This week’s Supergirl not only marked the return for the show after a midseason hiatus, it also marked Kevin Smith’s return to the director’s chair for a CW show. Even this week’s title “Supergirl Lives!” is a nod to Kevin Smith’s failed script attempt to bring Superman to the big screen. Fortunately he left Jason Mewes at home this time but instead brought his daughter Harley Quinn Smith to fill the painfully awkward cameo slot.
They dove right in with the action this week, opening on Kara chasing down some thieves. Outfitted with rocket launchers, it seems like criminals are trying to be prepped for the gal of steel now. I liked that the action sequence wasn’t connected or leading into the main plot at all, just a window into her daily routine. Kara’s heat vision blowing up the van seemed a bit excessive, especially since she seemed to be aiming for the tires, but I guess go big or go home right? Having Jimmy clean up Kara’s runaways as Guardian seemed forced, how exactly did these guys get away from her on foot while she has super speed and X-ray vision to track them?
At least it gave Jimmy something to do, though even then he loses one, and when Winn tried to take the guy down, almost got himself killed. This brought us to one of the most idiotic subplots, Winn’s fear of getting hurt. There is no other way to say it, Winn is a coward in this episode. After being raised by a supervillain father, being in the middle of dozens of life threatening situations, and being hired by a super secret military group, he hasn’t gotten basic hand-to-hand training?
Even assuming that his lack of training isn’t unusual, he knocks a guy down with his car door and starts celebrating before checking that the guy is unconscious. That’s just stupid. He doesn’t even have any real arc or development to overcome his fear. He gets his ass beat, almost gets killed, is terrified of field work, then forced to go out and only barely saves his own skin by smashing an alien with a rock. Then all of a sudden he is super confident and thinks he’s a badass. Dude you barely survived and did so by blindsiding someone. You’re not a tough guy. Maybe if he had done a little training with Alex, you know, showed some growth, then his confidence would be a payoff. This was just a pointless aside.
Then there was Alex and Maggie. While it was fun seeing them be all cute and coupley, the conflict between them felt so superficial. Alex freaking out once Kara went missing was believable, but being so superstitious that thinking it was her being happy for once caused it just felt forced. Also after taking so long to get Maggie to agree to date her, to then turn around and push her away so soon? Let them be a couple for a little while before you throw wrenches into their relationship. By building them up as a happy couple longer, any plot points down the line will hit that much harder. Plus there were no real repercussions or lasting effects. By the episode’s end they get back together and are exactly where they started again. You could cut this plotline out and literally lose nothing from their story moving forward.
The running theme this week seems to be storylines that either have no lasting repercussions or take huge leaps in logic. The ongoing Kara/Mon-El will they/yes they will, non-question is frustrating. From day one with Mon the writers made things all too obvious the two would hook up. They both give each other those unseen loving looks all while being argumentative and butting heads. I’m all for this cliché if done well. Sam and Diane, J.D. and Elliot, there are a number of series that played these off beautifully. The difference being after the initial establishing of an attraction, those other series spent a long time putting the characters at odds, often with long stretches of dating other people and disliking each other.
On Supergirl we haven’t gone one episode with Mon-El where they haven’t hinted at the future romance or had one or the other realize how charmed they are by the other. There is just no mystery to it. Plus Mon-El continues to be a selfish jerk, yeah yeah sure, he helps out here and there, but he has yet to do anything to earn all this affection from Kara. Not only does it cheapen any possible romance between them, it also makes me lose respect for Kara.
Also speaking of Mon-El, this week gave us reason to think he may actually be a Daxam prince. With a cameo from one of the Dominators from the big CW crossover, we saw the horrid alien bow to Mon and declare him too important to kill. Then the big tease at the end shows some sort of bounty hunters searching for him. So either he’s royalty or a criminal/con man who is well regarded by the scum of the universe. Since the latter would be an interesting and original idea … he’s a prince. Not sure how this will add anything of value to the story but we can wait and see.
The main story of the episode involving the abduction and enslavement of earthlings was a fun little trip to space. Though Kevin Smith putting his daughter in the role of the girl Kara is searching for was a little much. And let’s be honest, an extra could have delivered her lines better. I did love seeing The Venture Brothers‘ James Urbaniak as the doctor running the whole scheme. He’s a great character actor with a unique voice. I was only sad he got killed, depriving us of future appearances. Oh and hey Roulette is back! Another great character actress … who barely gets anything to do. But at least she’s still kicking around out there.
Did anyone else get a classic Star Trek feel from that planet they went to? Kara gets to fight a lizard man on a dusty rock planet and Winn hits one with a rock. I got flashes of the classic Kirk fight with Gorn (Google it!). Then the friendly alien they bump into and later bring back to earth (new sidekick?) looked and spoke like the alien from Enemy Mine. Being that Smith is a huge fanboy, I would totally buy him putting these in as nerdy little winks. Add in a Goofus and Gallant reference and Winn even making a red shirt comment, this is definitely a Kevin Smith influenced episode.
Overall I had fun watching this week, though not as much as earlier this season. There were sloppy unneeded plot points but I still enjoyed the journey. We still need less Jimmy and more Snapper Carr, but I see where things could get back to form again. The biggest struggle is for this show to just let itself have fun and stop trying to be so heavy and dramatic.
What did you think of this episode? Tell us in the comments below.