Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Supergirl Season 1 Episode 16 "Falling" Review and **SPOILERS**
Supergirl Becomes Super Mean!
Starring: Chyler Leigh, David Harewood, Italia Ricci et al.
Story By: Robert Rovner, Jessica Queller
Directed By: Larry Teng
First Aired: March 14, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Before Supergirl aired, I remember seeing a lot of comments online that this show was going to be some pithy teenage drama with a lot of pensive lip-chewing and forlorn gazes. Well, I hope all of those well-exercised people who jumped to conclusions have issued formal apologies (though I have yet to see one) because this show is much more DC Showcase 1958 than it is Beverly Hills 90210. There’s so much ridiculous comic book science and implied leaps of faith in CBS’ Supergirl that you’d think the Space Race was still in full swing. And I love it! I can’t get enough of this brain-melting program, whenever I think I’ve got it all figured out, it throws me another Silver Age comic book curveball. Which would probably be a satellite. And maybe a Buck Rogers ray gun. What am I going on about? We’re only talking about Supergirl, y’all, and I can dig it. Read on!
It sure doesn’t suck to be Kara “Supergirl” Danvers. She flies around National City, while overhearing Cat Grant on CBS’ hit daytime talk show, The Talk, talking about how great and pure Kara is. She zones in on a little girl being taunted for wearing a Supergirl costume (to school, of all places) and zips down to make her bullies feel stupid. Over at the Department of Extra-normal affairs, Senator Miranda Crane (D-National City) is crowing about how great and accomplished Supergirl is, and Hank and her sister Alex heartily agree. You’re gonna give a girl a complex guy, gosh! Just then, news of a fire across town that is endangering firefighters blasts onto a screen that is theoretically dedicated to finding aliens and nothing else. Kara speeds to the fire and rescues everyone, but then feels a strange sensation as she passes by some red crystals. Her sinuses glow red, but she shakes it off and flies away—but we know what’s happened, don’t we comics enthusiasts? That was Red Kryptonite, the wackiest Kryptonite in the galaxy! I’m not positive if Red Kryptonite will behave the same way in the show as it does in the comics, but just to see it in action was a thrill. Can Diamond Kryptonite be far behind?
So the effect of Red Kryptonite in this instance—I don’t know that this will be true every time—is that it turns Kara into a royal bitch. She is feeling herself so much that she starts dressing in slinky, form-fitting dresses and pissing everyone off. Is there a correlation? Like, when women get slinky dresses are they compelled then to be an asshole? Because it does seem that the slinkier-dressed ladies I see during the week really have a cruel face on. I suppose they are sterner because they’re always getting wolf whistles or whatever, but don’t take that shit out on me! Anyway, Kara is hanging around the DEO, barely listening and acting like a dickwad, when they send her out to capture a K’hund that has been working with some bank thieves. Kara beats the snot out of him, and then says “you’re not worth it,” and lets him go. She lies to the DEO and says he got away, but this will probably come back to haunt her, said the guy who watched the whole episode! At CatCo, Kara plays the new intern Siobhan by scooping her on some entertainment industry nonsense, and then gets her fired when Kara exposes the fact that Siobhan was about to send an e-mail to Perry White (of Metropolis’ Daily Planet, naturally) with a video of Supergirl letting that K’hund escape!
Kara dresses sexier and sexier, and behaves meaner and meaner, even making her sister Alex cry through some old-fashioned sibling manipulation. She visit Cat Grant one creepy night, and tells Cat she’s through with the people-saving business—now she’s about people-scaring! To prove this, she chucks Cat off the roof and saves her just before she hits the ground. Not for nothing, but if Supergirl doesn’t feel like being a superhero, she could probably make some good scratch being an amusement park ride. Cat Grant issues a statement that she and CatCo can no longer support Supergirl—she is considered dangerous and bitchy, so everyone should be alert. This was actually a great character moment for Cat, who is often played as a meaner Anna Wintour, but here she shows actual concern for people’s well-being, as well as looking a little upset to have to play Supergirl out like this. Supergirl gives precisely no fucks, however, and goes around tormenting people and being a real dickhead to everyone. Back at the DEO, Max Lord shows up to explain that he made Red Kryptonite—trying to make synthetic Green Kryptonite, you see, for purely innocuous purposes, of course, you’ve got to believe me…and they throw him in a prison cell that looks more like a giant mason jar. Hank, Alex and the rest of the team go out to stop Supergirl, who is just fucking everyone up without even mussing up her hair. She’s about to kill her own sister, Alex, when Hank transforms into the Martian Manhunter and fights Kara to the point that her hair does get mussed. Alex then shoots Kara in the back with some weapon that makes the Red Kryptonite drain from her body as some kind of airborne powder, and then Martian Manhunter turns back into Hank and surrenders to the DEO.
The last part of this episode is just loaded with feels, and my rushed recap will not possibly do it justice. Waking from a post-Red Kryptonite nap, Kara sees Alex and tearfully apologizes for being a “see you next Tuesday,” and Alex accepts the apology but knows that some of her withering comments had an element of truth to them. Kara tries to apologize to James (I forgot to mention that she went clubbing with James and Winn and tried to get bizz-zay with James by dissing his ex-girlfriend Lucy) but James is too hurt and says he needs some time…and then seems to leave the office and his position as Art Director. Can you just do that? Tell the boss you need “some time” and leave? Because I could use some time, like some forever time because this job is borr-ring. Kara goes to apologize to Cat, who is very forgiving considering she definitely peed a little as she plummeted down the outside of her building. I mean really, this is a level of characterization I did not expect from this character, who I had pegged as Kara’s foil but is really more of a motherly figure. She tells Kara that it will be a long, tough road to win back the people of National City, but she can probably generate a lot of goodwill if she agrees to pose nude in one of Cat’s magazines.
This was a cool episode that went a few places I didn’t expect. After the months-long love fest people had for Supergirl, it was interesting to see her gradually become evil through general apathy. For isn’t that the real evil: lacking the will to act? I dunno. Supergirl also wore a hot black costume with the “S” over her right boob, kind of reminiscent of the costumes worn by Kryptonians in the Richard Donner Superman films. But really, the show had me at Red Kryptonite. Red Kryptonite! Are we going to see Streaky the cat too? Mort Weisinger, if you ever get a break from being eternally tortured in the white-hot flames of Hell, take a look at CBS’ Supergirl! They’re playing your song!
Bits and Pieces:
Supergirl’s personality gets switched up, and I enjoyed watching Melissa Benoist play a less saccharine role. Everyone did a good job in this episode, but the real star of the show was Red Kryptonite. Do you think it will turn Kara into a gorilla in a future episode? Or make her poop ice cubes and pee lava? Anything can happen! I want to see Supergirl’s super powers go all wacky so her heat vision turns into party streamers and she farts confetti whenever she flies. You’ve pushed the envelope this far, I say shove that shit right off the goddamned table!