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.
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.”
Also 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…?