Supergirl S01:E18

Episode Title: World’s Finest

Original Airdate: 03-28-2016

Otherwise known as The One Where The Flash Guest Stars. If it’s possible for two shows to poke meta-referential fun at each other, “World’s Finest” does the job well. It has to be remembered that at one point a crossover between CW’s The Flash and CBS’s Supergirl was never even on the table: producer Greg Berlanti stated that bringing either hero into each other’s respective universes was a pretty big long shot, and yet here we are, 18 episodes into Supergirl’s first season (and a dozen or more into Flash’s 2nd) and both Barry Allen and Kara Danvers trade interdimensional references and powers in one of the “fun” episodes of the series’ run thus far.

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Supergirl S01E17

Episode Title: Manhunt

Original Airdate: 3-21-2016

If you’ve been waiting for some answers to the genesis of J’onn J’onzz’ backstory on Earth, this is the episode for you. If you’ve been waiting for some answers to Kara’s past, from her childhood on Earth and how her destiny was always linked to that of both Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Hank Henshaw (David Harewood), this is the episode for you. If you’ve been waiting to see how Kara handles her sister being dragged off to a clandestine, sinister Government laboratory in an act of rendition, this is most definitely the episode for you.

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Supergirl S01:E10

Episode Title: Childish Things

Original Airdate: 18-1-2015

Family ties. Supergirl has spent the majority of its first season dealing primarily with the subject of family: Kara’s relationship with her Kryptonian lineage, via mother Alura and aunt Astra, as well as her Earthly bonds in adopted sister Alex, mother Eliza (Helen Slater) and father (Dean Cain). Some time has also been spent with Kara’s boss, Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), with hints of her sad emotional history bubbling away just below the superficial surface. Among those we really haven’t spent time with particularly include Kara’s CatCo ally Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan), who comes into focus this episode when his father, the murderous “Toyman”, Winslow Schott Snr (Henry Czerny), escapes from maximum security and comes after his progeny.

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Supergirl S01:E09

Episode Title: Blood Bonds

Original Broadcast Date: 1-4-2015

Blood bonds us all. This motif threads through “Blood Bonds”, the return episode of Supergirl’s début season following the Christmas break, allowing the show to tackle deeper aspects of the character’s mythology. The last few episodes have hinted at things not being quite kosher for Kara’s Kryptonian mother, now represented in her deceased form by the vaguely not-quite-Fortress-of-Solitude hidden at the DEO. The arrival of Aunt Astra (Laura Benanti, playing the dual roles of Astra and her twin sister Alura) brought conflict through opposing views on Krypton’s fate, although initially we were led to believe Alura did a Jor El and gave Krypton a futile message to flee impending destruction – now, it would appear that wasn’t the case, with Astra’s increasingly believable argument that she was the one crying out in warning, only to be imprisoned with her husband, Non (Chris Vance) on Fort Roz, striking a chord with the young Kara. Like I said: appears.

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Supergirl S:01 E:08

Episode Title: “Hostile Takeover”

Original Airdate: 12-14-2015

Hackery and deception. Supergirl tackles two deceptive sub-plots in this episode; the first, a corporate hack into CatCo releases a load of damning information about Cat Grant as a conniving lawyer decides to remove her as CEO, and the return of Kara’s Aunt Astra provides the young heroine with new information about her mother that makes her, and us, question everything we’ve thought to this point. Of all the episodes in the show’s run thus far, “Hostile Takeover” deals with the sense of abandonment for Kara (Melissa Benoist) with as emotional a wallop as we’ve seen thus far. It also drops several bombshells; the most pressing of which is one of the show’s core cast discovering Kara’s secret identity.

