TV Review: Supergirl (Season 2, 2016-2017)

Now newly introduced into the Arrowverse (but on an alternate Earth, so not too closely tied) Supergirl‘s second season once again saw Kara, aka Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), save National City, and by extension the world. Along with the help of tech savvy Winn (Jeremy Jordan) and new head of CatCo WorldWide James “Jimmy” Olsen (Mechad Brooks), and the agents of the DEO J’onn J’onzz / Martian Manhunter (David Harewood) and Kara’s sister Alex (Chyler Leigh), Kara protects the city from various extraterrestrial threats, most of which come straight from the pages of DC Comics’ Supergirl or Superman stories.

Please note: there are very minor spoilers here, just because so much happens over a full season, but I won’t say anything that will ruin the biggest surprises.

+ perhaps most importantly, we were given our first glimpse at Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) himself. This version of the Man of Steel wore a bright suit, he smiled and he was a nice person; all things you would expect Superman to be, but not always what we get on screen. He was only in a few episodes (and rightfully so, as not to take any thunder from Supergirl on her own show)
+ all the core cast members are as you’d expect, and none went through as horrid character changes as some on Flash or Arrow did. New cast members are also generally fine, such as Alex’s new love interest Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima) and Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath, Frontier), the sister of more well known Lex. Melissa Benoist is still ridiculously cute, and really, isn’t that why we are all watching?
+ thankfully, the Kara/James Olsen romance was toned down, and then nearly dropped entirely once Mon El (newcomer Chris Wood) came on the scene. The Kara/Mon-El was much more fulfilling, though there was at times still too much petty drama for drama’s sake
+ it was fantastic to see Supergirl join the Invasion crossover trilogy (though it is disappointing her show was not one of the episodes). In general, having Supergirl be a possibility to join future crossovers, or in the case of Flash have smaller crossovers of their own, is great, and really helps the ‘extended universe’ thing

supergirl_s2_2.png
Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and Superman (Tyler Hoechlin): the last children of Krypton.

– there were many occasions where either the budget was not available for fights, or a contrived reason came up to avoid needing flight, heat vision etc. Supergirl should be known for more than punching
– some plot points were seemingly just dropped after a few episodes. Lillian Luthor (Brenda Strong) as the head of Project Cadmus was played as a huge reveal, but that never really amounted to anything. Other important character reveals were similarly treated as huge shocks, but after their episode were rarely brought up again
– it was very strange that Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli) was simply never seen, nor even mentioned again, despite the worldwide threats the team would at times face. This sort of in-continuity from season one made for a few strange moments, and the change in network, filming location and cast almost made for a whole new show
– Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) leaving after the first few episodes left a huge hole in things, as Kara had no female mentor to go to. Her snark and ‘motherly’ feel towards Kara (and even Winn and James) was never quite replaced, even when Manhunter became a mentor to them. Once Cat did return for a few cameos, the ‘make America great again’ references became a bit too on the nose, especially for a woman who should consider herself above such things
– I know I’m in the minority, but I found “Duet”, the musical Flash/Supergirl crossover, to be very disappointing. It was one of the episodes I was looking forward to most, and it just failed to deliver anything nearly as enjoyable as the animated Brave and the BOld episode

> I don’t know why they had Mon-El named as such, because he never met Superman/Super Boy. I guess it is just easier for the show to name him as such

Should you watch this show: With a new filming location, a range of new characters and a newly connected universe, this felt like a new show compared to the first season. Although the ‘girl power’ and Donald Trump allegories did get a little too heavy handed as the season went on, for the most part this was a very enjoyable watch. As always, there were plot points left open in order to allow for some intrigue going into season three.

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