Supergirl 1.02 “Stronger Together” Review

The second episode in the long awaited Supergirl series moved us into the growing pains stages of being a hero. Not only did Kara have to deal with the fact that she is going to make mistakes, but she also got the harsh lesson that no matter how much good you do, there will always be critics. It was nice to see the writers move in this direction quickly. While these won’t be the only struggles Kara faces as Supergirl, it’s good to move past the honeymoon stage quickly instead of dragging out the origin moments for too long.

Cat Grant has a line to Kara, touching on the fact that as woman you have to work twice as hard to be taken seriously. This is another moment where the writers are being self-aware, and not just of the real issues facing women. That statement rings true for Supergirl as a series. I could write a four page essay on the hurdles they face being a female driven superhero show, but we’ll keep it on the topic of Kara for the time being.

Supergirl’s writers being aware of what they face, and bringing those acknowledgements forward into the dialogue of the show itself has been one of my favorite aspects of the series so far. A show that is both entertaining and culturally relevant wields great power, and that is where Supergirl sits currently.

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Many writers struggle with having multiple female protagonists. A show driven by women typically ends with those women pitted against each other, but that’s a direction we’ve avoided thus far. The Supergirl writers have been walking a balance beam with Alex and Kara, and they’ve performed beautifully. The sisters have their disagreements, and we see the physical altercation this evening, but at the end of the day, they’re still sisters, and their actions are based out of love and not cattiness.

Speaking of cats, I’m in love with Cat Grant. Before I get all of the comments going off on how bossy she is, just stop. Cat Grant illustrates all of the characteristics shown in a strong male boss of a corporate structure. She’s already been labelled bossy and that other b word, but let’s get something straight: Cat Grant isn’t bossy, Cat Grant is the boss. She knows what she wants, she knows what drives results, and she will do what it takes to make her company thrive.

That love for Ms. Grant didn’t make her being pushy with Jimmy any easier to stomach. He’s quickly become my favorite secondary character. While Grant going after him made me defensive, it was nothing compared to seeing his vulnerable moment out on the balcony later in the episode. It’s hard living in a Super Shadow. It must be even harder to move to get away from it and finding yourself under another.

One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about Supergirl so far is that it’s just for girls, because its protagonist is a girl, and its empowering undertones. For those who have that inkling, let me present you with this line:

“Part of being your own man is learning when to accept help.”

If you came out of that scene and still think that this is just a show for women or little girls, you’re just so, so, so wrong. Though we’re only on episode two, James Olson has been presented as the steadfast shoulder. The one with the experience with what’s happening, and the one who’s given Kara a calm voice of reason. Tonight we saw him struggle with self-doubt and self-worth, and we saw Kara step up and be that shoulder for him.

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That’s what a team does, you see. A team isn’t just one strong voice, it’s several. Several strong voices that support their counterparts when they have moments of weakness. Because, after all, it means stronger together…

We saw ‘Team Supergirl’ form in this episode. Some might think it was a little silly, but the scenes with Jimmy and Winn helping Kara solve little disasters made me light up with joy. Not only was Kara learning how to take on the little things, but Winn and Jimmy learned to work together in at least some capacity. The relationship between the two of them is something I greatly look forward to.

For those who weren’t in love with how little action there was in the first episode, “Stronger Together” delivered. Not only did we see a kryptonite weakened Kara fighting Alex in the beginning, and Alex fighting the bug man, but we got Kara vs. Astra! Two episodes in and we’ve already seen Kryptonian vs. Kryptonian, and it was awesome!

Astra makes a comment that no one could tell she and her sister apart, so it was nice that Kara knew immediately. We also saw some real blood rivalry in the battle. The betrayal that Kara felt came out in her fighting. Not only is she untrained, but she was also acting out of rage until she remembered Alex’s comment to use the strength of her opponent against them.

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Despite Kara coming around on the learning curve, she wasn’t the one who stopped Astra in her tracks. That honor goes to the one and only Hank Henshaw. Comic book readers know what he is to become, and we had a little bit of a hint of that at the very end of the episode. For the sake of those brand new to the Supergirl mythos, I’ll leave it out to avoid spoilers, but suffice to say he was quite enjoyable tonight.

To close off on a great episode, Kara got her very own Fortress of Solitude, of sorts. Watching her see her mother after just battling her aunt was heart wrenching enough, but the writers felt the need to throw in the ‘I ask for a hug’ moment. Rude, writers. Just rude. I was already crying, there was no need to twist that knife! I mean, obviously there was, because it was great, but c’mon!

 

The Good:

  • My absolute favorite moment of the episode goes to the moment between Kara and Jimmy on the balcony. This isn’t just a show for girls, and that moment was such an important progression for the two characters.
  • The overall self-awareness of the series so far. The writers know what they’re facing, and they’re kicking its butt.
  • The character writing. Each individual character has a fun aspect they bring to the show. Special shout out to Cat Grant.
  • “I ask for a hug.” I hate you.

The Bad:

  • Alex calling them ‘my’ parents instead of ‘our’ parents.  Tiny little nitpick, but it was something that I noticed.

 

It’s more than obvious that I’m in love with this series so far. I’m waiting for something to gripe about just so I can give y’all something I didn’t care for so you believe me when I say I’m not just blowing smoke up its butt. 9/10. Loved it.

Amelia Emberwing

Amelia loved many great things as a kid, but Harry Potter and Batman were what really brought her in to the world of fandom. Her tastes are eclectic and she firmly believes that one doesn't have to choose between Marvel and DC or Star Wars and Star Trek. Charities and well developed, strong female characters are the way to her heart, and she survives on a steady IV of caffeine, rants, pixie dust and fangirling.

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