Supergirl Kara Meets Astra

Supergirl Recap: '#TerribleGirl' Dials the Hero Thing Down a Notch

It’s not easy being presumably super, Kara learned this week on CBS’ Supergirl.

Picking things up a week after her “coming out” party, Kara was put through the wringer by, first, the team at the DEO, and then by the public, after her rescue of an oil tanker had disastrous results. (“I went from superhero to eco-terrorist in a single bound!”)

Dubbed “#TerribleGirl” by Cat Grant, Kara recruited both Winn and James (who with their “He knows?!” launched a fun bromance) to help her “start small and work her way up,” as Cat unwittingly coached the local hero. Cue another fun montage in which Kara not only tackles smaller crises but also addresses some long-picked nits such as the danger of bullets ricocheting off of her and hitting bystanders. Or the importance of easing down a 4-ton ambulance. (Winn meanwhile realizes it’s good to confirm that “Fluffy” is in fact a cat.)

It’s this attention to detail, to the small stuff of launching a superhero career, that is the most fun about new such series. I mean, the talk that Cat and Kara had about the tolerance for oopsies from a super man versus woman, followed by Cat colorfully illustrating how Supergirl dove in to deep too fast and needs to instead “calm the hell down,” was highly entertaining. (Especially the evoked image of Supergirl bobbling a meteor headed for the White House.) Add in Cat holding firm in her “request” that James finagle a sitdown with Supergirl via his “friend in blue,” but for what are truly valid business reasons, and you have in Cat a rich character who could’ve been simply catty.

Supergirl-alex-fights-kara

Alex meanwhile made her own salient points about her sister’s ability to hold her own by way of a sparring room tricked out with strength-sapping “kryptonite emitters” — because as I noted in my original review, Earth’s proximity to the sun does not teach close-quarters combat technique.

Kara’s adventures in starting small would improve the public’s view of her (Perd Hapley even calls her “the Girl of Steel”), while Alex’s pointers come in handy when Kara is unexpectedly reunited with her Aunt aka General Astra. Astra warns Kara that she has chosen unwisely in allying with the humans, then proceeds to kick the snot out of her niece — until 1) Supergirl starts fighting smarter and 2) Hank stabs Astra with a kryptonite knife. Along the Way, Alex also gets her own licks in, thumping on the MOW Helgramite.

Episode 2 also started laying the foundation for “something” between Kara and James, who at the end of a heart-to-heart about his sad legacy as “the friend of someone who is making a difference” share a warm moment. (“If anyone is going to fill Superman’s boots, it’s you.” And…super-blush!) Cat later gets what she asked for when Kara swoops up and transports her town car to a rooftop for their 1-on-1 “talk.”
supergirl-meets-cat-grantAlso in the hour:

* Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie) made a brief debut as Maxwell Lord, a Donald Trump/Steve Jobs hybrid who is against the idea of Supergirl bestowing upon National City the “400 percent increase in maintenance” costs that her cousin brought Metropolis. (I told you Man of Steel was messy.)

* Cat advised distracted Kara to “join a gym” and “get your head out of the clouds.” If she only knew.

* Alex surprised Kara with her own “Fortress of Solitude” within the DEO, complete with holo-Alura. (This is where I audibly groaned.)

* No more tepid lattes for Cat, thanks to Kara’s heat vision!

* Speaking of eyes: Need some Visine there, Hank Henshaw…?

What did you think of Episode 2, “Stronger Together”?

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72 Comments
  1. irishrose4583 says:

    I got so excited to hear Perd Hapley! The word with Perd is that this girl…is super!

  2. Ellinaras78 says:

    This realistically was like episode 8 or 9. Them placing it as #2 means they front load the series to boost the ratings. Hopefully they won’t show 6 or 7 boring cases of the week now. If they do it will be the biggest flame-out show of recent memory.

    • Mary says:

      Not really, and I don’t just mean the training and Supergirl learning that she still has a lot to learn about being a hero. Astra also needed to learn that she’s not going to be able to do things quite like she planned either.

    • Davey Elmer says:

      “This realistically was like episode 8 or 9”.

