In this week’s episode of ‘Supergirl’, Kara fights another cardboard-cutout villain, she’s still having angst over becoming National City’s go-to superhero, and Cat Grant is still a Grade-A bitch. So why do I enjoy watching this show so much? It all comes down to star Melissa Benoist, who is so charming in the lead role that she makes every scene she appears in highly watchable.
The latest entry picks up right where the last one left off. Supergirl has flown Cat Grant and her limo to a secluded location for an interview. Cat’s questions are so aggressive, it makes one wonder how she ever built up the media empire that she did. I mean, seriously, who would submit to a Q&A with her with these kind of questions? Supergirl accidently lets slip that Superman is her cousin and immediately flies off, knowing that Cat has gotten the scoop she was looking for.
Back at work the next morning, Cat tells Kara she’s going to write a big exposé on Supergirl for CatCo’s monthly magazine, and launch it with a big party that she wants Kara to handle the logistics for. While visiting DEO headquarters, Kara learns about a multi-car accident and flies off to assist. After saving a trapped bus driver, she gets attacked by Reactron (Chris Browning), a supervillain with a nuclear generator in his chest who can best be described as an Iron Man rip-off. Viewers will soon learn that Reactron isn’t alien at all, but a human who was subjected to radiation during a nuclear plant meltdown that Superman saved him from… but his wife perished in the attempt. Reactron has blamed Superman for his wife’s death ever since, and now that he knows that Supergirl is Superman’s cousin, he wants to make the Man of Steel suffer by killing her.
Supergirl manages to short-circuit Reactron’s power supply during their battle, so he flies off to an industrial plant owned by Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli). Looking for someone smart enough to re-power his suit, Reactron takes Lord prisoner and flies him to a junkyard base.
At the office, Winn reveals to Kara and Jimmy that he’s used one of their building’s abandoned offices to set up a little headquarters for the three of them to handle Supergirl business. I find it hard to believe that a large company like CatCo would remain unaware of an office being used for this. Nor do I buy that these three could slip away from work for large chunks of time, but viewers aren’t supposed to ask those kind of questions. As Winn shows them the new office setup, Jimmy lets slip that Clark Kent is Superman, so now Winn knows the secret identity of two superheroes.
Winn uses the computers in the new office to figure out Reactron’s location. Supergirl flies off to the junkyard to rescue Maxwell and to get in another tussle with the bad guy. Reactron gets the better of her, but just before she loses consciousness, Kara glimpses Superman (seen only as a blue and red blur) fly in to save the day. Kara awakens back at her apartment to learn that it was Jimmy (with a signal watch Superman gaven him) who sent for help. Kara is pretty ticked at him, after spending most of the episode making goo-goo eyes in his direction.
Kara’s late for Cat’s party, but she manages to make it there and Winn provides Cat with a good excuse for why she was late. (He tells Cat that she was busy autographing all the magazines with a fake Cat signature so they can hand them out.) Kara thanks Winn for the favor and he asks for a dance in return. Meanwhile, Maxwell arrives and asks Cat for a dance, during which we learn that the two had some sort of past relationship. Jimmy shows up to cut in on Winn dancing with Kara (yeah, it’s always the guy with GQ looks moving in on the gal you like at the office, isn’t it?) and he apologizes to her – saying the reason he signaled Superman was because he was afraid of losing her.
Of course, Reactron crashes the party – quite literally crashing down through the ceiling (paraphrasing Lex Luthor: “When will this dummy learn to use the doorknob?!”). It’s the third big battle with Supergirl in this episode, but Kara gets an advantage when Hank and Alex back at DEO headquarters inform her that she can disable Reactron by removing the nuclear core in his chest. She needs to encase it with lead when she takes it out, however, so Supergirl uses her heat vision to melt a lead bust statue and then covers her hand in molten metal. She’s then able to confront Reactron and rip the core from his suit, thereby disabling him for good.
Kara tells Alex that they should celebrate their latest victory over evil by going to the movies together. Alex suggests that Kara should go ask Jimmy out instead, but when Kara gets to the office, she sees that Jimmy is already preoccupied in a conversation with Lucy Lane (Jenna Dewan Tatum). Jimmy says he’ll talk to Kara later, but after she leaves the room, Kara can’t resist using her super-hearing to eavesdrop. She hears that Jimmy and Lucy have been in a relationship, and that Lucy has apparently arrived in town to try to patch things up.
This episode wraps up with Kara getting IM’d on her work computer by Clark Kent, during which Kara gets to thank him for saving her and, in return, he thanks her for taking care of Reactron and tells her to continue the good work. Since Jimmy is preoccupied, Kara winds up having Chinese takeout with Alex back at her apartment. They hear sirens outside, which means that Supergirl is off to save the day once again.
While the series is still following (and will probably continue to follow) a villain-of-the-week formula, it’s at least nice that this week’s bad guy isn’t an alien and has nothing to do with General Astra (who doesn’t even appear this week). We get a glimpse of Hank’s red eyes once again, but what they mean and whether he’s good or evil still remains a mystery. About my only serious gripe with the show continues to be the one-note, boss-from-hell portrayal of Cat Grant. Hopefully, later in this season we’ll discover that her abrasive attitude is just a cover for a wounded soul. In the meantime, every scene with Calista Flockhart is annoying to watch. For an actress getting so much screen time, she’s playing what is easily this series’ most underdeveloped and most clichéd character.
Since the show’s ratings slipped (to the surprise of no one) a bit last week, I’ll be curious to see if they stabilize this week or fall a bit more. ‘Supergirl’ is a really promising new series, and I’d hate for it to be another one-season wonder.