It’s a night of firsts as ‘Supergirl’ soars into her second season. For starters, she’s swept on over to The CW, leaving her former home at CBS and also moving the production to Vancouver (which means a few new-looking sets). Perhaps more importantly for fans, the Season 2 premiere guest stars the Man of Steel himself, Superman.
The new season picks up right where the old one ended, as Supergirl and J’onn J’onzz come upon a spaceship crashing down into National City that looks exactly like the pod Kara came to Earth in. Inside, they find a male that everyone suspects must be Kryptonian. The man is taken back to a never-before-seen DEO headquarters, which is one of the new locations for this season. Meanwhile, Kara tells her sister Alex that her first date with James Olsen is coming up.
Before her date, however, it’s back to CatCo for Kara. No longer working as an assistant, her boss, Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), instructs her to come up with an idea for what she would like her new position to be. Kara tells Cat that she’s done some online research and decided marketing would be a good area to get into. Cat doesn’t like this. She wants Kara to choose something from her heart that she’s passionate about. During this scene, we also meet Cat’s new assistant, Miss Teschmacher (Andrea Brooks).
James comes over to Kara’s apartment for their date and brings pizza and potstickers, proving what a cheap-ass bastard he really is. (Sorry guys, I’ve always been Team Winn.) They decide to spend their first date watching the launch of a new commercial space vehicle called Venture, which naturally has an engine explode and comes plummeting back down toward Earth. This looks like a job for… Clark Kent? That’s right, we get our first glimpse of Metropolis’ mild-mannered reporter (played by Tyler Hoechlin from MTV’s ‘Teen Wolf’) talking on his cell phone with Perry White. He sees a news broadcast about the Venture accident and it’s up, up, and away to the rescue. When he arrives to save the crashing spaceship, Supergirl is already there and the two work together to bring the ship down for a safe landing.
Supergirl brings Superman back to DEO headquarters so he can take a look at the mysterious man who crashed to Earth in the pod. While there, we learn that there may be some bad blood between Superman and J’onn – or, at the very least, something in their pasts that J’onn isn’t willing to talk about yet. We also learn why Superman, who’s supposed to be 12 years older than Kara, doesn’t look 12 years older. Apparently, Kryptonians don’t age as rapidly as humans, which is a nice explanation for fans wondering why The CW hired such a young actor to play Kal-El. (Hoechlin is only a year older than Melissa Benoist.) That isn’t going to make much sense if this series makes it to a Season 6 or 7 and the leads start showing their age.
Clark and Kara swing by CatCo, and we learn that Cat has had a crush on Clark for a long time. She even drunk-texted him once. While there, Kara and Clark discover that one person who had a seat on the Venture launch didn’t show up: Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath), Lex’s sister.
Meanwhile, a mysterious man named John Corben (Frederick Schmidt) is testing some kind of laser drone weapon. He kills the assistant showing it to him and then makes a phone call where he tells the person on the other end that he’s switching to “Plan B” and he’s never let the Luthors down.
Clark and Kara pay Lena Luthor a visit at “L Corp” (the new rebranded company name now that Lex is in prison). She insists that she wasn’t behind the Venture explosion and actually wants to be a force for good. We also find out in this scene that she was adopted.
Back at the DEO, Alex confronts J’onn and reveals she has uncovered why he and Superman don’t get along. Back when Superman was still working with the DEO, there was an operation called “Emerald,” during which Superman and J’onn investigated a crashed meteorite. It turns out that the meteorite contained Kryptonite. J’onn insisted on keeping it so he’d have something to ward off Kryptonian villains with, but Superman wanted it destroyed. Winn comes into the room to report that he’s pinpointed the location of the explosion on the Venture, and it was right under the seat that Lena was supposed to be in. She wasn’t responsible for the explosion; she was a target. We then see Lena getting into an L Corp helicopter when it’s attacked by a pair of the laser-armed drones that Corben used earlier.
Supergirl and Superman arrive just in time. When Corben (via radio transmitter) tells them that they have a choice between stopping the drones attacking the helicopter and stopping other drones he has spread across the city, Supergirl tells Superman to go deal with the others while she stays and protects the helicopter. Once our heroes have saved the day again, Supergirl explains to Lena that she was the target of the Venture’s explosion.
Back at CatCo, James is suspicious about Kara wanting to make up their date and he gets her to confess that she’s really not sure about the two of them going forward as a couple. (That’s what you get for showing up at a beautiful woman’s apartment with pizza, dude!) Kara then gets a stern lecture from Cat, who tells her a metaphor about how she needs to stop waiting around at the edge of the water and dive completely in. Even if it’s a hard swim, she’ll emerge as a different woman when she gets to the other side.
The DEO is able to ID Corben as an international assassin, although they can’t figure out who would hire him to kill Lena Luthor. Lena goes ahead with plans to give a speech outside the Luthor Corp. building publicly announcing the company’s name change to L Corp. She barely starts her speech when explosions go off all around her. Once again, Supergirl and Superman spring into action to stop the Luthor Corp. building from collapsing, while Alex stops Corben (who’s dressed as a police officer) from shooting Lena. After fighting for a bit, Corben eventually holds Alex at gunpoint when Supergirl shows up. However, it’s actually Lena who stops Corben, shooting him in the back from behind.
The episode wraps up with Clark writing a positive story about Lena Luthor for the Daily Planet. Kara tells Cat that she’s decided she wants to become a reporter. Cat responds to this news by pulling Kara’s résumé out from her drawer and showing her that she had written “Reporter” on it on the day she first interviewed Kara. Cat also seems to be coming to a conclusion about her own future (which will no doubt lead to Calista Flockhart having more of a recurring role instead of a permanent one this season).
Back at the DEO, we learn that Winn has accepted a permanent position there and that Superman had decided to stick around National City for a little while longer. The final scene reveals that Corben is still alive and now part of the mysterious government-run Project Cadmus, where he’s injected with something and told he will now be transformed into “Metallo.”
This is a pretty good start to the second season, and proof that the show-runners have learned a lot from last year’s episodes, many of which just featured a villain that Supergirl would fight early in the episode and then again at the end of the episode. This entry is much more plot-intensive and interesting. While some story points from Season 1, such as the missing Jeremiah Danvers, are mentioned in passing, there’s not a single line about Maxwell Lord, Non, or Kara’s (deceased?) aunt Astra in the premiere. Whether that means those characters have been nixed completely or will play a part later in the season remains to be seen.
Lastly, I think it’s important to say a little bit about Tyler Hoechlin, whose casting in ‘Supergirl’ has gotten some mixed reaction from fans, including yours truly. I honestly didn’t believe that Hoechlin looked the part, but I’ll confess that his acting here (and the way the character is written) really won me over. Where has this Superman been for the past several years, DC? Zack Snyder, David Goyer and everyone else involved with the recent Henry Cavill theatrical version of Superman could learn a thing or two from this TV version. Here’s a Superman who actually acts super, doesn’t spend his free time moping around, and has a sense of humor and fun. We honestly haven’t seen a Superman like this since Christopher Reeve donned the cape. While I’m not ready to put Hoechlin in that league quite yet, it sure was a joy to watch him in the role. I look forward to seeing how the character develops.
What did everyone else think? Did Supergirl (and Superman) live up to your expectations? And are you as happy as I am that Kara kicked Jimmy to the curb?