Martin Carr reviews the second episode of Supergirl…
There are so many clever little touches in this second episode that people will be spoilt for choice. Taking the route of a superhero in training, Supergirl’s new throw of the dice shows progression without complacency. Testing speed, control and initiative in the field, Kara displays all too familiar character traits. Over confidence, impulsiveness and a need to enter the fray all rear their ugly heads this week.
Whether spreading a fire with ‘super’ breathe or moving tankers creating an environmental disaster zone, Benoist avoids cliché through charm and perkiness. It gets a little American sit-com when she whips around in a montage aided by James and Winn. But chiefly succeeds in entertaining rather than deviating into whimsy or kitsch. Back history is shared by Flockhart’s stone cold bitch of a boss, while adopted sibling Alex hands out pearls of wisdom.
Mixed in with the formulaic villain this week known as a Hellgrammite are little nods to Donner’s Superman canon. Chief amongst these is an updated fortress of solitude, which comes courtesy of the programme’s resident S.H.I.E.L.D. clone. Set in a room which doubled for an earlier fist fight between sisters, it is a moment harking back to Susannah York and the mighty Brando.
Today’s disaster waiting to be averted involves large amounts of explosive chemical which is simply disappearing. While the kidnap of Alex by this less than formidable foe forces a stand-off. Where Benoist gets to implement the life lessons imparted by sis, when she was getting her arse kicked in the Kryptonite room. As a programme Supergirl is packed with moral threads which stem back to our hero’s growth as a person.
Flockhart, Brooks and Benoist remain the stand out performances for me in this reimagining of a bad idea. As I pointed out last week, Supergirl is not a bad idea just a poorly executed one. Having said that maybe I need not be so harsh. The premise is good and so far Supergirl has proved entertaining. Unfortunately there are already voices of dissent amongst the ranks, suggesting that longevity may prove a problem.
For myself I fail to see what the issue is. After a first episode watched by fourteen million people, there is evidence of a drop. In all fairness any programme that starts on those numbers is going to experience a reduction at some point. Yes the show is formulaic, but let’s be honest things are done well. Characters are the right side of that development line. No one is paper thin and showing it, while Benoist has enough charisma for anyone found wanting. Despite those rumbles in the deep I for one remain optimistic.