Martin Carr reviews the fourteenth episode of Supergirl season 3…
After the enforced hiatus which saw Supergirl disappear off our screens due to a scheduling clash, it is nice to have things back where they belong. Cheesy karaoke, shrink wrapped superheroes and marauding prehistoric animals run rampant in this return to form. Laurie Metcalf who has made inroads with The Big Bang Theory, turned heads in Ladybird and been unappreciated for too long makes more friends here opposite Jeremy Jordan.
Exploding coffins, family revelations, racial table talk and domestic abuse are all touched on amongst bomber bi-planes and flying monkey film references. What these writers have done is continue addressing contentious topics whilst blindsiding young audience members with set pieces, fisticuffs and insubstantial relationship dynamics. For my money the meat and potatoes of this episode reside between David Harewood and Carl Lumbly as Martian father and son. Working well off each other these fish out of water performances bring an emotional honesty, gain gravitas and garner respect from the audience.
Debilitating diseases such as dementia and family conflicts spiralling into domestic abuse are not easily broached through any media. Simple communication breakdown and individual misunderstandings can often lead to a fracturing of those things we hold most dear. In protecting others we can isolate them especially if they are too young and therefore incapable of comprehension. These dilemmas are examined subtly while our interim big bad turns out to be less of a threat than first anticipated.
On the flipside pride can be just as detrimental especially between male relatives, where machismo acts as a subconscious barrier to honest exchanges. These elements more than anything make episode fourteen worth its weight in gold. Metcalf and Jordan work well within the confines of a fragmented mother and son relationship, while their catharsis is all the more powerful come those credits. Elsewhere Benoist, Brooks, Wood and company do the diversionary tactic fulfilling our hero quota while Lena leads with a worthwhile cliff hanger. ‘Schott Through the Heart’ might be an almighty pun and Bon Jovi classic, but there is more than meets the eye here for lovers of big poodle hair and Eighties rock bands. As the homeward journey for season three begins, it might be worth breaking out the wet weather gear because we all know that reign is coming.