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Supergirl S:01 E:07

Episode Title: Human For A Day

Original Airdate: 12-7-15

Trust. When you have it, it’s a powerful ally. When you don’t… well, that’s bad. Following the events of “Red Faced”, Kara’s powers are gone, and both she and her sister Alex (Chyler Leigh) still have issues of trust regarding DEO head Hank Henshaw (David Harewood) and his history with their father. When an earthquake strikes National City, a superpowered alien named Jemm (Charles Halford) escapes DEO custody, and Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli) goes on a PR rampage undermining Supergirl’s lack of presence in the aftermath. Without powers, and facing a crisis of confidence, Kara (Melissa Benoist) and Jimmy Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) discover that sometimes it takes more than super strength, heat vision or the ability to fly to be a hero.

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Supergirl S:01 E:06

Episode Title: “Red Faced”

Original Broadcast Date: 12-1-2015

Control. A well-established trope among the superhero comic fraternity is the constant fear of what happens when heroes lose control of. It’s been a long-running plot device that the comic Batman has a Kryptonite ring hidden in the Bat-cave for the very purpose of stopping Superman should the Man of Steel ever lose control, and need stopping. It was touched upon (very) briefly in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, and now it’s Supergirl’s turn. After preventing a pair of road-ragers from ploughing through a footpath full of school kids, and inadvertently injuring the drivers before being portrayed as an out-of-control menace (by Maxwell Lord, of all people), Kara needs a bit of release from her pent-up anger; taking it out on a recently arrived military creation codenamed Red Tornado.

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Supergirl S:01 E:04

Episode Title: How Does She Do It?

Original Airdate: 11-23-2015

Stretching yourself. The great superhero conundrum – who to save first – blossoms in this, the fourth episode of Supergirl. It’s a classic comic-book plot device: when a vengeful ex-employee of National City’s resident billionaire industrialist and Steve Jobs clone, Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli), goes on a bombing rampage, bringing Supergirl into the fight, she must make the choice between saving hundreds of people on a speeding train, or thousands at the city’s airport. Kara’s romantic interests peg up a notch with the dynamic between herself, fellow CatCo employee Jimmy Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), and Olsen’s ex-fiancée Lucy Lane (Jenna Dewan-Tatum) , and also an infatuated young son of her boss, Cat Grant. Oh, and the penny finally drops – Maxwell Lord is being set up as this series’ Lex Luthor.

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Supergirl S:01 E:05

Episode Title: Livewire*

Original Airdate: 11-16-15

*Author’s note: Due to a major terrorist attack in Paris on November 13, the original episode due to be broadcast, “How Does She Do It?”, was pulled from airing by CBS due to similarities between the plot and the tragic events in France. “Livewire” was intended to be the 5th episode of the season. “How Does She Do It?” will be transmitted on November 23rd.

Family. You can’t choose it, and it’s something that defines us. “Livewire” sees the arrival of Kara’s adopted mother, Eliza Danvers, for more than the début episode’s cameo, which gives us the always awesome Helen Slater. Eliza’s fractured relationship with Alex brings with it a nice little plot twist in Hank Henshaw’s involvement with Supergirl. The show’s always really been about family, and “Livewire” has a focus on this aspect of the franchise (due mainly to its Thanksgiving setting) that is rather touching. Even the episode’s villain, the titular Livewire, finds herself brought into the framework of family in a way that actually gives the normally fractious Cat Grant a moment of melancholy. Okay, it’s not all warm-fuzzies here, but thus far in the show’s run it hasn’t taken this much time out of its breakneck pacing to actually deliver character moments that work as well as they do here.

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Supergirl S:01E:03

Episode Title: Fight Or Flight

Original Broadcast Date: 11-9-15

Foundations. Supportive, solid, grounded; foundations provide strength when times get tough. When the walls fall or the roof blows off, you can always see the foundations to any structure remaining. Supergirl’s opening two episodes have been relatively light on foundational character development, at least in terms of giving the lead cast much more than superfluous angst to handle. “Fight Or Flight,” the third episode in this début season, sees Kara’s foundation-laying antics crank up a notch; fighting a nuclear powered villain is but a sidebar to a fairly hefty character development arcs here, with Kara’s relationships between James Olsen, Winn Schott, Cat Grant, and her sister Alex, finally given some pretzel-twisting shades of grey (no, not like that, you pervert).

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