Supergirl Episode 3: Fight or Flight Review and Recap


Okay Supergirl, this is more like it. After back-to-back episodes so crammed full of super hero goodness, the makers of the show decided to pump the breaks a bit this week, get down to some character development and give us all a breather. Was this is a good thing or a bad thing? Is it too late? We’ll discuss all that, but as with every recap and review, there be spoilers ahead, so look away if you must.

This episode was all about fleshing out the relationship between Kara and her boss Cat. I find Cat completely unlikable at this point, but I suspect on some level that is the goal of the writers. We get started with Cat getting her interview with Kara, where she of course discovers that her assistant is a Kryptonian powerhouse. But Cat quickly manipulated the interview and took advantage of the bumbling (too much so) Kara and started her campaign against her. Sort of.

This story builds to Cat letting Kara know that she doesn’t think Supergirl is ready to be a hero yet, and until she earns it, she isn’t getting any slack from her. Cat even hints that she will likely need to be bailed out by her cousin Superman. So prophetic. She also reveals in her magazine that Kara is Superman’s cousin, which opens her up to attack by enemies of Superman as well. And that doesn’t take long to happen.

The villain of the week is Reactron, a classic DC villain from the comics. He’s not one of the powerful convicts that escaped from Aunt Astra’s maximum security prison, so after a failed run-in with him, Kara is shocked to discover the DEO wants no part in helping capture him. Kara, in her continued evolution as a hero, decides that regardless of whether her sister and her organization are involved, she has to stop him. After all, Reactron blames Superman for his wife’s death and is gunning for revenge.

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We then jump to Maxwell Lord in his company headquarters working on a new high speed train. If you don’t know who Lord is, he’s a pretty famous DC villain from the comics in the mold of ultra-powerful, ultra-wealthy mogul type that pulls the strings of multiple story arcs. Reactron is seen breaking into his lab in order to procure a scientist to help him repair his suit which was damaged in the fight with Kara. Lord offers himself up willingly to save the life of an employee, and once back at Reactron’s lab, fixes his equipment.

It was interesting here that the writers chose not to reveal Lord’s super powers. They might choose to not include that part of his comic bio, but Lord is a powerful telepath and could have easily just taken control of Reactron’s mind. But you just have a feeling he is planning something much bigger.

In the meantime, Kara has been tasked by Cat to plan a huge part to launch a special issue of Cat’s magazine with her expose of Supergirl as the headline. So there is lots of awkward office banter between them, as well as the introduction of the Supergirl cave, an empty office in the building that Winn turned into their secret headquarters. The growing sexual tension between Kara, Winn and James is on full display as well in this episode, and even though it came across a bit forced for me, was a nice pause from all the action.

The action portion of the show ends with Kara facing Reactron one last time, and with the help of her super squad, she’s able to find a way to defeat him. I won’t belabor this point, but this plot device has become so common in super hero shows that it’s lost a lot of its luster for me. Kara saves the day and starts to build some of the credibility as a hero she wants so badly.

All in all, this was a solid episode. Unfortunately, it was viewed by about half as many people that saw the first two. I’m concerned that it took too long for the show to get to this point, and fans might not come back. I hope that I am wrong, but it’s not enough that the show has to compete with Monday Night Football; with so many series on TV to take up viewership, they need to lure them back now that things are getting good.

Next: Supergirl Episode 2 Recap: Stronger Together

A couple of quick hits that I missed:

  • We see Hank Henshaw with the glowing red eyes again. And additionally he is able to somehow sense Alex is in the lab at the DEO from a distance. This lends some credibility to the theory that Henshaw is going to be the Cyborg Superman from the comics. There had been some speculation that he’s the Martian Manhunter as well. This is what I am hoping for, but this week’s episode gives me less hope of that happening.
  • We are introduced to James Olsen’s ex-girlfriend, Lucy Lane. Yes, that Lane. Lois’ sister. This dynamic will definitely ramp up the tension on that side of the story as well.
  • The Super Watch. Olsen uses his fancy wearable to bring Superman in at one point to save Kara, and in an emotional scene he discusses why Superman gave it to him. I’m fine with him having it, but I don’t want every other week being a blurry cameo when she’s in over her head.