Supergirl ‘Stronger Together’
- Story by Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg
- Teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Ali Adler
- Directed by Glen Winter
Catch ‘Supergirl‘ on CBS Mondays @ 8/7 central and airing in the UK on Sky One Thursdays @ 8 and available on catchup.
It’s week two, otherwise known as the big test, for a new show and with ‘Stronger Together’ Supergirl continues to surpass expectations. The real test comes from the ratings for a second episode but there’s no doubt in my mind that Supergirl won’t stabilise very early on and earn it’s back-nine episode order.
‘Stronger Together’ acts as a secondary pilot re-contextualising the D.E.O. to become more a prominent figure in the series which in-turn pushes Winn slightly in to the periphery in this episode. Supergirl is looking for a purpose for it’s large cast of characters and struggling to find it for several of them. By nature Alex Danvers and the other crew at the D.E.O. are guaranteed to have a full role in the show as they hold the keys to information on Fort Rozz, the Krpytonian prison which also crash-landed on Earth.
Not forgetting that poor Hank Henshaw who causes a little plot twist of his own at the end of this episode which might be a nod to his comic book origins.
James Olsen is safe because he connects Kara to her cousin and Cat Grant ain’t going nowhere because she’s Calista Flockhart and you don’t pay the big bucks for her and then put her in the corner.
All this leaves poor Winn out in the cold for this episode, we know he has a crush on Kara but that makes him little more than a triangle in the Kara/James love story and he has none of the resources of the D.E.O. to be able to help Supergirl. The writers built him up too much in the pilot to allow him to fade away now, he needs to find a purpose and it needs to happen fast and organically within the story.
The story of ‘Stronger Together’ pits Supergirl against a Hellgrammite, another Kryptonian villain. Kara instantly recognises the creature from a story in her past cue a flashback to her life of Krypton. This could become an easy convention for the writers to fall back on given that she has memories of her life before the planet was destroyed but hopefully the show will learn to pit her against human villains as well as alien ones.
There’s a nice metaphor running under the surface of ‘Stronger Together’ with Alex teaching Kara the lesson of using ones own power against them in a fight which comes in very handy during fights with the very confusing Aunt Astra. Confusing because she is the twin of Kara’s mother therefore allowing the same actress to appear in both roles which will definitely take some getting used to.
The writers have kept the best bits of the pilot such as Kara’s enthusiasm for helping those in need and balancing it against her utter lack of experience. In the opening sequence she struggles to put out a fire which could cause a ship full of oil to explode, in reducing the danger of explosion she manages to cause a devastating oil spill which will have consequences on National City for some time to come. It’s always great to see a hero earn their title and struggle to get things right. Both Green Arrow and The Flash have struggled with their own journeys to become the heroes they are and Kara should be no different purely because she is Superman’s cousin.
Speaking of the Man of Steel his absence from the show isn’t a weakness and for that I am very pleased. It is a little difficult to believe that Clark wouldn’t want to get in touch the minute Kara exposed herself to the world but he hasn’t. Perhaps he is being saved for a one off appearance down the line a la Constantine on ‘Arrow’.
I’m still a little confused by the soft focus which is abound during scenes in Cat Co. There’s a lot of joking going on around Twitter about Calista Flockhart and soft focus and it is hard not to notice that any scenes she isn’t in are much more in focus but it’s also hard to argue that she isn’t trying her best to bring some cold hearted steel to proceedings.
Her treatment of James this week was a little uncalled for given that there hasn’t been a huge amount of time given to understand her motivations other than wanting to scoop a story from The Daily Planet. It will be interesting to see the outcome of her interview with Supergirl next week.
Once against the stand out aspects of the show are the special effects and the fight choreography. The final fight with Astra includes some great wire work as well as great examples of Kryptonian power in use. I’m intrigued to know which iteration of the Superman franchise this show ties in to. There’s been no mention of the battle of Metropolis so it can’t be from ‘Man of Steel’ so your guess is as good as mine as to where this show might tie in.
‘Stronger Together’ is an improvement over the pilot so two weeks in it’s all positive steps for Supergirl as she steps in to the limelight. The usual pitfalls of a new show exist in that the characters are all vying for screen time to make their voices heard and Astra is a hugely under developed villain who is going to require some heavy screen time before she becomes anything even vaguely resembling scary.
Supergirl is definitely a show worth a watch!
Here’s the trailer for the next episode ‘Fight or Flight’: