Supergirl Season 1, Episode 2 Recap And Review: Stronger Together


Now that we’ve all gotten a taste of what the creators of Supergirl want from this series via last week’s pilot, this week’s episode “Stronger Together” promised to reel everything back in a bit, creating something of a more linear path. After all, even though I liked the first episode a lot, it was about as “pilot” as a pilot could be. Not that it is a bad thing.

So the show comes back this week, after laying the foundation for what promises to be a lighter, more relatable Kryptonian protagonist with a much more familiar and diverse story arc. Oh, and before I get into what I liked and what I didn’t, be warned, there be spoilers below.

First off, I love the relationship that is being created between Kara and her sister Alex. Making Alex into this badass super agent to be the Splinter to Kara the Kryptonian ninja turtle is a great plot device. It is almost as if the show wants to dangle the notion of dual female leads to see how the audience takes to it. Depending on how it works, the writers could continue to build that or even go as far as to have Alex turn on Kara at some point.

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I also love that time and effort was dedicated to helping Kara be a better hero. She recognizes that she cannot and does not want to be a solo star like her cousin, and so we continue to see the formation of Team Supergirl. Jimmy (James) and Winn will continue to provide their particular expertise for Kara while both quietly pining for her in their own ways.

Another nice aspect of “Stronger Together” is the inclusion of the obligatory smear campaign of Kara after a botched rescue attempt of an oil tanker. And who leads the campaign? Her boss Cat Grant, of course. More on Grant in a moment, but the notion that Supergirl has to learn from her mistakes and back things up a bit in terms of her heroing (is that a word?) is a great tool.

This episode also use flashbacks in such a way to really offer insight into Kara’s backstory. They look to use them more like The Flash, with some finesse, and not as in your face as Arrow. Kara was sent to Earth to keep an eye on her younger cousin because unlike Superman, she had lived on Krypton, and understood it and the notion of aliens because of that.

Superman never lived there, so his understanding of Kryptonian culture is minimal, but she shares a great deal about the notion of working together and how that fits into their culture very well. She even expands on the meaning of the symbol on her costume.

Some might not agree with this next part, but I love that they dropped the Big Bad straight into this episode with almost reckless abandon. That would be Kara’s Aunt Astra, twin sister of her dead mother.

They are still fleshing out exactly what her endgame is, but seeing the two of them battling on screen in the second episode was great for me. This is very different from how the creators handled it on The Flash, but it really works here.

The other aspect of the story from “Stronger Together” is the “Alien of the Week,” so to speak. They really crammed a ton of character development and big picture-type story elements, so it would be easy to gloss over the appearance of Hellgrammite. Props again to the special effects on that character and the rest of the show, but even more props for how they once again show Kara as vulnerable and sister Alex coming in to save the day.

My only real knocks on the episode? First is Cat Grant. She is such a one-note character that she’s almost unwatchable for me. I really hope they give her some depth as the season progresses, but in this episode, as she sets feminism back 50 years by stating that Supergirl has to fight harder for recognition because she is a girl, it just makes me cringe — especially when you consider she’s the leader of CatCo and is heading the smear campaign.

My other knock on this episode was that they tried to overreach. I understand that there’s a lot the writers want to get in, but this episode felt like it could have been 90 minutes long and been a darn good movie. Instead, it all got wedged into one episode, and it just means next week they are going to have to pull those pieces back out and tell some of them again in expanded form, as if it was a second pilot.

Next: Supergirl Season 1, Episode 1 Recap

Oh, and don’t even get me started about the sloppy handling of the potential twist that is Hank Henshaw. That’s for another discussion, but it’s clear he is what who he appears. His glowing Easter Egg and the throw-in cameo of Maxwell Lord seemed forced, especially when added to an episode with so much going on.

Still, this episode gave us much more good than bad, and I can’t wait to see what we get next week.