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Supergirl - Back from the Future -Parts 1 and 2 - Review: For the Winn

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*NOTE – The following review may contain spoilers.

I would like to thank Zandarl for the opportunity to fill in for her in reviewing these two excellent episodes of Supergirl. I look forward to contributing to a roundtable she will be leading next week on celebrating the great achievement of the show reaching its 100th Episode. That said here we go, Back from the Future Parts 1 and 2 with Supergirl.

The way people respond to episodes of Supergirl always intrigues me. Everyone has a reason why they tune in each week. And just because an episode isn't about your favorite thing about the show, doesn't mean it's a bad episode. What some viewers fail to see is that episodic television must tell a story stretched out over upwards of 20 or more episodes a season. That means carefully crafted storytelling for the long run and not the quick fix. Kudos to the writers of the Supergirl episodes Back from the Future Parts 1 and 2 featuring the return of one of the show's original cornerstones, Jeremy Jordan as Winn Schott. And a special shout out to David Harewood's deft direction in Part One. He gave us some wonderful moments such as Winn, Kara (Melissa Benoist) and Alex(Chyler Leigh)'s reunion hug, the pure joy and whimsy of them acting like siblings teasing each other and showing shared enjoyment at the discovery of a secret elevator at J'onn’s. There were some nice technical moves in that episode as well such as the extremely smooth transition of Melissa Benoist from Kara to Supergirl at the Toy Convention, and also the great work of all the cast with the battle with the white tigers at Andrea's (Julie Gonzalo)'s presentation at the University. For me, standout moments of the episode occurred with the quieter moments of connection between Winn and Kara and Winn and Nia (Nicole Maines) on the balcony at the newly dubbed Tower.

In these episodes, they gave us not only a lovely reunion story for Winn and his dear friends Kara, Alex and J'onn, but they expertly wove his return into the ongoing Leviathan storyline; Lex's quest for power and immortality; and peeled back another layer of the ongoing Dreamer storyline. There was something there for everyone. Personally, I loved seeing our crazy kids and Space Dad reunion. We got to see how much they've grown in the time Winn had been away, and how much some things never changed. It was moments like the little brother/big sister vibes and teasing between Winn and Alex; the quiet talks between Winn and Kara/Supergirl about their lives and fears; and the genuine affection between Winn and J'onn that made the episodes stand out for me.

Jeremy Jordan gave wonderful performances in both episodes. He was masterful being the evil mastermind Toyman who followed in the footsteps of his maniacal father, and he excelled as our little Winn coming back from the future all grown up. This was a totally different Winn than the one who was ready to run and hide after getting punched while helping Guardian. He is most assuredly not a redshirt. The Winn that returned from the future is self-assured, a husband, a father and every inch a hero. Any doubts you had about that should have been dispelled in the fight sequence at the University where rather than chasing Toyman, he went towards the danger, leaping and firing at the attacking tigers while showing Nia another capability of her powers. A capability she quickly adapted and used in battle. Jordan gave us powerful moments in Part 2 when he entered the mainframe to deal not only with his evil twin but also his father.

The episodes were also very effective in continuing the story of the Luthor family. Katie McGrath and Jon Cryer are having a field day as Lena and Lex, sparring and begrudgingly working together. However different they are on similar paths. They make superb villains for the show. While some will say that Lena isn't a villain, I share some of the textbook qualities that describe a good villain. A good villain – is convinced they're the good guy, has many likable qualities, is proud, deceitful, should occasionally be kind and not just for show, be vengeful, and will stop at nothing to get what they want. How many of those qualities are Lena exhibiting this season? While there's no doubt that Lex is a full-on villain as evidenced by his orchestration of getting the Toyman AI in the DEO mainframe so he can study and use it to obtain immortality he believes he'll need to defeat Leviathan, Lena is being pushed further and further toward that distinction, particularly following her actions in sabotaging Andrea's Obsidian Platinum lenses to force her to work with the Luthors. The further they push the character in that direction the more fulfilling a redemption arc will be, however, they are getting dangerously close to making the character beyond redemption.

This two-part arc had many great elements. Among my favorites were the introduction of the Tower which helps expands J'onn's role in National City; Winn's pep talk with Nia on the balcony where he shows the young super-hero she is on the right path and just needs to have confidence in herself; Winn and Brainy's interactions which gave Brainy (Jesse Rath) a much needed sounding board for the actions he was having to take; Supergirl and Alex in action, as they should be, fighting shoulder-to-shoulder to protect the DEO; Alex quitting the DEO opens up so many possibilities for the character and I'm especially happy for her to have the opportunity to work with J'onn again and last but certainly not least a long overdue Danvers Sisters' couch scene which provided the perfect set up and lead in to the show's highly anticipated 100th episode next week.

Any show reaching 100 episodes is an accomplishment that should be respected and celebrated. The cast, crew, writers, and producers have put in countless hours to reach this prestigious goal. Congratulations to them on reaching 100 and here's to many more. There were so many elements of Back from the Future Parts 1 and 2 that made them exceptional episodes to me. What were your favorite moments from them? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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