Supergirl Episode 4 Recap And Review: Livewire


This week’s episode of Supergirl, titled “Livewire,” is unique for a couple of reasons. First, and this might have been missed by some, but this episode was actually aired out of order. This episode was originally intended to air the week of Thanksgiving, with one episode prior. However due to the fact that the episode originally intended to air had themes connected to terrorist attacks on the city, CBS chose to remove it due to its similarity to the Paris attacks.

So instead we got the Thanksgiving episode a week early. Now I haven’t seen the episode that was supposed to run, and I haven’t found anything to indicate when or if CBS plans to air the original episode, but that doesn’t change the fact that “Livewire” was a great standalone episode, and probably my favorite episode all season.

As always, before pressing on, remember there are spoilers ahead. If you haven’t watched yet, then you have been warned.

This week’s episode has endeared me to Cat Grant, Kara’s boss. I’ve made it no secret that I thought she was rather one-note and far too much of a negative entity within the show. This week, as she is faced with an enemy of her own creation (sort of), bent on revenge against her, we see her relationship with Supergirl evolve in a positive way.

The enemy we are talking about is Livewire. An employee of Grant, she is a shock jock who starts the episode vilifying Supergirl on the air. Grant comes to her defense and in turn demotes her to traffic DJ. This is when things go wrong. Lightning strikes the helicopter, and during Supergirl’s attempt to save her, a massive bolt of lightning flows through her into Livewire. This transforms her into a villain who can throw electrical current and manipulate massive amounts of electricity for devastating effects.

But before we get further into that, let’s talk about Thanksgiving. We have Kara and her sister Alex inviting their mom for the holiday, both nervous about how she will react to the news that Kara is now Supergirl. There are some excellent exchanges between the three of them related to Alex and her mom’s disappointment because it was her job to look out for Kara.

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On the Winn and James front, there are no real changes here. Winn still harbors his unrequited love for Kara, while Kara continues to pine for James even though he is with Lois Lane’s sister. We can all see the epiphany coming for her when she realizes that Winn is the man for her and James is just a minute late realizing he should have tried harder.

One side note on that: Winn does offer a great little nugget about his family. When Kara asks him about his family for Thanksgiving, Winn tells her his dad is in prison and is a bad man. In the comics, his dad is a pretty significant villain called Toyman. This definitely sets him up to be a player at some point during the back half of the season.

Back to this week’s baddie. Livewire goes nuts in her attempt to kill Cat, and Kara, of course comes to the rescue. The visual effects on Livewire were great. I am still waiting for the shoe to drop on some crappy special effects, but not this week. Supergirl and Cat team up to lure Livewire out and finish her off as a team. While I still find it beyond absurd that Cat doesn’t know that Kara is Supergirl (or at least that they haven’t shown it), seeing them working together and having Cat humanized makes her a much more endearing character.

This episode might be a big short on shocking moments, but the writers do give us one big one. In a flashback, Hank Henshaw, leader of the DEO is seen arriving at the Danvers house to scoop up a young Kara.

Her foster father Jeremiah negotiates to come work for the DEO in exchange for leaving her alone. Henshaw agrees because Jeremiah offers up all his research on Superman. This is clearly vital to Henshaw, and really lends to the theory that he is going to end up Cyborg Superman later in the season.

Next: Supergirl Episode 3 Recap: Fight or Flight

I love the fact that this episode was able to do so much without including either of the show’s Big Bads. No Aunt Astra, no Maxwell Lord, but things were still paced well and full of goodies. I’m not sure if next week will be the missing episode or if they will just press on, but I am looking forward to seeing where the writers go with the relationship between Cat and Supergirl, as well as more digging into the background of Henshaw and the DEO.