‘Supergirl’ 1.02 Recap: “You Have the Heart of a Hero”

After a pretty strong pilot episode, the big question going into Episode 2 of ‘Supergirl’ was whether the show would continue to fly or would take a nose dive into mediocrity. Well, not only is this second entry pretty solid, I actually liked it a bit more than the premiere.

As things get underway this week, Supergirl (a.k.a. Kara Danvers) is dodging some surface-to-air missiles. We soon discover that she’s being tested by Hank Henshaw’s DEO organization to test her capabilities. After landing, Kara gets a message from Winn about a major fire at one of the ports in National City. When Supergirl gets there, she’s shown that the fire is very close to a large ship carrying oil. She tries to blow out the fire, which only makes things worse. So, she tries to move the ship instead, and does a pretty good job of it, until her strength cracks the hull and oil spills out into the water. Uh oh.

One of my biggest issues with ‘Supergirl’ continues in this second week. We’re once again treated to a villain-of-the-week. Here, it’s a human/insect hybrid called a Hellgrammite (Justice Leak from ‘Powers’) who basically looks like a human being but has a mouth that kind of opens up like the Predator. Our first sight of him is at a local chemical plant, and we’ll learn a bit later on why he’s so interested in the insecticide DDT.

Kara returns to work at CatCo to find that her boss, Cat Grant (still as bitchy as ever), is pretty unhappy about the bad press that Supergirl has been getting and wants to re-mold her image by doing an exclusive interview with her. Kara doesn’t want to do the interview, but when Cat eventually tasks James with setting it up – at the risk of losing his job if he doesn’t make it happen – Kara relents (though she doesn’t agree to it until later in the episode).

Thanks to a memory of her mother talking about Hellgrammites when she was a little girl on Krypton, Supergirl is able to tell the DEO what kind of creature they’re looking for. While she’s at DEO headquarters, Kara’s sister Alex takes her into a room that’s lined with Kryptonite – enough to take away Supergirl’s powers but not enough to hurt her. She does this as part of a training session to help Kara improve her fighting skills.

Realizing that she has a real PR problem with the general public, Kara enlists the aid of both James and Winn to help improve her image. The two guys listen to a police scanner to monitor all the problems going on around town, and Supergirl flies in to save the day. In a nice nod to the original ‘Superman‘ movie, Kara rescues a little girl’s pet “Fluffy” from a tree. However, the Fluffy here isn’t a kitten, but a large snake.

The DEO comes to the conclusion that the Hellgrammite needs the chemicals in DDT to survive, and the reason he’s been attacking people at chemical plants is simply so he can get to a food source. Hank sets a trap to catch the alien by loading up a truck full of DDT and driving across the city with it as bait. While the plan does draw the Hellgrammite, instead of stopping him, the alien abducts Alex.

By this point in the episode, viewers have learned that General Astra tasked the Hellgrammite to kidnap Alex in the hopes of luring Supergirl to her (although Astra doesn’t yet know that Alex is Kara’s step-sister). Sure enough, once Kara learns that her sister has been taken, she tracks her down and comes to the rescue, only to be shocked to find her aunt waiting for her. Kara always believed that her aunt died on Krypton. Her mother never told her that Astra had been sent to the maximum security ship, Fort Rozz. Astra says something about how she’s not going to let another world die like happened to Krypton, but she reveals no more about her motivations. Whatever they are, they don’t seem to be good.

Astra fights with Supergirl. After seemingly getting the better of her, Hank shows up and drives a knife made of Kryptonite into Astra. She’s not seriously hurt, but it’s enough to make her flee the scene.

Back at the DEO, Kara asks Alex if she’ll train her to be a better fighter. Alex agrees and then takes Kara to a special room they’ve set up that contains an interactive hologram of Kara’s mother, Alura, which Kara can talk to for advice. There’s also a shot of Hank walking past a few people at the DEO and his eyes suddenly glowing red. That can’t be good news, right?

The episode wraps up with Cat getting in her limo to leave for the day when her car is suddenly lifted into the air by Supergirl, who flies it to a secluded location overlooking the city. She tells Cat that if she wants an interview, now’s the time.

While I could have done without another one-episode villain that Supergirl needs to overcome (something that I fear will become a trend on this show… which, honestly, makes it no different from most superhero shows currently on the air), I did like the fact that Supergirl isn’t polished yet as a hero and makes a lot of mistakes. I’m also enjoying the on-screen chemistry between actors Melissa Benoist and Mehcad Brooks. It looks like the show-runners may plan to develop a romance between Kara and James down the road at some point. (Honestly, I don’t think that’s something this series needs.) There are still problems with the series – most notably the Cat character, who needs to show some vulnerability or a spark of real human emotion soon or she’s going to become this series’ most hated character.

Also, those complaining about the almost non-use of the word “Superman” in the premiere got plenty of references this week, so any theories about the show not being able to use the word for legal purposes flew out the window. (Pardon the pun.)

Okay, now it’s your turn. Tell us what you liked – or didn’t like – about Episode 2.


  1. This was a decent episode overall, but the operations of the newspaper make no sense at all. Cat Grant is supposed to be the CEO of a major media empire. She would not be writing articles or doing interviews for one local newspaper. For that matter, her office shouldn’t even be in the same building.

    What does Jimmy Olsen do, exactly? He’s the staff photographer. Shouldn’t he be out photographing stuff? Hard to do that when you hang around the office all day.

      • They’re running breaking news stories about Supergirl. Cat constantly moans about competition with The Daily Planet. Pretty sure it’s a newspaper, though I believe the first episode also had an offhand comment about some online media presence.

        • Shannon Nutt

          I meant to say I though their only print medium was a magazine…it’s a conglomerate, so I’m assuming they run a TV station(s) and a few websites as well.

    • Shannon Nutt

      Also, James’ official position is “Art Director” not staff photographer, which seems more like a magazine position to me than a newspaper one.

  2. What truly saves this new series is the casting of Supergirl, and her (so far) two allies at the newspaper. Melissa Benoist is a natural, the camera loves her, and she’s quickly nailed that humor needed just below the surface. I’m enjoying the gender comparisons as well, as are my female friends. at least for this season, it’s a keeper for me. I didn’t expect to like it.

  3. Bryan

    Even with the “villain-of-the-week” scenarios, I’m still really enjoying this series. As others have said, Melissa Benoist is just great in the role. While she’s in her (not-so) “secret identity” she reminds me quite a bit of Emily Bett Rickards’ “Felicity Smoak” character from Arrow (which is definitely a good thing. 🙂 ) I’ll definitely keep watching….

  4. nagara

    This is the pleasant surprise shoe of the year for me. Can’t give enough credit to the casting of super girl herself. She is perfect for the role.i hope this show lasts.

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