Supergirl returns a much darker person in this season three opener for The CW’s superheroine show…
Supergirl fans will surely remember season two’s premiere, which remains one of the best episodes of the show ever. It gave us our first meeting with Tyler Hoechlin’s throwback version of Superman and its was just lots of fun all-round. Season three’s opener was always going to be hard-pushed to top that one, then, but it could have tried to give it more of a run for its money.
Instead, what ‘The Girl Of Steel’ served up was a bit of a by-the-numbers potboiler of an episode, which deals with the fallout of the loss of Mon-El in the season two finale. This would have much more of an impact if we believed for one second that Mon had left the show for good. As it is, Chris Wood even appears in dream form in this episode, so it really doesn’t feel like he’s gone anywhere.
Plus, while Kara’s gloomy spirits are perfectly understandable in this situation, we’re never going to love watching down-in-the-dumps Supergirl as much as fun, peppy Supergirl. Melissa Benoist’s smiley charm is the main reason we come back to this show every week, so to deny us that in an episode that should convince us to invest in another season of the series is a weird decision. This week, Kara was dangerously close to The Flash season three territory, but let’s hope her mood will abate in future episodes.
We also got to meet one of the new villains for this season in this premiere – crooked property developer Morgan Edge. As ever, Supergirl‘s commitment to tackling hot-topic issues is to be commended, as Edge is a sexist, greedy, capitalist interested in perpetuating “fake news” to enhance his own image. It’s really not very hard to see who the show is satirizing here. That said, it might be a little too-on-the-nose and Edge is given precious little nuance. Still, Agents of SHIELD‘s Adrian Pasdar is a natural at playing seedy corporate types.
Elsewhere, there is some decent stuff with the rest of the Supergirl family. Alex and Maggie are engaged, just as Sanvers fans hoped, but the former is having doubts about having a wedding without her father – which leads her to ask J’onn to step in, in a schmaltzy but touching scene. The only trouble is that – SPOILERS BASED ON PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED NEWS – Floriana Lima is dropping out of the regular cast soon, so we know something is going to go wrong here.
Overall, this is a perfectly adequate episode, but Supergirl might have been better off beginning with a big crowd-pleaser and then shunting this character-driven one to episode two.
- Cat Grant is now President Marsdin’s Press Secretary and appeared a few times via TV screens. A brilliant idea that should allow Callista Flockhart to appear more often without the need for her to travel to the Supergirl set in Vancouver.
- Note the appearance by Odette Annable as Samantha Arias, who dreams of a monstrous version of Kara’s mother. What with her super-strength, she’s not as ordinary as she appears to be. Anyone else getting Doomsday vibes from Smallville season eight?
- Speaking of which, this episode marked the debut of Smallville‘s Lois Lane herself, the brilliant Erica Durance, as the recast version of Kara’s mother Alura! Hopefully, she gets lots more to do in future.