Season One, Episode Eighteen — “World’s Finest”

©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

By Molly Jane Kremer. I didn’t realize how intrinsic this brave/bold duo was to my well-being and happiness until I finally watched them team up. This week’s episode, “World’s Finest,” saw the Flash and Supergirl team up to fight Livewire and Silver Banshee, and I can’t remember seeing an hour of television that made me this ding-dang happy, or made me feel this optimistic about the superhero genre’s treatment outside of comics. It’s pure, unadulterated fun, and yes, it’s a new benchmark of the genre. It’s also the third impressively good Supergirl episode in as many weeks: our fledgling series has finally found its wings. (Or, since this is a Flash team-up episode, it’s finally found its legs.)

WHAT WORKED: Where do I start?

I could say that this episode was a soothing panacea for the cynical, soulless, sophomoric slugfest that rampaged through cinemas this past weekend. I could say it was joy and light and full of gloriously platonic friendship, while still delivering satisfying drama and thrills. But I will attempt to communicate beyond superlatives. At some point. Maybe.

The relationship between Kara and Barry is wonderfully devoid of the typical alpha-male idiocy that finds its way into many a crossover narrative. With no posturing present for a tussle before the inevitable team-up, Kara and Barry try to help each other — and everyone around them — as soon as a problem arises. Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl and Grant Gustin’s Flash were already similarly optimistic characters, and their cohabitation of the television screen makes for a level of sweet that would likely render a diabetic comatose. They compliment each other and the coolness of their villains’ names; Barry even gets excited to discover Kara has a sister (like inordinately, adorably excited). They even get normal-human-hang-out time, which (gasp) actually builds and develops their characters. Funny, that.

Barry’s interactions with Winn were just as fun as those he had with Kara, and allowed me legitimate enjoyment in a character I’ve found to be often, at best, problematic. Jimmy and Lucy discussed their relationship and its end like actual adults (where was this maturity a few weeks ago, kids?) and Lucy is so far rocking it as head of the DEO. The episode does a pretty good (and only slightly clunky) job at catching any new Flash viewers up to Supergirl‘s current status quo, with just enough info about Barry for the non-Flash watchers.

WHAT DIDN’T: I’m actually finding it incredibly difficult to come up with something that didn’t work in this episode. The only thing I can think of is the petulant snit of jealousy that Jimmy spent the entire hour in. Though an element of conflict or drama is always necessary in an episode of television, it didn’t need to be so cartoonish and petty. If he and Kara do end up together, behavior like this could make me wonder if he deserves that outcome.

Ok, one more thing: both Livewire and Silver Banshee were not as… nuanced as they could have been. Livewire’s debut is still one of my favorite Supergirl episodes, and I found her nowhere near as entertaining or sympathetic this week. And the show has never made Siobhan interesting enough to even hate, so it’s hard caring whether or not she turns to the dark side. More care was obviously put into the sweeter, cuter aspects of the episode. (Which I am most certainly not complaining about.)


[note: Our esteemed editor-in-chief requested that I “better keep the Line(s) section short”, but please know that I wanted to include nearly every line from the episode.]

Oh, so we both have Mariah Carey. That’s… something.” – Barry.

Barry: “Imagine there are multiple versions of earth, one where, uh, the Nazis won World War II, one where Kennedy was never assassinated–” Winn: “One where all of us are evil?” Barry: “Been there. It sucks.”

All four of you standing there, doing nothing. You look like the attractive, yet non-threatening, racially diverse cast of a CW show.” – Cat.

Silver Banshee: “I figured we could team up.” Livewire: “Like an evil Taylor Swift squad?

I see bad guys love their abandoned warehouses on your Earth too, huh?” – Barry.

Let’s settle this like women.” – Barry.

The Flash: “Think you can keep up, Girl of Steel?” Supergirl: “Oh ho, just you watch, Scarlet Speedster.” NO I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING

BEST MOMENT(s): The best moments in this episode are every moment that Barry and Kara spend with each other. Superheroes battling each other before joining forces is one of the genre’s knee-jerkiest cliches (often, of late, evolving into immeasurable cynicism and obtuse immaturity). Instead of relying on these old tropes, “World’s Finest” ignored them, focusing its energy on two superhero characters simply becoming friends with a shared love of helping people underlying their gleeful interactions. These are two good people who want to do good, and they make it something joyous and undeniably fun to watch.

(But if I had to pick one moment, it would be “the Ice Cream” moment. Benoist’s reaction was bliss. Straight talk: anyone who could make an ice cream cone appear in my hand would automatically become my best friend, too.)

(Or also the Race. Any Flash/Super race in any form will always make my year.)

EPISODE’S MVP(s): Kara and Barry. The two practically sparkle onscreen, their chemistry is so good. And it’s—thank goodness—platonic chemistry, a rare and mystical thing in television. (This means Kara finally has a dude-friend who’s not gonna guilt her about “friend-zoning” bullshit. How novel.) And even through Kara’s worry that she’ll never earn back National City’s trust, with Flash’s help she inspires a whole crowd of people to stand up against Livewire and Silver Banshee. We need to see more of these two together, and we need it as soon as possible.

©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Hi, I’m Barry Allen. I’m the fastest man alive. Also I think that I am on the wrong Earth. I’m gonna need your help.” OF COURSE Barry unmasks and introduces himself within five minutes of meeting Kara. (Note that no one asked the other if they bleed.)

– So. Excited. For magic ice cream. I just want to play that gif on repeat in my brain for the rest of forever.

– Grant and Winn’s interactions are surprisingly delightful, especially in the sciencey-explainy bits. Does make me wish Cisco were there too, though.

– Donuts. DONUTS. I want an entire episode of Barry and Kara just hanging out at Stan’s, geeking about being superheroes, while the staff and other patrons slowly realize they’re literally eating all the donuts.

– Cat wants to call Barry “The Blur”. Now now, let’s not get crazy with the Smallville references here.

– So, Siobhan now has intricately applied makeup, gothy-girl clothes and creepy contacts? They must have made a stop to Hot Topic in the interim there.

– Lucy’s new DEO uniform is badass and looks amazing on her.

– Barry and Kara enthusiastically discussing their baddies is my everything: “Well I have this villain, her name is Livewire, and she’d basically like living electricity.” “Cooool, we have a Rogue like that; we call him Blackout.” And also: “He calls himself Pied Piper.” “That’s a cool name!


10 out of 10

Next: “Myriad”, soon.

Before: “Manhunter”, here.