Supergirl S1E3 - "Fight or Flight" Review


This is the third episode of Supergirl, called “Fight or Flight”. It takes off right where last week’s episode started, which I was worried about. I hate when an episode ends on something of a cliffhanger and then glosses over it. Anyway, Cat gets right into some questions, and Kara does her best to ensure that her boss can’t see her face. She lets slip that Superman is her cousin after Cat asks a slightly sexist question (the show appears far more comfortable actually calling him Superman now!).

Alex is concerned that Kara is telling too many people about her other identity. No sooner does Alex express her concerns that a breaking news story interrupts their conversation. Cat took it upon herself to use Kara’s slip about her relation to Superman in order to create headlines. We soon get our first glimpse at the big bad, Reactron, a Superman villain. He makes his presence known pretty quickly, after Kara saves the day after a pile-up.

The DEO is unable to act because whoever Reactron is, he’s human and out of their jurisdiction. While Cat is busy writing that Supergirl article, Winn takes it upon himself to find the trio (Kara, James, and Winn) a new office for all their heroic deeds. While all this is going on, James sort of lets it slip Superman’s identity to Winn. Kara and Winn want to take on Reactron, but James stresses caution, as even Superman couldn’t best him.

I think the theme of this episode is Kara trying to be her own woman without Superman and what kind of hero she wants to be. She doesn’t want to ask for help from Superman. In the meantime, we get to see more of Maxwell Lord, who you’ll remember made his first appearance last episode chastising Supergirl. Here, he’s in his building letting his workers know that he’s the superior mind in the room. Reactron, however, has other ideas and infiltrates Lord’s company (aptly titled Lord Technologies). His suit has failed (thanks to Supergirl) and he needs more nuclear power. Lord offers his assistance.

With Alex’s help, Team Supergirl (I don’t have a better name at the moment) manages to identify Reactron as well as his reasoning for hating Superman (his failure to save his wife, you know, typical comic book tropes). The dynamic between Cat and Kara is always fun to see and the scene where Kara is reading back Cat’s article (about her) is interesting. You see the generation gap in full display here. Everything the older generations say about “millennials”, a term I despise, is in full fashion. Some of it I agree with, I have to admit. I don’t know if Cat likes or hates Supergirl. Or maybe she’s just about generating money for her company.

Kara is determined to take on Reactron alone, without her cousin’s help. Kara’s attempts to talk to Reactron fall on deaf ears, but she does manage to free Maxwell Lord. The two duke it out for a while, but Reactron gets the upper hand. As she’s about to pass out, a familiar figure (Superman?!) comes to her aid and Reactron quickly flees. Kara wakes up in her apartment and we see a press conference with Maxwell Lord praising Superman and not Supergirl, the one who actually saved his life. The nerve!

Turns out, Superman knew about Reactron because James (still resisting the urge to call him Jimmy) told him. Kara is naturally upset about this, feeling as though this was her battle, her mistakes. If Superman didn’t have a get out of jail card, she shouldn’t either. It only further proves Cat’s point, that she would call her cousin any time the situation got too difficult. Kara and James get into something of an argument, as she believes he doesn’t have faith in her. He tries to tell her otherwise, but the damage is seemingly done.

So, we’re at the party event thing that Cat had planned earlier in the episode for her article on Supergirl. Maxwell Lord is there and I’m getting the sense that he and Cat have some kind of history. Or perhaps they just run in the same circles. Whatever it is, I like it and demand more of it!

Okay, so remember last episode when Henshaw’s eyes glowed red? Well, they did that again tonight and he muttered Alex’s name. She fessed up to helping Kara try and stop Reactron and he goes along with it, which only makes me wonder what he’s really up to.

James and Kara have amazing chemistry. If you don’t believe me, then please (re)watch the scene where they confront each other after their big blow up. I like how vulnerable James is here; he admits that Superman was a safety crutch for him and pushing that button has become like a reflex. While the two of them are having a good moment, Reactron decides that this is the time to come in and bust up the party, demanding Supergirl show herself.

But guess what? James (calling himself Jimmy, huzzah!) decides to distract Reactron in a surprising turn of events. Alex and Henshaw discover a way to stop Reactron by neutralizing his suit with lead. It works. Kara was able to do what Superman couldn’t because she has a team by her side.

After all is said and done, we get our first introduction to Lucy Lane (Jenna Dewan Tatum), younger sister to Lois and ex to James (heavily implied, never said). While Kara is busy being dejected, she talks to her cousin via chat message or whatever that’s supposed to be. Clark likes emoticons. And he still calls James, Jimmy. Kara started the episode wanting to be her own woman and she ends the episode having defeated a villain Superman couldn’t defeat. I like that Clark is proud of her.

Supergirl is really starting to find its groove. The characters are all jelling together and the stories are intertwined. I was afraid that it would be just a procedural without much mythology but I’m pleased to have been proven wrong. I sort of wish they’d cast someone to play Clark Kent/Superman, however. Maybe next season?

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


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