      No, it wasn’t; it was the second episode filmed as well as the second episode aired.

      • Ellinas1978 says:

        You missed the point. They blew their load too early. The sister was in danger, Supergirl now knows about the aunt. What are they going to do moving forward? We can’t go back to having case of the week’s episodes anymore.

        • tvjunkie says:

          You missed the point, this was a case of the week episode, but with part of the serialized story thrown in. Many shows combine both these days, but if you’re used to only watching CSI like shows I can see how you’d be confused.

          • Ellinas1978 says:

            (No need for sarcasm there, and you’re actually getting it wrong).

            I actually don’t like watching case of the week shows, stopped years ago. I primarily watch shows like Walking Dead, HBO shows, Showtime, FX, etc.

            This was not a case of the week episode. Yes they used someone to draw her out but it was not a case of the week. The entire episode served the overarching story.

            And for the record an episode that’s 98% case of the week and only at the end throws in 1-2 minutes of the overarching story is still a case of the week episode. That for your comment about “many shows combining them these days”. They don’t. If you can watch an episode in 2 minutes in terms of the overarching story fast forwarding through the case of the week, it’s a case of the week episode. Thank God for DVRs with those shows, until you give up and stop recording.

            This is what I fear will happen to Supergirl.

        • tvjunkie says:

          You’re still missing the point. Your definition of a case of the week episode as “98% case of the week” is flawed. This episode most definitely had a case of the week, in the form of the insect dude. There was a lot of serialized story to go with it, but it was there.

          Berlanties other shows, Arrow and Flash work the same way a lot of the time, case of the week melded with lots of serialized content. Other such examples include other CW shows such as IZombie, Supernatural (at least when I used to watch it). Other non-genre shows, including mainstream shows also do this, such as Greys, POI, The Black List, Blindspot, etc. There are a lot of shows that meld the case of the week with a lot of serialized content. You just need to broaden your definition of case of the week. Your 98% definition mainly applies to shows like the CSIs, hence my previous comment.

        • tvjunkie says:

          No I understanding what you’re saying, you’re just wrong because your definition of what constitutes a case of the week is far too restrictive.

  3. Heather Long says:

    So Hank Henshaw = Martian Manhunter?

  4. James D says:

    I liked it a lot. it was stronger episode for sure than the pilot. I will say I’m not wild about name dropping Supes every five seconds Kara should stand on her own as a character. I’m loving Melissa though she has the quirky thing down.

  5. Ktron says:

    So, looks like Hank Henshaw may be J’onn J’onzz AKA The Martian Manhunter…

  6. Luli says:

    Even though the superman/cousin/man of steel mentions are getting tiresome, I thought this was a much stronger episode than the pilot. I love the sister dynamic between Alex and Kara. Definitely my favorite part of the show! And that Hank reveal!! what was that?
    Also Cat is hilarious, I love her.

  7. dan says:

    Jeremy Jordan is great, a much better character for him than the guy he played on Smash. I also noticed the beginning of a bromance between James and Winn. I never really liked Calista Flockhart until now, she is hysterical. A strong second episode!

  8. amyclaxton says:

    Hank Henshaw was Cyborg Superman in the comics. I wondered when they first introduced him if that was the direction they planned to go. Looks like it.

    • Paul El says:

      Cyborg superman has one red eye. I think it’s Martian Manhunter. If it is this looks to be similar to how Smallville used him as someone to help Clark along the way. Maybe superman asked him to watch over his cousin. Didn’t see his trademark chocolate cookies though lol.

  9. Tara says:

    I love the sister dynamic!

    Also Winn is so cute!!! I laugh everytime he comes on screen.

  10. I can’t remember the last time i enjoyed an ep of tv like this i smiled for 45 min and Melissa got me teary eyed at least once this show has won me completely

  11. BBussey says:

    Hank Henshaw could actually be J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter. The red eyes, his family lost. It fits so far.

