Martin Carr reviews the sixteenth episode of Supergirl…
Everyone loves a hero almost as much as we like to see them fail. Whether in comic books or tabloid journalism there is nothing better for morale than a rags to riches story, which we construct and then help destroy. A human trait made real this week as we see a different side to Kara, which is both entertaining and crucially darker.
‘Falling’ is not just about her taking a leaf from Spider-Man 3 where we saw the effect of Venom on Tobey Maguire, but also about narrative progression. This episode may see Benoist have fun being a really nasty, manipulative piece of work but importantly it serves the story. However this is not the exaggerated ‘bad boy’ image turning nice into nasty, angel into vixen or introvert into loud mouth. Here we learn that the aftermath will have long-term effects which could really change everything.
By giving Kara the freedom to be uninhibited and voice her innermost fears, suspicions and nagging doubts we change the playing field. Relationships will change as a result of this episode and you get the idea that she will not be the only person permanently altered. Unlike other weeks there is no quick and easy way out of this. Yes there are solutions offered which eventually bring resolution but there is no neat bow tying it all together.
Maxwell Lord is involved, employees of Catco and the DEO do join forces but in the end things get worse. As Supergirl continues the producers have taken more risks and critically gone off the reservation a number of times to up the ante. In their pursuit of freshness these writers have looked to character to serve story not the other way round. While Flockhart, Brooks, Leigh, Benoist and Harewood carry on grounding the more fantastical elements with honest performances. In truth I could have done without the blatant cameos which popped up needlessly in the opening minutes, but those aside ‘Falling’ proved itself more than up to expectations.
As we fast approach the final episodes of the current season, it would be a fool who bets against a Supergirl second series. Especially when you consider that The Flash cross over week is yet to come. However there is so much mediocrity which gets renewed irrespective of audience reaction that nothing is assured. Constantine proved that quality was no guarantee of renewal despite internet petitions, uproar and general disbelief. Truth is shows get greenlit without a whiff of originality all the time and people are fickle. They have the power to offer up plaudits and punitive put downs in a single breath regardless of ratings. All I will say is that with Preacher premiering soon Supergirl season two will certainly have its work cut out.