*If you don't want spoilers then I recommend you turn back now.*
Before I jump into the discussion it's worth noting that if the Supergirl episode 'Livewire' felt a little rushed it's because it wasn't the episode which was meant to air this week. In fact 'Livewire' was supposed to be episode 5, but the CW chose to air it instead of episode 4 because the scheduled episode, 'How Does She Do It?' featured acts of terrorism.
In light of recent terror attacks the creators chose to temporarily ignore the episode, presumably in a gracious attempt to avoid causing offense or unnecessary upset.
Consequently you might have noticed that James's thanksgiving getaway with Lucy Lane looked a little unexpected and out of place. Who knows what we missed in 'How Does She Do It?' but hopefully we'll see the episode soon!
If you catch my weekly Supergirl articles, you'll know that I've closely followed Supergirl, delighted by its successes and waiting for it to come into its own as a television show. They say you can never judge a show by Season 1, but let's hope you can, because Supergirl is really starting to gain some momentum.
Supergirl started as feeling rushed in the pilot but began to establish itself in episode 2 before slowing down considerably in episode 3. Now, in episode 4 (sort of) the show is starting to feel comfortable in its own skin.
Check out a few of the DC comics references and easter eggs in 'Livewire.'
To kick things off, there was of course Livewire herself, the demon of the week, and former protégé of Kat Grant. Livewire served as a reasonable villain: dangerous and feisty, with a pretty solid backstory – even if it was rather rushed.
Interestingly, like many other aspects of Supergirl, Livewire's comic book counterpart was originally a Superman villain. She then played her role as a Supergirl villain and later an antagonist to Batgirl. However, for most of her time in the comic books she continued to be an antagonist to Superman.
2. Directed by Kevin Tancharoen
This is just a quick one, but it's worth noting that last night's episode of Supergirl had a pretty prominent figure behind the wheel.
'Livewire' was directed by none other than Kevin Tancharoen, known for his work on Mortal Kombat: Legacy, as well as having contributed to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Flash, including the episode: 'All-Star-Team-Up.'
3. A Blast From the Past
Supergirl is a production under the banner of both the CW and Warner Bros., but it has never been suggested that it exists in the same universe as Arrow and The Flash.
However, Supergirl is certainly taking some inspiration from the other CW programs with the use of flashbacks to reveal key plot points. This is a narrative device which has been used prominently in Arrow and has started to make its way into The Flash, but now Supergirl has used the technique as a means of introducing a storyline in which Kara's adoptive parents are involved with Hank Henshaw.
"Welcome to the D.E.O. Dr. Danvers."
'Livewire' revealed Kara's father resigning himself to work for Hank Henshaw and the D.E.O. – an unexpected plot point which further sets Henshaw up as a possible antagonist.
4. Hank Henshaw
While we're on the topic of Hank Henshaw, let's discuss the evolution of his character in the show, as it has now been revealed that he recruited Kara's adoptive father to his agency when Kara was just a child. This seems to be the start of a process to set up Henshaw as an antagonistic figure.
Although we don't know if he'll be a major player or if the show's creators will shake up his backstory, it doesn't look good for him at the moment.
I've written on Henshaw in a previous episode re-cap, and a recurring debate seems to develop regarding my suggestion that Henshaw is Cyborg Superman.
Fans who exclusively follow the television adaptations seem to connect Henshaw's red eyes to Martian Manhunter, known from Smallville, in contrast to the comic book fans, who rightly recognize Hank Henshaw as the name of... yeah, you guessed it, Cyborg Superman.
Sorry guys, but unless the CW has been uncharacteristically misleading, it doesn't look like we have Martian Manhunter on Supergirl just yet.
5. Comic Book Character Accuracy
Just another quick point. We've now seen Kat Grant in a few situations where a drink certainly would have been in order. In fact this episode I was pretty certain she was hitting the scotch whisky pretty hard, yet she claims she's drinking iced tea.
Could this simply be a wink to the comic book source material, in which Kat was a recovering alcoholic, or is this a plot point they will expand on in the future?
We certainly got a chance to see Kat's human side in 'Livewire,' In fact, she seemed to really care about Kara's past. The issue is, Kara's Supergirl identity is safe because no one looks too closely when she's Kara Danvers, and when she's Supergirl they see her as larger than life. Kat Grant is intelligent and isn't intimidated by Supergirl – in fact, she sees her as a new protégé, so what happens when she starts to "learn more about" Kara?
6. Identity of the Toyman!
Winn Schott is Kara's besotted best friend and, more interestingly, was a villain known as the "Toyman" in DC comics. There's been speculation as to whether Winn will go all super-villain on us, but last night it was revealed that Winn's father is in prison.
Moreover, Comicbook.com reports that Supergirl has cast Henry Czerny (Mission: Impossible) as Winslow Schott.
Warner Bros. has announced that:
"Winslow Schott, Sr. is a classic D.C. supervillain, a mad criminal genius known as Toyman – and Winn’s estranged father.
Toyman weaponizes toys to wreak destruction and revenge but is ultimately driven by one thing – the obsessive desire to reunite with his beloved son."
So it looks like Winn is going to have a much more central role in future Supergirl narratives. Personally, I can't wait, but what do you think?
How do you think Supergirl is progressing as a television show?