‘Supergirl’ 1.18 Recap: “It Was Our Turn to Help You”

This is the episode of ‘Supergirl’ a lot of you have been waiting for. The Girl of Steel teams up with a certain speedster from The CW. Was the pairing worth the wait, or is this just a desperate attempt to boost the show’s ratings?

After she saved herself from a high-rise fall via her own screams, Winn brings Siobhan to the DEO to find out what the heck is wrong with her. All the tests seem to show that Siobhan is indeed human, but no one is sure where her powers came from. Meanwhile, Siobhan keeps having intense headaches and bursts of pain. She leaves the DEO, but on her way out, she walks past a cell holding Livewire, that electrifying hottie that Supergirl battled way back in Episode 5.

Siobhan shows up at CatCo, and when she sees Kara, she uses her screams to send her flying out a window. Plummeting out of the building, Kara is caught by a blazing trail of light, which slows down and finally sets her down miles outside the city. It’s the Flash! He introduces himself as Barry Allen, and she introduces herself as Supergirl – and the two realize they’ve never heard of each other. “I’m on the wrong Earth,” Barry quickly realizes.

When Kara brings him back to CatCo to meet Jimmy and Winn, Barry explains that he must have traveled so fast he actually jumped to a parallel Earth. Then he goes on to explain the whole “multiverse” theory to his new friends. The four next meet with Cat Grant to discuss the appearance of The Flash. Kara, Winn and Jimmy all simultaneously introduce Barry as their cousin. Cat says doesn’t like the name that Barry suggested because it reminds her of a guy in a trenchcoat who exposes himself in dark alleys. Instead, she dubs National City’s newest hero “The Blur.”

Siobhan goes to visit her aunt, who tells her niece that she’s under an old Irish curse that comes into play when someone wrongs her. The only way to lift the curse is to kill the person who caused the trouble. That means she’ll need to kill Kara in order to get the screaming to stop. Knowing that Livewire wants revenge against Cat, Siobhan feels that a team-up is in order, so she returns to the DEO and shatters Livewire’s cell with her powerful screams.

Kara learns about Livewire’s escape and asks Barry if he’ll help her stop the villain. They locate Livewire and the newly-dubbed Silver Banshee (Siobhan in laughable clown makeup that makes her face look like a skull) in an abandoned warehouse. They fight for a bit, only to eventually retreat. This is actually the only part of the episode that feels overly familiar. The show has a trend of Supergirl fighting her villains two times… once where she gets her butt kicked, followed by another where she figures out how to win.

After the fight, Kara tells Barry all about how she lost the city’s trust due to something that was out of her control. Barry confesses that a similar thing happened to him once and that Kara shouldn’t worry about it or try to fix things. He assures her that the people will come to trust her again over time.

The two villainesses show up at CatCo and take Cat hostage. They bring her outside and handcuff her to a park bench. Wearing some new earplugs that Barry designed to muffle Silver Banshee’s screams, the two heroes arrive and attempt to stop them once again.

While Barry deals with Silver Banshee, Livewire tries to use her electric powers on a helicopter flying by (she has a reason to hate helicopters, if you remember the earlier episode), Supergirl flies in front of it and takes the full force of Livewire’s energy zap. This causes Supergirl to fall lifelessly to the ground. Seeing her in trouble, the people of National City come to protect her, surrounding her body so Livewire can’t get to her. Then, when it looks like Livewire’s going to use her powers against the civilians, a group of firemen save Supergirl by dowsing Livewire with a blast of water from a fire hose. Supergirl’s willingness to sacrifice her own life to defend the people of the city has made them trust her once again.

Both villains are turned over to police custody, and Barry shows the cops how to build a prison that can contain meta-humans. With that wrapped up, Barry has an idea how to get back to his own version of Earth. He figures that if he and Supergirl run as fast as they can, and then Supergirl throws him ahead of her, the extra burst of speed will allow him to slide between universes. The two say their goodbyes and then start running. Sure enough, when Supergirl tosses him forward, The Flash is able to slip through a multi-dimensional portal back to his own world.