  12. MFL says:

    Winn is the Felicity of the show…he’s so adorable and funny.
    James is ok too but I wish he would have told Cat Grant to shove that job…
    Loving that Alex is a badass agent and can hold her own in fights.
    Kara is so sweet and very lovable…So far I’m loving this show..Solid episode A+

  13. Katie says:

    I really agree with your comment about Calista Flockhart’s portrayal of Cat Grant. It does seem like a role that could easily sway into cattiness, but she manages to keep the character quite likable, and in fact, she’s one of my favorites.

  14. diya says:

    I really liked the episode…hope it gets even better.
    Hey can Kara be really sore…once she is out of kryptonite influence doesn’t she heal. Also will Kara and Alex’s parents (Helen Slater and Dean Cain) make another appearance… they r still around right?

  15. danoregon says:

    I still have a hard time believing Benoist was the “new Rachel” on Glee. That role was so poorly written and really undersold Benoist’s abilities.

  16. Becca says:

    Ack, I missed the Richard Donner reference. Anyone? MATT?

  17. BarryFlash says:

    I gave the show a second episode and I just don’t like it.

  18. peterwdawson says:

    400% is being incredibly (dare I say Super?) generous of Maxwell Lord.

  19. Pat says:

    It is a great show and I am really enjoying it. Is it just me because I see a little spark between James and Kara. I do not know anything about Hank because I never read the comics but reading through the comments, others seem to know who he might be, the Martian Manhunter. If this is him, is his character good or bad?

    • Brent j says:

      Yes martian manhunter is a good guy… But to be honest his abilities are far greater than supermans or karas abilities!! If hes on her side itll be a great addition

      • Paul El says:

        Yes Martian Manhunter is a very powerful hero. His strength is on par with superman’s he has flight, can change forms even has mental telepathy . Where he falls short is unfortunately his weakness is fire. Fire is a lot easier to get than kryptonite

  20. peterwdawson says:

    Show’s getting better but the dialogue feels really overwritten at points.

  21. I’m calling it now, Hank is Brianiac

  22. herman1959 says:

    I’m still enjoying the show, but I agree that we don’t need to be reminded about Kara’s relationship to Superman 4 or 5 times per episode, and they will be reduced in Episode 3. Let’s also dial-back on having Kara justify her role as Supergirl and allow her to get to it.

  23. Walkie says:

    I just wish they wouldn’t have written Supergirl to be so naïve and cutesy. It’s dumbing the show down.

    • tvjunkie says:

      Superman started out the same way in the Donner movie. Smallville kind of started that way with Clark. I mean what do you expect from an origin story? That magically she’s a perfect hero right out of the gate? That wouldn’t be realistic, even in a fantasy universe. It’s not “dumbing the show down.” Perhaps you have a touch of ADD if you can’t wait for Supergirl to progress naturally.

  24. Rusty says:

    After watching the pilot. I thought , ok, I’ll give it a couple of episodes. After watching the second show, I give up. The writing is more like a couple of teenage girls writing the scripts. The whole plot of a crashed space prison with all these other worldly bad guys is way too far out to be believable. After all this time on earth, they just now are trying to take over her city? Even for fantasy Sci/fi it’s too far of a stretch.

  25. Brent j says:

    Puurrrrrfect

  26. J.Norman says:

    It’s pretty good so far. A little too much was crammed into the pilot, but that is often unavoidable.
    If they can hold the “you go girlfriend” and “sisterhood” comments to a minimum and let the actions of Supergirl speak for themselves, I think CBS has a legitimate hit on their hands.
    They are handling the growing pains of her learning to be a super hero well. As stated, being near a yellow sun doesn’t come with trained fighting skills, and doesn’t automatically cure any intentional or unintentional clumsiness.
    A good show.

  27. I respectfully groan at your groaning, sir. Then again, I don’t really much care for the saccharin scenes with Kara and Alura pre-blow’d up Krypton. There’s *my* groan :)

  28. “Who names their snake “Fluffy?” ahem, why does that little girl have a snake to begin with? Is her name Bindi by any chance?

