Dec 16, 2019
Supergirl: Flash ♥ Supergirl: Dawn of Adorkableness (S1 E18 RECAP)
Previously on Supergirl: Livewire was an incredibly lame villain who had it out for Cat Grant and was defeated in an incredibly lame way (being sprayed with water). J’onn saw that Jeremiah Danvers was still alive at Project Cadmus, and he and Alex went on a mission to rescue him. Non and the late Aunt Astra were plotting something called Myriad, Lucy figured out James is in love with Kara, Supergirl turned evil for a while, Siobhan was fired and turned out to have screaming powers, and basically half the season gets repeated in the previouslies this week.
Well, here it is, “Worlds Finest” [sic], the highly anticipated episode that brings the CW’s Flash into Supergirl’s CBS universe. The fan reaction to this episode has been overwhelmingly positive, though I have to wonder if those fans are mostly reacting to how different in tone it is to another DC superhero team-up that happened this past week. And yeah, I get it; I’ll take superheroes meeting and immediately hitting it off any day over them meeting and immediately hitting each other. But there’s a difference between being light and fun-filled and being silly, inconsequential fluff.
Having spent the past month or so getting caught up on The Flash, I can say it’s clearly a smarter and more mature show than Supergirl, so I was hopeful that Flash’s appearance would help Supergirl step up its game. But alas, while the scenes between Kara and Barry Allen contain some funny moments, the hour as a whole unfortunately displays all the sophistication and gravitas of an old Super Friends episode. I have to wonder if this episode was made specifically for the tykes whose parents wouldn’t let them go see Batman v Superman.
We open on Siobhan at the DEO, and it appears Winn brought her here to get tested after she manifested super-screaming powers in front of him in the previous episode. Yes, Winn decided to bring a random civilian to the headquarters of a top secret spy agency, and the DEO was cool with that, and I think at this point I should stop being surprised by this and just let it go.
While Siobhan is being examined, Supergirl talks about how she’s been trying to win back the city’s trust, picking up a plot thread from two weeks ago, which again makes me think that last week was mostly filler.
A doctor comes out to say that Siobhan emitted a “high frequency sound wave” that was so powerful it cushioned her fall from that building, and also pulverized the cement underneath her. However, Siobhan’s not a Fort Rozz escapee or an alien, so the doctor suggests it’s a “miracle”. Would that be your expert opinion, doctor?
Siobhan already has her bitch face back on as she walks out of the place. Winn tries to stop her, but then she hears a high-pitched ringing in her ears and gets visions of her future evil self, and walks out even more determined.
…But before she goes, she just happens to wander past Livewire’s cell, and overhears Lucy Lane (the new head of the DEO) interrogating Livewire. Quite the rigorous security setup they have here at the DEO. This allows Siobhan to conveniently learn everything about Livewire’s powers and her grudges against both Cat Grant and Supergirl.
Over at CatCo, Kara has brought Cat a huge box of gigantic cupcakes, and Cat senses Kara wants a cupcake, but she’s too scared to grab one. Cat turns this into a tortured analogy for how Kara is too scared to finally go for James. She says Kara needs to make a “power move” by making James jealous, which is a tip Cat apparently included in an advice book she wrote in the ‘90s. Yep, that sounds like the kind of terrible, retrograde relationship advice people were doling out twenty years ago.
And then Cat digs in, suggesting she’s going to eat the entire box of cupcakes all by herself.
Meanwhile, Siobhan’s walking down a city sidewalk (did she just walk all the way back here from the DEO?) when she gets more of that ringing in her ears and sees more flashes of her evil self. She then walks into CatCo, and Winn immediately runs to her to remind her she’s been “banned from the building”.
But before Cat can have her escorted out, Siobhan confronts Kara, and does her sonic scream, which sends Kara flying out a window. Kara is plummeting to the ground unconscious, when suddenly, a red electrified streak appears on the street below. It runs up the side of the building, catches Kara, and carries her several miles outside of the city.
They come to a stop in the middle of nowhere and it’s… the Flash! Ahhh-ahhh! Savior of the universe! He sees that Kara’s sweater is on fire from the friction and starts to pat out the flames, but then thinks better of touching a stranger’s boobies. And then he realizes Kara isn’t bothered at all by her chest being on fire.
Kara says she has to get back to the city, and just casually flies up into the air, ditching her street clothes and revealing her secret identity to the Flash. The Flash goes speeding off after her, and she sees him following her and touches back down near him. They proceed to have a conversation where Supergirl realizes he’s never heard of her, and the Flash realizes she’s never heard of him either. He asks if he knows other heroes/villains from his network, I mean, world, like the Green Arrow, Black Canary, Firestorm, Atom, and Zoom, to which Supergirl just shrugs.
