Supergirl 1.04 “Livewire” Review

It’s important to note, before we delve into the bulk of tonight’s episode of Supergirl that they chose to air the season out of order in solidarity with France. What was supposed to be tonight’s episode had terrorism overtones, so CBS decided it would be best to hold off. Airing episodes out of order can be detrimental to a show in its early stages, but even with that knowledge, I appreciate what they decided to do.

Now! That important bit of information aside, I thought this episode started off a bit weird. I’m not sure if my DVR just hopped in on the action late, or if the episode really did start with Kara inexplicably fighting a giant in DEO headquarters, but that’s where I started off. That, coupled with Alex’s momentarily unexplained panic, the episode was off to a rocky start.

Once we got our footing, (discovering that Alex was all in a panic because their mother was coming and it was Thanksgiving) the episode got a handle on itself and flowed nicely.

Leslie Willis was a stand up illustration of everything that’s wrong with media whose only purpose is to tear things down. The ‘thing’ that vitriol was directed at was Supergirl, of course. While annoying, this lead into a surprising moment with Cat Grant. Never would I have suspected that Cat would go after Leslie for attacking Supergirl, let alone demote her to traffic, but hey, every supervillain needs a good origin, right?

Supergirl is still in the stage of giving you a real feel for all of its characters, so these early episodes are much more character driven than plot advancing. We know Astra’s still out there somewhere, but for now we have villains of the week. Since we’re still so early on in the story, I’m still okay with that, and their weekly villains haven’t been anything to shake a stick at. Not only have they been formidable, the effects have been surprisingly good for a show in its first season. I may have thought Livewire went down easier than expected, but she looked great while doing it!

Though the episode was titled Livewire, Cat stole the show. Being the Thanksgiving episode, there were a lot of concepts that a character like hers isn’t really built for. It was strange, but refreshing to see Cat caring about Kara, and even Leslie. The best of characters have layers beyond their tropes, and we watched those develop with her this evening. Mothers and daughters was the theme tonight, and it will be interesting to see if Cat and Kara/Supergirl continue with that dynamic. Even if they don’t, keep her for the one liners. “What fresh incompetence is this” has gone directly into my repertoire.

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Along with Cat’s development, we finally learned something about Winn that wasn’t about him loving Kara. That’s refreshing! Daddy dearest is a bad, bad man, and he’s in prison. If you’re a comic book reader, you know that Winn Schott sounds familiar, but in case you can’t put your finger on it, that would be a mister Winslow Schott, A.K.A. Toyman. Now, the question is, is it Daddy who’s taken on that moniker, or will we eventually see Winn fall to the darkside? Currently, he serves no real purpose in the series other than being a less funny/smart Cisco, and his desk is covered in toys. I know I seem hard on Winn, but it’s mostly because I really want to see him become an interesting character. We’re rooting for you, buddy!

Alex had to power through some serious big sister syndrome, which was a little on the nose, but the writers did a good job bringing it around with an alien spin vs the younger sibling simply doing no wrong.   Her showdown with their mother lead to us discovering that dad wasn’t only dead, but died while working with not only the DEO, but Hank Henshaw. Once more, comic book readers know what that means, but since we’ve seen the ominous overtones with him already, I’m considering it spoiler-y and leaving it to you to google if you so choose. That being said, if he’s the reason the late Dr. Danvers is dead, there will be a lot of rage. Also means that he managed to get ‘Superman’ after all.

While we aired out of order, it seems the only thing that’s throwing off the timeline is that Jimmy and Lucy are back together. It’s safe to assume that this happened in what was meant to be Supergirl’s 4th episode, but so far as continuity issues, that’s a small one to be sure. Jimmy’s been my favorite secondary character, but it was nice to have an episode with a little less of him and a little more development of others. With that being said, he still managed to have a couple poignant moments with Kara. Whether you ‘ship it’ or not, it’s hard to deny Jimmy’s importance in Kara’s life. His distinction between ‘How’s Supergirl’ and ‘How’s Kara’ is both refreshing, and really drives home that he spent a large time of his life with another Kryptonian who may or may not have a human moment every now and again.

 

The Good:

  • Cat Grant was gold this whole episode. From revelations about the character, to her protecting Kara when they ran from Livewire, to her fantastic one liners. Grant stole the show this episode, and I loved every second of it.
  • A little bit more information on Winn. He’s still my least favorite character, but at least we’re moving in the direction of future development. Hopefully.Supergirl 3

 

The Bad:

  • The worst song moment I’ve ever seen on television. When Alex and her mother were making up, the song was completely distracting. I rarely have complaints about music queues, but I spent the whole moment wondering why in the world the song was even happening, let alone was so loud.
  • Patchy beginning that eventually evened out to a start that would drive through to the rest of the episode, but the opening scene was an odd choice.

 

Overall, I’m still very much in love with the series. I hope airing out of order didn’t hurt Supergirl too bad, and I’m excited to come back next week. 7/10

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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