A Closer Look: Supergirl – “The Adventures Of Supergirl”

After a delightfully surprising first season, Supergirl returns for it’s second season. Though this time around instead of airing on CBS, it’s become a part of The CW with the rest of the Arrowverse. Now even though the CW prepped for this by airing episodes of Supergirl season 1 leading up to the premier, it’s still a relatively new show to the casual CW viewer. As such, this episode did a wonderful job of reminding viewers of all the threads left over from Season 1: the fate of Jeremiah Danvers, Cadmus, James & Kara, Kara’s promotion and so much more.

Though just because it’s on a new network doesn’t mean Supergirl is going to hold your hand forever. And to prove it, Supergirl plowed ahead by not only introducing some major new players this season but also bringing the Man of Steel himself into the fold: Superman!

Did Superman overshadow Supergirl? Did the change in Network result in different graphic quality? Who are these mysterious new forces and which is the actual threat? This and more will be examined in this Closer Look at “The Adventures Of Supergirl”!

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Finding Your Calling – Weekly Real World Advice From Cat Grant:

She might not have any superpowers of her own, but Cat Grant is a force to be reckoned with. Though it’s not how she conduct herself in the office or the gusto with which she carries herself, but rather how she is able to give the viewer some hard hitting life advice. We’ve seen her do this with dating advice and morality is the past, and this episode was no different as she tackled the problem of figuring out what you want to do with your life. According to Cat, it’s not simply a matter of doing what you’re good at but rather doing what you feel good and fulfilled doing.

Though Cat didn’t stop there, but gave us a follow up lesson this week that was all about taking the plunge. When it comes to finding your calling or just doing more of the same, many might be afraid to take a chance because it’s going to be hard and will change them. Change is scary and we’d all like to just stay the same forever, but that is not growth. Yes the journey is scary and will change you; but if you want to live you have to keep being daring and challenging yourself. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck and if some outside force ever changes your situation, you’ll be lost. But if YOU are the one who changes things, you’ll be stronger and able to handle whatever comes your way.

Season Threats & Mysteries At A Glance – Lena & Lex Luthor, CADMUS & Superboy and Brainiac?!?!?!:

As most Season Premiers should, this episode set up a lot in terms of potential Season threats; but beyond that it also set up a ton of expanded universe lore that could potentially become a threat further down the line. For starters, we have Lena Luthor who for all intents and purposes seems to be on the up and up. With the revelation that her brother Lex was trying to kill her, it seems like they are indeed on opposite ends and Lena could join Kara in one of the primary themes of this show: family. Then again, can we ever really trust a Luthor? Even if she is okay, we know Lex is indeed out there and in prison. But is this a Superman universe where he’s already taken down his biggest nemesis or are there still more chapters to this tale?

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Similarly, we have the ever-looming threat of CADMUS who we first learned of last season when J’Onn was taken into custody and would have been experimented on by them if Alex hadn’t intervened. We know they’re big on experimentation and we saw that first hand this episode with the creation of Metallo. This was actually something I predicted last season in “Better Angels” – but I never imagined they’d get to it this fast. Though from this scene it looks as though CADMUS is already quite adept at making machines, which brings us back to my primary theory: that Jeremiah Danvers has/ will become Cyborg Superman in a re-imaginging of his New 52 origin. Though we don’t have to limit CADMUS to purely mechanical threats as the mysterious boy who crashed in the pod will most likely become Superboy. Yes, he’ll go on to become an ally, but in most stories, he usually starts as a CADMUS pawn.

Then again, all of these could pale in comparison to something that Superman hinted at this episode when Superboy first landed – the presence of a cybernetic data core. Something falling out of Space and Superman immediately wonders if there’s anything cybernetic or data driven about it? Was he fearing that this crash victim could be Brainiac? We met a type of Brainiac last Season and she turned out to be one of the biggest threats of all – and still she wasn’t THE Brainiac. Is this knowledge hungry monstrocity lurking over the horizon? Potentially, but it’s only Episode 1. We have a whole season to go through, but the background lore this episode added opened up the world like never before – and we didn’t even mention the Gotham City name drop or how all of this will be effected after their universes merge/ become linked.

Up, Up & Away – Easter Eggs, Quotes & Other Notables:

  • Favorite Quotes: Winners – Superman & Supergirl
    • “This looks like a job for the both of us”/ “Absolutely” – Supergirl/ Superman
    • “That was awesome… I mean terrible… but awesome!” – Supergirl
    • “I used to change his diapers”/ “Not exactly sure you have to tell them that”/ “I think I do” – Supergirl/ Superman/ Supergirl
    • “Ohhhhh he’s coming towards me…. “ – Winn
    • “Your cousin smells terrific” – Alex
    • “She went to Yale”/ “So did George Bush” – Kara/ Cat with no chill
  • A great aspect about this premier was not just how it picked up immediately prior to where the season finale left off, but also how it actually explored that scene a little more with Martian Manhunter and Supergirl.
  • We knew from Season 1 that Superman and J’Onn have a history together, but we learned this episode why it ended on such rocky terms. And that was because of Operation Emerald, which was the discovery of Kryptonite. With J’Onn being it’s discoverer, we have an explanation why he had a Krypto-knife last season. Though with it popping up again now, it’s certain the gravity of that discovery will be made quite apparent.
  • The effects have certainly changed a slight bit with this premier, but I actually think it’s for the better. Manhunter’s look is just as spot on – if not more – and the flying scenes were wonderfully executed. Add in the DEO’s bright new base and I’d say this was a great improvement. Good job effects team!
  • As we covered in the season one premier, Supergirl and Superman both saved a plane as their first act of heroing. So it was a wonderful tribute that the act that brought them together in their first team up was them both saving a plane set for outer space.
  • The reference of Lex Luthor almost destroying California with an Earthquake was a wonderful reference to the 1978 Superman film – once again, proving that this show has a wonderful appreciation for Superman history and lore.
  • Additionally, the focus on Cat’s new assistant “Miss Tessmacher” as well as the comment about “statistically, flying is the safest way to travel” are both nods to the original 1978 Superman movie.
  • Speaking of which, Clark reminding Perry White that he always says “Great Caesar’s ghost!” was very much indeed a “throwback” as this is also an Easter Egg from the comics, series, etc.

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  • As usual, there was a wonderful parallel to the animated series here as the first appearance of John Corben was of him stealing some war tech and turning it against the creators before going on a destructive spree (and then it being revealed he was working for Luthor all along). Here we have the same chain of events but just substituting a giant robot with drones. Even his post episode fate is the same as he’s forced to become Metallo – although it a much more direct way here.
  • Continuing with the above, the presence of drones around the city set to attack civilians could be an allusion to the Superman 64 video game, which I know we’re not supposed to talk about….
  • Judging by Clark’s comment to Cat and his phone conversation with Lois, it can be assumed that Lois Lane does indeed know that Clark and Superman are the same person. Pairing this with Lex in prison and James and him already being friends, and we truly do have a world where Superman is a long established hero.

One final great thing of note this episode was how the inclusion of Superman not only didn’t diminish the focus on Kara/ Supergirl but also how the tag team of Supergirl/ Superman didn’t diminish the tagteam of Kara/ Alex. We experience this perfectly during the fight to save Lena Luthor where Supergirl stops the drones and Alex takes on Corben. If this series can keep this balance and heart while still making the Man of Steel a regular, then this might be the show/ season everyone has been waiting for.

So be sure to check back next week as our SUPER heroes take on the new threat of Metallo.

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