Supergirl S1E2 - "Stronger Together" Review


Now that “Supergirl” has been designated something of a ratings hit, I guess it’s time for me to exhale (a little).

“Stronger Together”, the second episode of the series, premiered in its regular timeslot. The episode takes place a week after the pilot, and Kara is getting used to being a hero. She’s working fully with the DEO, performing rigorous tests to help her out in the field. If any of you have watched The CW series, The Flash, then you’ll remember the episode where Barry is a little bit overconfident about his abilities. I’m starting to get a sense that Kara will be going through something similar.

There’s a massive fire (something about oil and whatnot) and Kara, aka Supergirl, decides that she wants to try and help out any way she can. Of course, she hasn’t taken into account the 12 hours of testing she’s been dealing with, as well as her general inexperience in all things superhero. At first, she tries using her cold breath, but that doesn’t work. Then she decides to move the vessel with her laser eyes. But before she can save the day (which she almost does), she lets oil fall into the ocean. PR disaster! ASIDE: Superman/Clark should have totally taught her how to use her abilities. END ASIDE.

We get our first introduction to Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli) via convenient television interview. He seems none too pleased with Supergirl or Superman, as the latter has brought nothing but trouble to Metropolis. Adding to the list of those not too thrilled is Cat Grant. Supergirl’s latest fiasco, while headline news for the Daily Planet is not delivering anything for her newspapers so she comes up with a plan: an exclusive interview with Supergirl.

I have to say, the chemistry between Kara and James is just off the roof. I have no serious, reviewer insight here, but I am such a fan of real, genuine chemistry between actors. You can really feel it! I also have to say that James said something that I hadn’t really thought about. We all make fun of Clark and his glasses and how it would be so easy to recognize him as Superman. But what’s interesting is that when he puts on the glasses, he’s ignored. It’s very similar to the way Cat ignores Kara. So while Kara is sure that Cat would recognize her as Supergirl, James does mention that she’s already ignoring her now.

And with that, we have our bad of the week. Plastino Chemicals is the scene of the crime. Supergirl is there and we have a flashback of adolescent Kara back on Krypton with her mother. That flashback is actually important to the present as it helps Kara remember the species of the suspect: Hellgrammite. Alex and Kara, with some "light" encouragement from Henshaw, go into a room and train one-on-one. Kara, in full “I’m more powerful than you” mode, doesn’t really see the need for training, but Alex is more grounded and knows that they have no idea what they’re going up against (Kara especially). Kara isn’t ready, letting Alex best her. I like that Kara isn’t ready. She is extremely untested and the second episode has done some following up on a few of the things that happened in the pilot. We’ve learned that Kara really has no idea what’s she doing. She wants to help, but she’s also making a bigger mess at the same time.

Cat gives Kara some advice: work small. She seems to take that message to heart, as she informs both James and Winn (yay for trios!) about her plans. Cut to the baddies, Kara’s aunt is in town and commanding the Hellgrammite from earlier to go out as bait. She’s clearly in charge and the one that the rest of the (former) prisoners answer to. Or so it seems.

But back to fun montages! Kara, Winn, and James make a good team as they go out and do some good for National City. It’s pretty light stuff, but the damage from earlier seems to be mitigated. Kara's learning and she finally seems to understand that she doesn’t have all the answers. The scenes between Kara and Alex are some of my favorites for basically the same reasons I mentioned in the previous review. They’re allowed to argue and fight and just be sisters.

Cat wants that interview with Supergirl and she’s willing to fire James if he can’t deliver. It puts Kara in something of a bind. The DEO is on to the Hellgrammite; they know he has been eating chemicals in order to stay alive. So, they set a trap and he takes the bait. Unfortunately, as they tend to do, things get bad real quick. The baddie shoots everyone and takes Alex. Now Alex is in the “care” of Kara’s aunt.

Guess what? We get some James time! I have to resist the urge to say “Jimmy”. Anyway, he talks about his insecurities, how it’s really Superman who’s doing the real work, and how he wanted to sort of get away from all that. He’s never felt good enough on his own, without Superman and that was part of his reasoning behind moving to National City. And for more backstory, we learn about the famous S symbol through Kara. Unlike Clark, she wasn’t a baby when she left Krypton; she knows more about that world than her cousin. From that we get the title of the episode, which is a Kryptonian motto. Yay for synergy, or whatever!

Things are starting to come full circle now. Before, it was James giving Kara advice. Now it’s Kara’s turn. She wants help, even from Cat Grant. She doesn’t want to be like her cousin.

Henshaw, who initially came off as the “guy who doesn’t like aliens”, is starting to show different layers to him. Naturally, Kara is furious that she wasn’t included in the earlier mission. Henshaw lets it slip that he once has a family; I’m eager to see where that is going and if it plays into his initial reactions to Kara.

Kara has her first (re)introduction to Astra, her aunt. We learn that Astra’s sister put her away. Of course, we only know one side, but this is the second time Astra mentioned wanting to save Earth. Kara is, understandably, shaken at the prospect of another Kryptonian being alive, but that disbelief soon turns to anger and the two duke it out. It’s a nice array of lasers, leaps, and punches as they fight while power lights flicker around them. Oh and lest we forget, Alex can pack a punch too. While injured, she takes on the Hellgrammite and lives to tell the tale. Henshaw and his people come in, with a little help from some Kryptonite, and Astra leaves. She underestimated the humans and wants to know more about the shard that gravely injured her.

Using technology and advancements from her homeworld, Alex and the DEO were able to cull together pieces of artificial intelligence, much like what Superman uses to talk to other Kryptonians. Kara’s mother, though not really her, is there to try and help.

And there we have it! I was waiting for Henshaw to do something, and we get a small, brief flash with his eyes turning red! The plot thickens! It looks like Cat is getting that interview with Supergirl, after all!

The series is starting to get into a groove. I think the show is doing a good job of balancing the procedural elements with the serialized. I’m glad that CBS, while late to the party, came out of the gates swinging; the second episode is evidence of their commitment to the genre.

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8pm Eastern Standard Time on CBS.


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