Season Two, Episode Two — “The Last Children of Krypton”

© 2016 The CW Network. All rights reserved.

© 2016 The CW Network. All rights reserved.

By Molly Jane KremerIs it just me, or is the CW’s four consecutive evenings of prime-time superhero programming frontloaded with its strongest series in the Monday slot? (It’s okay if you disagree, but I’m totally, definitely, right.) The ratings were phenomenal last week — over 3 million viewers for the season premiere was the network’s highest for that time slot in eight years — and only two episodes in, Supergirl’s sophomore season has already cemented the show as Kryptonian appointment television. Though two of this week’s most compelling characters are saying goodbye (for a little while, at least until mid-season-finale time) they helped give us what is, so far, the best two-part episode of the series yet.

Because the premiere ignored a few series’ mainstays in favor of Big Blue’s visit, it felt very gratifying to hear Alex Danvers literally address it in a stern conversation with her step-sister moments after Kara mentioned she may be considering moving to Metropolis. This show is called Supergirl for a reason, and Superman — while an enjoyable guest star — is not the yellow sun around which this show revolves, nor should he be.

The show has done a fantastic job ensuring the Man of Steel doesn’t overshadow or outperform Supergirl, or make decisions that should be hers to make. As a superhero, Kara remains the confident and decisive powerhouse we’ve watched her develop into over the past year. As Kara Danvers though… well, she still often needs a kick in the pants to figure out what she wants and how to get it. (Which makes me worry now that Cat, one of Kara’s primary pants-kickers and pep-talk-givers, will be MIA for a while.)

One of my favorite things about Supergirl was that Kara’s badass boss was a lady, and I’m disappointed the series will no longer depict a woman in that position of authority weekly. (While soon seeing Lynda Carter as the got-dang President will go a-ways to assuage these wounds, I admit.) We find out more about Kara’s new boss Snapper Carr this week, who we’ll assumedly be seeing as much of as we did Cat last season, and he’s a big bag of no fun. Snapper is very unimpressed by Kara’s candid enthusiasm, and even more unimpressed that Cat awarded her the position simply because Kara wanted it. He’s just an unapologetic, antagonistic grump, and honestly, that’s a letdown after we’ve spent so much time with Calista Flockheart’s vibrantly acerbic Cat Grant.

Snapper has all of Cat’s mean, but none of her good intentions or her occasionally snotty one-liners. (Though I can understand his frustration, as Kara has in truth not earned this job at all, and dammit I guess some opposition to Kara’s oft unmitigated optimism makes sense from a storytelling aspect.) Here’s hoping we see a little light and/or heart from him soon. (Come on, it’s Supergirl, we’re practically guaranteed to.)

More screentime was also given to Cadmus, this season’s new big bad mad scientist cabal, and its still-anonymous “merely a doctor” leader played by Brenda Strong (who I’m just going to call Sue Ellen Mischke until the show tells us the character’s actual name).

It’s odd to see Cadmus so outwardly hostile and villainous, as they’ve mostly been depicted in comics as an agency that would, on occasion, make admittedly dubious decisions in their sciencing. (Fer cripes sake, the Newsboy Legion hung out there.) Though there is precedent for such outright villainy in the Superman and JLU animated series’, there’s definite dissonance in having an organization typically equivalent to S.T.A.R. Labs go on the offense, becoming actively militant. Despite that– with Sue Ellen Mischke putting in a convincing, if one-note, performance — this season’s villains are already far more promising than last year’s whole Astra/Non/Indigo… thing.


“See now, if the bullets don’t work, right… why the punching? Never understood that.” – I really love Tyler Hoechlin as Superman.

Team Krypton was just having hashtag too much fun.” – Kara will never not be a dork and I love it.

Watching Clark Kent walk away is like transcendental meditation: all of your worries, all of your concerns in life, they just fall away.” Cat.

We’re both men without a home. If we don’t preserve each other’s history, who will?” J’onn, to Kal-El, within the majesty of the Fortress of Solitude. (A moment when you realize it’s great to be a comics fan in the world today.)

Snapper: “I don’t like you and I never will, Ponytail.” Kara: “I don’t need you to like me, jerk…guy.” –

A jiffy is uh, a unit of measurement, sir.” – Clark.

