Coming off of what I believed was the show’s strongest episode, Supergirl tried to tackle their version of the infamous Superman villain Bizarro. Unfortunately, while the Bizarro storyline was serviceable, the rest of the episode was hurt by the lackluster writing that has plagued the entirety of the show’s inaugural season, including:
Character inconsistencies — like Alex Danvers’ “I’ll do whatever it takes to save my family even if it means jeopardizing this entire agency and everyone in it” just one week after doing all she could to prevent Hank/J’onn from killing the white martian to preserve his morality.
Fast-paced and meaningless romantic subplots — like Kara “breaking” Adam’s heart after just two or three dates and Winn somehow getting over Kara in just one week and suggesting James take his turn at her.
Lack of subtlety — like Maxwell Lord becoming less of an intelligent antagonist and more of a cliche, moustache-twirling cartoon villain.
Lack of focus — where is Astra? She’s the main villain of the season but she’s been MIA for three or four episodes now and it doesn’t look like she’ll have a part in next week’s episode either. Her character was beginning to develop nicely but all will be forgotten by the time we see her next. The show has taken on too many exclusive storylines and the season severely lacks any cohesiveness.
All of these factors, along with extremely shoddy special effects (save for the final battle between Kara and Bizarro) led to a very disappointing episode — one that saw a rating of just 1.50 and a season low with just under 6.7M viewers.
It seems that every week the show’s cast is let down by the writers, because the main strength of Supergirl, and I’ve said this since the pilot episode, is by far the cast and it’s a shame to see them bogged down by poor writing each and every week. Also, I don’t know if CBS isn’t supplying the show with sufficient funds, but the special effects are laughable — much worse than The Flash and that show airs on the CW network.
Next week Supergirl will be adapting another popular Superman story, For the Man Who Has Everything by Alan Moore. This is a truly fantastic story that sees Superman infected by an alien plant which forces him into a coma where he lives out his ultimate fantasy. The idea is to show that while most people think that Superman, or in this case Supergirl, has everything, the perfect life — strength, fame, invulnerability, speed, etc. — there is still such tragedy and loss in his/her past — more than any human can truly imagine. It’s the idea that no matter how loved and powerful s/he is on Earth, s/he’d still give it all away to have lived a normal life on Krypton.
This is an extremely sad story and I truly hope that Supergirl does it justice. The episode should not end with, “I really would have liked to live with my parents on Krypton, but at least I have my adopted sister and a few guys who think I’m hot!” It should end on a very somber and sad tone. If you would like to get a better idea of the story before watching Supergirl next week I highly recommend watching the Justice League Unlimited episode of the same name. It is a phenomenal adaptation and one of my favorite episodes of the series.
Unfortunately, the Supergirl writers have not proven to me that they can adapt such an emotional and powerful story and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it fall short of the animated version.