Martin Carr reviews the season five premiere of Supergirl…
And so we come to what many are saying will be the last season of Supergirl, which has seen Melissa Benoist cement her place amongst audiences worldwide as Kara Zor-El. Part time Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, full time Kryptonian and cousin to a certain Man of Steel. Beyond that what remains enduring about this incarnation is how savvy showrunners and writers have utilised Benoist’s easy charm to address more topical contemporary issues.
From the early stages of season two having gained audience trust and Nielsen ratings Supergirl started asking awkward questions. In the main these addressed American pre-occupations as well as some more wide ranging topics on a global scale. Superhero shows which had become increasingly outspoken on matters of immigration, personal freedoms and television’s role in that found themselves in possession of a new voice. Narrative essentials were still covered off which required people to fall out, lie and reconcile for dramatic purposes, but Greg Berlanti’s underlying concerns remained contemporary.
So it is after a brief catch up that we find Lena and Kara distanced, National City in powder keg mode and a swift takeover of Catco providing friction for episode one. Tag lined with the title Event Horizon this has nothing to do with the Andrew Kevin Walker sci-fi horror fronted by Sam Neill but rather more about emerging threats. A place where secrets are confined, harmful elements contained and past histories concealed. Chief amongst these heavy hitters is the owner of tech company Obsidian North payed by Julie Gonzalo.
She is sassy, striking and comes on strong with ulterior motives. Feathers are ruffled, J’onn is introduced to an enemy from the past while Lena lies through her teeth and plots without subtlety. In terms of laying the groundwork for a season which promises to pass comment on social media influence, manipulated news content as well as our diminishing need for personal interaction Event Horizon does well. Threads from previous seasons are sure to weave their web through forthcoming events, while Benoist anchors everything with that girl next door demeanour.
With touches of Black Mirror showing their colours in the opening minutes now more than ever it would appear those gloves are off. In a televisual world where cross over shows and meandering twenty three film sagas have altered our way of viewing permanently, it is nice to know that Supergirl has no intention of dropping the ball.