When I heard that Supergirl was doing an adaptation of the famous Alan Moore Superman story, For the Man Who Has Everything, I was cautiously optimistic. While the story is fantastic and I loved the idea of seeing it in live-action, the Supergirl writers hadn’t proven to me that they could pull off such a feat. Ultimately, For the Girl Who Has Everything is a good addition to the show’s first season, but still leaves much to be desired in regards to the source material.
On the positive side, the acting in this episode was very solid. There were very few scenes where I felt the acting was subpar. The standouts included the usuals: Melissa Benoist, save for her final confrontation with Non, was fantastic. She not only played Kara and Supergirl, but also Kara on Krypton and Hank Henshaw disguised as Kara — those scenes, in particular, had me smiling throughout. David Harewood comes through each and every week and is truly this shows anchor, I liked how they played up his relationship with Alex and Kara to a lesser extent. Calista Flockhart delivered another fun performance as Cat Grant. Unlike some, I haven’t loved her in every episode, but she’s definitely had her moments throughout the season and this was one of them. And finally, Chyler Leigh delivered a great performance, specifically during the final scene on Krypton when she was trying to break through to her sister and get her to remember her reality.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, this episode left me wanting much more. My main problem occurred in the very first scene. Kara wakes up on Krypton and is confused by her surroundings. This may not seem like a big deal, but in the cartoon, when Clark wakes up on Krypton he is under the impression that everything is normal. He has no memory of his life on Earth, instead false memories of his counterfeit life on Krypton. He’s in a complete fantasy. Now, some may claim that this is only an adaptation and it doesn’t have to be exactly like the source material, but this one detail greatly hurt this episode. Because Kara is aware of her time on Earth she spends half of her time in the fantasy trying to figure out what’s going on instead of introducing us to, and developing her relationship with her family. The show believes that because it’s her parents and cousin (who was basically there for fan service) the audience will automatically feel a connection, but there was very little emotion there — perhaps some with her mother, but that was all.
Also, having Alex enter the fantasy to pull Kara out takes a lot away from the story. Her leaving the fantasy is supposed to be her realization, her decision — and while this was still true in the episode, having someone from reality appear in the fantasy takes a lot away from the scene where Kara does finally understand her situation. And, to be fair, Benoist and, specifically, Leigh truly gave a great performance in that final scene on Krypton. They did as much as they could, but, as a whole, it didn’t tug at the audiences emotion as much as it could have.
A lot of the lack of development on Krypton was also due to too many scenes on Earth in reality. The majority of this story should have been showing the viewer what Kara left behind, so that when she finally woke up we truly understood just how much she lost and how terrible it was for her to be reminded of it only to immediately lose it again. That emotion would take us through to her final confrontation with Non — which they tried — but there was very little payoff because the stakes were never truly set, all due to the lack of development on Kryton.
The final few scenes of the episode, back on Earth, saw the death of Astra, at Alex’s hand — interesting how a woman who begged J’onn not to kill two episodes ago is racking up quite the body count. I think the show wanted this to be a major shock to the audience, but, as I mentioned last week, Astra has been absent for several weeks — they should have tried a bit harder to rebuild the relationship between her and Kara before killing her off. Although, it will be interesting to see how the evil Kyrptonians avenger their fallen leader, and if there is any fallout between Kara and Hank, who took the blame for her death.
As far as special effects go in this episode, I can forgive Krypton looking like a video game because they’re on a tv budget, but the actual plant itself, the Black Mercy, looked really bad. That said, J’onn J’onzz looked good once again. The fight choreography for the non-powered characters was as good as always, but the show has yet to perfect the fight sequences between two super-powered beings, something that I consider a major weak point.
Overall, For the Girl Who Has Everything was a decent episode of Supergirl, but knowing the source material and the potential of the story left so much to be desired.