And that’s all the Flash needs to hear, because he pulls off his mask and introduces himself as Barry Allen, saying he’s on the “wrong Earth”, while we hear a brief snippet of the Flash theme song. And there’s basically no explanation for why Barry was trying to travel between universes in the first place. I assumed it would be explained on the following night’s episode of The Flash, but nope. He never even mentions traveling to Supergirl’s Earth. (Which does bring up the interesting possibility that this is some other Flash, from another as yet unseen Earth.)
Cut to CatCo, where Kara has brought Barry into the Supergirl-cave/office. Yep, just like that, they’re instantly BSFFs (Best Super Friends Forever) and sharing their secret identities and all their private info. Barry learns there’s no S.T.A.R. Labs in this universe, and no Cisco or Caitlin or Dr. Wells or anyone else from his show who can help him get back to his own world.
Winn and James come in, and Kara casually informs them that Barry is from another universe. And then Barry learns that Kara is from another planet, and is taken aback (there are no aliens in the CW-verse, as far as I’m aware).
James is not getting the concept of a multiverse, so Barry goes to a convenient whiteboard and starts drawing out the multiple Earths, and explaining how they all “vibrate at a different frequency”. Winn immediately figures out that one would have to move extremely fast to open up a “breach” between Earths.
Winn asks how he could possibly move that fast, so to demonstrate, Barry runs out of the room and returns a split-second later and suddenly everybody’s holding ice cream cones. Ice cream cones? Why didn’t he pick up some puppies and rainbows while he was at it? He tells them all about his origins, and how he’s a superhero on his world, while Kara happily eats ice cream.
Barry then says he needs food, because thanks to his speed, he has to eat “10,000 calories a day”. I think Cat’s box of cupcakes might get him a good way there. Kara and Barry head out for “donuts” and Winn notices that James is getting jealous of Barry. Oh, come on. Are they really turning this crossover into another plot point in the endless James/Kara “will they or won’t they” saga?
For contrived reasons, Kara has to go to her desk, and Barry follows, and they’re both spotted by Cat Grant. Cat doesn’t seem very surprised that Kara is still alive after being thrown out of a building, but I guess Kara has survived so much ridiculous crap over the course of the season that this barely registers.
Cat has photos of the Flash, and she says the appearance of a new superhero in town will be a huge story. And then Winn and James show up, and Cat remarks that the four of them together look like “the attractive, yet non-threatening racially diverse cast of a CW show.” Uh, yeah, just a little too meta for my tastes there, sorry.
Cat then demands to know who Barry is, and the other three simultaneously blurt out, “My cousin!” Cat ignores this, then starts thinking up names for the new superhero, which include “the Whoosh” and “the Blur”. This hits a nerve with Barry (who was “the Blur” for a good half-season of his own show) and he suggests calling the new hero the Flash. Cat shoots this down, saying it sounds like a superhero whose only power is “jumping out of an alley in a trench coat”. Or collecting lots and lots of beads at Mardi Gras?
Then Siobhan goes to see her aunt, who runs a store that sells Irish knickknacks, and she even puts on a phony Lucky Charms Leprechaun accent when customers are around. What the hell? Oh, right. Siobhan is supposed to be Irish. Siobhan says she needs help, and Irish Aunt immediately knows that the “Banshee” has been calling to her.
And now Irish Aunt has a big crystal ball in front of her as she says that the women in their family are all cursed, which explains their general bitchiness, and if she wants to be free of the Banshee, she has to kill the “object of her anger”. So… that’s what it’s come to, then? Superpowers explained by “evil curses”?
The object of Siobhan’s anger is of course Kara, but she realizes that Supergirl is always going to get in the way, so she has to kill her first. And then she remembers Livewire.
Over at the DEO, Livewire is in her cell, and she hears screaming coming from somewhere. The walls of her cell shatter, and DEO agents run in with guns at the ready, but Livewire uses her electricity powers to kill them both. She then turns into electricity and disappears into a control panel, and, um, how exactly did Siobhan get into the DEO to free her? Or do her powers work remotely?
Kara gets a call from Lucy letting her know Livewire escaped. Kara tries to get Cat to leave town immediately, because surely Livewire will be coming for revenge, since Cat taking away her radio show and assigning her to traffic copter duty is what turned her into Livewire in the first place (that… really wasn’t a very good episode). But Cat adamantly refuses, because she has faith that Supergirl will protect her.
Kara goes to Barry, who’s still sitting around the Supergirl-cave, and tells him about Livewire, and he brings up a very similar Flash villain called Blackout, but then immediately realizes this is pointless information. Kara says that she desperately needs the Flash’s help to defeat Livewire for some reason, even though as seen previously, all you need to defeat Livewire is a decent-quality garden hose. Regardless, Kara promises that once they defeat Livewire, they can work on sending Barry back home, and they shake on it.
