Yes, even superheroes celebrate Thanksgiving in America, and that’s what viewers are treated to in this week’s episode of ‘Supergirl’. Helen Slater guest stars as Kara’s foster mother, Eliza. And because no entry would be complete without a new supervillain, this time around Supergirl is in for a real shock.
Before we get into this week’s storyline, many of you may be wondering why we’ve labeled this the fifth episode of the season instead of the fourth. Due to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, CBS decided to delay the actual fourth episode (which featured a storyline about bombings) with what was to be next week’s Thanksgiving episode. Next week, the network plans to air the episode that was originally supposed to debut this week. So if the ongoing storylines don’t quite sync up or are a bit confusing, now you’ll know why.
Fortunately, the only apparent story aspect that we seem to have missed by skipping an episode is the fact that Jimmy Olsen is back together with girlfriend Lucy Lane. This week, they spend their Thanksgiving out of town. We’ll find out next week if we missed anything else particularly important, but if we did, it didn’t have a whole lot of impact here.
The episode begins with a little fun but inconsequential action, when Supergirl stops an alien from escaping the DEO. Flying back to her apartment, she finds Alex panicked about their mom coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. Mom has always been critical of Alex, and sure enough, when Eliza arrives she supports Kara but blames Alex for allowing her to become Supergirl.
A CatCo radio DJ named Leslie Willis (Brit Morgan) tells National City what she’s not thankful for this year: Supergirl. She gives a pretty good rant about her over the airwaves, questioning just about everything about her – including her sexuality. Cat calls (pardon the pun) Leslie into her office and tells her that Supergirl is off the table when it comes to people she can criticize. Leslie points out that she has a rock-solid contract and can’t be fired. Cat says she’s right about that. Instead of getting fired, she’s now going to be doing traffic reports from the company chopper.
Leslie’s first helicopter ride happens during a pretty bad thunderstorm. The chopper has a mechanical failure and Supergirl needs to go rescue her. However, when she takes Leslie’s hand to help her, Supergirl gets struck by lightning at the same time, causing a surge to go through Leslie as well. She’s taken to the hospital and falls into a coma. The lightning strike has turned her hair from blonde into a white and light blue mix (which I’ll confess, looks pretty hot). Not long afterward, Leslie wakes up and sneaks out of the hospital. After being hit on by a creepy guy in an alley (where all creepy guys hang out), she discovers that she has new powers. She zaps the guy with a bolt of electricity. Now calling herself “Livewire” (also the title of this episode), she can also turn her body into pure electricity and travel through any active current.
It’s Thanksgiving dinner at Kara’s place, and the most notable absentee is Kara’s foster dad, Jeremiah (Dean Cain), whom we only see in flashbacks. Is he dead? Has he divorced Eliza? Viewers will learn his fate (maybe!) in the final scene. Winn has been invited for Thanksgiving as well, and he’s just about to tell how thankful he is for Kara when that bastard Jimmy Olsen calls and Kara goes running out of the room like a giddy little schoolgirl. I’m definitely Team Winn when it comes to this romance triangle. How about the rest of you?
The episode features a number of flashbacks that deal with Kara and Alex when they were kids. The sisters sneak out of the house one night so Kara can take Alex flying. They get caught by Mom and Dad when they return. Even in the past, Eliza was much harder on Alex than on Kara. Suddenly, there’s a knock at the door and Eliza and Jeremiah send the kids upstairs (with a promise from Kara that she won’t use her super-hearing). Who’s at the door? None other than Hank Henshaw!
Back in the present, Kara gets a call from Cat to come to the office. Her computer is down and no one else is available to look at it on Thanksgiving. (Cat doesn’t even have a clue that Winn works for her, sadly.) While there, Livewire attacks them and Cat almost gets killed when the elevator she’s in plunges, but Supergirl saves her. Cat suggests to Supergirl that she can lure Livewire to a certain location for them to face off again, and Supergirl agrees to her plan.
Speaking of Cat, while she’s still pretty hard-nosed, the show-runners finally allow her to show a softer side. When Kara talks to her about her family this week, Cat confesses that she’s had issues with her own mother as well. (I’m calling it now – we’ll see someone like Candice Bergen playing Cat’s mom in a future episode.) When she learns that Kara’s real parents are dead (Kara tells her they died in a fire, which is half-true), she starts to warm up to her… but not too much.
Of course, Supergirl and Livewire face off again in a big fight at the conclusion of the episode. Just when it looks like Supergirl is down for the count, she notices a water line and turns the hoses on Livewire. Gee, you would have thought the idea of dousing her with water would have come up a whole lot earlier. Anyway, Livewire is defeated, but not dead – leaving the possibility open that we’ll see her again down the road. (Of all the villains we’ve seen on ‘Supergirl’ so far, I have to confess that Livewire is my favorite.)
The episode wraps up with another flashback where we learn what happened to Jeremiah Danvers. It seems that Hank wanted to take Kara away as a young girl to study her, but Jeremiah was having none of it. Instead, he offers to work for the DEO and supply them with everything he’s learned about Superman over the years. Hank agrees. So, as Eliza explains to her daughters, their father never died in a plane crash (this is the first viewers have heard of this, unless it was part of the yet-to-be-seen Episode 4), but he died while working for Hank Henshaw at the DEO. Kara and Alex make a pact that they’re going to find out what really happened to their dad. (Another prediction: he’s still alive!)
I really liked this episode. It might be my favorite of the four that have aired. There’s a lot of character building here, particularly for Alex and Cat, while still delivering the action that fans expect to see in each one of these entries.
‘Supergirl’ took another dive in the ratings last week. While it’s still pulling in decent numbers considering its time slot, it’s no longer the big hit that CBS hoped for. Will the rating stabilize this week or take another plunge? I really like this show, but I agree with those who say that putting it on CBS over, say, The CW, was probably a bad move. I hope it starts getting a bigger fan base soon.