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TV Review: Supergirl S1E17 Manhunter

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1J’onn J’onzz reveals the details of meeting Kara and Alex’s father, Dr. Jeremiah Danvers, and assuming Hank Henshaw’s identity. Meanwhile, Kara considers confiding her secret to someone new; and Siobhan plots to bring Kara down.

CBSSupergirl bounces around the present and past as we learn the history of Martian Manhunter as well as Supergirl. The episode does a great job of intertwining the two’s history. The show is entertaining filling in some blanks as to the two characters’ history. And the solid about that is that it really frames the two as immigrants trying to assimilate to their new world.

In the present the fallout from the revelation that Hank Henshaw is really J’onn J’onzz is being dealt with and the fact he might be a threat to national security and the objective of the DEO is at the center. The episode really is a bunch of interrogations and the flashbacks. And together it’s all really good with some decent resolution.

There’s also some things dealing with Siobhan who is seeking revenge against Kara for getting her fired. That part of the story is ok, but the bigger is a reveal at the end that deals with her.

The episode overall is pretty decent and very entertaining. It does a great job of diving into the past and giving the characters a more fleshed out background and history. The revelations and small details add wonders to them, but also fills in blanks for us viewers too. The themes explored as well feel relevant and something many of us can relate to.

A solid episode overall that is simple in execution and focus.

Overall rating: 8.3

TV Review: Supergirl S1E16 Falling

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1Kara has a major personality change after being exposed to Red Kryptonite. As her friends and the citizens of National City face a malicious and dangerous Supergirl, Cat appears as a guest on “The Talk.”

CBSSupergirl takes Kara for an evil spin as she’s exposed to Red Kryptonite and while I’ll say the episode is generally good, it also feels like we’ve seen this sort of thing a lot in comics, or even television. The episode has Kara slowly change, and it’s an interesting one that lets actress Melissa Benoist stretch her legs (and her cape) a bit with the character.

The episode has a lot of winks and nods to previous entertainment, and there’s a great nod to Superman’s evil turn in the bland Superman III, peanuts, mirror and all.

But, the episode also feels somewhat original and interesting in that it does a nice inner look about the character herself and what she stands for as a character. That to me is the more interesting thing, and I’d have rather had the episode focus on that a lot more. It’d have been a much stronger episode with that debate, which is really one it’s having with its audience.

There’s some bad with the episode as well. Kara’s moments with James is especially bad and feels like it’ll be handled wrong. Also, I’m not sure how I feel about the events with Henshaw/Martian Manhunter. All of that will depend on where they take both plot lines down the road. Both may be minor bumps where there’s a nice recovery after.

I will say of particular note that I find interesting is Supergirl’s relationship with Cat which has really evolved over the series and is very different, and somewhat original, compared to Superman with Lois or Jimmy.

The episode is an ok one. Not super in any way, but it has it’s touching moments and it also sets up some strife with Supergirl, taking here away from her rather perfect and squeaky clean image.

Overall rating: 8.8

TV Review: Supergirl S1E15 Solitude

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1Kara travels to the Fortress of Solitude hoping to find information on how to defeat Indigo, a being from her past who can travel through the Internet. In the meantime, James and Lucy reach a crossroads in their relationship.

CBSSupergirl does an ok job mixing things together in tonight’s episode which gives us a new villain in the Brainiac spin-off Indigo.

Lets start with the villain of Indigo herself. The character and concept are cool, basically a computer in person form, and aspects of the character look cool, but the costume is just so poor it distracts from the episode.

This is a character that can change her shape and travel through the internet, but there’s seems on the outfit and a zipper on the back…. it just looks really silly.

The episode really focuses on Supergirl walking away from the DEO due to Hank “killing” her aunt, but we all know it’s really Supergirl’s sister. There’s also relationship issues between James and Lucy dealt with.

The James and Lucy spat seems a bit odd, especially since James never shared Superman’s identity, so it’s odd he wants to do that for Supergirl. It’s clunky writing definitely and the weakest spot of the show.

The episode is an ok one. Not super in any way, but it has it’s touching moments and a fun villain in some ways.

Overall rating: 8.8

TV Review: Supergirl S1E14 Truth, Justice and the American Way

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1Supergirl battles the deadly Master Jailer, who is hunting and executing Fort Rozz escapees; at the same time, a second assistant hired by Cat tries to one-up Kara at every turn; James and Kara find themselves in a disagreement over the DEO’s methods.

CBSSupergirl is an interesting episode in that it gets to more of a debate about the ideals of Supergirl, it’s something that hasn’t really come up a lot at this point.

