Supergirl is back for Season 2, this time on The CW, which means better special effects (potentially fewer of them, but I’m fine with better effects less often instead of weak effects all the time!) and more room for crossovers with the Arrowverse. Let’s dig right in and talk about what went down in this awesome season premiere, like spaceships, helicopters, and romantic hopes.
We start right where we left off, replaying the final moments of season one when a mysterious spacecraft landed in National City. This time, we get to see what's inside (no surprise, since the news broke over the summer): the brilliant actor, Chris Wood, familiar to CW fans from his unforgettable performance as Kai on The Vampire Diaries and his heartbreaking work on the limited series Containment. (Because of the news, we know he's Mon-El, but he won't be identified--or even wake up--within this episode.)
Back at the DEO, Winn is as endearing and hyper-gifted as ever, humble-bragging about having learned Kryptonian. He's so sexy when he's intellectually invigorated.
Cat summons Kara (whom she still calls "Kira") to see if she's figured out her career path. Kara bumbles through a lame explanation of how Marketing might be the right choice because of aptitude tests and earning potential, blah blah blah. Cat is WAY unimpressed and having none of that nonsense.
Kara runs home to change for her first real date with James, and for some reason, she's not feeling it. But we won't be stuck in that awkward situation long, because there is a space shuttle taking off nearby, and of course, it doesn't go as planned.
The launch is major news, so it's on TV not only in National City but also in Metropolis! Mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent sees the broadcast and flies into action.
Supergirl gets there first and starts slowing the shuttle's descent. Superman zooms up to join her, and together, they save the day! It's completely magical to see them together, on my TV, in live action, with great actors and gorgeous effects. No lie, my eyes welled up with tears.
They go back to the DEO to check in, and Superman is a figure of awe, even in a place where Supergirl is a regular visitor. He thanks them for their great work protecting Earth, and Kara rolls her eyes a little, but she’s just giving him a hard time because that's Clark for you--a little cheesy by modern hipster standards, but irresistibly inspiring all the same. Winn is starstruck and babbly. Clark and J'onn are decidedly chilly toward each other.
Kara takes Clark back to Catco for a visit, and Cat is adorable gaga over Clark--actually, it's a little bit like how Winn reacted to meeting Superman. This is how cool Cat Grant is: Being crazy about Clark Kent, yet kinda blase about Superman, is unmistakably cool.
The news comes in from the DEO that the space shuttle was one passenger shy when it launched; Lena Luthor was intended to be among the super-rich adventurers. Because she is Lex's sister and the new head of LuthorCorp, it's time for the reporter to pay a visit and do some digging. Kara tags along but protest a bit too much that she's totally not a reporter. Lena says she wants to do good works and change what the Luthor name means to the world. Kara believes her; Clark, not so much.
Back at the DEO, Alex confronts J'onn over the weirdness with Superman. It turns out J'onn was there when Kryptonite was discovered (J'onn even named it). He and Superman were checking out a meteor crash site together, and Superman was weakened by the glowing green rocks. Understandably, Superman felt pretty strongly that this thing that could kill him should be destroyed, not preserved and entered into the official record so more people can learn about it. J'onn made the total Batman call, reasoning that this may have the potential to protect the Earth from other powerful beings with less benign motives, so Superman’s vulnerability is not the only consideration. Considering we recently had a horde of Phantom Zone-bound Kryptonians menacing Earth, it seems J’onn had a fair point.
Also, oops, it turns out that Lena Luthor was apparently the target of the launch disaster, not its architect. Winn is the clever one who figured this out. Supergirl and Superman go off to protect Lena Luthor as drones are sent to shoot down her helicopter. Once again, we get a completely awesome midair saving the day sequence with both heroes!
The bad guy, incidentally, is John Corben (DC Comics fans recognize this as Metallo, though he’s clearly not yet made that transformation).
Time for another heart to heart with Cat, and it's everything we needed. Cat is the best at the tough love straight talk. She challenges Kara's option paralysis, telling her that she's on the verge of making major changes, and she's vulnerable to a self-sabotage impulse. Basically, you lived a while as a certain version of yourself, and if you make choices, you inevitably change to a new version and have to give up your comfort zone. It's a wonderful scene and a perfect reminder of why Kara looks up to and needs Cat.
(Also, there have been like four scenes about the James and Kara subplot at this point. I'm ignoring them because I don't care. They're kind of boring sidelines in an otherwise awesome episode. Let's skip ahead: She says she's not feeling it and they're better off as friends. He's obviously hurt but mature enough to say they will always be friends.)
There's another attempt on Lena Luthor's life. Superman props up the LuthorCorp building while Supergirl does a quick heat vision patch on some load-bearing structural elements. Alex has a badass throwdown with Corben. Lena shoots Corben, ending the confrontation. Naturally, this is not the end of Corben, because of Metallo!
Kara is finally ready to commit to her true career path. She pours her heart out to Cat about how being a reporter is about truth, justice, and making the world a better place while connecting with others and challenging herself. Cat pulls out a sealed envelope and hands it to her. Of course, it's proof that Cat has been planning Kara's career all along. She even pronounces Kara correctly! Unfortunately, Cat is then distracted by sudden inspiration, and we realize they're sowing the seeds for the plot that will take recurring guest star Calista Flockhart away for several episodes at a time.
Winn is hired on officially at the DEO, and we get a bit of fun as he realizes he doesn't know what to call J'onn. "Hank? J'onn? Martian Manhunter?" "Sir," J'onn instructs him. Their dynamic is going to be great fun.
Clark decides to stick around National City for a while and be with family. It's nice. I’m so grateful for this new portrayal of Superman in contrast to the maudlin, dour movie version we’ve had in recent years. Superman is supposed to be endearing, inspiring, with a smile you can’t help returning and a positive outlook you can’t help believing in. This is a wonderful antidote to the misery of Man of Steel and BvS. Keep up the good work!
Finally, of course, Metallo! John Corben is presumed dead, but he's actually been sent to Cadmus Labs. The wonderful Brenda Strong presses a green button, representing the Kryptonite that will now power him and keep him (more or less) alive. Cadmus, of course, is where Jeremiah Danvers is believed to be a prisoner.
This was an excellent season premiere, and I'm so excited for the new season! I can't wait to see Mon-El's story unfold. The effects, which in S1 were not so stellar, looked amazing in this episode. Watching superheroes fly should always feel like this.
Lets us know what you think in the comments:
What did you think about the season premiere?
Was seeing Supergirl and Superman in action a dream come true?
Are you sad to see Kara and James lose their will they, won't-they dynamic?