The first episode (“The Adventures of Supergirl”) of Supergirl on the CW—to borrow a metaphor from Cat Grant—dove right in. A couple of quick changes: the DEO is no longer underground and Winn (Jeremy Jordan) fulfills his Geek potential as a new employee of the DEO (“Challenge accepted”—how perfectly Barney Stinson.).
Clark Kent/Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) shows up (Great Caesar’s ghost, indeed!), but his arrival works. It’s clearly not his story. He’s not there to pull focus from Kara (Melissa Benoist, who radiates charm). He’s clumsy and charismatic, which brought to mind shades of the late, great Christopher Reeve. He’s less imposing than the current film Superman, Henry Cavil. But Hoechlin definitely has the slightly bashful personality of Kent down. Toward the end of the episode, he decides to stick around, hoping that Kara will tell him stories about his family and their home. It’s sweet. And despite his less-than-plausible issue with Hank (who is now somehow responsible for Kryptonite being on earth…?), it’ll be interesting to have him around.
Now, let’s talk about Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath). No bull: I love the character. And that may have something to do with McGrath herself, because I loved the BBC show, Merlin). Desperate to rebrand Lex Corp as L Corp, Lena finds herself the target of her jailed brother’s murderous machinations. Luckily, Kara and Clark step in, proving these aren’t the droids you’re looking for, and Supergirl even gets top billing/credit for their adventures. I like that Lena’s presence tackles the preconceptions we sometimes have about people, based on arbitrary things: “You wouldn’t be asking me if my last name was Smith.” And she was right. Even Dudley Do Right Clark judged her for her brother’s crimes. But Lena smartly asks, “Give me a chance, Mr. Kent. I’m here for a fresh start. Let me have one.” She also managed to shoot the bad guy (John Corben, a menacingly serviceable villain from Frederick Schmidt) and save Alex’s life. That was after Alex was, as usual, a badass (Chyler Leigh constantly floors me)—Danvers sisters forever, y’all! Lena saving Alex may have earned her some major brownie points.
Speaking of badasses: Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart is a goddess. Period). Cat Grant is magic, if magic were gin: delicious, with just enough of a burn to make you question your own actions. She spends the majority of the episode yelling at her new assistant, Eve Teschmacher (Andrea Brooks). Grant assesses her thusly: “She cries more than Halle Berry at award’s shows.” But Cat also spends a great deal of time pushing Kara to find herself and her purpose (“I can see the hero within you.”). That is, when she wasn’t busy fangirling over Clark Kent (“She actually sent him a drunk text once.” SNORT.). It was bizarre and somewhat delightful to see Ms. Grant charmingly fawn over someone. Yes, we all know Flockhart is dialing back her screen time due to the network switch, but we still got the full Cat Grant treatment. It was a little clunky, having Cat ponder and stare off into middle distance, dissatisfied with her own life. But we’ll just have to see where they take it.
But we should probably talk about the most awkward bit: Kara and Jimmy (Mehcad Brooks). Kara has been adorably crushing on Jimmy forever. He was with Lucy, but pining after Kara. They are finally in a place where they’re free and able to explore their connection—and it falls spectacularly flat, faster than a speeding bullet. Kara suddenly has to figure out how to be herself alongside Supergirl (okay, I get that), which means that she only wants to be Jimmy’s friend.
Okay, friendship? It’s never a consolation prize. But the 180-degree turn was enough to make my head spin, especially since no time has passed since the season 1 finale. It rang a bit false to me, and I’m not sure why they didn’t explore the tension there. There was chemistry. It was believable. And Kara’s sudden change of heart left me feeling cold; it’s no wonder Jimmy looked forlorn. No one goes from Really Into You to Let’s Be Friends that fast, unless someone kicks a puppy or kills a grandma.
On to the subject of adorable puppies: Winn. He’s finally in his element at the no-longer-dark DEO. I like how his character was used in this episode. It’s a better fit than a random IT guy at CatCo. Hopefully, he doesn’t run into Siobhan Smythe during his stint there.
It remains to be seen who the mysterious, unconscious dude from Krypton is. And it also remains to be seen how Corben ended up at CADMUS (where Alex’s dad is), turning into Metallo. (Guys, I know that I may lose some street cred here, but it sounded like Brenda Strong said Nutella. And now I’ll just be over here with this jar and a spoon. Don’t judge me.
All in all, it was a good premiere with a lot of room to grow. It had the same charming, upbeat feel of season one, which is a relief. The humor and the lighthearted nature are more than intact. And sweet fancy Moses, I cannot wait to see Lynda Carter later on in the season.
To wit: Up, up and away! I’m in. How about you?