The Girl of Steel is back folks! The third season is here and it feels like a soft reboot for the series. Starting with a sort of dream sequence, something very reminiscent of the Gladiator dream scenes, Kara walking along a beautiful field dragging her hand across the reeds. Only to find Mon-El and some strange lady. Oh wait, thats her mother! Which I knew since I read that Erica Durance was taking over for Laura Benanti but there was little explanation and Kara doesn’t even reference said dream until much later. As much as I enjoyed Durance on Smallville, I will miss Benanti’s performance and the continuity.
Anyway, we then finally got to Kara in a scene many Super-fans will recognize. Kara floating high above the city focusing her abilities to listen for emergencies. This imagery has been used in the comics iconically many times as well as in Superman Returns. This led to the first big action scene of the year, an action-packed car chase between Maggie, Alex and the season’s new villain Bloodsport. A very easy villain to adapt as he has no abilities in the comics other than the ability to shoot lots and lots of guns. So the opening action scene was appropriately badass. A great way to reintroduce the team for new viewers and remind the rest of us where we left things with everyone.
Alex and Maggie are now that couple who bicker over wedding plans and are still adorable. Winn is still quirky and a dork. J’onn is still the surrogate dad. Mostly seems like status quo. So of course that’s when we start getting the rug pulled out. First by introducing the second villain of the season, Morgan Edge. The latest Lex Luthor stand-in, he’s this year’s billionaire crazy person. Max Lord and Lillian Luthor before, now this guy? We’re getting a bit repetitive here guys. Who wants to bet we get actual Lex within the next two years?
But anyway Edge is quick to show his disdain for Lena Luthor and Jimmy and it seems very mutual. Adrian Pasdar plays Edge … that guy gets around! I was just writing about him on Agents of SHIELD a year ago, and of course he was a lead on NBC’s Heroes years ago. I guess with a jawline like that, comic book shows are a must. He’s great at playing a jerk though so he should make for interesting fodder. Though I was surprised that Kara so quickly figures out he’s connected to Bloodsport. No long drawn out reveal of his evil tendencies this season, just right into the adversarial standoff. Cool with me, less filler, all meat!
There was also some quick cleanup of dangling threads from last year. First by saying Snapper Carr is on sabbatical, really guys? Poor dude got nothing in development last year and you write him off with a single line? That’s harsh and I liked the little we got of him last year. Then Calista Flockhart appears on television as the White House press secretary dealing with ridiculous things the president may or may not have done … a little dig at Trump there? Well any Cat Grant is good and hopefully she eventually will make a true appearance and not simply be on TV or Skype all year.
Bloodsport’s plan is nicely tied in with last year’s invasion storyline. Basic plan to steal a Daxamite cloaking device to use on a submarine and attack a Supergirl statue dedication. At said dedication we get introduced to yet another villain for the season, Reign. Reign was confirmed after last year’s Kryptonian cliffhanger but so far we haven’t seen any villainous actions, just a mom using super strength to save her daughter and then have a nightmare of Kara’s mother turning demonic. How she has the same dream as Kara has me confused but with interest piqued to see how this shakes out.
The whole Submarine / Statue dedication sequence is a perfect encapsulation of what I love about this series. It has little girls looking up to Kara as an inspiration. Alex and Maggie have an adorable heart-to-heart while across a huge crowd from one another. They have great chemistry. Then Winn breaking into their comms to declare they’re his favorite couple was a great punchline to follow all the mushy stuff. The action was tense and well done, the music was great, and Kara rising from the waters holding the sub was inspirational. All those feels I used to get from the Christopher Reeve days were here.
The only thing I wasn’t loving was the whole “Kara is super serious and dark now” stuff, which by the time the credits were rolling had been resolved. Having a character start a season being very different and saying they’ve been that way since last season, only to completely resolve those issues is a very cheap television trope. It gives the appearance of a big change to a character while really not changing anything. The tough talk with her and Alex was pretty well done but otherwise it felt out of character for Kara. Plus I know Mon-El is gone but he’s not dead and there was no reason they couldn’t have given him a way to contact her from space. Her reaction just seems to be much bigger than necessary.
Overall though a very good, not perfect, but very promising return for our heroine. With the quick turn for Edge I’m betting on him being around for only the first half of the season with Reign picking up the second half. Last year also started very strong only to falter and dip in quality from week to week. Hopefully the writers read what I and others wrote and realize there is plenty to do with Kara without having a huge fight every week.
What did you think of the season premiere? Tell us in the comments below.