Supergirl brings the Flash to the DEO, and he runs around the place at super speed, taking it all in. He’s giddy at the sight of the pod that brought Supergirl to Earth, which, as usual, is just sitting out in the open. He asks Winn to take a picture of him with “this bad boy”, but then Lucy shows up with armed guards, demanding to know who he is. Supergirl says the Flash is here to help them catch Livewire, and that’s all Lucy needs to know to trust him completely.
Meanwhile, Livewire materializes in a random warehouse. And then Siobhan appears (with no explanation for how she knew Livewire would show up here, of course) to propose the expected villain team-up to kill Cat Grant and Supergirl. Livewire agrees, but first, Siobhan needs a “makeover”.
At the DEO, James is lurking around, getting a bit miffed at Supergirl and the Flash hanging around together and being all buddy-buddy. Lucy comes along for the express purpose of telling James he should go for Kara, despite the fact that Lucy is still constantly hanging around both of them thanks to her ever-changing occupations on this show.
Then Barry says they’ve found Livewire, and traced her to an abandoned warehouse, and he delivers the best line of the episode with, “I see bad guys love their abandoned warehouses on your Earth, too, huh?” Supergirl wants to go take her down, and Barry asks what the “plan” is, but Supergirl only wants to rush in and start punching.
So they head over there, and Livewire appears and Flash does that thing where he runs around and then throws lightning at his enemy, which I think has only ever worked once or twice on his own show. And this time, it only makes Livewire stronger. Gee, who could have expected that hitting your electricity-powered enemy with more electricity would only make her more powerful? Then Siobhan as the Silver Banshee enters, and similar to her comic counterpart, she’s now in this skull-inspired makeup complete with white contact lenses and cheek prosthetics, and I again have to wonder why this show can’t manage to come up with better costumes than your average amateur cosplayer.
Banshee hits Supergirl with a scream, so Supergirl blows back with her super-breath, and the Flash joins in by spinning his arms around really fast and creating a blast of wind. Supergirl and Flash decide that they’re outmatched for some reason, and they both haul ass out of there.
Kara’s out on the CatCo balcony when Barry walks up, and she admits he was right about needing a plan. She then talks about the whole Red Kryptonite thing and how she briefly turned evil, and now she feels lost because the public doesn’t love her anymore. So Barry tells her she needs to “slow down” and not try so hard, and eventually everyone will forgive her. He also mentions the same thing happened to him, though I’m not sure what he’s referring to. Maybe when he was possessed by the Rainbow Raider?
They head back to the DEO, meaning they’re not around when Livewire materializes in Cat’s office, and Silver Banshee comes up in Cat’s elevator. James starts to go for his signal watch, but Livewire hits him with a bolt of electricity… which oddly doesn’t seem to do much more than slightly stun him.
Winn tries to reason with Silver Banshee, telling her she’s “confused”, because of all the stuff she found out about her dad. Is he referring to that stupid thing from a few episodes ago about her dad being on a cheaters’ website? I guess so. It seems like he’s almost getting through to her, but she screams and knocks him on his ass.
Over at the DEO, Barry is telling Supergirl about how he fought a villain very similar to Banshee called the Pied Piper, which is how he’s able to create special earplugs to protect them from Banshee’s screams. Actually, he says he’s “whipped up these bad boys”, but immediately adds, “Sorry I keep saying ‘bad boys’.” And now Livewire is on the DEO’s screens, somehow, and challenging Supergirl to come and rescue Cat. Supergirl and Flash immediately rush off to go stop her, and we get a shot of the two of them running/flying together that I think was purposely filmed so screenshots would be included in internet reviews/recaps like this one.
Cut to a park, where Livewire and the Banshee have Cat handcuffed to a bench, and people are running in terror from Livewire’s electric bolts. Livewire threatens to stop Cat’s heart, but Cat begs her not to. However, Cat is not begging for her own life, but rather pleading for her “boys”, because she doesn’t want Livewire to “take their mother away from them.” Too late for the cheap pathos, episode. And one of those “boys” is at least 23, so I think he’ll survive without his mommy.
Then the Flash and Supergirl show up on the scene, and Flash tells them to let Cat go so they can “settle this like women.” Supergirl gives him the side eye, so he explains himself with, “there’s more of you guys here than me”. The villains attack, but Banshee’s screams are useless thanks to the earplugs… which actually makes no sense, because we’ve been shown repeatedly that her screams send out waves of force, which has nothing to do with the actual sound she makes. Livewire then transforms into electricity and Flash chases her up to the roof of a building, where she knocks him out with a blast of electricity.
