This Supergirl review contains spoilers.
Supergirl Season 2 Episode 12
Now we’re back on track! As I mentioned last week (and don’t worry, the brilliant Kayti Burt will be back soon, so you don’t have to keep reading my rantings), Supergirl was so almost impossibly good in the earliest part of the season that its recent episodes, which have merely been “good” or “very good” haven’t felt like they held up under closer examination. It just felt like we were taking some little details, and the show had lost just a little bit of focus here and there.
But “Luthors” feels like it fits right back in with the pre “Invasion” episodes of this season. I didn’t realize how integral the Lena Luthor arc had become to the general background noise of the show until it was gone, but this week, as you might have guessed from an episode called “Luthors,” things felt complete again.
What I’m really hoping, though, is that this season doesn’t end up becoming a “the making of Lena Luthor as a villain” study. They faked us out once, and I don’t think it’s the right move to try and go down that road again. Should Lena always feel the pull of her family’s darker nature? Sure. Should she continue to feel resentment that her family name constantly brings her under suspicion? Of course. But not turning her heel will ultimately make her more interesting, even as that ongoing danger gives us a little more balance with the rest of the otherwise good-natured cast.
How well written was this episode? Lena and Lillian’s exposition heavy heart to heart in the prison could have been a slog. It was not. Hell, it taught me a few things, and I generally feel I know all this stuff backwards and forwards so it’s tough to surprise me.
How well balanced was this episode? It was so strong across the board that I’ll even forgive the “catch me or save the people” choice, which is something that needs to never, ever, ever be used again in any supehero story ever. But we’re cool. Forgiven. Don’t do it again, though. Hell, they even made it through a trial sequence relatively unscathed. Keep in mind that most of my CW superhero-verse legal experience comes from Arrow, and nothing on any of these shows has ever stretched credulity to its breaking point like the Starling City legal system. I will see Kryptonians outside my window before I see justice unfold like it did there.
Alex’s big “I’m coming out” moment to the team was simply a matter of introducing Maggie in context, giving everyone the requisite few seconds to process that Alex is gay, and promptly getting on with their lives. The soul-searching element of Alex coming to terms with her sexuality was handled brilliantly with her and Kara in earlier episodes, and here, the biggest worry came from Jimmy…about whether this means that Maggie now knows he’s the Guardian.
Also, J’onn’s “Of course I knew, I’m psychic,” line was a treat. Never sleep on David Harewood on this show. The guy can deliver a line.
It was nice to have Metallo back. I know this isn’t saying much considering what has come before, but I’m willing to say that this is the best live action version of Metallo we’ve ever had, and I rather enjoyed his “unstable Kryptonite” look tonight. He’s an easy, cool visual to pull off, green Kryptonite lasers will never go out of style on a show about a Kryptonian, and I really hope we haven’t seen the last of him.
But on that note, if frakkin’ Metallo can look so cool, how can they be botching the Cyborg Superman (surprise! Remember him?) look so badly? C’mon, show. Try harder. That was some Halloween mask nonsense.
Again, all is forgiven. Even Blake Neely brought it tonight. Just as it took a while for the incidental music in The Flash to really resonate with me, I feel the same happened with Supergirl. I think tonight was the first time I felt the score really added tension to some key scenes while still retaining a distinctly Supergirl identity.
For those keeping score, we now have a show with Guardian, Mon-El, the extended Luthor family, Metallo, Maggie Sawyer, the Martian Manhunter, assorted DC aliens that hang out in a bar with Interlac graffiti, and a Superman who keeps a Legion of Super-Heroes flight ring in a Fortress of Solitude that looks like something out of the Christopher Reeve movies. It would be easy to coast by on just that kind of fan service alone, but Supergirl does its very best to do a little bit more than that each week. It’s working.
Kryptonian Memory Crystals
– This isn’t a DC Comics reference or anything, but there was totally a bong sitting on the bar. Like, an expensive red glass one, not some cheap plastic nonsense, either.
– Kinda cool that we got to see young Lex Luthor this week, wasn’t it?
– But even cooler that we actually got to see the green and purple warsuit for the first time ever in live action and if you heard someone screaming/laughing/screaming from way off in the distance that was probably me.
That warsuit was a key part of Lex’s 1980s comics look, and it was a pretty big deal at the time. If this show actually puts a man in that suit, well, I may just expire out of sheer joy.
– They dug deep for that Atomic Axe. That isn’t Lex’s. That’s a weapon from the future. Not just any future, that’s wielded by a Legion of Super-Heroes villain, namely The Persuader. How Lex got his hands on a 31st Century piece of tech like that is a story I’d like to see some day.