After her introduction in last week’s pilot episode, Kara Zor-El is back on our screens in the second instalment. It was a bit of a shaky start with some dodgy effects and some dialogue that would have been more at place in a teen drama. The character interaction was good for the most part and there were plenty of comic book references for the fan-boys. Let’s see how episode 2 did in our recap and review!
It would be rude not to start with Kara herself. She is full of confidence after having defeated Vartox and the DEO are now putting her through a series of tests which she appears to handle very easily.
Kara thinks she is ready for field work but her sister Alex and Director Henshaw are still unsure about her capabilities. There is a small reference to Christopher Reeve’s Superman as we see Kara fighting missiles, much like he did many years ago.She too is trying to see what she is capable of and she even breaks the sound barrier when she flies away from the tests!
When she isn’t flexing her muscles with the DEO, Kara is still trying to be the hero of National City. Her friend Winn is acting as her personal police scanner, finding crimes and emergencies for her to tackle.This is where we hear another comic book classic line: “This looks like a job for Supergirl!” it’s cheesy but I love it! Winn sends her to tackle a fire at the docks near and oil tanker. Kara tries and fails to use her super-breath to blow the fire out but it just makes things worse.
Instead she decides to pull the tanker out of harms way. Unfortunately she has not got full control over her strength and ends up almost ripping the front off the tanker and spilling a load of oil into the water!
The media (including Catco) report this as Supergirl being a danger to the city instead of a hero. We get our first look at Maxwell Lord on a news report as he puts forward a lot of money to help repair the damage Supergirl has caused and also generally oppose her.
Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) sees this as an opportunity to get an interview with Supergirl so she can explain her side of things (and get some much needed publicity for Catco),
Kara starts to have second thoughts about being a hero and thinks she might have put the ‘S’ on too soon. She doesn’t want to do the interview for various reasons but also because Cat will see that Supergirl is her. James Olsen says that the reason nobody can see through her cousin’s disguise is because people can’t see the hero that is inside and the same applies to Kara.
Olsen’s pep talk is cut short when Kara gets all romancy-eyed and flustered, so she flees the situation.
Back to the testing! After learning about a new alien threat to the city (which i’ll go into in a moment) Henshaw reiterates his uncertainty with Kara’s abilities. Alex takes her into a room at the DEO to give her some fighting lessons. The only problem is the room is fitted with Kryptonite emitter that weaken Kara.
She cannot rely on her strength or speed and is quickly taken down by Alex. Frustrated with her sister and herself for not being able to hold her own, Kara storms off.
Back at Catco, Cat is doing some more Supergirl trash-talk.
But she ends up giving Kara some advice by saying that Supergirl is taking on too much too son. She should start small and work up. This leads to Kara asking both Winn And Olsen for help her practice. Well at least two of the people who know her secret now know that the other person knows! Kara tackles some smaller challenges including getting fluffy the snake out of a tree.
The city responds to her help with an increase in support for Supergirl.
Alex comes to find Kara and discovers that she has told her friends about her secret (which she doesn’t think was a very good idea). We get another scene between Alex and Kara where Alex apologies for lying, doing what she had to, this time it’s because Henshaw made her test her fighting. But they make up and go their own ways. In Alex’s case it is to try and draw out this week’s alien enemy, a Hellgrammite.
My first thought is that he looks like the vampires from the Blade films, the lower half of his face opens up to reveal lots of fangs! He is apparently a giant insect shapeshifter.
We learn the name when Kara has a flashback to Krypton to a conversation she had with her mother. Allura was a judge on Krypton and sentences a lot of people to Fort Rozz, and they talk about the Hellgrammite. After a series of attacks at chemical plants, Henshaw thinks that he is collecting chemicals for a weapon, when in fact he actually needs it to survive.
This gives the DEO the perfect bait. They draw out the Hellgrammite and instead of trying to capture him, Henshaw and Alex start shooting him straight away! It goes very badly and Alex ends up captured!
