Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Supergirl Season 1 Episode 2 "Stronger Together" - Recap and Review

melissa benoist supergirl costume poster wallpaper image picture screensaver

After a smashing pilot episode, Supergirl returns for the sophomore outing.

Hank Henshaw (David Harewood) subjects Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) to intense physical training to ensure that she is in top physical shape in order to shoulder her duties as a Department of Extra-Normal Operations (DEO) agent. She receives information about a ship being on fire. In her eagerness, Kara first uses her freeze breath, then her heat vision and finally her super strength. She seems to succeed, but then disaster strikes. Supergirl's inexperience while applying her superpowers on the ship results in the ship developing cracks along the surface and there is considerable oil spill.

Meanwhile at the Plastino Chemicals plant, we meet our villain-of-the-week: a Hellgrammite. This is an insect-like species that can take the shape of a human being and feeds on DDT that is available in abundance at the chemical plant.

Kara's fiasco in causing the oil spill dampens her confidence considerably. It does not help when her sister, Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) gives her a humbling lesson in physical confrontations. To clear things, Kara was considerably weakened by Kryptonite. But Kara is pissed off with Alex, not realizing that she was just following Hank's orders.

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Kara receives some unexpected help from none other than Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart). Using herself as an example, Cat advises that Supergirl should instead start from the basics and build her skills before taking on major assignments/obstacles.

With help from James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) and Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan), Supergirl takes on robbers and practices other street level heroics. Soon, both Kara's self-confidence and the public's confidence in Supergirl starts to soar.

On the villain's front, General Astra (Laura Benantiis not happy with our Hellgrammite munching on human victims and drawing attention to himself. As a punishment, she orders him to bait Supergirl.

Hank Henshaw and Alex Danvers themselves try to trap the Hellgrammite. Unfortunately, Alex gets kidnapped by the villain. Supergirl locates Alex using her super-hearing senses.

Kara Zor-El faces off against her aunt, Astra. Though she is able to use the lesson learnt from Alex against Astra, it is Hank Henshaw who saves the day by attacking Astra with a dagger shaped Kryptonite weapon.

A subplot involves Cat Grant forcing James Olsen to arrange an interview with Supergirl. Though Kara is reluctant at first, she finally decides to do the interview.

Now for the most interesting part in the episode: Hank Henshaw's eyes glowed red for a few seconds during the closing moments. According to Wikipedia, Hank Henshaw is Cyborg Superman, a supervillain.

hank henshaw glowing red eyes martian manhunter phil morris smallville poster wallpaper image picture screensaver

I am hoping that it turns out that it is Martian Manhunter/J'onn J'onzz, who is disguised as Hank Henshaw. Martian Manhunter (MM) is an alien from Mars and has red glowing eyes. Phil Morris made a great MM on Smallville.

It would be logical that MM would be heading the DEO. MM being a CIA agent also make sense, since he has been a police detective in the Canon.

Martian Manhunter is one of my favorite DC characters and also one of the most criminally underrepresented when it comes to DC Comics based adaptations. Besides, he has some of the coolest superpowers in the Comic Book Universe.

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There were a number of references to Superman and his adaptations throughout the episode:
1. Supergirl's quote: Sounds like a job for Supergirl
2. Supergirl claims to have gone from a Superhero to Eco-terrorist in a single bound
3. An incident on 5th and Siegel” - Reference to Jerry Siegel, who created Superman (along with artist Joe Shuster)
4. Another incident on Donner Avenue - Reference to Richard Donner, who directed the 1978 Superman movie
5. Supergirl saving Kitten Fluffy from a tree - Hilarious send-up of the famous kitten rescue by the late Christopher Reeve's Superman
6. James Olsen being referred to as Superman's Pal
7. Alex refers to Superman's Fortress of Solitude
8. The hologram representation of Kara Zor-El's mother, Alura Zor-El - Similar to how Jor-El was show interacting with Kal-El in the 1978 Superman movie

As a fan of Superman and Richard Donner's movie, I enjoyed these nods very much.

Yet another villain, Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli) makes his appearance. His comments about the maintenance budget of Metropolis due to Superman's presence was a good and honest commentary on the cost of having a superhero around.

Kara Danvers' explanation of her insignia S” as being standing for El mayarah - which in Krypton language means Stronger Together. It was a nice contrast between Alura and Astra vs Kara and Alex, who are stronger by having each other's back.

In another similarity to Arrow, the episode featured a flashback scene to Krypton. Kara Zor-El  remembers a conversation she had with her mother, Alura about the latest alien criminal who had been apprehended.

The song Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar plays during the scene in which Supergirl is fighting the robbers.

Recommended watch to fans of Supergirl/Superman.

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Image Sources: Berlanti Productions, Warner Bros. Television, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), DC Comics Database, Wikipedia


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Chris. I am sharing my thoughts about this revelation in a new post.