Disclaimer: Opinions and theories are made purely from observations of the episode and limited fandom knowledge. Spoiler-Full; but in no way accurate to the canonistic writings, of the Superman Comic Book universe.
Do Family ties predict doom for Supergirl?
Whilst the ghosts of Superman’s past, seek to haunt Kara, is Hank Henshaw laying in wait to take his own revenge?
Monday’s episode of Supergirl; ‘Fight or Flight’, opens to Cat’s interview with Supergirl. Refusing to address her ego; she takes a tough stance. In stating “it’s you” before correcting herself to “who are you?”, Is there a double meaning to be read in her condescension of Supergirl’s status? Continuing with my last review, I am still convinced that Cat Grant knows who Supergirl is.
In a comparison between Kara and Clark; Kara has her motives questioned. Asking what is never often answered, “why now?”; Cat points out that Kara could’ve been saving National City in the years prior. With props to her response, Kara responds with the recognition of the responsibility that defines a hero; not the complex that assumes one.
Highlighting the flaw in women’s media; that even Feminist, Cat Grant isn’t immune to - she asks if Kara plans to settle down, ending with, whether she has a day job - only to receive no answer other than a rebuttal; revealing Superman to be her cousin, which is apparently enough to write an exposé on.
As the episode moves on, we discover that Kara can eat whatever she wants; something that only applied to me during University, where stress levels kept the freshman 15 a myth within college life.
Whilst satiating her super human appetite, Alex meets Kara over the dining table; their discussion interrupted by Jimmy, who prefers James apparently. Seriously, is this a ploy to separate his character from his identity within the Superman universe? Or is there a copyright issue somewhere?
Forever Jimmy to me, his knowledge about the DEO, and Supergirl leaves Alex exasperated with Kara; the revelation of her relation to Superman on the Television moments later; adding to her dismay.
With the desire to see Supergirl’s link to Superman revealed, fulfilled, will Clark Kent’s connection to the Danvers, and the Danvers’ link to Kara, threaten the alter-egos of both of them? In the meantime, the connection between the two deepens the show’s premise. Drawing threats from both Superman’s past and Fort Raz escapees; Kara is very much anchored to her past. With Cat as an interviewing Villain, it’s not going to be an easy coming-of-age tale for Kara Danvers.
In a moment of hilarity, we are forgetful; as is Kara, that Winn was not aware of Superman’s true identity. Having geeked out within the confounds of the CatCo funded Supergirl Lair, Winn resonates with fans of both the Supergirl and the Superman universe.
With the road to self-identification barely travelled, will it be Hank Henshaw that separates Supergirl from the ties of her family?
Whilst Reactron pursued vengeance over Maxwell Lord’s offer of help; the scene is set to juxtapose with Hank Henshaw’s own backstory.
Reactron; named by Jimmy Olsen no less; is introduced as the first of Superman’s enemies. With similarities to the canonistic writing of Hank Henshaw’s character, Reactron does more than incite romantic tension between Kara and Jimmy.
Interrupting the rescue of victims in a pile-up, Reactron initiates a public battle to draw out Superman. Referring to himself as a Ghost; an attack on Kara is an attack on Superman.
With no powers aside from weaponised costumery; Reactron is temporarily bested and leaves. Upon the reminder of his humanity, Kara is driven to save Reactron from self-destruction.
With the battle between vengeance and humanity, the episode begins to unravel the mystery behind Hank’s red eyes. With the aid of google, and with nowhere near enough knowledge of Superman’s long-standing fandom; If true to canon, Hank himself is an enemy of Superman.
Like Reactron, Hank lost his wife when Superman failed to save them; surviving only to become a technologically enhanced threat.
Is Hank playing the long game with Kara? or will his decision to help her defeat Reactron, become a symbol of hope for Hank’s humanity? Will Hank be able to separate Supergirl from her cousin on behalf of her audience?
It is in a penultimate meeting with Reactron, that we are shocked to see Superman appear. Nearly beaten into unconsciousness, we are greeted by a heavily cgi’d Superman coming to the rescue.
Like a band-aid ripped off of Fandom curiosity, Superman’s appearance is foretold to be limited; having ultimately served its purpose in the progression of Kara’s personal growth, and relationship with Jimmy.
Whilst Superman appeared when needed; Reactron is still undefeated. It is later, at the Catco Media party; to launch the Supergirl Expose, that he reappears for a final battle.
Attending the party; unfazed to having been kidnapped by Reactron, Maxwell Lords sparks up a chemistry with Cat Grant, that is sure to be a slow burn for viewers. With Supergirl on her mantle; and a hindrance to his ecological mission, are there any relationships that will play out smoothly in this series?
Like Cat Grant; the representation of writer’s everywhere, it is refreshing to see that Maxwell Lord is a CEO who still practices his craft.
Unfortunately, his knowledge of Nuclear Fission enabled Reactron to resurface once more.
In the midst of it all, Kara struggles to assert herself as a hero in the face of Superman’s appearance, and Cat’s ‘nasty’ profile on Supergirl. Knowing Kara has to proofread it, would it be reaching to suggest this is another form of Cat’s mentorship; through reverse psychology?
With more, double meanings, Cat greets Kara at the party with “you don’t fool me” only to follow with “you’re late”, to make me think that I'm imagining it all. After leaving her party early, Reactron crashes the party looking for Supergirl.
Having slipped into something more durable, Kara ultimately defeats Reactron; after Jimmy lures him outside. Using a bust to encase her hand with lead, the DEO mentor Kara in removing the core of his suit.
With all said and done, Kara returns to work to receive an instant message from Clark Kent. Promising to never help her again, is this the last we’ll see of a low budget, presumptuously; license restricted, Superman? And what of Clark Kent?
Next week focuses on the battle between Kara’s role as Supergirl, and as Kara. With the arrival of Jimmy’s ex (and Lois Lane’s sister) Lucy Lane, the Superman universe is set to complicate the life of Kara Danvers as well as her alter-ego’s.
The official synopsis for Monday’s episode; “How Does She Do It?” reads:
“Kara’s two identities are stretched thin when Supergirl must protect National City from a series of bombings and Kara is tasked with babysitting Cat’s son, Carter. Also, James is conflicted when his ex-girlfriend Lucy Lane seeks to rekindle their relationship, on SUPERGIRL, Monday, Nov. 16 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Levi Miller guest stars as Carter Grant, Cat’s son, and Jenna Dewan-Tatum guest stars as Lucy Lane”.
The sneak peak below sees Supergirl on babysitter duty. With a love for Supergirl, will Cat Grant’s son aid Winn in establishing his place in the love life of Kara Danvers?
And will Maxwell Lord join the fold?
EDIT: Due to the attacks in Paris CBS has scrapped the airing of 1x04; whether it will be re-aired at a later date is unknown. Instead a synopsis for new episode "livewire" reads:
Kara’s Thanksgiving may be ruined when she suspects her foster mother, Dr. Danvers (Helen Slater), who is coming to town, disapproves of her new role as a superhero. Also, when an accident transforms a volatile CatCo employee into the villainous Livewire, she targets Cat and Supergirl.