Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of “Supergirl.” To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
I’m going to get the bad stuff out of the way real quick here:
With that unpleasantness done, on to what worked.
I’ve been a big fan of how the show has decided to let the storyline of Kara gaining the public’s trust after the red krpytonite run in play out with substantial time being needed. She did some serious damage, and those wounds are going to need time to heal, but it was also immensely satisfying to see the public rally so strongly around her. Was it done at whiplash speed? Absolutely. It didn’t matter in the end though because the scene where the crowd of onlookers run to protect Kara from Livewire’s blasts of energy plays perfectly into the sweetness of Supergirl’s story. The people she has chosen to defend are just as honest and good-natured as she, playing well with the idea of Supergirl seeing them all as lights that she takes with her.
Cat Grant is, at times, the best thing about the show, and while I’m not sure I buy her giving Kara sage advice on how to get James’s attention, I thought the opening scene between her and Kara was lovely. It’s so vastly different than the antagonism she used to direct Kara’s way and whether she’s changed her tune due to real affection or because, like she says, she can see the extraordinary in the ordinary, it’s a dynamic that soars. From the cupcake debacle to her incessant need to have complete control of a room to her boldface confidence even under duress and then her fear of leaving her sons alone, all build a fully realized character.
Oh my word, that charm.
If we could have just had an hour long episode of Barry and Kara being adorable together, I would have been a remarkably satisfied fan. Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin have both always had an easy screen presence on their respective shows, both playing their alter egos with an “aw shucks” attitude and vulnerability that has humanized them despite their heroics. You put them together and you get Kara shouting “yes” and Barry using his speed to get her an ice cream cone, which might be the sweetest thing you watch on TV this season.
The two heroes are almost unfairly meant for each other’s worlds, and it’s a shame that Supergirl couldn’t be the one to travel to Central City, where she would have worked wonders with the tone of The Flash. Even more so than Arrow’s Oliver, Kara is a character who speaks to who Barry is. Barry has even gone through a similar task of regaining the public’s trust after his anger is forced out of him. Their mutual optimism and childlike wonder make for a captivating pair whether it’s while they’re being silly when trying to impress one another, being heroes or – my personal favorite – bonding over shared experiences. For the first time, Barry gets to take on the role of the wiser advocate, who can listen to Kara talk and identify her need to slow down as a hero because it’s a mistake he’s made in the past too. Gustin and Benoist’s scene on the balcony at Cat Co. as the former gives the latter advice is wonderful in its simplicity, working directly off of the pair’s effortless charisma.
There’s a lot that can be accomplished with two heroes as happy to save the day as they are, and if this is the only crossover we get between the two characters, at least it gave them both moments to shine, especially together.
The world of superheros has felt like a dour one as of late when we look to the movie universe, both DC and Marvel pitting their heroes against one another and it’s a refreshing change of pace to see two instead come together and thrive from it. Accepting and even at times in awe of one another’s abilities, the pairing of Kara and Barry is an upbeat one, both living up to the mantle in the episode’s title. They are superheroes people deserve to look up to and take pride in and they are ones that provoke inspiration rather than fear. The episode is unquestionably silly at times and the pacing could have been better, but it’s tough worrying too much when the upbeat energy of both Supergirl and The Flash sweeps you off your feet.