Martin Carr reviews the ninth episode of Supergirl season 2…
Easing us in with themes which include off world slavery, inter dimensional portals and rookie spy anxiety attacks Supergirl continues to be entertaining and progressive. Bringing on board the proven talents of comic book super fan Kevin Smith to helm proceedings, we get a focus on character arc and conflict alongside classic science fiction homage.
Nothing this time round feels convenient. From Mon-El and Kara’s continued exchanges which flit between banter and mild flirtation, to Winn and James Olsen’s bickering over Guardian’s place in the pecking order, these writers are taking no easy options. Nowhere is this proven more succinctly than with the handling of Maggie Sawyer and Alex and their burgeoning relationship. Both actors are selling this with an equal measure of pathos and emotional commitment whilst grounding it in the process. That things are proving to be less than easy give the audience an identifiable couple bereft of super powers beyond a natural coping mechanism. Their dynamic is slowly proving to represent the beating heart of a show weighed down by Kryptonian symbolism.
Elsewhere heavy-handed moral themes merge with Star Trek pastiche and Stargate references to offer up an even-handed tonal balance. However this focus on DEO and off world activity pulls us away from Catco and National City, meaning other human elements become side lined. Benoist, Leigh, Harewood and Brooks continue to be having the time of their lives, in a series which goes from strength to strength but writers should be wary that both elements are equally served. I understand and applaud the decision to take Supergirl beyond the boundaries of National City thereby providing scope and narrative possibility, but these things should be done with care. Likewise when it comes to casting choices including Chris Wood’s Mon-El they have been spot on, but Supergirl needs to be mindful of bringing an overabundance of characters into the show.
That being said maybe I am wide of the mark. It has after all been a good month since last we visited Kara and company over in National City and perhaps my compass is off. There is no doubt Kevin Smith has turned in a solidly acted piece of superhero serial and people appear to be having lots of fun. But my advice still stands as it should for any show of success in these fickle times of the Nielsen; never over egg the pudding. By the way hats off to Silent Bob for the title nod. All we need do now is Google that infamous university campus Q and A monologue on Peter Guber.