Supergirl ‘Fight or Flight’
- Written by Michael Grassi & Rachel Shukert
- Directed by Dermott Downs
Following on from a solid second episode Supergirl is now entering the stage that all new shows go through where they need to cement their style and work on those room-for-improvement areas that have been identified. Supergirl’s growing pains lie in the character development, we’ve seen the D.E.O. take centre stage thanks for their knowledge of the alien forces that the titular hero is likely to face on a weekly basis and in doing so the writers have left out the characters introduced in the pilot.
In my review of ‘Stronger Together’ I noted that Winn in particular had been forefront in the pilot and then left out in the cold. This week he’s brought back in to the foreground thanks to turning an abandoned office at the Cat Co building in to a tech hub for Team Supergirl and suddenly having the ability to access systems that make him miraculously more
like Felicity Smoak useful to the show.
It’s a somewhat lazy method that shows can get away with a this stage in order to make characters more useful. Seeing this plot device in use always reminds me of the unaired pilot for ‘Tru Calling’ which featured a similar character in love with the female lead who provided some technical backup, in his case the entire lack of direction for his character meant that by the time the show went in to full production he was no longer in the cast and never seen or mentioned again… it really happens!
If Winn is to remain crucial to the show this angle needs to be explored more and it needs to make sense in the context of the show. I had a gripe with the amount of time spent at the D.E.O. this week given the nature of the villain, Reactron. Henshaw made the point perfectly by saying that the D.E.O. deals with alien interference and the world has Superman to deal with the everyday crazy but Supergirl didn’t want to give up and so Alex, of course, had to step in and help and therefore Henshaw also consequently had to decide that his agency could also help.
I understand that it was an incredibly complex and intricate set to build but the D.E.O. is very dank and sterile where this show actually has a lot more colour and vigour. There is no need to keep Supergirl stuck in a cave purely to show off the set design skills. Having the D.E.O. assist with non-alien cases is only going to weaken Winn and Olsen more as side kicks to Supergirl and therefore I’m taking a stand and saying they need to be downplayed as an agency for the next few episodes otherwise there’s almost no need for Supergirl at all.
Reactron is a good villain, he has the right mix of fantastical and mundane to stand out be a villain of the week on a show such as this. He has the generic dead wife motivation and the required know how to build a device like the one he wears here.
The Superman-shaped elephant in the room is dealt with interestingly in ‘Fight or Flight’ with a very brief appearance of his silhouette followed by a full conversation between alter-egos Kara and Clark… a full conversation you say?! Yes I say! Via instant messenger…
It’s still a great dialogue between the two although I’m not sure how I feel about world famous reporter Clark Kent using smilies. Their brief exchange is poignant and goes a long way to reassuring Kara that she is on the right track. If we’re building to an actual appearance then this was a great tease, if this is going to be a regular thing then it’s another plot device to help circumvent the fact that Supes/Clark is off the market for appearances on TV. Only time will tell.
Another solid entry to the series.
Here’s the trailer for next weeks episode ‘How Does She Do It?’: