Supergirl continues to grow as a show, and this episode gets to the crux of what it means to be human, and what it means to be a hero. So, filling in temporarily for our fearless leader, here are my Top 5 Moments from Supergirl. Don’t forget to share yours in the comments!
5.) The New Girl
I don’t like Siobhan. In fact, I kind of hate her. And that’s okay, because you’re supposed to. She’s all the catty, manipulative, condescending parts of Cat Grant without any of the brilliant, feminist, wise (and did I mention brilliant?) parts. She embodies everything that women are told they have to do to succeed in a man’s world without any of the experience or success to teach her to be more than that. She is Kara’s antithesis in every way, which can only mean that eventually one will change the other, or one will break the other. All that’s left now is to find out which. And for anyone who’s read the comics and knows what’s on the horizon with Siobhan, can we just revel in that subtle little jab Cat made about “She hasn’t made a peep”? Oh yes, good things are coming.
4.) The Fight
Alright I admit it, it’s hard to make a fight scene look good when flying is involved. In theory, if you can fly, that’s leverage, speed, and power that can all be used against your opponent, so why wouldn’t you use it if you have it? In practice? Well, without the real-life momentum and control, a fight scene with flying frequently looks a bit like a fight scene in space. While the fight scenes have been improving, the fight between Supergirl and Master Jailer takes a huge step forward in this regard. It is gritty, raw and focuses more on melee combat than we’ve seen previously. While we don’t lose the bigger, more dramatic impacts (no pun intended) that Supergirl’s powers provide, by focusing in on a more intimate fight, everything becomes much more real and immediate. This improvement is no surprise considering episode director Lexi Alexander – former female fighting champion and stunt woman – was given free rein to structure the fight scenes as she saw fit, the first time she’d been given the opportunity to do so with a female lead in a fight.
3.) The Prayer for the Dead.
“You have been the sun of our lives.
Our prayers will be the sun that lights your way on the journey home.
We will remember you in every dawn,
and await the night we join you in the sky.
Rao’s will be done.”
A large part of Supergirl’s appeal is Kara’s love for and loyalty to her family. Whether it is her conflicted relationship with her Aunt Astra, her deep bond with her adopted sister Alex, or her ever-changing (but never-wavering) relationships with family-by-choice Winn and James, family bonds are an inescapable part of this show. Melissa Benoist has proven time and again her ability to tug on our heartstrings, and her invocation of the Prayer for the Dead is as heartbreaking as you would expect. Her performance in this scene is full of all the pain and regret that comes with losing someone before you have had a chance to reconcile, but is also filled with love and a reverence for the ritual of farewell that is uncommon among any but the truly devout.
2.) The wisdom of Cat Grant
I have a serious obsession with Supergirl’s Cat Grant (moment number 5 may have clued you in to that a little). At first glance, I was certain I was going to hate her. She was waspish, callous, hard; she seemed to value power more than people, and didn’t hesitate to do whatever it took to get what she wanted. But Cat Grant is so very much more layered that she looked at first glance. She manages to be open without being vulnerable and brutally honest without being cruel. We’ve seen it before with Kara, and tonight we see it with James. Cat opens up about an ethical dilemma she faced (and failed) early on in her reporting career. And despite the deadly consequences of her choice – and her absolute acceptance of her complicity in the situation – Calista Flockhart’s performance never once wavers in the strength, dignity, or determination that is iconic for Cat Grant.
1.) Jimminy Olsen
It’s hard not to like Mehcad Brook’s all-grown-up portrayal of James Olsen. He is compassionate, thought-provoking, and Mehcad brilliantly acts the complex layers of a man who is trying to understand his own heart and mind. Someone who can idolize someone, love them, and stand up to them all at the same time. Mehcad and Melissa are given a beautifully scripted scene that explores the question at the heart of this episode: what does being a hero really mean, and how do you know the difference between yourself and your enemy? It is quite possibly the best scene these two actors have shared to date, and seeing Kara struggle with the all-too-human decision between what one can do and what one should do just makes you love her all the more
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Also, she is not always blue.
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