Supergirl Review: Kara Discovers Her Inner Steel

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Supergirl, Season 1, Episode 20 “Better Angels”

Supergirl wraps up its first season with an episode that managed to thrill and tug at the heartstrings in equal measure.

Plot Snapshot

In the continuation of last week’s penultimate episode, Kara manages to save the world multiple times from the evolving plots of Non, Indigo and the Myriad device thanks to the power of hope and family (and also flight, invulnerability, super strength, heat vision, etc. etc.).

The Big Deal

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Kara was really put through the wringer here. She had to battle her family, evil Kryptonians and her own fears to save the day. She was nearly defeated by Alex, who was outfitted in a kryptonite exo-suit and controlled by Non. But thanks to Hank, her adoptive mother and the switch on the Myriad jamming device being thrown, Kara avoided getting skewered by her sister. To reinforce the jamming, Kara takes to the airwaves on what looks like the set of the movie Network. But instead of being “mad as hell,” Kara delivers a message of hope and optimism that manages to tie back to the last handful of episodes and be the show’s mission statement all in one. Slowly everyone returns to normal, except for Superman, who gets knocked unconscious by the whole ordeal. Indigo takes some cues from her Marvel counterpart Ultron, and convinces Non to turn Myriad up to 11 in order to fry every human brain and leave Earth (and a devastated Kara) for new worlds to conquer. With Hank and Superman out of action, the trip to stop Non once and for all looks like it’s going to be a one-way. While Max attempts to locate the Non-cave, Kara has the time to mull over her mortality and say clumsy goodbyes to her friends. Max finds that Non is at the Fort Rozz crash site, which the government kind of threw a blanket over, posted some “No Trespassing” signs and called it a day. While humanity’s brains are being turned to tapioca, Kara and Non battle it out in the Nevada desert. Kara wins the battle of the laser eyes, but has to fly Fort Rozz into space to save humanity. With the ship safely out of range, Kara drifts in space but thanks to her quick-thinking sister, Kara herself is saved.

On the Side

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In the first half of the season, Supergirl faced some serious identity problems. The show lurched from corny adventure to teen angst tearjerker to everything in between. The biggest issue was with Kara herself. It didn’t matter if she was in the cape or not, Kara couldn’t ever earn a clear win. It’s an important piece of Superman lore that Clark Kent only appears to be a bumbling idiot. Through 15 episodes, Kara was a bumbling idiot. It’s no coincidence that she show got better down the stretch as Kara became a functional adult and a hero in every sense of the word. It was a nice touch that Kara finally got to reap the rewards her heroism, first from the DEO, then her cousin. The biggest reward came from Cat Grant, in her own unmistakable style, gave “Kira” a promotion, her own office and the biggest complement of all – being called her proper name.

Observation and Speculation

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*Not sure if I have been re-watching too much Star Wars: The Force Awakens lately, but for a second there I thought that Helen Slater was going to get Han Soloed by her daughter with the glowing green sword.

*Leave it up to the government and/or the military to mothball a giant spaceship full of high technology instead of, you know, studying it.

*The addition of the Martian Manhunter was a good call all season long, and ripping Indigo in half was really the icing on the cake.

*Awwe, Alex and Max shared a moment. What do we call this vessel? Malex? Almax? Double-X?

*The midair flight effects still need some work, but the big fight scene at the end was still pretty good, especially the two halves of Indigo.

*General Lane, are you really sure you want to give the Kryptonian widget of super-energy to Max Lord, of all people? Really?

*Kara should consider a position in CatCo Human Resources. With all the drinking, closet sex and employees wandering off, it needs help.

*Ok, so bad things happen when Jimmy and Kara kiss. First the world turns to mind controlled zombies, then after kiss No. 2, a spaceship that looks like Kara’s crash-lands with a season ending cliffhanger inside.

*Who is in the rocket pod? A super boy? A power girl (with a cleavage sunroof)? A dog or a cat? Maybe a monkey or a horse? You know executive producer Greg Berlanti is drunk with power if he tries to put a flying cat with a cape on prime time network television.

*All the show needs now is a definitive second season order from CBS and all will be right in National City.

Words to Live By

“And we’re the mosquito.” – Alex. I bet she had to use all her years of agent training and her doctorate in Fake Science to connect the dots on Max’s analogy.


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This episode was pretty strong, but would have worked better with Episode 19 as a two-hour finale. The sister vs. sister fight suffered the most as it and the initial Myriad problem was wrapped up by the end of the cold open. Once the greater danger was raised, Supergirl rebounded with an effective balance of action and heart that is becoming the show’s trademark.

Craig Wack

For a weekly discussion of comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes

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