Supergirl – Season 2 Episode 2
“The Last Children of Krypton”
Supergirl rounds off the opening to season 2 including Kara’s team-up with her famous cousin as the stage is set for the rest of the season.
This episode was all about change in a lot of ways. Supergirl as a show has been through a lot of changes with the move to the CW network and the inevitable exit of Calista Flockhart’s Cat Grant. It makes sense that these changes would be reflected in the show itself and alter the characters in some way.
The biggest of these is that Kara decided to become a reporter but that transition was never going to be an easy one and the episode shows that in the least subtle way. Her change in vocation comes with a new boss in the form of Snapper Carr (Ian Gomez). He’s blunt, rude and doesn’t like Kara very much. As a character there is no depth to him as yet but for the purposes of this episode he exists as a lesson for Kara. She has to be more assertive and prove herself worthy of this job since she hasn’t earned her position; at least as far as Snapper Carr is concerned.
Her immediate reaction is to go to Cat to ask her to talk to Carr for her. Predictably Cat refuses as this is something she has to do for herself. It’s hard to disagree with Cat’s advice here and I feel this is something that Kara has learned half a dozen times by now. It’s frustrating that the episode wastes time on her learning things she already has. Is it going to be a common thing for Carr to shatter her confidence only for her to regain it by the end of the episode in an effort to prove him wrong? It can be accepted in this episode because Kara is adjusting to the changes in her life but I can see this getting repetitive.
Carr may be a bit of a damp squib so far but Melissa Benoist’s performance in the scene where he makes it clear that he doesn’t want her around is excellent. The way that she stutters while searching for the right words to say and failing is hilarious. Benoist has a real talent for elevating scenes that might otherwise be painful to watch.
By the end of the episode, Kara has an article on Carr’s desk that seems to be a professional job –at least by her standards- which does enough for Carr to let her come back the next day. She overcomes the obstacle and proves herself worthy of being given a chance though there’s a real mountain to climb before she’s considered part of the team. It’s a predictable arc for sure but it does a capable job of resetting Kara’s professional status quo for the season.
Cat decides to follow her own advice from last week and take an extended leave of absence from CatCo to challenge herself. She feels that she has become too comfortable in her current role and needs to find something new for a while. It’s a good way of solving the problem of not having her around as much this season and it makes sense within the framework of change as a theme for the episode.
Kara gets to share two distinct goodbye scenes with her. The first is as Kara where she tells Cat that she will be missed and Cat acknowledges Kara’s worth while giving her a genuinely affectionate hug. It’s a good scene and shows that Kara has earned her respect as well as her admiration. She has even stopped calling her Keira and uses her proper name so if that doesn’t signify a change in their relationship then I don’t know what does.
The second is as Supergirl which isn’t quite as good but still works really well. Kara’s dynamic with Cat in both of her identities was one of the major strengths of the show last season so it’s good to have something of a conclusion to both sides of the relationship in this episode. Kara is far more relaxed around her as Supergirl and is able to talk to her as a friend. Cat extends the same courtesy back and the sentiment feels very genuine.
Apparently James is going to be taking Cat’s job as interim CEO. I get that there will only be room in the budget for a certain number of new characters but this seems like a really meteoric rise from whatever it was James did before. I’m not sure this will work but I’ve been proven wrong before.
Superman is still around in this episode and Tyler Hoechlin still completely nails the role. The character essentially becomes a temporary part of Kara’s support team which is absolutely the right thing to do in a show called Supergirl but he has enough of an impact on the show to justify his presence.
His adversarial relationship with J’Onn gets a fair amount of screen time in this episode which builds on them disagreeing on J’Onn keeping Kryptonite at the DEO. It’s a good argument and it’s easy to see merit in both sides of it. This episode seems to want the audience to come down on Superman’s side as it shows the DEO as not being as secure as J’Onn claims it is but that doesn’t dismiss J’Onn’s reason for keeping Kryptonite.
He doesn’t back down in defending his decision and uses Astra and Non as examples of why Kryptonite is needed. They proved how dangerous Kryptonians can be and that there is need for defence against them. Clark’s position on this can be attributed to fear as he doesn’t like having a substance around that can hurt him so close by especially when it could so easily fall into the wrong hands.
This conflict is essentially resolved by the end of the episode when J’Onn gives Clark the DEO’s supply of Kryptonite and he takes it somewhere. I found this resolution to be unearned as it suggests that J’Onn comes around to Clark’s way of thinking when I don’t feel that he should. I can’t help but feel that giving up the supply of Kryptonite will prove to be a mistake before too long.
