Supergirl Season 3 Episode 1 Review: Girl of Steel

The Supergirl Season 3 premiere struggles with a slow start.

This Supergirl review contains spoilers.

Supergirl Season 3 Episode 1

The girl of steel is back but Kara Danvers is still on hiatus in this slow Supergirl season 3 premiere. The episode balanced out the catch-up inherent to a premiere episode with some action, but that couldn’t make up for the uneven tone. Luckily the set up for longer story arcs is promising, including a pro-capitalist villain and new cloaking technology that can hide a nuke.

Supergirl is killing it but Kara Danvers is nowhere to be found

Since the Daxxamite attack on National City, Supergirl has helped clean up the wreckage and brought crime to an all-time low. Unfortunately, it seems Supergirl is no longer interested in being Kara Danvers, in the wake of Mon-El’s exile from earth. Each of her loved ones has a different way of reacting to Kara’s withdrawn nature – J’onn offers space and patient advice, Lena blames herself, James tries to intervene only for Kara to (temporarily) quit CatCo, and Alex confronts Kara after trying to be patient.

By the end of the episode we get a taste of Kara deciding to rejoin the waking world, but it remains to be seen what the long term effects of this loss will be. This episode struggled a bit with tone with Kara’s trademark cheer MIA, and it would be interesting to see the show grapple with that change over time.

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Cat went to DC and we meet a new villain

Making Cat Grant the White House Press Secretary solves several problems at once. It accounts for how rarely Calista Flockhart will be on the show, while still allowing her to pop up on TV screens making quick digs at real world villains, and means that we have an easy way in to future stories about the extra-terrestrial president. Her sound bite about how obvious it is that climate change is real will likely play well with viewers who enjoyed the political jabs and overtones from last season. It seems like we’re headed for an extended “fake news” storyline, with Lena buying CatCo out from under one of our new antagonists, who has already made a few snide remarks about media bias.

That new adversary, Morgan Edge is a grade-A sleazebucket, played well by Adrian Pasdar of Agents of SHIELD. It’s only been one episode and we’ve already seen him take credit for Supergirl’s work, give his grand plan for gentrification, and creepily insinuate that people might think he and Lena are intimate. That is to say, he will provide ample fodder for Lena and Kara/Supergirl to rally against with too-prescient dialogue. With his connection to the mercenary Bloodsport, he also has clear ties to extraterrestrial villains as well.

What’s coming this season

Alex and Maggie’s wedding planning is already in full swing, as they prepare for the, “biggest, gayest wedding National City has ever seen.” Alex was lamenting her father’s inevitable absence, but I’d be willing to bet Papa Danvers may make a surprise appearance after all. Either way, I’m hoping Alex and Kara’s mother comes back, and a wedding seems like a natural time for cousin Clark to stop by as well.

Alex met a mother and daughter at the Girl of Steel statue dedication. While at first it seemed like they might just be the standard citizen of National City we meet to humanize an inevitable attack, their connection was a bit longer and the mother’s reappearance at the end of the episode suggests they may stick around, which is a nice change from the disposable crowd.

If nothing else, the connection between Kara and the woman suggests that Kara’s dreams are more than what they at first appeared. Was Mon-El’s urging her to wake up more than just her unconscious mind, too? And what does that ship deep under water mean for the future of National City? This premiere lacks urgency, but it looks like next week we will be back to what we’re used to, from Kara anyway.

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2.5 out of 5