I’m grading “We Can Be Heroes” on a curve. As far as I can tell this week’s episode had some great developments, but only time will tell if Supergirl can deliver.
Let’s start with a minor gripe. I’ve said plenty of times before that I don’t like Jimmy Olsen as the Guardian. Supergirl wants to turn him into an ersatz-Batman and, to the show’s credit, it does a good job of differentiating the characters (from the ones they’re replacing) to make this budding superhero relationship fresh. Still, the Guardian detracts from J’onn J’onnz.
The episode’s name “The Martian Chronicles” shows this week’s focus: Martian Manhunter. I’m glad the show hasn’t forgotten J’onn exists, and the teaser we got near the end of this episode (minor spoiler) is that the white Martians are coming. Bring on the white Martians. Supergirl’s development of the white Martians as a threat is the closest thing the CW has done to set up a villain (or group of villains) since Deathstroke, and I loved Arrow’s Deathstroke story arc.
My only concern—and the biggest reason I’m grading Supergirl on a curve—is that I’m not sure if Supergirl has too many irons in the fire that the white Martians are a red herring and there’s another, under-developed villain to take their place as this season’s big bad. But I’ll yell at that bridge if we get to it. Until then, I’m going to enjoy the renewed focus on J’onn and the build up to what should be a fun showdown.
Livewire was also back this week. Livewire is to Supergirl what Captain Cold was to the Flash, so I’m not that thrilled to see her, but Supergirl presented a new wrinkle to Supergirl and Livewire’s relationship. I’m cautiously optimistic for where the show might take them.
“We Can Be Heroes” may have concluded with Mon-El proclaiming his deep like for Kara, but romance continues to take a backseat on Supergirl, and for that, I’m grateful. The CW has gone out of its way to make Maggie and Alex’s relationship look normal when compared with the rest of the network’s relationships: no sister swapping. I’m hoping Mon-El and Kara—and potentially M’Gann (Miss Martian) and J’onn (Martian Manhunter)—will follow their lead. So far, so good. Mon-El and Kara have been playing footsie for half a season and it took some time for Mon-El to express his feelings. The CW could devolve these relationships to its customary bed hopping, but again, I’ll yell at that bridge if we get to it.
I guess I have one other minor complaint: dialogue. CW shows aren’t the best example of good dialogue, and I tend to overlook most of those problems, but “We Can Be Heroes” had some cringeworthy moments. Characters fed us plot, moments were over-the-top and forced, and Livewire was her typical hokey self. Oddly enough, Supergirl’s dialogue worked best within the confines of its love interests. Mon-El and Kara were natural and appropriately awkward when Mon-El expressed himself and Kara didn’t reciprocate, and the bets Maggie and Alex made with each other where fun.
The dog days of CW shows (a month or two after the midseason break padded with filler) are around the corner, let’s hope Supergirl can maintain some of the momentum it’s gained over the past couple of weeks.
Thanks for reading.