The last act of the episode is crammed full of stuff! Cat Grant threatens to fire Olsen if he doesn’t arrange an interview with Supergirl. This leads to a heart-to-heart between Kara and Olsen. He says he is only known by people because he has a famous friend, and came to National City to make a name for himself Kara agrees to do the interview if it means Olsen keeps his job. She has recognised that she needs help to be a hero, but others need help too. Quoting her family motto ‘Stronger Together’ she inspires Olsen and herself.
When Kara finds out that Alex has been taken she is furious and flies off to find her, using her super-hearing! After coming to the rescue Kara gets a punch to the face from her Aunt Astra (Allura’s twin).
She thought she had dies on Krypton but was unaware that she had actually been put in Fort Razz by Allura. Astra claims that Allura betrayed her and was wrong to lock her up. It isn’t long until they are exchanging punches and blue heat vision, but of course the overconfident Kara is losing. But don’t worry, she uses the advice from her earlier scrap with her sister to knock Astra back so that Henshaw jumps in and stabs her with a weird looking dagger! (which she wasn’t expecting!) Oh and before I forget, Alex beats the Hellgrammite using a nut shot!
Kara now realises that she needs a lot of help and asks Alex to train her. Alex then reveals that she has been working on something for Kara, her own “fortress” that she can retreat to for advice.
Very similar to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, she can now communicate with the stored memory of her mother. Her first question (after asking for a hug) is about Astra!
There are a few interesting parts to the episodes last couple of minutes. Hank Henshaw has started to believe in Kara but as he walks out of the room his eyes glow red! Is he already the cyborg-superman?! I hope so! But this means he has some deep dark secrets that will surely come out maybe towards the end of the season. After Astra has retreated she gets her science person to examine the dagger Henshaw stabbed her with.
He says that it definitely isn’t from Earth but it is unsure whether it is made of Kryptonite. I think it probably is as it has the traditional green glow, but it could be something else! Astra says she will have to re-think her strategy as the humans have technology that can hurt them.
Here’s a few more things I took from the episode:
- There were a lot more references to Superman, possibly a little too many. And they are actually saying ‘Superman’ this time and not just “my friend in blue” or “cousin”
- Kara is not subtle about using her powers – She uses her ‘blue’ heat-vision to warm up Cat’s coffee in the middle of the office!
- Catco has a rivalry with The Daily Planet – Cat even confirms that The Daily Planet are running stories on Supergirl even though they have a hero of their own
- Talking of Cat, She reveals that she was at one time Perry White’s assistant before she got promoted to the gossip column – this ties in with her comic book persona
- Winn and Olsen have developed a friendly rivalry and are trying to out do each other with the things they can help Kara out with. Which one will make romantic progress with her? Olsen? Winn? Neither?
- Cat has worked out that there is a connection between Supergirl and Superman because of the ‘S’ symbol, but she doesn’t know how they are connected
- Hank Henshaw ‘had’ a family. What happened to them? Does it have anything to do with his red-glowing eyes? Did he kill them?
- Astra has a greater goal than the destruction of Earth. Could she wanted to invade and dominate much like General Zod?
- Cat Grant finally gets her interview with Supergirl, on the top of a building after Kara has flown her limo there!
This episode was a slight improvement on the pilot, and they are clearly setting up different story arcs. I’m worried that they will rush a lot of them however as the season only has 13 episodes so far so there isn’t a lot of room to expand on things. Some of the effects need work. The fight with Astra and Kara was some of the worst wire work I have ever seen. The display of their other powers like heat-vision and strength was good but the flying was rubbish! Even when Kara moves from still to flying it looks like and animator has just moved the film cell across the screen! I like the way they aren’t making Cat Grant exactly like she is the comics. She has a comic reputation for being rather promiscuous and a bit useless in the press world but they have turned her into a businesswoman, an annoying one, but a very successful one.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments below.