That really revolves around Maxwell Lord’s detention which has just kind of been out there up to this point. He’s been detained, and I myself have been wondering why no one was looking for him, or how he can be detained.

That’s been a big debate here with it outright being called a Guantanamo like situation and that Lord, though evil, still deserves due process and has rights by which he should be afforded.

It’s an interesting debate and dives in to solid discussions. It allows Supergirl to think about what she stands for as a hero. Mixing that with the Master Jailer she has to deal with creates an actual debate along with the entertainment. I want to see more of that in the series, because it’s a deeper look at the character along with the action.

There’s big movement when it comes to personal lives as well. Jimmy wants to tell Lana about Supergirl/Kara, which is the weakest point of the episode as he can just say he’s working with Supergirl and not mention Kara. There’s also the introduction of a new rival for Kara.

The episode is a good one in that it mixes some moral debates along with action. More of this please!

Overall rating: 8.8

TV Review: Supergirl S1E13 For the Girl Who Has Everything

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1A parasitic alien attaches itself to Kara and traps her in a world where Krypton was never destroyed, leaving Alex, Hank and the DEO to fend off a Kryptonian attack without her.

CBSSupergirl takes tonight’s story from a classic story from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons comic, Superman Annual #11 from 1985.

Supergirl is trapped in her mind by a plant sent to take her out of action. She believes she’s living on Krypton with her family, when in reality is she was dying.

This leads to DEO and her friends to scramble to save her. The story is solid in that it really focuses on everyone else and really nails down the fact this is her new family. It’s rather touching.

But, it’s all part of a bigger plot by the Kryptonians on Earth to attack, and I’m not quite sure what their actual goal was. They just kind of attacked.

The episode did result in the death of a pretty high profile character, something I wasn’t expecting.

The episode is a great bounce back from last week’s disappointing adaptation of the classic character Bizarro. It shows they can do it right, which only emphasized how bad last week was.

The bad of the episode is that the fight at the end felt a little forced, and could have been part of a second episode, but it was a good one overall, that shows how good the series can be.

Overall rating: 8.6

TV Review: Supergirl S1E12 Bizarro

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1A twisted version of Supergirl, one who’s the mirror image of the Kryptonian hero, sets out to destroy her national city counterpart. Meanwhile, Kara grows closer to Cat’s son Adam.

CBSSupergirl has some good and some bad in this episode which revolves around a different version of the classic character Bizarro than we’re used to.

And the episode really fails with the concept of Bizarro who isn’t the opposite of Supergirl at all. She just talks in a stilted speech pattern. That’s part of the charm of the actual character. Instead of saying he hates someone, he says he loves them. And that can create some pretty funny moments. Here, we get none of that, just really bad makeup and horrible writing that misses the point.

If you’re not going to go all the way, why would you even give a nod to the character? It raises the bar for fans of Superman and Supergirl, and I’d imagine many will be disappointed for similar reasons that I am.

The rest of the episode is dealing with Kara and her personal relationship, and all of that is very predictable plotwise.

The acting, some of the action, it’s all pretty decent otherwise and rather entertaining. There’s just some big opportunities here that were ignored and thrown to the side. This is an example of why giving nods to the source material can backfire.

I will say that the turn with Maxwell Lord is welcome and nips the worry I had that he’d be dragged along as a younger hipper version of Lex Luthor. That’s not the case, which is a good thing.

I had high hopes for the episode. I expected Bizarro, we just got Supergirl in bad makeup.

Overall rating: 6.1

TV Review: Supergirl S1E11 Strange Visitor from Another Planet

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1Hank is confronted by his painful past when a member of the alien race that wiped out his people kidnaps Senator Miranda Crane. Meanwhile, Cat’s estranged son arrives in National City.

CBSSupergirl has an interesting spin this episode. The majority of the episode doesn’t focus on Supergirl, but instead it splits its story between Cat and her estranged son and Hank Henshaw/J’onn J’onzz.

Both stories really are one in the same in that they are focused on family and dealing with your past decisions or events.

In Cat’s case it’s letting her son go to pursue her career. Through some meddling they’re reunited and it’s rather awkward at times. It’s an attempt to probably make Cat a bit more human, and there’s some tender moments, but something doesn’t quite sit right about it all.

The majority of the episode involves a new threat, a White Alien which we learn is from Mars and at war with J’onn J’onzz Green aliens. We learn his people were enslaved and murdered by the alien. This has him seeking both revenge against the White Alien and at times wanting for things to end so he can return to his family in the afterlife.

