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Supergirl - Stronger Together - Review: "The learning curve"

3 Nov 2015

Now that’s more like it: last week’s Supergirl was all about setting the stage for the series, and in doing so the show made it all about Kara Danvers and her world, making the supporting cast look weak in comparison, being nothing more than broad strokes reciting lines to make the plot move along. This week, however, these characters come more fully fleshed out: they show quirks, they laugh, they reveal some of their backstory, they show new sides of them, starting to branch out from those broad strokes, making this week’s episode way stronger than the last one.

No superhero is made by a day: it took 4 years for Oliver Queen to become the vigilante Starling (now Star) City needed, it took Barry Allen a whole year to figure out his powers to be able to save Central City, so obviously Kara Danvers wasn’t going to do everything right out of the gate.

One of the great things about how the episode plays out both Kara’s hit and misses is how it ties back to all the other characters: as miss Grant says “there is a learning curve”, and I was pleasantly surprised to know that she is aware of the effort women have to put on in order to climb up in life, it makes her more relatable, even if her behavior is still pretty much bitchy. Not only that, but it also ties back with Alex, who had to prove herself in order to become the agent she is today, and Jimmy Olsen reminds us that even Superman had his share of mistakes back in the day.

The main theme of the episode is truth and self worth: proving yourself to others, but also to yourself. Kara spends the whole episode trying to figure out how to be a hero, and I like that she takes Grant’s advice to start small, it makes Kara a more local and closer to people kind of hero, which is the right color for Supergirl; she smiles, she is happy, so she is supposed to be a hero who is closer to everyone, who feels warm.

In doing so, Supergirl proves herself to the people of National City, but also to those around her: more than anything, Kara needs the faith of her sister, establishing it as the key relationship on the show. Last week I complained about their relationship since they didn’t feel so close, it didn’t feel like it worked, but by sharing the same work environment, with no secrets that we know of, suddenly their relationship feels way more natural.

The show is becoming better at developing the show’s mythology, presenting us various uses for Kryptonite (such as a training room or a kryptonite knife), showing us various kinds of alien races and making use of various elements of Superman (like the fortress of solitude). All this is integrated into the show by showing these elements to us, there is not much time wasted on exposition aside from what’s necessary, but most of what we have is seen rather than talked about, even though explanations are still handled, but they don’t become the center of the episode, which shows how the show is being able to handle how much exposition they need.

One big complaint I had last week as that every environment on the show felt disjointed: from the D.E.O to the workplace, to Kara’s superhero life, all of it seemed rather disconnected and merely overlapping. But now each aspect of Kara’s life appears to come together in harmony as they all explore the same theme: through each setting of the show, we can still see how Kara is trying her best to prove herself, which makes all these settings feel closer together than last week, which is a huge accomplishment.

Also very important: the chemistry with the supporting cast shot up on this episode. While last week’s lines felt forced and made merely to push the plot forward, as this week’s centers on a villain of the week, it allows for the plot to take a step back for a while and allow the characters to talk freely and to be themselves, rather than spitting out lines for plot sake’s. This is certainly a major improvement on every single character, from Alex, to Winn, to Jimmy to Grant. All of them are allowed to speak their minds instead of saying that words that will move the narrative forward. And their relationship with Kara, as a result, feel more earnest.

This week’s Supergirl is what I expected the show to be from the beginning: while not the best episode or television, while not great, it’s pretty entertaining and engaging. The acting is way better and the show promises to continue on a more serialized path as it allows Kara to confront her aunt (which I confused with her mother on last week’s review, sorry about that) and to take just a little bit closer look at how she is setting up in motion her plans.

The fight scene was a little bit wanky but that’s something the show is bound to figure out. The best fighting bits seems to have come from Alex, which I’d say has some serious Black Widow potential for the future: even without powers I can see her becoming a force to be reckon with, a superhero of her own based merely on skills and wits, which is one of the things that has me more excited about the show. Having Supergirl fighting alongside a Black Widow-esque agent is an idea of dreams, and it is filled with potential as the relationship she has with this agent is question is of sisterhood.

I like how Supergirl is building a positive sister relationship on this show: last week it didn’t really click for me, but seeing them fight against each other and then side by side, while also talking lightly and serious to each other made their relationship feel more honest and more engaging.

This week, Supergirl took a step on the right direction. It’s like the show learnt its own lesson, “there’s a learning curve” and instead of going big with explosions (though there are a few), the show laid back, started little and delivered a good time. Sometimes taking a step back is best move, and this episode proved it as it became great on its own by doing just that.

Grade: B+
About the Author - Pablo
I'm currently studying Psychology while also writing fantasy books (one already published in my home country, Chile, you can check it out on the facebook icon). I watch many different types of shows, including my favorites Revenge, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time and about 23 more. Currently writing reviews for Once Upon a Time, The 100 and Supergirl
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