TV Review: Supergirl – Season 1 Episode 3 “Fight or Flight”

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EPISODE 3: “Fight or Flight”

SYNOPSISKara has a lot on her plate. Not only does she have to fight the villainous Reactron, but she also has to find her place outside of her cousin’s shadow, as well as manage Cat’s snarky Supergirl exposé!

REVIEW:

Man oh man, tonight’s episode of SUPERGIRL had some serious issues… and no I am not just talking about that scene with Kara and Clark Kent chatting via instant messenger (complete with smileys :)). The villain, Reactron, was over-the-top, the lovey dovey dialogue between Jimmy and Kara was pretty cringe-worthy, and the exposition is really starting to take its toll on the show. Again we are being hit over the head with Kara telling everyone who will listen that she wants to be her own woman/superhero and doesn’t want to live in her cousin’s shadow. This is obviously a major theme of the show, and an issue that could be really interesting to explore. However, the same speech continues to be rehashed every. single. week; and not only once… multiple times in the same episode. The audience is not as stupid as SUPERGIRL is making us out to be. We don’t need the same tired dialogue repeated week after week. Instead, the scenes should be organic. This is Kara’s story, so let us see it.

Also, did anyone else find it is a little weird that no one mentioned the events of last week? Kara had a serious showdown with her powerful Aunt Astra, who flew away and escaped. Yet no one is trying to figure out what to do WHEN she comes back? We know her goal is world domination, however, there is literally zero mention of her for the entire episode. What gives?

Last week’s episode ended with Cat conducting Supergirl’s first, exclusive interview. And now we see what topics the two women covered. No surprise, Cat asks hard-hitting questions. For example, why has she (Supergirl) sat idly by when terrible disasters occurred over the last few years? And does she have the same powers as Superman? When asked whether she intends to have a family, Kara falls right into Cat’s trap. She calls her interviewer out on the sexist line of questioning, but slips and calls Superman her “cousin”.  Cat uses this nugget of familial information to make headline news, which she then transitions into a scathing exposé.

Cat’s exposé highlights all of Kara’s insecurities, especially her fear of being seen as less than her cousin. Cat thinks Supergirl is just like any other “millennial”. She does whatever she wants, all the time knowing she has people that will protect her. Though, in Supergirl’s case, the protector is Superman. Ben Krull (Reactron), the show’s first human baddie, also underestimates Supergirl and decides to attack her in order to get back at Superman. As it turns out, Reactron believes Superman allowed his wife to die during a terrorist attack at a nuclear facility. Can we seriously not think of any other motivations for a villain? Regardless, Reactron believes killing Superman’s cousin will bring him similar pain, since she is his only (known) relative on Earth. But :yawn: again, another villain underestimates Kara. Although Superman does have to step in at one point to save Kara from Reactron’s nuclear blasts, at the end the villain is finally disabled thanks to help from Team Supergirl and Kara’s fist full of lead.

So far, Maxwell Lord hasn’t really done much on SUPERGIRL. Tonight, we saw he encouraged his lab to create a faster high-speed train system for National City. And he served as a damsel in distress for Kara to save from Reactron, who needed Lord’s technical expertise to fix his damaged suit. But there has to be more to this guy than being an environmentally-friendly innovator and a love interest for Cat. Could he have something to do with Henshaw’s red eyes?

I appreciate SUPERGIRL’s girl power theme and its effort to address gender stereotypes. But while, so far, this has translated into exposition-heavy dialogue about Kara being her own woman, there is still a lot of truth and weight behind the message. However, with this strong theme, I find it a little contradictory that tonight SUPERGIRL spent so much time  focusing on Kara’s romantic relationships. If the cheesy monologues and wistful glances are any indication, James and Kara are on the cusp of starting a relationship. Even after James uses his trusty watch to alert Superman that his cousin is in trouble (against her wishes), Kara can only stay angry for so long… especially after James says he did it to protect her and because he relies on the big guy as a “safety net”, not because he doesn’t believe in her abilities. Sorry Wynn!

Don’t get me wrong; I am always up to ship a TV couple. However, it seems to be too much too fast. I wish the writers of SUPERGIRL would let Kara have a little more time to find herself instead of throwing her right into a love triangle, or love square now that Lois Lane’s sister Lucy (Jenna Dewan Tatum) is in the picture.

Fingers crossed that the shakiness of tonight’s episode isn’t the final nail in the coffin for on-the-fence viewers. Many television seasons have off episodes and while tonight was certainly not the best for Kara and co., here’s to hoping we will only go up from here. And hey, if for no other reason, you can use SUPERGIRL as a drinking game… (responsibly!) drink every time Kara says “my cousin.” Let me know how far you get.

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