This is a bit better as far as the plot, but again, something is off. The story is a but predictable in how it ends and the lines and acting is a bit cheesy.

While the idea of the episode is cool, and it’s great to see other characters fleshed out, the acting, tone, and even some of the special fx, just aren’t quite up to snuff compared to previous episodes. Not all will be winners, and this one is a bit of a clunker.

Overall rating: 6.7

TV Review: Supergirl S1E10 Childish Things

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1Kara does her best to support Winn when he hears that his father Winslow Schott Sr. breaks out of prison. His father looks for Winn for a reason to become like him. Cat offers Lucy a job working at CatCo and Alex asks Hank to use his powers to find out and uncover Maxwell Lord’s plans.

CBSSupergirl takes a bit of a darker turn this episode. The coloring and vibe reminded me much more of The Flash series from the 90s which had a darker palate and vibe.

The episode does a solid job expanding on a lot of the characters that haven’t gotten a ton as the show pivots a bit more to focus on Maxwell Lord’s plan (which you know will be evil).

The may thrust of the story is Winn’s father who turns out to be Toyman. There’s some nice nods to the character in comics and we learn a lot more about Winn. There’s also some solid moments where we reflect on Kara’s family situation. Of course Winn’s crush on Kara is addressed and the series goes where I was hoping it did.

Then there’s J’onn who we learn a bit more about his powers and what he is and isn’t willing to do with them. That’s clearly building and gives us more of the great power comes great responsibility aspect of having super powers.

The final thing is Lucy Lane being offered a job. There’s some solid exploration of women and jobs, with some really fascinating back and forth between her and James. I want more of this in many ways. It’s great in that in gives a lot more depth to the characters and also explores real world issues.

The episode brings the series back with what’s hopefully a long uninterrupted run. There was an episode two weeks ago after a break, then another break, now this. It’s a good episode to set up what’s to come in the second half of the season.

Overall rating: 8.1

TV Review: Supergirl S1E9 Blood Bonds

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1A standoff ensues between the DEO and Astra’s forces also Non kidnaps Hank, while Kara tries to refute Cat’s allegations that she’s Supergirl.

CBSSupergirl returns from its holiday break with a brand new episode that has the DEO and Kara figuring out what to do when Hank is kidnapped.

The episode is a mix bag with Kara talking to her aunt a lot in a boring, predictable way. It has the warm and fuzzy boringness and feels really anticlimactic. The whole situation could have built into something much more, but it just seems to fizzle leading in a direction that’s somewhat predictable.

What is actually good is Kara dealing with Cat thinking she’s Supergirl. We get some solid insight as to what someone like her would keep a job like that. It’s always a good question considering how powerful she is, not like she really needs work, or can’t work for the DEO. The end of that situation is handled really well with a nice twist that makes sense.

What’s really solid is the build of Maxwell Lord which the series has been slowly progressing into a worthy bad guy. It hasn’t been obvious, and what he’s up to isn’t obvious at all. But, this episode gives us more in that storyline than any episode before.

This wasn’t the best episode of the series, but a welcome return to the small screen that has me excited for the latter half of the first season.

Overall rating: 7.8

TV Review: Supergirl S1E8 Hostile Takeover

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1Kara faces off with Astra after her aunt challenges Kara’s beliefs about her mother; and Cat is threatened with being removed as CEO of CatCo after a hacker exposes her private and damaging emails.

CBSSupergirl goes a different route this episode. While there’s movement in the Supergirl/Astra storyline but really the focus is Cat and her being threatened with being fired.

Not only does the episode reveal that Cat has another son, but as she says herself she’s dealing with the “walking personification of white male privilege.”

The episode takes on its girl power theme through this storyline focusing on Cat this go around. It addresses the issues of a woman being the CEO of a corporation. It’s something we don’t see often in a drama, let alone an action series like this one.

The story also feels right at home and natural for the series.

It’s also clear there’s a bigger plot concerning Astra, and we get a taste of some of what that is. Also on tap is Henshaw/J’onn mentioning his powers in a nice wink and smile for comic fans.

Overall, the episode is solid in that while there was action and adventure, it also is very personal in many ways in its focus on Cat addressing a real world issue.

But, with all of that, we also finally get someone being smart when it comes to secret identities instead of everyone being an idiot about it all.

The end fight scene had some good and some bad, but overall much more good than bad.

Treating characters intelligently. Addressing real world issues. Lots of action. This is a solid episode, especially after last week’s excellent reveal.

Overall rating: 8.1

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