Previously on Supergirl, ‘Livewire’
Today’s Word of the Day: Temper
Have you ever gotten blamed for something you didn’t do? It made you mad, right? Supergirl gets plenty mad this time around, and it all starts when she tries to stop two road-raging assholes from mowing down a group of kids because one of the drivers gets out and picks a fight with her for totaling his car.
The guy was an idiot, but as certain real world events show, sometimes idiots have a way of being heard the most. So Hank Henshaw chimes in and tells her to cool off, because people would love nothing more than for her to give them a reason to fear her like they already fear her cousin. Because no matter how many good deeds she does, nobody really knows what would happen if the Super Cousins lost their tempers.
Losing one’s temper, getting angry–that red faced emotion–was the theme that drove this episode. And there is a lot for Kara to be angry about. First, James invites Lucy to their game night, and then when her father finally does show up, she learns that the sole reason for his visit is to bark orders at Supergirl. Then there is that whole “seeing your planet blow up and going to another one where nobody appreciates you and you have super powers you never asked for” thing.
General Sam Lane is, of course, Lucy’s father. He’s shown up to test his new combat robot in a fight with Supergirl. He doesn’t quite like Superman, and he doesn’t quite like Supergirl either. He also thinks that James thinks of himself as special for being so close to both of them, when in fact there is nothing special about him and his daughter deserves better.
So, General Sam Lane is kind of a pompous ass, right? Same as in the comics, I suppose, but when he goes off on Supergirl and blames her for the rampage Red Tornado is about to unleash on National City, he kind of establishes himself as a dunce, as well.
T.O. Morrow’s Word of the Day: Ineptitude
I mean, look, Sam. You were the one who came in here and asked her to fight your… anthropomorphic pseudo-entity or whatever the frack. You don’t get to blame Supergirl for its malfunction any more than road-rage guy gets to blame her for his car. But he does, because idiots are heard loudest these days.
Ironically (because of his evil red eyes), Henshaw is the one who most stands up to General Lane in Supergirl’s defense, which was satisfying to see and only adds more tension to the question of whether or not he’s trustworthy, particularly in light of Alex, Kara, and Winn’s discovery that Henshaw was indeed the last person to see Jeremiah Danvers alive and may actually be responsible for his death.
All of this weighs on Kara, to the point of snapping back at Cat when Cat tries to berate her as a way to alleviate some of her own stress brought about by the visitation of her own mother, another pompous ass.
Cat doesn’t get angry at Kara, but instead invites her out for a drink, where she imparts a bit of advice: you can’t get mad at work, especially if you are a woman. Cat tells a story about the Daily Planet’s editor-in-chief, Perry White, losing his temper and throwing a chair through a window. If Cat did something like that, it would be professional suicide. So she needed to find an out, and suggests Kara do the same, so that she can find out what is truly making her angry and try to quell it.
Supergirl’s Word of the Day: Rage
So, Kara invites James out so the two can pound their anger away; him on a punching bag, and her onto an old car. When Kara hits the car so hard that the engine block flies out of the back, she has a realization: she isn’t really angry at Cat, after all. She’s angry because she’ll never have a normal life.
She admits that seeing James with Lucy makes her feel like she’s never going to have what they have. And being herself doesn’t make her feel more normal, because normal ended for her the second she was forced to leave her home before it blew up.
With that realization, Alex calls to tell her they’ve tracked down Morrow and know how to destroy the rogue Red Tornado. While her sister deals with Morrow–the normal, otherwise ordinary human–it’s once again up to Supergirl to deal with the extranormal… the threat that only she can handle, the threat that has something out for her just because she’s the girl from Krypton who never asked to be part of any of it.
Blinded by rage, she unleashes the full force of her eye-beams onto Red Tornado until he is vaporized.
Back at CatCo, Cat’s mother tries yelling at Kara for failing to get her a car to the airport. This time, Cat sticks up for her assistant, and tells her mother not to berate Kara, because she is good at her job. After her mother leaves in a huff, Kara hands Cat an Advil and a glass of water, but the glass slips and breaks. When Kara goes to pick it up, she cuts herself… and starts to bleed.
Anger can sure take a lot out of you.
Bonus Word: Miscellanea
- CBS has announced that the first season has been extended to 20 episodes from 13! Good news.
- There is lots of hype surrounding a possible cross-over between Arrow, The Flash, and given the success of all three, there is no doubt in my mind that this will happen at some point. The biggest hurdle will probably be getting the network executives to sign off on the idea.
- When it comes to Supergirl’s new vulnerability, two possibilities have occurred to me: either Henshaw’s tanning bed from a few episode’s back is actually designed to slowly drain her powers, or the writers have taken a cue from last February’s Superman #38. (I favor the latter. I mean, did you hear that scream?)
- In my review of the first episode, I hinted that Hank Henshaw is a cyborg with dubious intent, but I am now starting to believe the fan theory that says he is actually The Martian Manhunter, who can shape-shift and has glowing red eyes, too. If he took Hank’s identity after he and Jeremiah died, it would explain Fake-Hank’s “memory loss.”
- A lot has been said about Red Tornado’s costume and how fake and scrappy it looked. Honestly, I wasn’t bothered by it and didn’t realize it was an issue until I started reading other reviews. Based on the comments, it would seem I’m either blind or not a real DC fan. Hey, don’t talk to me like that!
While it was fun to see another familiar face from Superman lore, I did not like General Lane, and not in the “loved to hate” way either. I don’t think the actor did a very good job, and I can’t figure out whether or not the writers intended for him to come across as dense and stupid as he did. (If they did, it introduces a huge plot hole, because nobody that inept would make it to the rank of General.) Otherwise, I really enjoyed seeing Cat’s relationship with her mother, and I thought the focus on Kara’s anger was well done, even though it felt a little coddled together with the monster-of-the-week story. Winn also seems a bit underutilized at this point, and too eager to commit treasonous felonies for the sake of moving the plot along. But I rewound the berserker heat vision scene quite a few times, which was worth the price of admission alone.