After taking advice for how to deal with her attraction to Jimmy from both Cat and Barry, Kara invites Jimmy over to her apartment and actually makes the first move – planting a big, wet, sloppy kiss on him. Jimmy is more than speechless – he falls into a zombie-like state. He turns and exits the apartment, walking away. Trying to figure out what’s going on, Kara looks outside to the streets below, where hundreds of the city’s citizens are marching in unison towards some unknown destination.

The episode ends with Non, who confirms that the mysterious project “Myriad” is now underway.

Prior to this week’s episode, I’d never seen the CW’s version of The Flash, so this was my first exposure to him. I have to admit, I like the portrayal of the character a lot, and actor Grant Gustin has some great on-screen chemistry with Melissa Benoist (far more than she has with Mehcad Brooks). Despite the ending and all the fight sequences, this is one of the more humorous and lighthearted episodes we’ve seen of ‘Supergirl’ and it’s perhaps the most fun of any to watch. I really hope this isn’t the last we see of The Flash in Kara’s universe. I wouldn’t mind seeing them team up again.

For those of you who are regular ‘Flash’ viewers, how did this pairing match up with the episodes you’re used to seeing on The CW? Would you consider this a good Flash story or one of the lesser ones? I’m interested in getting the perspective from the other side. Perhaps someone who’s a loyal ‘Flash’ viewer but is brand-new to ‘Supergirl’ can chime in?

7 comments

  1. Steve

    This was the first Supergirl episode I’ve seen and am a loyal Flash viewer here. Barry’s attitude here is actually more light-hearted than in his own series; here, he’s almost the comic relief with superpowers, whereas in The Flash, he’s more struggling to keep up with his nemesis and to always get faster and protect his friends. I did like the cracks about “a diverse cast on the CW” (the home of The Flash, The Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, etc.) and Barry’s comment on being to the Earth where everyone was evil (which was about a month ago). It was definitely good to see Barry/Flash be able to have a little more fun than some of the more recent episodes and let his humor/attitude come through more and see him solve the problem and make a plan himself rather than leaving it to his crew. The episode was a bit hard for me to keep up with in terms of characters, being completely new to the series, but it was familiar enough. All in all, it was on par with the other crossovers that The Flash has done. I had been wanting to watch Supergirl for a while, and this was the final kick to make me check it out. I’ll probably be setting my DVR for it in the future and seeing how it turns out.

  2. The scripting in this episode was pretty sketchy, to put it mildly. Apparently, the DEO is cool with anyone coming and going from their Top Secret facility now. When Siobhan’s tests were done, they just let her show herself out. For that matter, they learned that this emotionally unstable woman has a superpower they can’t explain, and basically just shrug it off. “No, sorry, we don’t know how this happened. Welp, good luck figuring it out on your own.” She also had no problem getting back in to free Livewire later.

    Kara and Barry were awfully open about revealing their secret identities to one another within 30 seconds of meeting. (To be fair, it’s a running joke on The Flash that everybody knows his identity.)

    The plot in this crossover had no bearing on anything going on in The Flash at the moment. He’s wearing a different suit here, which isn’t explained at all. However, given that he can travel through time, I suppose it’s possible that this Barry comes from a point in the future beyond where the show is currently.

    I could nit-pick some more stuff, but at the end of the day, what’s actually important is that Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin were absolutely adorable together, and their chemistry made the crossover a lot of fun despite its writing problems. I hope the two shows find an excuse to put them together again.

  3. Bryan

    I totally agree about some of the details of the plot (the “not-so” top secret facility/etc …) but these two characters (and the actors portraying them) were just so great together, I’m willing to overlook any faults in the writing. I *really* hope CBS gets around to renewing this show soon – it’s one of the few shows on TV that (for whatever reason) just kind of makes me smile. It’s not groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination, but just a solid, entertaining program.

    • If CBS cancels the show, perhaps Greg Berlanti will make an excuse for Supergirl to cross universes so she can make guest appearances on The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow? He resurrected Constantine on Arrow briefly this season.

  4. Guy

    This was my first time actually watching Supergirl, though I’ve seen the promos for new episodes on CBS all season long and followed the news leading up to its premiere in the Fall. I’m loosely familiar with the dynamics at work on the show as a result.

