Mar 30, 2021
Supergirl: Adventures, and babysitting
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Previously on Supergirl: Rich businessman/scientist guy Maxwell Lord was against the whole concept of Supergirl, worrying she would give National City the same problems as Metropolis. Also, he’s building a big high-speed maglev train! Cat thought Supergirl was spreading herself too thin. Supergirl was super into Jimmy Olsen, but then Lucy Lane, Lois’s sister, suddenly reappeared in his life. Will they be able to rekindle their romance? Er, yes. We already know they will, thanks to these episodes being aired out of order.
Well, I have to walk back something I said in the previous week’s recap. This episode, “How Does She Do It?”, which was delayed a week due to the terrorist attacks in Paris, actually does deviate from the “Supergirl punches obscure Superman villain until he stops being evil” formula for the very first time in this series. So it would seem having four episodes in a row that follow the same general plot outline was the result of some unfortunate real world issues. Still, I don’t think that entirely excuses the lameness of the Livewire episode, but this week’s episode is almost good enough to make me forget all about it.
Also, I see now why they had to reschedule this episode. Oh, man, do I ever. In fact, even now it seems a little too soon. I’m a bit surprised they only delayed it by a week, though I would guess one of the major plot points revealed here has an impact on episodes coming up soon.
This episode opens with Supergirl exuberantly flying around the city, until she spots a high-tech drone keeping pace with her. She chases after it and hits it with her heat vision and it explodes. She then takes a piece of it back to the DEO, where Alex notes it’s highly advanced and Henshaw takes it to be analyzed.
Over at CatCo, Kara answers the phone and learns that Cat Grant has won the “Siegel Prize for Women in Media!” (A reference to Superman creator Jerry Siegel, of course.) The ceremony is in Metropolis, but Cat says she won’t be attending, because she has no one to watch her son Carter. Her mother refuses to help, even though accepting this award is a huge deal for Cat’s career. Cat asks Kara, “Does your mother give a damn about your career?” Which may sound incredibly insensitive, considering Kara told her last week that her parents died in a fire, but of course, this episode is supposed to be taking place before that.
Kara starts to stutter that her mom is not “around”, but then Cat orders her to go get her a salad. But before she leaves, Kara volunteers to watch Carter. Cat thinks this is a devious ploy to make it so that she’ll owe Kara a favor later. But Cat is actually a fan of devious ploys, so she’s all for it. She warns that Carter is gifted and “shy” and needs “special attention”. Fun fact: Cat Grant is a single mom in the comics, too, but there, her son’s name is Adam, and he eventually (maybe a spoiler for this series?) gets killed by the Toyman.
Cut to James and Lucy having a meal, as Lucy says the real reason she came to Metropolis is because she missed him. He brushes this off, saying he has to get back to work, and Kara is there to hear all this, though she assures James she used her “regular hearing” to eavesdrop this time. Which is… better? They have a conversation where it comes out that Lucy is the one who dumped him.
And then the restaurant is rocked by a shockwave, and Kara sees a bomb has gone off in an office building a few blocks away. Smoke and fire pour out of the building and people run out as Supergirl arrives to, um, hold up a section of the building that doesn’t even look like it’s about to collapse. She uses her heat vision to fuse some exposed metal beams, which… stops something from happening, and the office workers all cheer.
She decides to take a moment to soak up the applause from the workers below, before she finally flies up to use her super-breath to put out the fire. But unbeknownst to her, another one of those high-tech drones is watching her.
Back at DEO HQ, Henshaw says that the building that got bombed was a laboratory developing “cutting edge” lithium batteries. He suggests it was “industrial espionage”. Does he mean sabotage? Because blowing up a building isn’t very spy-like. Then Alex enters, and she’s figured out that whoever planted the bomb also built the drone that was following Supergirl. And they both use technology that was developed by Maxwell Lord, indicating he’s the prime suspect.
Henshaw and Alex plan to pay Maxwell Lord a visit, but Supergirl points out they can’t just walk in as DEO agents. So Alex shows off how she can push a button on her DEO badge, and it instantly transforms into a FBI badge.
Supergirl then talks about how James’s ex Lucy is in town. Alex sternly warns Kara not to talk to James about his ex, because it’s a “first class one-way ticket to the friend zone!” Wait, so people other than fedora-wearing “nice guy” types worry about ending up friend-zoned?
Alex knows Kara hasn’t had much luck in the romance department. “You spent more time in the friend zone than the Phantom Zone!” Wow, that’s actually a funny line. Way to go, show! The point is, Kara should not under any circumstances listen to James’s girlfriend problems.
Then Supergirl gets a call on her invisible earpiece phone, and it’s Cat, and she suddenly remembers she was supposed to pick Carter up from school. Cut to Supergirl blasting through the clouds to get there in time, and Cat wonders what all that noise is, and Supergirl pretends she has her car windows down. She lands in some shrubbery near the school, then emerges a half-second later dressed as Kara.
Kara meets Carter, who refuses to talk her and just stares at the ground the whole time, while sensitive flutes on the soundtrack try to convince us this is a touching and not at all ridiculous scene. She tries to talk to him about school, and how she used to love school, and how she was a total nerd. He finally speaks up, saying his mom told him it’s okay to be a nerd. Yeah, I’m sure this kid is a total social outcast. He looks like he’ll be in the 2025 incarnation of One Direction.
Cut to Maxwell Lord Industries, where Alex and Henshaw are questioning Max. They find out he can’t possibly be the suspect, because the building that was blown up was secretly one of his company’s subsidiaries. Henshaw says that Alex will remain here to “protect” Max, much to her surprise.
Over at CatCo, expository news reports inform us that Maxwell Lord’s new “Super Rail” high-speed train is taking its maiden voyage tonight. Kara has Carter at her desk, and is trying and failing to connect with him. But then he sees a news report about Supergirl and is enthralled. And now Kara is asking him if he thinks Supergirl is “pretty”, and wonders if Carter has a “little crush” on Supergirl. Is she flirting with a 12 year old? Sheesh, Kara, I know James isn’t paying any attention to you, but this is no time to get desperate.
Then Kara sees that James is all stressed out as he tries to do some of Cat’s work while she’s out of town. We get the first of many title drops when he wonders, “How does Cat do it?” Then his cellphone rings and it’s Lucy, but he decides to ignore it. He starts to talk some more about how Lucy dumped him, but Kara follows Alex’s advice and says they should just focus on work. Kara walks out, whispering, “Take that, friend zone!”
Over at Maxwell Lord Industries, Alex is hanging around and asking Max science-y stuff about his train, like if he uses “liquid helium” to keep the “mag coils from overheating”. Max wonders why she’s wasting her smarts on working for the FBI. She says she likes to help people, and Maxwell says he’s the same way, and suggests he’s a new kind of hero, but not like Supergirl, who he calls a “glorified fireman”. No, he’s going to save the planet with his technology. And of course, this scene has a bit of sexual tension between the two of them, because why not?
But then he gets called away by an employee, who shows him something his security team just found. Oh look, it just happens to be a silver cylindrical device that’s beeping and has an LED timer on the front that’s counting down the seconds. Did they really have to call in Max to figure out it’s a bomb?
Alex tells everyone to clear out as Maxwell tries to defuse the bomb. He cuts a wire, and the countdown stops, and they both look relieved. And then comes the moment you knew was coming, when the bomb whirrs back to life and now the countdown is going even faster.
And then join me here at the Agony Booth next week when Supergirl meets Lucy’s (and Lois’s) father, General Sam Lane, Cat’s mother, and the Red Tornado… who she will most likely be punching in the face. We’re going right back to the formula, aren’t we?