This episode was amazing! I don’t want to waste any time on preamble because I have a bunch to talk about with this episode so let’s go already!
Also spoiler warning, I guess.
1. The Elephant In The Room
Let’s just get this out of the way firs: yes, this episode was originally scheduled to be aired next week with the episode titled ‘How Does She Do It?’ originally scheduled for last night. Because of the recent attacks in Paris and the plot of ‘How Does She Do It?’ centring around Supergirl stopping a bombing, CBS decided to switch the episodes.
Thankfully, this switcheroo didn’t affect the enjoyability of this episode as, barring a couple of in-jokes that fell flat because they were a clear reference to an episode we haven’t seen yet, the events of ‘How Does She Do It?’ didn’t really affect this episode enough for the change to be noticeable. So if you were worried that watching the episodes out of order would affect things, worry not!
Now, let’s get to the episode at hand.
2. Ladybeast? C’mon.
Okay, as much as this episode is very clearly the best episode of the show so far, I wanted to start by mentioning that a quick little joke at the beginning really bugged me for the rest of the episode. The episode opens with an large alien played by Troy Brenna (a man, by the way, which will become important in a sec) who briefly escapes DEO custody only to be knocked out after a short fight with Supergirl who assumes that the alien is male before Hank Henshaw informs her that the alien was female. Now, at this point is was in a “… okay, where is this going?” mood before Kara then calls the alien a ladybeast?
I don’t know, I feel like I can already hear people telling me I’m being too sensitive, but this really rubbed me the wrong way. Now, if only the show could introduce some actual trans characters to make up for it…
3. She’s A Livewire! Gonna Set This Town On Fire!
Anyway, ignoring that rather weird moment in the beginning, the rest of this episode was simply fantastic. I loved it all the way until the end credits. This did a lot in developing a lot of the storylines happening around Kara and even introduced the series’ best villain so far in Livewire. While I was pretty quick to cotton to the fact that most of Livewire’s storyline seems like a more coherent version of what Amazing Spider-Man 2 wanted to do with Electro, Brit Morgan really made the role… electrifying? What could have come off as pretty hokey ended up being a compelling villain arc and a lot fo fun to see how Livewire’s heel turn brought Cat Grant closer to both Kara and Supergirl (more on that in a sec).
Livewire could very easily be Supergirl‘s Captain Cold in terms of having a recurring villain on the show that pretty much pops up to be a fun annoyance for the hero and for them to have some witty banter. Plus, with how good the effects were for Livewire’s powers, I really hope she comes back in a big way for a revenge plot.
4. A Very Danvers Thanksgiving
This is one of the things where you can tell why this episode made sense in the schedule for next because it would be much a much more relevant tie-in to Thanksgiving. Now, being Scottish I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but I am very aware that any family gathering has a pretty high chance at being a complete disaster and just ending in everyone fighting. That’s… actually pretty much what happens here, but it does give the show and excuse to bring back Helen Slater and Dean Cain as more than just first episode cameos and actually showed more of the family dynamic that Kara and Alex had growing up.
Now, I can imagine that a lot of people are going to feel that this part of the episode was too emotional or something because blah blah blah women and emotions, am I right? Well, screw them because this part of the episode did a great job of strengthening the relationship of the Danvers family in the show and giving Alex more to do than be the hardass, protective older sister and actually act in her own interests for once. I really hope the show finds an excuse to bring Helen Slater back more and more as she was honestly a delight in this episode.Continued below
5. Pathos, Thy Name Is Grant
Calista Flockhart is the real MVP here. As delightful as Melissa Benoist always is, as charged as Brit Morgan was, the one who brought this whole episode together was Calista Flockhart’s Cat Grant who got to be a badass this episode while actually opening up to Kara a little more and bonding with Supergirl in a way that didn’t involve her making fun of the cape. This episode did a lot to develop Grant outside of the “Okay, Calista’s going to stand in her office and yell a Sorkin-esque monologue at Melissa Benoist for this scene” pattern that the show kind of developed after the first episode and showed a dynamism to the character that actually reminds me of Cat Grant from the comics. It’s very easy to imagine Flockhart’s Grant being a part of the Daily Planet team before leaving to forge her own path and see how that shaped her into the person she is now while seeing glimpses of who she was.
I’m so glad someone running this show has noticed how amazing Calista Flockhart is and are letting her build her role more and more with each episode.
Bonus Thought: The slow build into villainising Hank Henshaw is amazing and I can’t wait for that heel turn to happen. Bring me my Cyborg Superman!