Supergirl: Season 2 Episode 1 review – The Adventures of Supergirl
Season 2 has finally arrived, granting Supergirl fans a look at all of the things that we’ve been promised during the hiatus. Mostly crucially there are insight into how The CW will handle the takeover and how Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman will fare. Below you’ll find the answers in our spoiler-filled review of last night’s episode.
We’ll jump straight into the meaty Kal question, which is: is Tyler Hoechlin a good Superman? Going on this episode alone, we’d say yes. Although we still think there’s something about his look that doesn’t make him quite look the part (maybe it’s our Teen Wolf eyes causing the issue) he was pretty much everything we wanted here, from Kal. He cares for Kara, respects her assistance (“You inspire me Kara. I can see the hero within you.”) and takes an interest in her life.
Our favourite moment of his was when he noted: “I really like it when you tell me stories about home… you make it real.” This line was a wonderful touch, as one of the ways that Kara is superior to Kal is that she spent her childhood on the doomed planet and remembers much of it and its citizens. So we like that Kal respects that and desires, effectively, to be told stories by his older cousin in order to make him feel better, which is adorable in and of itself.
To move onto The CW’s effect on the feel of the show, there are a couple of obvious little changes like revealing a whole new DEO base of operations, the sudden appearance of which the dialogue does poke fun at. It’s probably just because the last location was in a cave, but Kara did state “a bat bit me in the last one”. Although this is likely a throwaway comment, the significance of bats in this universe should not go unmarked.
We know that DC have allowed The CW to use Superman, which many thought they’d never relent to, due to the big screen ventures, so would it be that much farther of a step if they allowed The CW to use Batman too? We realise that Kara’s comment is likely not a sly little Batman easter egg, but our point is: don’t discount Batman’s inclusion in the Berlanti-verse just yet. “No”s have been turned into “yeses” before.
The comparisons between Supergirl‘s premier and The Flash‘s premier shouldn’t go unmarked either. Both set up a new yet classic villain in an almost identical manner. The Flash presented Edward Clariss as one kind of villain during the episode, only to heavily imply that he will become (or being heavy associated with) a different villain entirely by the episode’s close – a big DC name: Dr. Alchemy.
The same tactic was used here for John Corben (which is the actual name of Metallo, before he suffered a near-fatal accident that mangled his body beyond repair). Throughout the episode Corben is shown as a rather below par villain who simply uses tech to make attempts on Lena Luthor’s (Katie McGrath, who we were quite surprised to see in Supergirl) life, but by the end of the episode we see a brief scene that shows him being turned into Metallo – again, a big DC name. These parallels have to be intentional on the part of Berlanti and his team.
For those unfamiliar with Metallo (pictured below), he’s a cyborg with a Kryptonite power source, which he uses against Superman. Metallo is firmly a Superman villain rather than a Supergirl villain (although no doubt her and Metallo have crossed paths in the comics). This means that along with Kal’s inclusion we’re also getting the big name villains that come with him. This was made very evident this week by the frequent use of Lex Luthor’s name.
It was directly mentioned that Lex set off an Earthquake in California, then was locked away in prison due to Superman. Lex is also currently incarcerated in the DCEU, but the two ventures are still very separate, with Lex’s shared current location being happenstance (or more likely careful placement by the writers, so that they don’t have to show him or answer the question of why Superman isn’t away fighting him).
This means that other Superman characters (we’re talking about the good side now) are present in this world too, and indeed Lois Lane is also mentioned (not forgetting that Lucy Lane has been in the show before). It’s established that she’s dating Kal and she even phones him at one point. All of this raises the question of whether will they cast all of these infamous side characters. We can see Lois being cast and visiting National City at some point, then leaving after a few episodes. Equally, would it be so out there to have Kara and Kal visit Lex in prison for something? The possibilities are wondrous and we love the potential that all of this brings.
Little surprises this week came in the form of Cat Grant being a little flustered around Clark, which was a nice touch. Also tackled this week was Kara’s decision on who she wants to be (a reporter) and Cat’s “I knew all along” envelope trick. There was also a The Man Who Fell to Earth reference from Kara, in reference to the man in the pod, who we now know (due to news around the show) is Mon-El (played by Chris Wood). Mon-El is actually from the planet Daxam, but we’ll see how the show handles the character.
The show feels a little different, but only in the way that any second season of a show would, with the changes that come along with that. There’s no marked difference in The CW taking the reigns (as least no negative difference) – it’s still as exceptional a show as has always been, and it now comes with the added bonus of Kal El and his surrounding characters too. This was a great start and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the season holds.
Image credits: The CW