Down on the ground, Supergirl frees Cat Grant. Then Banshee punches Supergirl, sending her flying. So… she’s got super-strength, too? Supergirl rips up a piece of concrete, and hurls it at Banshee, which she obliterates with her sonic scream, and that had no point.
Livewire comes back, and notices a police helicopter overhead. She yells, “I hate helicopters!” Which is a reference to her origin, so she completely forgets about Supergirl and shoots electrical bolts at the helicopter. Supergirl flies up and blocks the electricity, and things go into slow-mo as all the people on the ground see this, and this is apparently the big turning point where everyone in National City spontaneously decides they can trust Supergirl again.
There’s random assorted “She saved us!” yells from below, followed by the crowd deciding to bum-rush Livewire. But before Livewire can hurt anyone, she gets hit by water, which takes her down. I was pretty sure this would turn out to be the work of the Flash, but nope, it’s some random firefighters coming to Supergirl’s rescue. They hit Livewire with water and she falls, and somehow Banshee gets electrocuted and is also defeated. I’d ask how the firefighters knew water was Livewire’s fatal weakness, but this episode is dumb enough as it is.
The head firefighter helps Supergirl up, saying, “Supergirl, it was our turn to help you!” And then the Flash shows up, just in time to be of no use at all. I don’t know about you, but I was really hoping the Flash/Supergirl team-up would end with a nameless firefighter saving the day.
At CatCo, they watch news reports about how the city loves Supergirl again. Kara reveals that thanks to Barry, the police now have “a way to lock up metahumans”, so they’re not going to be held at Gitmo, I mean, the DEO anymore. So why didn’t Barry ever do this in his own universe, instead of sticking all the villains in the particle accelerator? (Is this more proof that this is a different Barry than the one seen on the CW?)
Kara tells Cat she needs some time off to say goodbye to Barry, but Cat has already figured out that Barry is the Flash. And yet, she still hasn’t picked up on Kara being Supergirl.
Out in an open field, the Flash and Supergirl stand together as Barry recalls something they tried back on his Earth. He says they should “join forces”, and he wants her to “throw me forward at your fastest”, which should give him enough speed to break the “dimensional barrier”. Kara somehow interprets this as a “race”, because I guess they’re obligated to have a race thanks to the numerous times Flash and Kara’s cousin have raced in the comics.
But before they run off, Barry somehow knows that James Olsen is really into her, and unlike before, when he said to “slow down”, he tells her she should “speed things up” with James. And then they hug, and they’re off. They run for a while, and she hurls him forward and he vanishes into one of those multiverse breaches. So, wait, who won the “race”, then?
And now we’re at Kara’s apartment, where she’s got the lights turned low and she’s invited James over. She starts to talk about “infinite Earths” and how if two of these Earths can “vibrate at the exact same speed… maybe there’s a chance they could be together.” James understandably has no clue what she’s talking about, so she decides to just show him, and… she kisses him. Finally. Though frankly, they dragged this out so long that I couldn’t possibly care any less.
And then James just stares. And stares. And Kara wonders if the kiss was good, or not good, or too good. But then he turns around and walks out, zombie-like, and he’s soon joined by other people in the building also walking around zombie-like.
Over in his evil lair, Non is holding the Omegahedron, and being informed that Myriad has been activated, and he says the Earth will soon belong to him. Kara looks out her window and sees rows and rows of people mindlessly marching down the street, so I guess we finally know what Myriad is: some form of mass mind control. The end.
Like I said above, Flash is usually a smarter show than Supergirl, so it’s a bit of a disappointment that this team-up resulted in a Supergirl episode that’s even dumber than usual.
Clearly, they were trying to do way too much here, leaving little time to explore Flash’s guest appearance to its fullest. Maybe if they had ditched Siobhan’s dumb origin story, or left out the “James gets jealous” nonsense, there might have been time to show Kara and Barry really getting to know each other. I wasn’t looking for them to be at odds, but I expected a little more than the two of them becoming best friends after knowing each other for all of 15 seconds.
Also, it would have been nice if they faced a villain who was enough of a threat that Flash and Supergirl actually had to team-up to defeat him/her. Or if they had faced a villain where Barry’s powers actually came in handy. But it seems even that was too much to hope for. When your much-hyped guest star ends up unconscious during the big finale, maybe that’s a sign something has gone wrong.
I guess the best-case scenario here is that future Supergirl/Flash team-ups will happen, and this episode will eventually be seen as a clumsy but necessary laying of the groundwork. Some fans have even suggested that a Crisis on Infinite Earths-type event could happen on the CW shows, flattening the multiverse and putting Supergirl in the same continuity. I’d be down for that, but hopefully they won’t follow the source comics too closely if that happens. After all, the original Crisis didn’t exactly work out that well for Kara or Barry, did it?