Supergirl’s episode six (“Red Faced”) is rife with disaster and familial complications. The major theme, though, is anger. It’s a fascinating take on how anger is perceived when exhibited by a woman, and I liked the social commentary on that. But let’s get to the bad guy, shall we?
Cat’s mom is in town! Okay, she’s not technically the bad guy. But if you paint her face green and give her a broom, I’m pretty sure she’d more than pass for the Wicked Witch of the West. She criticizes Supergirl’s name and admits that she never even read Cat’s article on her. Even though her voice is as shrill as can be, somehow manages not to break all the glass in Cat’s office.
Meanwhile, Alex and Kara enlist a reluctant Winn to hack into the DEO mainframe to find out information about Alex’s dad, Jeremiah. He already has daddy issues, so he agrees.
Lucy Lane’s dad, General Crankypants—sorry, Sam—blows into town. He’s about a friendly as a wet cat surrounded by angry scorpions. By order of the President (a woman! Please be Laura Roslin. Please be Laura Roslin…), he commands Supergirl to help with testing a project: Red Tornado, a red-faced robot-like creation of Dr. Morrow.
Later, back at Catco, Winn and Kara discuss game night. Jimmy invited Lucy without asking, and Kara is too sweet not to play along. And Winn all but rolls his eyes when he learns Lucy’s attending, sensing disaster.
But there’s a really devastating scene where Cat’s mom cancels their dinner plans (her mom is never named; according to imdb.com, her character is called Katherine) in favor of hanging out with Toni Morrison and pointedly not including her daughter. She goes so far as to spit, “Kitty, what could you possibly have to talk about with two Nobel Laureates and Margaret Atwood?” (I would like to be at that dinner party, please.) The look of calm, shocked hurt on Cat’s face, especially in light of her mother’s blase attitude, was sharp enough to cut glass.
Later that evening, it’s game night! This, with all the subtlety of a stick of dynamite, established that Lucy and Jimmy know all about each other (still not character development, darlings), whereas Winn can’t form enough words to make a sentence. Guys, it was sad. (Side-note: there were only four of them, including Lucy. Not exactly lively.) At one point, Lucy mentions she met Supergirl and wasn’t impressed at all. Kara seems hurt, and Jimmy shoots her a 3-second sympathetic look, as Lucy keeps blathering on.
The next day, Kara fights Red Tornado, and she goes a little overboard and Hulks out a bit, damaging the android, which supposedly triggers its self-preservation mode. The General blows a gasket, reams Kara out (he does that a lot during the episode—to any poor soul within earshot), and then says he wants Red Tornado destroyed. Dr. Morrow protests this and is summarily and decisively fired.
Back at Catco, we find Cat screaming for Keira and then laying into her when she shows up. Kara eventually sticks up for herself, asking why Cat is so mean. Once she realizes that she’s just yelled at her powerful boss, she panics and tries to backpedal in a “oh-god-what-did-I-just-say-out-loud” scared kitten way. Cat hushes her and says they’re leaving.
We later find them drinking martinis and a bar, which was stellar and fun. Kara tries to, once again, apologize—but Cat stops her: “You apologize too much—which is a separate, but related, problem.” I absolutely adored her commentary about how women are judged when they show anger. She tells an anecdote about how her old boss, Perry White, once threw a chair out the window. But if she had thrown so much as a napkin, it would’ve been a disaster. The advice she gives Kara is solid, and it’s to find out what she’s really mad at or about.
Alex pays Maxwell Lord a visit and—finally!—we have two people with excellent chemistry. She asks for his help locating Red Tornado: “If you want to prove to me that you’re not the bad guy, then help me find the real one.” Of course, Smugface McSmarmy pretends that he’s too busy to help, which comes into play later.
It’s time to discuss the awkward dinner between the General, Lucy, and Jimmy. Lucy makes the classic mistake of leaving her father alone with Jimmy. The General is merciless, telling him he’s not good enough for Lucy, that he’s holding her back, and that he may be surrounded by special people, but he is not special himself. Ouch.
After their wretched meal is over, the three of them are outside, when Red Tornado shows up, backhands Lucy, and nearly punches the General, except Supergirl shows up in the nick of time. She manages to get the tornado he created to dissipate, but General Crankypants rips into Supergirl for letting the android get away. Yes, because letting the tornado ravage the city clearly would’ve been the wiser move.
As Lucy is getting checked out (at the DEO, I think), she thanks Supergirl for her help, while the General is still hurling enough blame to keep a fleet of psychologists in business for a year. Hank steps in, furious, because he discovered that Red Tornado was actually meant to destroy Kryptonians—and that the General owes Supergirl a thank you, not fear or scorn. Major Don’t (not to be confused with Major Dad) leaves without a word.
Alex gets a call from God Complex, who she goes to see. They have a nice bit of conversation over wine (because of course), and she shares that her dad died on the job. Something about the commonality touches him, and he divulges that Red Tornado is not acting alone: “You’re looking for Frankenstein’s monster. You should be looking for Dr. Frankenstein.” Turns out, Dr. Morrow is controlling the android.
Meanwhile, in a nice bit of bonding, Kara and Jimmy settle in for some anger management: he’s got a punching bag, and she’s got a strung-up car to hit. Before throwing a punch, they each say (out loud) what they’re mad about. The source of Kara’s anger is something that everyone can relate to her: her loss of normal, that moment when childhood goes away, and you have to—for whatever reason—be a grown up. It was a touching moment.
Back at the DEO, armed with the intel about Dr. Morrow, they form a plan to take out Red Tornado. Using a Kryptonian technology-fueled hologram of the General as bait, Kara keeps Red Tornado occupied while Alex goes to find the Doc. (Why is there never any backup?) Trouble is, when she does, Alex find a telepathic relay connection between the Morrow and his creation. To sever the link, Alex eventually kills him.
In a twist, this only fells Red Tornado for a moment. Apparently, the creation became sentient. To fight him, Kara uses all of her anger as a focus, via her laser eyes, and eventually making him explode. It’s rage put to good and sound use, and Melissa Benoist was really stellar in this scene.
A few quick bits: Winn discovered that Hank was the last person to see Jeremiah alive, since the two went on an assignment together and were presumed missing. According to the heavily redacted, and at one point deleted, files, Hank has no memory of what happened. Something is super rotten in Denmark, folks.
Later at Catco, Cat’s mother is pitching a fit big enough to be a circus tent, because Kara didn’t order her a car to the airport—despite Kara a) not knowing and b) not working for her. Cat finally stands up to her mother in a beautiful display of fierceness. Her mother storms off, and Kara timidly asks if she should order a car. Cat acerbically replies, “She can take her broom.” Not gonna lie, I laughed out loud.
But the really interesting thing was when a glass broke and Kara cut her finger. What could cause the Girl of Steel to bleed? I guess we’ll find out next week, same Bat time, same Bat channel. Wait…