    I’ve watched The Flash since the very beginning of its existence. Even at its absolute best, I’ve never been quite as enamored with it as many other loyal viewers. There were some truly terrible episodes in the first season as it was finding its legs (as there are on many shows), but most of the cast is pretty great. They’ve held things down when the writing’s wavered, but The Flash has settled into a comfortable groove in its second season. It’s a solid 7.5/10 show for me.

    Context out of the way, this episode was at its absolute best for me when it was most inconsequential. Barry interacting with Kara and Winn (I believe was his name) was simply fun to watch. The heroes’ mutual glee at hanging out with another hero was endearing to see. I could’ve gone a whole hour with the episode just being those character interactions, Barry sprinting out for snacks and exposition being spewed about each other’s worlds. Intersperse that stuff with Team Supergirl helping Barry figure out how to get home and I’d have been all in. Unfortunately, I wasn’t sold because…

    …those villains were weak. Livewire was always so much fun on the Superman animated series when I was a kid. Granted, I don’t have the benefit of having seen her first appearance and therefore don’t know the dynamics at play (other than she hates Cat!), but she was portrayed in a very dull fashion. And why no blue lipstick?! Silver Banshee was worse. Again, I only know what I saw here, despite being aware Siobhan has been a recurring character previously, but, whereas Livewire was just sort of there, Silver Banshee was unintentionally funny. The terrible makeup (that was also just plain makeup she decided to put on in-universe, right?), the 0-60 transformation into evil and the poor portrayal of her powers as a threat to either hero. The moment when she walked out, punched through a wooden rail and dramatically jumped a whole foot and a half to the ground actually elicited an out loud guffaw from me.

    Which leads me to the fights. They were really bad. With this being Flash guesting on CBS vs. his normal CW home, I guess I expected to see more, not less. The Flash does really impressive action/effects sequences for a show on the #5 broadcast network (Legends of Tomorrow too) and, if this episode is indicative of Supergirl, it does them better than it doesn’t excel as much as its smaller network cousins. As good as Flash’s sequences are, it’s never done anything quite as technically impressive as what you see in certain episodes of Agents of SHIELD. They use that Disney corporate synergy money well. I was expecting Supergirl action to be that next little notch above the CW as well. It’s just a small slice for me, though. I’ve seen things that look more impressive than what I saw last night during other promos for this Supergirl. It’s also possible that the poor writing any time the heroes took on the villains led to underwhelming action. Great stunt and VFX departments can’t overcome being told to do boring things.

    Overall, I liked the pairing of Barry and most of Supergirl’s regular cast, but this was not an episode than won me over to weekly viewer status. None of the concerns that kept me from starting in with the show in the beginning were alleviated. Kara’s civilian life comes across more CW-y than any of the actual CW shows I watch. There was a lot of relationship focus as well; not that that’s inherently bad on a show, but it didn’t seem to be natural. Calista Flockhart’s character seemed like she could be grating week-to-week as well. Still, I always planned on trying this show out when it hits streaming services and that hasn’t changed. In fact, I now know there are aspects of this universe I like or finding intriguing. Not a homerun, but not a strikeout either.

    Stray Thoughts:
    – As a fan of Martian Manhunter in comics/animation, I was disappointed I never got to see him in this episode. That character’s presence has been a big part of me intending to try out Supergirl later.
    – I also found the…whatever agency runs that bunker facility to be cool looking. I have no idea what any of that is all about other than them being obvious allies of Supergirl, but the set for that facility was impressive and I like my covert agencies in fiction.
    – Kara and Winn need to come visit Central City on The CW. Both characters/actors had good chemistry with Barry/Grant Gustin and I think Winn and Cisco (one of Flash’s civilian allies) would hit it off.
    – Despite the flaws, if every episode of Supergirl is just the same as this and never better/worse, it’s better than Legends of Tomorrow. Thank goodness for that.

  5. I’v never watched The Flash, but I’ll likely check out the first few episodes. The natural chemistry Kara and Barry exhibited, regardless of attraction, was a breath of fresh air. Frankly, if that type of easy action between the two was more evident with the other Supergirl characters, I’d be a much bigger fan. Kara doesn’t have that rapport with any other character on the show…male or female… and I think it’s holding the series back.

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