Martin Carr reviews the sixth episode of Supergirl, ‘Red Faced’…
Supergirl just got picked up for a full season. With ratings that topped fourteen million and some consistent episodes, this will come as no surprise. Apart from a lacklustre outing in the third week, we have been treated to a fresh and entertaining take on an underrated property. Which bridges the gap between science fiction, secret agent, under cover stuff and geek culture with aplomb.
With unestablished villains early on, writers made sure to cast a charismatic lead capable of selling the premise. Which Melissa Benoist proved be. Neither too self- righteous nor playing it for laughs, she struck a balance that gave others room on screen for development. As a character Supergirl is strong enough but never overbearing. Plus Benoist does a good line in deprecation which means she never uses her looks to detract from story.
Even in this latest episode, there is more focus on character and less on heroic deeds. Whether that’s the fractured relationship between Cat Grant and her mother. Or the more troublesome dynamic created when James Olsen meets Lucy Lane’s military minded father figure. These moments between Kara and Cat combined with the xenophobic attitude of the military, create a backbone to ‘Red Faced’ which strengthens without showmanship.
For this reason I am prepared to overlook Red Tornado, who is clearly an actor under prosthetics. An anomaly who presents no threat and yet proves to be a sly and pivotal plot device. Raising questions about Maxwell Lord again, that pulls focus towards himself and Alex. As well as undermining any power Lane senior had over Lucy, which in turn brings James and her closer together.
field test there would be no fight. Meaning Supergirl would never snap off an arm, giving Henshaw nothing to analysis and no grand plan to uncover. Not to mention those anger management issues, brought to the fore by our drone which Kara must work through. Something that brings her and James closer together, keeping that ‘will they won’t they’ dynamic alive and well.
If anything after all that good work the discovery that a ‘mad scientist’ type was remotely controlling Tornado is disappointing. In an episode which otherwise excelled in keeping things ticking over, this epiphany felt a touch old hat and slovenly. In the light of a full season order this unforced error is hopefully isolated. A sense which is justified by her paper cut in those final minutes. Look with the arrival on-line of a frankly kickass Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer, there has never been a better time to be wear that famed insignia. Here’s hoping that Benoist and company continue making hay while this ‘son’ shines.