Welcome back, Superfans! Whew, it’s been a while, huh? That summer with Supergirl to turn to was one of the longest summers of my life, but she’s finally back! The second season of Supergirl premiered last night on it’s new home of the CW and hopefully you caught my livetweet last night. If you didn’t, spoiler alert: it was fantastic! The show we all know and love has returned without skipping a beat and the world is the better for it.
Now, without further ado, let’s skip the foreplay and dive into our Five Thoughts on Supergirl‘s second season premiere. As always, there will be spoilers ahead!
1. The Man In The Pod
Remember those final moments of the finale to Supergirl‘s first season? It was a while ago, I know, but this premiere thankfully dedicates the first moments to recapping us. Interrupting a long-awaited moment of peace with the family that Kara had gathered around her over the course of the season was fire from the sky. This premiere nicely extends this sequence with moments of Supergirl and Martian Manhunter protecting as many people as they can while the pod touches down. Now, what was in the pod?
Turns out, it was just some dude. Sadly, it’s already been confirmed that the man in the pod is in fact Mon-El so I can’t delve into my wild mass guessing over the identity, but this show is known for pulling a bait and switch regarding assumed identities. Remember when we all thought David Harewood was playing Hank Henshaw? Yeah.
I’m interested in seeing how this develops.
2. That’s A Superman!
Yes, I know, I’m focusing more on the male supporting character than the female lead character and that’s a problem, but so does the episode in many ways. Supergirl is established here and the season opens immediately after the last one ended so she is, essentially, the exact same character we saw last time. The only development we see is in Kara’s life, not Supergirl’s and I’ll get to that.
Now… about that Superman. Tyler Hoechlin is essentially perfect as both Superman and Clark Kent in this episode. He was a fantastic presence in this episode, both awe-inspiring as Superman and unassuming as Clark and charming no matter what. It was a masterclass in embodying the compassion and heart of the character, proving that Superman is just as human as you or me. What was most impressive, though, was how the episode stacked Clark up against the presence he created in the first season.
To Kara, and to the rest of the world, Superman is seen as perfect and infallible. This episode doesn’t necessarily tear that down, but focuses more on the man behind the icon. This episode may feature Superman and Supergirl rescuing a spacecraft from disaster and that sequence literally brought tears to my eyes, but the episode is about Clark and Kara, cousins who talk each other through their crises. Clark is Kara’s rock in this episode, showing up for moral support for her to bounce ideas off of when discussing where he path is going to take her and inevitably inspiring her to take the leap.
It’s a fantastic use of the character in a supporting role and I’m so grateful this isn’t the last we’re seeing of him.
3. Taking The Plunge
If the first season of Supergirl was about Supergirl finding her place in National City, it seems like this season is really going to be about Kara finding her place. Supergirl is, after all, pretty cemented as the hero of National City and that’s (hopefully) not going to be dislodged any time soon, but Kara is still adrift. With the ultimatum from Cat Grant looming over her future employment prospects and her just-started romance with Jimmy Olsen already fizzling out, this is episode is really about where Kara Danvers goes from here.
And I enjoyed the path they seem to be taking with her. Sure, Kara becoming an investigative reporter after being inspired by Clark does smack of the writers wanting to just write Superman as a girl (something that has plagued Supergirl as a character for decades), but the way they set up worked so well I can’t really complain. I can complain about how dumb the romances in this show continue to be because Kara once again flip flops on how she truly loves harder than Hillary Clinton flip flops on policy (political humour! just what you want from a comic book website) and simply refuses to communicate about it like an adult.Continued below
One minute she’s stressing over her and Jimmy having the most perfect date possible to convince herself that admitting her feelings for Jimmy was a good idea and the next they’re back to being just “best friends”. You know, at least Jimmy isn’t going to spend the rest of the season whining about being in the friendzone, but if this show is going to attempt a romance subplot, I need them to commit to it for more than an episode.
4. A Fresh Start For A Luthor
I don’t know what’s happening with Maxwell Lord in this season, but it certainly looks like he’s been replaced with a new Lex Luthor surrogate in the form of his sister, Lena Luthor. Katie McGrath was fantastic in this role and I really enjoyed the angle of having Lex Luthor’s slow slip from billionaire genius to fanatical maniac already have happened with him already in prison so now it’s up to Lena to salvage the Luthor name. It gives her, as a Luthor, way more depth than simply hating anyone with the word “super” in their name because they have an inferiority complex.
It also gives the show opportunity to explore something of a secret identity with Lena. Sure, her public face is all about rebuilding her family’s business and building the future of tomorrow… but who’s to say what’s happening behind closed doors? Maybe she could be more like her brother than she’s letting on? I’m interested in where this show is going with Lena.
5. Like Going Home
Now, I did kind of want to use this point to talk about that stinger and about how the show is giving us an origin for Metallo, one of my favourite Superman villains, and how they’re using that to finally introduce CADMUS in a major way and how next episode is going to kick so much ass, but I wanted to step back a bit. It’s easy to take for granted the idea that Supergirl has returned and it feels like the show never left in the first place, but that clearly took a lot of work.
With the move to CW, things have clearly changed like the new set for the DEO and the more autumnal lighting for the outdoors shots that does make the change of location from California to Vancouver noticeable at times, but that’s all superficial stuff. At its heart, Supergirl is the exact same show it’s always been and no change of network or production can change that. Things may look different, but it was so easy to accept that evolution for the show when it continues to focus on Supergirl as a hero above all else, showing her actively saving lives instead of just punching supervillains through buildings and cuasing massive collateral damage in an attempt to save the world.
Supergirl is the kind of show the world needs right now. It is a show built on hope, on compassion, on respect and admiration of others, and on the foundation that family is so much more than your blood. It embodies so much of what makes superhero stories matter that in this very dire time, Supergirl is the hero we need.
Also, did I mention that the President in Supergirl is going to be played by Lynda Carter? Now, that’s how you make America great again.