BEST MOMENT: Superman and J’onn visit the Fortress of Solitude. Their interactions, both here and elsewhere this week, gave Hoechlin a chance to show a little steel. (Despite what my babblings may often seem to imply, it is in fact acceptable for symbol-of-hope Superman to wear a frowny-face… provided it’s not the only damn expression of his we see.) The scene at the Fortress features the statue’s of Clark’s birth parents, Kelex(!!!), and J’onn speaking in Kryptonian before calling Superman “Kal”. (At which point I had to actually pause the show because of the overwhelming awesome.)

EPISODE’S MVP: Since who knows when we’ll be seeing her again, this episode’s Honorary MVP goes to Cat Grant. This show wouldn’t be where it is either narratively or otherwise without Calista Flockhart’s levity, humor, deeply earned sincerity and justifiable snark. Her final chat with Supergirl on her office balcony was funny and bittersweet without becoming too saccharine. The scene where she told Kara she’s leaving, though? That cloyingly sentimental piano-and-strings interlude in the background was the absolute worst. (Though the callback to last week’s “Dive” speech was legitimately awesome.) Cat Grant, we hardly knew ye, and holy heck I hope they bring you back as often as that “recurring character” contract allows.

© 2016 The CW Network. All rights reserved.

© 2016 The CW Network. All rights reserved.


– Oh, the show’s intro now shows a shot of Tyler Hoechlin as Supes instead of that dopey silhouette. Thank you, CW.

– “Do or do not…” Are we required to have at least one Star Wars reference per week amongst the CW superhero shows now?

– I’m enjoying the slight difference in Kara’s hair since the network switch. It looks a little more… naturally coiffed, and less like she stops to use a curling iron every time she pulls on her big red boots. (Although it still does look like that, a little.)

– Kara. Kara. That is super shady, to invite Clark over for Sister Night. And then fly off with him to go superheroing before anyone could even hit play on that new Veep ep. You are earning every second of Alex’s big blow-up later, for real.

That visual reference to Crisis on Infinite Earths was unmissable, and also unsettling because if they kill Kara I’ll be done with television possibly forever. Yet another one of those moments when I have to pinch myself, because how could we be seeing an homage to the cover of COIE #7 on an actual television show in actual real life?

– That freaky robo-face telling the populace about Cadmus looks a whole lot like The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow’s Gideon.

– Oh man, this Fortress of Solitude scene. That line J’onn says in Kryptonian? Totally a riff on one of Marlon Brando’s lines (as Jor-El) in Superman: The Movie. (And you haven’t lived until you’ve heard our esteemed editor-in-chief recite said line in impeccable Brando-ese.)

– I don’t understand why Supes would be so upset about the DEO having Kryptonite. It seems like such an arbitrary way to give him beef with Martian Manhunter and the DEO; but yes, there does need to be a narrative reason why Superman would keep his distance and hasn’t been around since the beginning of the series. But comics-Superman understood why Kryptonite should be kept as a deterrent against rogue Kryptonians with no other weaknesses; I just wish this Superman could see how much sense that makes.

– Why did it take this long for anyone at the DEO to realize they could track the mole with Kryptonite’s radioactive residue? They said it had been stolen months ago. Guh.

– Oh, and that mole? Probably told Cadmus about Supergirl and Superman’s secret identity.

– Alex’s fight choreography this season has been incredibly on point. I could watch her kick henchman butt for hours.

– Also I would like to see 100% more of Kara catching bullets in midair, please.

– J’onn going intangible and grabbing the Kryptonite from Metallo 2’s chest was just… awesome. One fine day, I hope to enjoy a major motion picture starring these characters half as much as I enjoy this television show.

– Winn is adorably geeky this week; he’s still crazy starstruck to be meeting and talking to and helping out Superman, a perfect POV for the comic-reading audience just happy to see Supes saving people, and with a dang smile on his face. Narratively, it feels right for Winn to be nerding it up at the DEO — seriously, with the way they wrote his tech skills last season, it made zero sense for him to waste them at CatCo — although I already miss seeing Kara, Winn, and Jimmy hanging out in that random office they used as their HQ last season.

– So Jimmy is the new Cat? That’s… weird. But at least he actually got some screen time this week for those forty-or-so seconds.

8.5 out of 10

Next: “Welcome to Earth,” soon.

Before: “The Adventures of Supergirl,” here.