Supergirl’s premiere (“Girl of Steel”) starts off with a jarring daydream that might be some kind of vision. Unfortunately, they replaced Laura Benanti (who played Alura and Astra) with Erica Durance (Smallville shoutout!). On her own, I have no issue with Durance. However, recasting like this always annoys me, and unless a viewer is aware of the casting news, it wasn’t clear who her character was until Kara later mentions it to Hank.
Couple that with Kara’s sour distance over losing Mon-El, and it was not the lighthearted, hopeful show of yore. Since heading over to the CW from CBS, the show has struggled to find its footing and even out its tone. And it is, unquestionably, the relationships that keep (at least this viewer) coming back week after week. From Alex and Maggie (who are planning the biggest, gayest wedding – and I am here for it, especially since Hank is walking her down the aisle. Brb, FEELS) to Alex and Kara (Alex tried to wake Kara up, so I found it a little frustrating that it was Mon-El who succeeded—but that’s a longer rant for another day) to the core group of misfit badasses (Jimmy, Winn, Hank, Maggie, Alex) who are their own family. Jimmy felt well employed in this episode, forceful, full of heart, and organic. His initial speech to Kara about Guardian vs. Jimmy was brilliantly done. Yay, Mehcad Brooks!
Lena has been a welcome addition to the show in so many ways (Katie McGrath is flawless, and I consistently envy her cutting wit and red lip). Her friendship with Kara (plotting to take down a sexist jerk together! Calling Kara her best friend) is always brilliant. Their relationship certainly keeps my attention, because there’s a fierceness between them, but I thought Lena’s vulnerability was extremely well done. Who hasn’t had a friend (like Kara) constantly flake and be totally avoidant and unavailable? Lena awkwardly, but sincerely, trying to address the issue was perfectly rendered. Been there, done that. And I happen to think that brunch is always the answer. That said, does Lena know Kara is Supergirl? I think so. She’s a Luthor, therefore not stupid. I think she’s playing along with the façade, just like Cat Grant did.
I was less thrilled with Adrian Pasdar’s turn as Morgan Edge, whose villainous character reads a little clichéd and slightly flat. He (by way of a mercenary named…Bloodsport—subtle!—played by David St. Louis) tries to wreck the unveiling of the new Girl of Steel statue by the waterfront. He comes off as very Evil Banker, but he did spark when he sparred with Lena. (Side note: I loved Lena and Jimmy have each other’s back during that meeting. That was very well done.) While not every bad guy deserves a glorious backstory, we know virtually nothing of him. And comparatively, I loved Maxwell Lord a whole lot more. We’ll see how he evolves as the season unfolds. I did cackle quite a bit when Supergirl left him top of a shipping container. By then, of course, Kara’s slowly coming back to herself, spitting back a variation of his own threat against Lena: “National City’s my town, and now you’ve got all my attention.”
By the end of the episode, Lena has snagged CatCo out from under Morgan’s claws, prompting Kara to (hopefully) un-quit. I’m honestly tired of her day job drama, so I hope she settles in at CatCo without any more misadventures. Speaking of Cat, she’s now the press secretary for the president, which allows the show to poke at the current circus occupying the White House, from a moron jab to the possibility (snort!) of listening devices in microwaves. It was perfectly woven into the show, but it felt like a hideous tease. When Cat Grant is front and center, cutting into a scene like a necessary tornado, the show feels centered and alive. I’m not sure bits and bobs from Calista will serve in the long run, but we shall see. And we can hope she resumes a more prominent role.
Finally, there’s the matter of Odette Annable joining the cast. Girlfriend seems normal enough, until she bends metal with her bare hands to save her daughter AND dreams of Alura, only to have Kara’s mom turn into a monster. Before the Evil Elf Face scream (seriously, what was that?), it appeared to be the same dream that Kara had in the beginning of the episode. Presumably, there’s some kind of psychic nonsense afoot. I like Annable a lot, so I’m excited that she’s on board.
Is Mon-El gone for good? I doubt it. Will Kara resume her potsticker-eating ways? Well, duh. Will Morgan and Lena end up making out at some point? Possibly. The chemistry was there. But, sorry, y’all: I’m a QueerEl/SuperCorp shipper, so.
Also, if someone would get me Alex’s super cute jacket, that’d be great. Catch you next week, kittens. XO