The Last Children of Krypton
Warning! Full spoilers for the episode below.
Coming off of the fantastic debut of Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman in The Adventures of Supergirl, an episode that was also able to balance the aforementioned introduction alongside Supergirl’s own arc, The Last Children of Krypton came up a bit short in comparison to the premiere. While we still had a strong mix of Superman and Supergirl, The Last Children of Krypton dealt in half-measures that didn’t always pay off. This was very much so a continuation of The Adventures of Supergirl, effectually serving as Part One and Part Two. While this pair of episodes worked well in introducing Superman, and temporarily (?) saying goodbye to him, the second part attempted to balance too many parts, diluting the overall success of The Last Children of Krypton.
Once more, Superman and Supergirl paired up to fight crime, a truly dynamic duo that invoked more feel-good moments. They shared the honor of helping others, acknowledging and celebrating their strengths and successes together. There was another great interaction with Supergirl asking, “Does this ever get old?” with Superman replying, “I’ll let you know.” Sure, it paired well with the same similar scenes in The Adventures of Supergirl, but never quite hit the same heights with the repeated adventures.
Another disappointment was the use of Corben. While we saw Corben’s transformation into Metallo at the end of last week’s episode, his character just turned into cannon fodder this week. While we’ll get to that in a bit, it was interesting to see Cadmus’ leading lady speaking about how she gave Metallo life, gave him a purpose. This will have ramifications when it comes to finding out what exactly happened to Jeremiah, and will pack much more of a punch than the interactions with Metallo. Unfortunately, Metallo himself didn’t pack much of a punch this week. Yes, he entrapped Superman and Supergirl, and beat both of them up, but outside of that he existed only as cannon fodder for both Supergirl, as well as Cadmus.
Even in Supergirl’s attempt to recreate that iconic Infinite Earths cover, they came up short. While the recreation was a neat nod, it was a scenario that held no real consequence. Infinite Earths killed off Supergirl, a decision that fans embraced as one of the best Supergirl stories to date. On Supergirl, sure, Superman and Supergirl got roughed up a bit, but their loss held little consequence, if really any at all. Moments later, Kara and Superman were fine, no fess, no mess. It was a neat recreation, but a premature one that came up mighty short in comparison to the original.
Back in Kara’s other life, she was set up with another boss that she has to prove herself with. While the setup of James as Cat’s temporary replacement holds far more intrigue, the introduction of Snapper Carr holds less value. While yes, I admit that I love the arc that Cat Grant and Kara have shared, this new relationship with Snapper feels a bit too similar at the moment. Yes, this is because production moved to Vancouver and not because of desire that we’re losing Cat Grant full-time, but it’s still an unfortunate happenstance. We later see Kara step up to the plate with Snapper and prove that she wants to be a successful reporter, but similar situations with Cat have already occurred. I hope that, going forward, Kara’s new job as a reporter truly pushes her character into new and uncomfortable situations, and true character growth comes from it.
While The Adventures of Supergirl managed to balance Kara and Clark and Corben, The Last Children of Krypton didn’t do the same, quite as well at least. This week, we had Kara and her two lives, Cat Grant, Snapper Carr, Alex and Winn, Cadmus, Corben, as well as Superman and J’onn. There were still strong moments, especially with Kara admitting, “Everything is changing so fast. I do not do well with change.” when talking to Cat. Unfortunately, moments like these were buried beneath too many plates trying to be balanced all at once. While I’m excited to see where these various threads end up, The Last Children of Krypton made a bit of a tangled mess of them this week.
Everything is changing so fast. I do not do well with change.
Of these threads, I am definitely the most interested in seeing where Cadmus progresses. While I hope that they don’t produce a monster/villain of the week repeatedly for Kara to fight/defeat, Cadmus provides a much different threat than Astra did in Season 1. Cadmus, and our mysterious Lady in Charge are much more relentless, much more unforgiving. And of course, the narrative carrot of Jeremiah will hold huge importance when that reveal comes.
Another strong scene that The Last Children of Krypton held was between Alex and Kara, when Kara says that she wants to move to Metropolis. This created an interesting rift that Supergirl also addressed in Season 1’s red kryptonite-centric Falling. But where Falling succeeded, this week’s episode fell short. Falling focused around this core concept of Kara and Alex and the unspoken truths between them. This week, those truths were brought back up once again, not only between Alex and Kara, but also between Alex and Cadmus’ leading lady. Where Falling used these themes throughout the episode, this week had those themes only momentarily, and were wrapped up “lickety-split” and were over just as soon as they began. I’m all for Supergirl learning from past mistakes, and using that knowledge to become stronger, but it seemed like too quick of a jump this week.
That jump transitioned into Supergirl and Alex teaming up, while Superman and J’onn did the same to defeat Metallo and Metallo #2. While the buildup to the two pairs felt a bit unearned, especially with the rift between J’onn and Superman ever-present, it was still lovely to see Superman and Martian Manhunter fighting together onscreen. And again, Metallo became an unfortunate piece of cannon fodder, never becoming much more than that. His motivation of, “Superman and Supergirl shot you in the back. Hate them!” really never came together, neither narratively nor emotionally, especially when compared to his comic-book variations, or even compared to Brian Austin Green’s own portrayal in Smallville. While every villain that Kara fights may not be much more than a villain-of-the-week, it was disappointing to see Metallo’s arc in The Last Children of Krypton.
The Last Children of Krypton put an adequate bow on the two-episode arc, regardless of the few missteps contained within. Kara stepped up to the plate with Snapper, and her journey as a journalist will continue. Kara/Supergirl both got their goodbyes with Cat Grant, who will certainly be missed. James, as previously mentioned, got temporarily promoted. J’onn gave Superman all of the kryptonite that the DEO had in their possession. Superman went back to Metropolis. The mysterious new “Kryptonian” awoke from his slumber. All’s well that ends well, I suppose.
The Last Children of Krypton was a companion episode to last week’s The Adventures of Supergirl, that didn’t come in as strong as the premiere. There were very familiar threads and themes pulled over from the premiere, but weren’t quite as strong. We saw a lot of the same from all parties, across the board, and The Last Children of Krypton fell a little bit short. But hey, at least we got to hear Clark explain what a “jiffy” was to Perry White. There’s redemption, yet.