  29. kpflat says:

    The plot lines are a little weak to start, but Melissa B is very likeable so that’s good enough for me right now. The only thing I object to is the constant bullying of the character of Kara by Cat. I know she is in a position of power and we are supposed to see Kara and Clark Kent as bumblers to hide their identities, but CK is never treated like crap at work by Perry White and I don’t feel like it’s necessary to do that to the Kara character. I’m not a “PC” guy, but I do have a young daughter and I would like her to see some decent behavior on television. They make a lot of references to Superman, but I’m surprised they don’t mention Green Arrow or Flash. Maybe not something CBS allows? Although they do allow commercials for Flash on CBS. Just sayin.

  30. Sasha says:

    People are also saying Hank could be Cyborg Superman as that’s who he is in the comics.

    That might change though so who knows.

  31. RAH says:

    I am enyoying this show but I wonder if it is a good fit for CBS. I wish it was a CW show.

  32. Jeremy says:

    Anyone else thinking Hank is Martian Manhunter?

  33. robandco says:

    Much better than the pilot. But I am sticking with what I thought of the pilot. The work thing is cute but a bit played out. The omnious secret agency thing is super boring, I feel like they tried to go halfway between The Flash and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but failed miserably. I would have been much more interested in seeing her learning things on her own.
    Melissa Benoist is just so cute and charming. The casting on the show is great, but the writing needs improving.

    • tvjunkie says:

      What’s “ominous” about the “secret agency?” Ominous implies they’re villains and so far they’ve been allies and I haven’t seen anything in these 2 episodes that would indicate a change in that dynamic. Considering that Superman has been around for quite some time in this universe and that they’ve alluded to the fact that he’s already fought other powered people, the existence of such an agency makes sense. Or are you telling me you think the government would just sit back and do nothing while knowing there are bad super powered aliens on the planet?

      • robandco says:

        Sorry English is not my first language and I realize I didn’t use “omnious” right. I should have gone with another word, like almighty or something like that.
        And I am not saying such agency cannot exist, just that they shouldn’t have included it in the series because these don’t really work IMO. And here it’s fairly obvious they only involved the army in the plot of the series because they desperately need the male viewers to stick around and high tech stuff and guns and army stuff go in that sense (not that women cannot enjoy these, au contraire). I am not familiar with the comic books and I don’t know anything about the Supergirl backstory so I don’t know if the DEO or whatever the agency is named is new or something, but it doesn’t feel right here IMO.

  34. Ken says:

    The comments on all the unwelcome references to Superman in the show are understandable, since this is a show about SuperGIRL, and everyone would like Kara to stand on her own, but they don’t make sense in the “historical” context of this show.

    First, Superman has been flying around doing impossible things in front of an omnipresent media for years before Kara even got to Earth as an artificially age-inhibited pre-teen. He would be as famous as Obama, George Clooney and Taylor Swift combined by this point.

    Then she appears in public, doing the same kind of “impossible” feats, and almost immediately adopts his colors and symbol. The comparisons would naturally be obvious and immediate for just about everyone.

    Plus, in the original comics, Supergirl was essentially intended to be a “literary clone” of Superman, primarily created to get more girls reading (and buying) comics.

    Obviously, she has become much more, but tossing out all of the history of connections between the two would raise even more questions than all the Superman references.

  35. lame says:

    Episode 2, and it’s still bright, shiny , polychromatic, fun and taking it’s time developing it’s characters. Nice to see show runners who have a clear vision, keeping the scripts light and entertaining. CBS must love that 2.2 demo, ca-ching $$$$.

  36. “Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie) made a brief debut as Maxwell Lord, a Donald Trump/Steve Jobs hybrid who is against the idea of Supergirl bestowing upon National City the “400 percent increase in maintenance” costs that her cousin brought Metropolis. (I told you Man of Steel was messy.)”

    It’s been stated this show is not tied to the Man of Steel movies, so any remarks about Metropolis and the destruction Superman is involved in is inspired by the Donner movies, not the Snyder movies.

  37. BrianM5 says:

    Thoroughly enjoyable episode. Benoist really feels authentic in the role and a real charmer. I’m even warming up to James as a character. Look forward to episode two.

  38. GraceM says:

    Now that I’ve seen the episode, I can now guess as to who Hank Henshaw might be. The Martian Manhunter, from Mars. Just like on Smallville.

    Jor-El’s right hand man and second in command on Krypton.