This week on “Supergirl,” Kara repeatedly asserts that she is more than just Superman’s cousin until she is forced to question her confidence. Cat writes a cover story exposé about the titular hero, and we also get to meet another baddie-of-the-week — this time a human, who we learn has faced and almost killed Superman in the past.
This week’s installment picks up where episode two left off, with Supergirl preparing to give Cat Grant an exclusive interview. During their conversation, the hero slips up and tells Cat that Superman and Supergirl are cousins, giving the journalist a scoop, and effectively setting up the rest of the episode. Cat continues to be one of the most enjoyable and interesting characters in the show — she doesn’t fall into the Miranda Priestly knock-off trap by being quippy, somewhat unstable and providing comic relief, but she also runs a tight ship; she isn’t evil, but she certainly doesn’t make Kara’s life easy, either.
This week’s baddie is Reactron, who is disgruntled human — not an alien — which become central to the plot since the DEO is not supposed to meddle with non-aliens. But Kara believes her mission is to keep the city safe, no matter who or what is endangering it. Kara is baited (there’s a real “It’s a trap!” moment) into a battle with Reactron where we learn that he has a vendetta against her cousin. She takes a lot of hits (we’ve really seen Kara struggle in battle so far) but ultimately scares him off.
Back at the office, Winn has created a secret lair for Jimmy, Kara and himself to talk openly about her mission to protect the city. “I’m still trying to figure out what being Supergirl means,” Kara says. “I’m not Superman’s cousin, I’m Supergirl.” Meanwhile, powerful businessmen Maxwell Lord is abducted by Reactron. Kara goes to a junkyard to save the captive, and Reactron greets and pulverizes Kara until she seems close to surrender. Suddenly Superman swoops in (we still don’t see his face) and saves the day.
Kara wakes up just in time to make it to Cat’s exposé party, which is predictably interrupted by Reactron. But before the baddie breaks in, we are treated with an adorable dance between Winn and Kara, juxtaposed with a much more mysterious tango between Cat and Maxwell Lord. The latter two share a history: “As I recall, you’re big on promises, but not much else,” she says at one point. But Reactron ruins everything and Kara is forced to finish him off, which she does, without her cousin.
At the end of the episode Kara gets a message from “Clark” in which we learn some very important things: Superman uses “Hi” as opposed to “Hey” or “What’s up?”; he’s also not a fan of emoji and types his smiley faces “:-)”; finally, he believes in Kara and thinks she’s doing a great job.
We’re also introduced to Lucy Lane (Lois’ little sister, played by Jenna Dewan) who has a history with Jimmy, effectively opening up Kara, Winn and Jimmy’s love triangle into a love square. Apart from Cat Grant and the visuals during the fighting sequences, the show’s highs so far are the chemistry and banter between Kara and her two suitors — Winn is a Labrador puppy, adorable and eager, whereas Jimmy is German Shepherd, serious and mature. Throwing Lucy into the mix complicates Kara’s instincts to pursue Jimmy, leaving Winn a potential opening to prove himself.
The show also seems to present commentary on life in Los Angeles — Maxwell Lord is working on a high-speed rail line not too dissimilar from the California plan to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco; Supergirl flies heroically over the Hollywood hills and by the Downtown skyline; even Orange County-native Andrew McMahon’s music is featured, which has, over the years, frequently referenced life in Southern California. While it isn’t technically based in our reality, the show manages to keep things current with Cat referencing the Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair cover and Kara and Alex watching “Homeland” together.
Bonus: Kara eats a sticky bun almost every morning for breakfast. Thank goodness for that Super metabolism.
“Supergirl” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS.
What did you think of Kara’s faceoff with Reactron? How do you feel about the introduction of Lucy Lane? Weigh in below!