Outside of their disagreements there are a lot of comparisons made between J’Onn and Clark as they are both fairly lonely. J’Onn laments the loss of his family and his people which is something that Clark can relate to even if he didn’t actually know them. They are also both alien refugees so there is common ground that they can find. Clark
Cadmus are definitely the wrong hands to have Kryptonite and it seems that it wasn’t too difficult for them to steal it from the DEO. They use it to create two Metallos who physically embody Clark’s fear of Kryptonite falling into the wrong hands. They are powered by it and use it as a weapon against Clark and Kara.
The two Metallos aren’t all that interesting as villains which is a a shame as Corbyn had a lot of potential last week but hopefully this won’t be the last we see of him. In this episode they are merely instruments for Cadmus to establish them as a threat with considerable resources.
As fodder for the action sequences they do really well. The fact that they manage to hurt both Clark and Kara early on establishes the stakes effectively and the final two pronged confrontation in Metropolis and National City was really dynamic and exciting. I liked seeing Superman team up with J’Onn and Kara team up with Alex though I’m now wondering why she doesn’t wear her Kryptonite powered armour all the time. It does seem handy and grants her super strength.
So far Cadmus isn’t all that compelling either and the mysterious xenophobic scientist (Brenda Strong) is your typical scenery chewing villain. There is plenty of time for this to develop but it’s not a strong start. I wonder what there endgame is beyond hating aliens. Hopefully stronger motivations will be established as time goes on.
Kara and Clark’s relationship continues to be immensely watchable and entertaining. It’s interesting how the episode focuses on Kara being swept up into being a super powered double act with her cousin. She is so captivated by it that she neglects Alex which creates a little bit of friction on her part.
Alex does call her out on it at the point where Kara is prepared to run away from her problems in National City and move to Metropolis. Kara is deluded into thinking it’s the best thing for the city and Alex but she couldn’t be further off the mark. Alex has an interesting perspective on Clark leaving Kara with her family. Kara was sent to Earth to take care of Clark but when the roles were reversed. From Alex’s perspective Clark has ignored his responsibilities and it’s hard to disagree with her on that.
Kara doesn’t resent Clark for that as she clearly had a happy life with the Danvers but the argument isn’t a simple one and it’s an interesting perspective for Alex to have. This comes to the surface through her jealousy of Kara spending so much time with Clark but it has clearly been bubbling beneath the surface.
This also brings about some resentment on Alex’s part as she has spent her entire life looking out for Kara and made some major sacrifices to make sure that she is kept safe. She mentions that she gave up a medical career to join the DEO. I thought she was a directionless drunk as established last season but maybe this is a reference to her tenure on Grey’s Anatomy.
Alex’s feelings of frustration allow for a really compelling heart to heart with Winn who reminds her that she has a strong family unit to complain about. Winn’s position is that what she has is far better than his experience of being in the foster system and his perspective on family is that you fulfil the obligation even if it’s less than ideal. Interestingly Winn isn’t spiteful about it at all and just offers up his own experience as something for Alex to think about.
Despite being caught up in the excitement of having Clark around and being able to team up with Superman, Kara is still able to react maturely to him leaving despite the fact that she will miss him. She understands that Clark has his own responsibilities and accepts that she has to face up to her own. Hopefully it won’t be too long before they interact again but it has definitely been proven that he isn’t needed for this show and that Kara is more than interesting enough without him.
Clark gets caught up in the excitement of being around family as well. He decides to stay in National City for a while because he has never had the opportunity to actually be around family before. There is a bit of a wakeup call for him when one of the Metallos attacks Metropolis and Clark feels guilty for not being there to stop it. He had decided to go back before that point but this is the event that cements his decision. There are no hard feelings between him and Kara but it’s good to see Superman caught up by being selfish and there being consequences for the city he protects. They aren’t serious consequences but it’s enough for him to feel guilty.
A satisfying follow up to the previous episode that sets the stage for the season to come. Cat’s exit from the show works really well and Kara’s early problems with her new job are expected but competent enough. Clark’s conflict with J’Onn is handled well but the depth of the argument is lost when J’Onn still comes around to Clark’s way of thinking. Alex’s jealousy over Kara spending all her free time with Clark is handled well and brings an interesting perspective on Clark leaving Kara with the Danvers family.
The Metallos aren’t all that interesting as villains but they are decent fodder for the action sequences. Cadmus isn’t all that interesting at this point but there is plenty of opportunity for that to develop. I look forward to seeing where this season goes as there are a lot of good development opportunities.
- Clark’s conflict with J’Onn having merit on both sides
- Alex’s frustration bringing an interesting perspective on Clark leaving Kara with the Danvers family
- well put together action sequences
- Cat’s exit being well handled and her two goodbye scenes with Kara
- the Metallos and Cadmus not being all that interesting
- Kara’s new boss being little more than a plot function