Supergirl 1.06 “Red Faced” Review

How do you write about an alien dealing with the day to day issues of humanity in a way that your viewers, who we can assume are mostly human, can relate to? Well, just ask the Supergirl writers.

Week after week, we’ve flown with Kara through her adventures not only as Supergirl, but as a woman dealing with the everyday problems of today’s world. Supergirl is filled with action, quips, jokes, banter and romance, but their tackling of every day issues is what really makes it shine.

This week dove into an interesting topic: Rage. What happens when the Girl of Steel loses her cool? When’s she starting a family? How does she balance heroing and her every day duties as a woman? Notice anything about these questions? If you’re thinking that no one would ask Superman such things, you’re right. Viewers may not be able to empathize with what Kara goes through as an alien on a foreign planet, but you can bet that nearly every woman in the audience perked up when Cat and Kara went to the bar and started to discuss what happens when women lose their cool. You can also bet every person of color nodded vigorously when Jimmy  mentioned how people don’t take it the best when he loses his temper either.

Supergirl has been hitting nails on heads since day one, but ‘Red Faced’ may be the episode we look back on in the future as the one where the show hit its stride. Cultural relevance aside, we saw some character growth from nearly everyone involved, along with progressing the story in an interesting way.

If you’re a comic book reader, you know that General Lane isn’t exactly a fan favorite. Same can be said for Lucy, but there’s still a chance that they’ll stray away from the more whiny and less useful of the Lane sisters and give us an interesting, layered woman. That hope was given validation when she stood up to her father at the end of the episode, choosing Jimmy and National City over him. Though she had some interesting things to say about Supergirl in the beginning of the episode, we also saw Lucy thank her after the rescue from the Red Tornado. Those who got defensive of Kara in the beginning weren’t alone, but there’s hope for Lucy yet.

Supergirl 3

Joining Lucy in the ‘There’s still hope for you’ camp, is Winn. If you’ve read our past reviews, you know that Winn is the only part of the show I have any issue with. A goo goo eyed, less funny Cisco Ramone just doesn’t do it for me, but Winn has been growing on me these past two episodes. To clarify, I mean the last two episodes in the order that they were meant to air, so Thanksgiving and this week’s. Winn’s still obviously in love with Kara, which is fine, but he’s also had a couple genuinely functional moments, as well as making the audience laugh out loud a few times.

Though Lucy and Winn have been a little rocky, Cat Grant and Jimmy Olson have been solid constants in Supergirl. Jimmy acted once more as solid companion and sounding board for Kara, while getting a few zings on General Lane, and Cat… oh Cat Grant, how I love you.

The dynamic between Cat and Kara has been up and down, but typically ends in Cat acting as a mentor to the young Girl of Steel. ‘Red Faced’ had that mentor/mentee relationship in spades, but their chemistry on screen isn’t the only thing that makes them great together. The two are such different characters that sometimes things bubble over in the way that they did in this episode. The satisfaction when Kara finally yelled at Cat for being mean was palpable. In that same vein, it’s hard to imagine a single viewer who’s heart didn’t swell when Cat defended her assistant to her deplorable mother. The relationship between these two power house women is one I look forward to more than any romance that the writers could bring to the screen.

Red Tornado ended up looking better than initially anticipated, but was still just short of a Power Rangers villain. Watching him in action helped quite a bit, and the rage did lead to one of the most spectacular moments of the show so far. Supergirl learning to channel her rage into that heat vision attack was nothing short of awesome, whether it lead to the depletion of her powers or not.

Supergirl

The Good:

  • Once again, Cat Grant stole the show. The ‘girls night’ with Kara coupled with her defense to her mother was a home run.
  • Heat Vision badassery
  • The writers coupling great story tropes with cultural relevance with rage, and the stigmas between men, women, people of color, etc.

 

The Bad:

  • Cat’s mother made my skin crawl. It was her purpose, I understand, but her existence was infuriating
  • General Lane. Once again, not the fault of the writers, they were true to the character, but I have no other complaints about this episode so felt the need to discuss something here.

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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