Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Supergirl Season 1 Episode 18 "Worlds Finest" Review and **SPOILERS**
It Still Smells Like David Letterman Around Here
Starring: Melissa Benoist, Calista Flockhart, Grant Gustin et al.
Story By: Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg & Michael Grassi
Directed By: Nick Gomez
First Aired: March 28, 2016
**Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom**
That magnificent bastard Greg Berlanti did the unthinkable: he had a crossover between two shows on two different networks. Does he realize what he’s unleashed with the implication that different television networks are actually inter-dimensional variations of the universe that we know, and that with the proper speed and while wearing a special chest plate characters can cross between them? This means that Bob Newhart could show up on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Bart Simpson could stroll right onto The Walking Dead. And I’m pretty sure it’s implied that our existence is merely the broadcast offerings of some television channel to many others within the tele-multiverse. I’m hoping this dimension is at least like an HGTV or a DIY Network or something, I’d hate to think that we were a Spike Network or one of those really lame channels that are all about cars or whatever. The reality is, we’re some other dimension’s Hallmark Channel and we know it. Let us be resigned to our plebian fates and immerse ourselves into the latest episode of Supergirl, wherein she teams up with the Fastest Man Alive, and doubles her life’s awesomeness while we are tipping Doritos crumbs onto our faces from a distended plastic bag. Read on, inter-dimensional travelers!
The opening recaps on this show are getting insane. I’d really love to know the opinion of a Flash fan watching Supergirl for the first time on the unbridled lunacy we saw in the intro. The important parts to this episode are that Kara “Supergirl” Danvers’ one-time colleague Siobhan has a mad-on for her head since Kara got her fired from CatCo, and that Kara still has to win back the public’s trust after tripping off of some Red Kryptonite a couple of episodes ago. Got that? So last episode pretty much ended with Siobhan revealing her Silver Banshee shrieking power when she stumbled off a rooftop and then kind of projectile-screamed herself from hitting the ground too hard. Well, now she’s being examined by the D.E.O. since everyone knows the hospitals in National City are terrible. The D.E.O. can’t make heads or tails of Siobhan’s power, either, so she leaves after making sure to be a total bitch to pretty much anyone in earshot. On the way out, she sees Livewire, that Supergirl villain that can turn into electricity and who, like Siobhan, wants to kill her former employer Cat Grant. She’s been trapped by the D.E.O. for a while now and hasn’t become more comfortable with it over time. It’s because your prisons and dungeons have no toilets, Berlanti! I swear Harrison Wells’ daughter Jesse was trapped in a cage on the Flash for like six months, now that’s a lot of time to hold your pee pee.
Siobhan gets these splitting headaches and, determining that they’re more than Excedrin can handle, she strolls over to CatCo in order to show them her new singing voice. Kara Danvers tries to stop her, but Siobhan hates her too and screams her clean out the window. Kara is knocked out and plummeting to the ground, when allovasudden the Flash busts into the dimension and immediately runs up the side of the building to save her! He grabs her sleeping form and runs her clean out to the middle of nowhere, where she awakes all disoriented and says she has to get back to National City, so she takes off—flinging her street clothes in the Flash’s face! Uh, I didn’t see any warning about sexual situations at the beginning of the episode, CBS, and despite these situations happening only in my mind and my voluminous fan fiction, I would have appreciated a warning so I could have worn looser pants. So Flash runs after Supergirl and removes his cowl so they can meet properly, and seeing that he’s a real cutie-pie Supergirl decides she can trust him. She takes Barry back to the clubhouse, otherwise known as the super-secret fortified base of the D.E.O. black ops agency, and Flash tells them all about the Multiverse which is perfectly understandable to everyone. James Olsen sees how Kara gets along with Barry, and he gets jealous—as Cat Grant predicted he would in some important exposition earlier in the episode. This sort of goes on for the entire show, Olsen looking on forlornly while Kara and Barry laugh it up and share some tender moments.
