Supergirl 1.03 “Fight or Flight” Review

“It’s about saving all of the people!” Is it weird to open up a Supergirl review with a line from Supernatural? Well, tough cookies, because here we are.

‘Fight or Flight’ brought viewers to the realization that it’s not just going to be aliens that Kara is facing. This is a world where all sorts of unfortunate circumstances can lead to all kinds of angry villains. We saw that this evening in Reactron. The world of a hero is so rarely black and white, and when it comes to jurisdiction, well, to paraphrase: ain’t nobody got time for that. Supergirl doesn’t care if they’re human or alien, what matters to her and her team is that they’re threatening the city.

These first few episodes have been about Kara struggling with her identity. She’s still trying to figure out who she is, how she fits, and how to get out of Superman’s shadow. The writers really drove that second part home this episode. There was a point where if one more person told her to call Clark I was going to throw things. Alex drives home a great message though. Clark’s story is already chapters in, and Kara’s is just beginning. This isn’t just a notion Kara needed to hear, but viewers of the show as well.

While I think the writers have done a pretty great job illustrating that this isn’t just a show for girls thus far, the feminist tones are a continued source of glee. They show what feminism is really about. It’s not about the ‘in your face’ people saying they’re fighting for equality when what they really mean superiority. It’s not the people that seek out anything and everything to be offended by. No, Kara really is just looking for equality, and saves her irritation for the moments that truly deserve it. It seems so rare that feminism gets depicted in a positive and accurate light, and the writers really knock that out of the park.

Driving home that equality notion is the fact that they have also made Jimmy Olson flawed. Gorgeous, with a strong shoulder to lean on, but flawed. Too often are the strong men in series’ depicted as just that, strong. No one is just strong. Real people have layers and doubts and fears, and that is illustrated in Jimmy. He made a bad decision this episode, and called for Superman to rescue Kara. He did it with the best of intentions, but it was still a poor choice, and I think that’s fantastic!

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Even though Jimmy made the choice to call Superman, and made all of us facepalm, I would be a complete liar if I said I didn’t lose my mind when he showed up. Kara doesn’t need him there, no, but it was Superman. Quick sidebar on that note: Anyone catch the Bulletproof Coffee reference? Brandon Routh works with them. Brandon Routh was Superman. I screamed. It’s the little things, really. Little thing number two? Perd Hapley. If you don’t understand that reference go binge watch Parks and Recreation immediately.

Sorry, back to the show!

The Danvers sisters working as a team has been a strong part of the delicate equation that makes up Supergirl. It’s not always easy to depict females bickering in a way that doesn’t seem like they’re trying to tear down one of the characters, but Kara and Alex’s relationship has been a wonderful piece of their puzzle so far. With that being said, it will be interesting to see whether Lucy Lane will bring any dynamic other than a romantic wedge between Jimmy and Kara. Though I’m much more interested in Kara hero-ing first, and relationship-ing later.

We close out the show with the Supergirl writers depicting Superman better over IM than Snyder does in a whole film. The kindness, the compassion, the hope. Clark’s other moment in the episode choked me up, but his conversation with Kara had tears streaming down my face. Kara doesn’t need Superman to save her, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t need to hear those words of encouragement from her cousin from time to time. In a single conversation, one that wasn’t even spoken, the writers illustrated his pride in Kara.

Guess it was a job for Supergirl, indeed…

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The Good:

  • Though it’s not mentioned in the body of the review, I loved the one liners this episode. What is a Superhero show without one liners?!
  • Jimmy, Kara, and Alex are all such interestingly flawed characters. They have levels to them, instead of being one thing all the time.
  • Yes, I see the irony of praising this in an episode where the message was ‘I don’t need Superman’, but the thing is, she doesn’t. Sure, he was there because he thought she did at first, but that’s not what made it so great. Honestly part of it was just the fact that he was there, but that conversation in the end was just so perfectly Superman, and so much of what Kara needed from a member of her family. Not another hero, her cousin.

The Bad:

  • I’m having a hard time hopping on board with this character so far. Part of me hopes it’s just because we haven’t seen a lot of him yet? Currently he seems like the less charming Cisco Ramone in the Supergirl universe. I hope that changes soon, because Go Team Supergirl!

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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