Supergirl: Supergirl is dead... set on being a reporter
Previously on Supergirl: Kara always dreamed of teaming up with her cousin to fight bad guys, and it finally happened, as Superman’s boots were filled by an actual actor and together they protected Lex Luthor’s sister from mercenary John Corben. Meanwhile, an Old Navy catalog model crashed to Earth in a Kryptonian rocketship, Winn got hired on by the DEO, Kara decided to become a reporter, and Dr. Brenda Strong of Project Cadmus gave Corben new life as the Superman villain Metallo.
When we last left Superman, he decided to chill in National City for a while, and the episode opens with the two Super-Cousins having “hashtag-too-much-fun” (a verbatim quote from Kara) joining forces to fight crime as well as office building fires. Hank is listening in on them back at the DEO, and the more they enjoy themselves, the more he becomes his early season one sourpuss self. Alas, the fun can’t last forever, and Clark has to head back to Metropolis because his city needs him too. But first, they team up one last time to save a guy about to jump off a bridge.
The would-be jumper turns out to be Corben, who’s now a cyborg calling himself Metallo. He’s also got a glowing green rock in his chest that burns his shirt away and fires bursts of Kryptonite radiation at Superman and Supergirl.
After a short battle, Superman is able to punch Metallo into the next zip code, or whatever they call them in Canada. Supergirl has been hurt, though she’s all but shrugged it off by the next scene, meaning this bit only happens for the sake of recreating the cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7.
At the DEO, they’re investigating how Corben became Metallo. It turns out his power source is a shipment of Kryptonite that was stolen months ago, and they decide it was an inside job and there must be a mole in the DEO. Alex tracks down the mole and finds out he’s working with Project Cadmus, and this is all laid out in that typically confusing Supergirl fashion where you have to mostly piece together what’s going on. And of course, the mole is hardly mentioned again.
Meanwhile, Superman heads up to the Fortress of Solitude to analyze some “traces” of the metal that makes up Metallo’s body. J’onn/Hank joins him up there, where the Kelex robot makes another cameo, and the two aliens hash out their disagreements over the DEO’s prolific use of Kryptonite.
Later, in a move reminiscent of Zod in Man of Steel, Project Cadmus breaks into TV broadcasts, using a creepy CGI avatar to announce their goal to rid the world of alien invaders like Superman and Supergirl, ho-hum. Over at Cadmus, Dr. Brenda Strong repairs Metallo and then recruits some random flunky to become Metallo #2.
Metallo #1 distracts Superman and Supergirl in National City, while Metallo #2 causes mass destruction in Metropolis. And I have no idea what Cadmus was trying to accomplish by attacking Metropolis, other than pissing off Superman.
Finally, Supergirl and Superman and the DEO formulate a plan to defeat the Metallos. First, they have Winn take the Kryptonite-resistant glow-stick technology previously used by Non and Astra and adapt it to protect Superman and Supergirl. Winn initially talks about how it’s a honor to design a new “suit” for Superman, but it ends up being just plastic shields that fit over their S-logos. Regardless, Superman compliments Winn on a job well done, and armed with these “suits”, Supergirl fights Metallo #1 (Corben) in National City, while Superman fights Metallo #2 (Random Flunky) in Metropolis.
The Kryptonite shields give out pretty easily, and that’s when the second part of the plan comes into play: J’onn J’onnz joins the fray to help Superman, while Supergirl is aided by Alex… who’s now wearing the Kryptonite exoskeleton she used to fight Supergirl back when she was under Myriad mind control. Why doesn’t she just wear this every time she goes out to fight bad guys?
Eventually, they succeed in deactivating both Metallos by ripping out/impaling their Kryptonite hearts, and Cadmus is defeated, but only for now.
In the midst of all this, Kara starts her new job as a reporter for CatCo Media, and is introduced to her new boss, Snapper Carr (Ian Gomez), who clearly is unimpressed by Kara and refuses to hire someone who hasn’t paid her journalistic dues.
Kara appeals to Cat Grant to step in, but she says Kara will have to stand up for herself, because Cat’s leaving. Yes, due to Calista Flockhart not wanting to be away from her family for extended periods of time to film this show, Cat is taking a leave of absence from CatCo in order to embark on vague adventures. Kara gets teary farewell scenes with Cat as both herself and as Supergirl, and there’s clearly lots of real-life emotion about Flockhart’s departure spilling into these scenes.
Kara is so despondent over Cat leaving, and Clark leaving, and her terrible job that she considers moving to Metropolis so she can have her cousin around to lean on. Alex is annoyed by this, saying she’s spent her whole life protecting Kara, and she even joined the DEO because of Kara, and the least Kara can do is stick around. Which doesn’t really mesh with the flashback from last season where Alex didn’t join the DEO until three years ago, and was basically throwing her life away on booze and DUIs at the time she was recruited, but whatever.
Then it turns out James Olsen is taking over Cat’s position while she’s away. The art director hired only a year ago is now interim CEO of a media empire? Seems like a stretch, but why not? It’s not like they’ve been giving him anything else to do.
Afterwards, Kara pulls a favorite trick of superheroes with journalist secret identities, and gives Snapper a full, exclusive scoop on the Metallo fights. He’s quietly impressed and begrudgingly begins to accept her presence.
And finally, it’s time for Superman to leave, and as a parting gift, Hank turns over all the Kryptonite on Earth to him. And apparently, all the Kryptonite on Earth can fit in one lead-lined box that’s about the size of a large steamer trunk. Sure thing, guys.
In our stinger for next week, the guy from the Kryptonian pod finally wakes up and grabs Kara by the throat, end episode.
After a strong start in the season premiere, Supergirl settles back into a predictably dull groove where it seems we’re back to the endless monotonous super-fistfights. The first season showed there’s really no way to make an extended sparring match between two super-powered individuals all that interesting (on this show’s budget, anyway), but they still keep trying, and tossing in random nonsense like Alex suddenly becoming a mechanically augmented superhero. Not even seeing Superman and the Martian Manhunter in action side by side can do much to assuage the boredom.
And oh look, another villain/organization with a xenophobic, anti-alien agenda, to go along with Maxwell Lord and his anti-alien agenda, and the anti-alien senator from last season. I think it’s fair to say this concept has already been hashed and rehashed and done to death, not only on this show, but in the DC movies as well. Nevertheless, the teaser for next week reveals there’s lots more of this come.
There are repeated mentions of Alex’s dad Jeremiah still being held captive at Project Cadmus, and whatever happened to that plot thread, anyway? Everyone wants to get him back, but it doesn’t seem like anyone’s lifted a finger to actually accomplish anything towards that goal since that episode where Hank was almost locked up at Project Cadmus himself. It doesn’t seem like it would be that hard for Supergirl or Superman to find him, but from what I can tell, neither one of them have even tried.
Also, when Kara is thinking about moving to Metropolis, Alex comes out of nowhere with some harsh criticism of Superman, saying he “abandoned you with us”. Huh? What more did she expect of Superman than entrusting Kara with what is, by all accounts, a great, loving family? I mean, at least he didn’t just dump her off at an orphanage like he did in the comics.
Anyway, this was the end of Superman’s guest run (for now), and next time we’ll get to see what Supergirl is like without both Superman and Cat Grant. Based on this episode, I’m not optimistic.
Next week: More of Lena Luthor, plus an alien who could potentially be our first glimpse of Miss Martian. Also, we get a special appearance we’ve been waiting for all summer long when Lynda Carter guest stars as the President of the United States. And no, she’s not playing President Diana Prince, but we can all pretend.