decision to pursue a relationship with James. The additional montage of Kara deciding which outfit to wear, only helped to solidify Supergirl’s new place on The CW. Supergirl hits on emotional notes and does include drama outside of fighting aliens, but Supergirl doesn’t forget to find a root in reality, as much as it can. While Arrow and The Flash and even Legends of Tomorrow have all dabbled with various themes and approaches, they often forget to find those same roots and end up in a cycle of doom and gloom and hyper-seriousness. I’m happy to see that Supergirl has stayed true to what it was on CBS, and hope to see those trends continue on The CW.
But of course, it wouldn’t be a superhero show, without a crisis of the week! This week, a spaceship in trouble! The moment we see any sort of launch happening, it is safe to presume that trouble will follow shortly after. It did, and that is where we finally met Superman. Well, we met Clark Kent first, which was always the right choice in this scenario. Sure, we saw “Superman” in shadows and silhouettes and as a pair of boots at the end of Season 1, but now we get to see Superman’s secret identity. We meet Clark before he gets the call to action, while he’s on the phone with Perry White. We see a Clark who is proper and smiles and laughs, and uses phrases like lickety–split. For the past handful of years, all we’ve known is Henry Cavill’s own portrayal of Superman. While one isn’t necessarily better than the other, Tyler Hoechlin’s approach is a breath of fresh air, and one that will continue to be welcomed as he guests on Supergirl.
While Hoechlin and a brand new Superman are a cultural event, through and through, The Adventures of Supergirl does an amazing job balancing the introduction of Superman and Clark Kent, all the while maintaining Kara and Supergirl. This is ever-present when Supergirl and Superman both rush to save the Venture spacecraft. This isn’t Superman saving Supergirl, or forcing her to help. This is a honest-to-goodness team up. While they will certainly come to blows at some point for additional drama in Season 2, this was a feel-good team up through and through. Supergirl even jokes about how she used to change Superman’s diapers. The memory of awkward relationships in Batman v Superman fully dissipated with that one line.
After saving the Venture, Superman and Supergirl arrive at the D.E.O. and Superman is already worshipped by everyone around him, but still maintains his same persona. Another great moment is Winn finally meeting Superman, and immediately freaking out about it. In these moments, we also learn that Lex Luthor is already a villain in this universe, and we learn more about that as we meet Lena Luthor (Merlin’s Katie McGrath). Lena Luthor was supposed to be on the Venture, but was mysteriously absent. So, Clark Kent and Kara Danvers use their secret identities in effort to learn more.
Lena Luthor will be an interesting character, and is already an enigma in the world of Supergirl. We learn that Lex is in prison, serving 32 consecutive life sentences, and that Lena wants to break free of the stigma that Lex has created about the Luthor name. Lena was adopted, but Lex was the one who made her truly feel like a Luthor. But she wants to make a name for herself outside of what Lex has created, parallel to Kara’s own motivations with Superman. She’s in National City for a fresh start. While it does appears that she wants a clean start, only time will tell if she can escape the Luthor name.
While Superman is certainly a large focus in The Adventures of Supergirl, I can appreciate that he often took a backseat to Kara, serving as a mentor instead. Kara wants to know how he does it all, how he manages to balance everything. He’s an amazing reporter. A great boyfriend. He’s Superman. He tells Kara that being Kara is just as important as being Supergirl. This goes hand-in-hand with another great interaction with Cat Grant towards the end of the episode as well.
Being Kara is just as important as being Supergirl.
While the D.E.O. determines that John Corben (Frederick Schmidt) was behind the first attack, they also deduce that Lena Luthor was actually the target of the Venture attack, and is still a target. This provides yet another opportunity for Superman and Supergirl to team up, and work together, as a full-fledged team. These moments come throughout The Adventures of Supergirl, and provide great balance to each scenario. After the duo save Lena and the city from the next part of Corben’s plan, a family states, “We’re moving back to Gotham.” planting another tie to a connected Gotham that will one day hopefully come.
Alongside Clark’s advice to Kara, came another wave of fantastic advice from Cat Grant. While I wasn’t sold by Calista Flockhart’s character in the first batch of episodes from Season 1, I am now in full support. Supergirl has done a fantastic job of putting a strong female role model, perfectly in place, to guide Kara/Supergirl as she grows and learns in her early years. While I fear that Cat will one day be a casualty along Kara’s journey, her role remains vital and compelling in every interaction.
The plot continues when Corben attacks Lena’s renaming ceremony, turning LexCorp into LCorp. While it was predicted that he would attack, and once again Supergirl and Superman teamed up to stop him, there was an interesting tidbit in Lena shooting Corben with almost no hesitation. Is this a glimmer at things to come as she embraces the Luthor name? Of course, Corben is still alive, and at the end of the episode we see that Cadmus is behind his transformation into Metallo, which keeps both of those threads open in Season 2.
The Adventure of Supergirl ends with Kara once more, interacting with Cat Grant and Clark. Kara decides to become a reporter, and Cat reveals that she predicted all along that Kara would pursue that path. Again, Cat is such a vital part of Kara’s story and guidance, at this point even more so that Clark is, or possibly ever will be. But then we have Clark, who says that he’ll be sticking around for a little while. Of course he wants to be there to help Kara grow and guide her, but there’s also innocence and a sense of wanting in his reasons. He wants to be around family, he wants to hear about his parents and Krypton. His presence will certainly be welcome as Supergirl continues into Season 2.
The Adventures of Supergirl was a fantastic starting point for Supergirl on The CW. While Season 2 picked up right where we left off following the events of Season 1, there are already so many more moving parts, which work surprisingly well. Yes, the focus immediately is on a shiny-new portrayal of Superman, but The Adventures of Supergirl did an amazing job in balancing this introduction, while still remaining true to what Supergirl is.