I think I’m screwing up the order in which things happened here, but at one point Siobhan visits her aunt, a low-budget Catherine O’Hara-looking lady who runs various cons, and her aunt says the women in her family are cursed to have the awesome Banshee scream, which can only be quelled if they kill someone whose importance I forget. It doesn’t matter, because clearly she has no intention of relinquishing the power. She uses it to break Livewire out of the D.E.O., then suggests they team up because they both want to kill the same people—plus Kara, who Siobhan assumes was saved by Supergirl when she was blown out of the CatCo window. Livewire gives Silver Banshee her token skull-face makeover, and ultimately they go to CatCo to get revenge. There, Winn tries to have a tender moment with Siobhan, which is hysterical because she’s got a quarter-inch of Halloween makeup on and he’s talking all earnestly. How did he keep a straight face? Trained acting, ladies and gentlemen! Livewire and Banshee kidnap Cat Grant in order to lure Supergirl out (she is back at the D.E.O. with Barry sharing milkshakes), so they take her to…a public park? There, Cat Grant appeals to Siobhan’s innate sense of babysitting propriety by reminding her that she has two sons (I thought it was only one, but okay), which does seem to soften the Banshee—though I scoffed at her moment with Winn before, I have to admit that I like the fact that Silver Banshee is shown not to be purely evil, like in the comic books. Perhaps we will see a “rogue” Silver Banshee down the line, who is cruel but earnest? It doesn’t matter because the Flash and Supergirl do show up. Barry tries one of his Flash stunts, but Livewire knocks him for a loop. Then she’s about to zap a helicopter—screaming that she hates helicopters, for some reason—so Kara flies in front of her blast to protect the citizens within. There are actually a lot of citizens milling about, considering a cataclysmic war of superpowers is happening in front of them. Good thing, though, because while Kara lies prostrate on the ground, everyone crowds around her in protection. Just as Livewire is about to zap ‘em all to kingdom come, some firemen turn the hose on Livewire and short her out. That’s it. A fucking fire hose saves the day. Why does National City need Supergirl again? And oh yeah, the shock also knocks out Silver Banshee for convenience’s sake.
Barry and Kara share their tender goodbyes, and then have a footrace where Kara then does an Irish Whip and throws Barry into a time portal. Back in regular life, Kara takes the plunge and plants a smooch on Olsen, who then turns all sullen and speechless like dudes are known to do, like come on man, can’t you just even have a reaction? How do you turn your feelings on and off like that?! You’re a monster and I hate you! But no, it turns out he is actually mind-controlled or something along with the rest of the people in National City, due to some nefarious plan conceived by the evil Kryptonian types that I assume will unravel next episode.
You wanted your Flash/Supergirl crossover, you got your Flash/Supergirl crossover. It was pretty great, too. I love how it’s only in comic books that a inter-dimensional portal is a tidy enough explanation for intellectual properties to be shared across different networks. I thought the meet-cute between Kara and Barry was sweet, I liked how Winn was on Barry’s jock, and even Cat Grant’s character developed a little—you know, I’d pegged her as more a one-note Anna Wintour-type at the beginning of the series, which would have been in line with her comic book representation and probably perfectly fine for the show. But over time, we see that though she is mean as hell, Cat Grant has quite a bit of integrity and actually does care for others. I never thought I’d like her character as much as I do. As for Silver Banshee, fans of the Superman comic book have been waiting for this reveal, and while the face-paint doesn’t read as well on television as it does on paper, Siobhan is written as a conflicted character that could result in her becoming the more complex anti-hero (and sometimes straight up villain) as she is depicted in the four-color funny books. I really had this show pegged as something more facile than the high drama and heart-wrenching pathos of the Flash and Arrow, but I think I’m seeing that the characters are just as layered and only the tone is somewhat different. This is a pretty cool program, folks, and I think it might have a broader appeal than I first surmised. Being a middle-aged creeper myself, however, I think I was already within the target demographic.
Bits and Pieces:
You don’t get a lot more “Super-Sized Annual” than this one. There’s an inter-network crossover, a new villain is introduced, lots of interesting character development…and there’s a kiss on this episode! And I don’t mean the lip-prints I left on the television when Jenna Tatum was on screen. Look, don’t make it weirder than it has to be. It’s my television. I own it. I can kiss it all I like. And if I happen to kiss it when Jenna Tatum appears, especially in full military uniform with that ridiculous modern tri-corner hat, then that’s my business. Who are you to tell me how to enjoy Supergirl, hah? Some kind of Supergirl police??