Since the press for so long had only the Supergirl pilot to work off of in sizing up the new CBS drama — which went on to debut as the fall’s most watched series launch — I thought it prudent to bang out a quick overview of Episode 2, which was just sent my way this afternoon.
Most simply said: What worked in the first episode continues to work, very well. Picking up the action one week after Kara’s “coming out,” Melissa Benoist confirms her perfect fit as the titular heroine, imbuing Kara with enough softness and goofball quirks (some innate, some seemingly part of her “act”) to make it believable that those who look Supergirl straight in the face might not necessarily recognize her as Cat Grant’s assistant. Benoist also looks especially and convincingly buff, which is likely more reflective of her ongoing training, for the role, than Kara’s (since kryptonian strength on Earth has nothing to do with musculature. Surely there’s a Kandorian string bean out there who can kick. my. ass.).
I’m also happy to report that the concern I expressed about “Who is Alex Danvers?” moving forward have been assuaged. Chyler Leigh is given a great deal more to do in Episode 2, including mopping the floor with two separate aliens. Even David Harewood’s DEO bossman Hank Henshaw is full of surprises. That said, and speaking of surprises: the one Alex springs on her sister at the end did make me audibly groan a bit.
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The theme for Episode 2 is expected for a superhero series, yet never not entertaining: the dreaded learning curve. Kara endeavors to “go big” with her first official feats of heroism, but that only serves to draw (oof, unfavorable) comparisons to her famous cousin, whose own shaky start is a distant Metropolis memory. The montage that follows includes a clever nod to the 1978 Superman movie’s similar sequence. (Speaking of which: Richard Donner also gets a shout-out, if you keep your ears open.)
And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the brief plot point about poached website reporting.
On the downside, the Villain of the Week was again a disappointment, saddled with an ultimately silly personal agenda, though to be fair he was more a “cog in the wheel,” a means to shed more light on the pecking order among the Fort Rozz escapees, Laura Benanti’s General Astra included.
Finally, yes, I counted at least five references to Kara’s “cousin” aka “the Man of Steel” — though this week we also get multiple “Superman” utterances as well as — wait for it, Lois — two mentions of “Clark Kent.” Hopefully I/we stop keeping count by Episode 3…?
Looking ahead, the two big questions are: Will Cat Grant get her exclusive face-to-face with National City’s own hero? And can Supergirl survive Monday nights with out the Big Bang gang in front of her?