Martin Carr reviews the third episode of Supergirl season 2…
Supergirl is back in the room people. Any reservations I had last week about lacklustre performance were quickly quashed by the arrival of Lynda Carter. For those of a certain age, which includes me, she was Wonder Woman long before Gal Gadot was so much as a glint in the milkman’s eye. Lasso of truth, spandex red, white and blue combined with an essential Amazonian quality were suddenly present and correct this week, all be it in flashback. Having a comic book legend on set also added an extra layer of perkiness to an already overly chirper Ms. Benoist. It felt slightly like people felt compelled to serve up their A game when in the company of DC royalty. That aside ‘Welcome To Earth’ proved to be a return to form irrespective.
Alien threats felt more tangible and less controllable which has always been a minor issue of mine, while the absence of Flockhart and Hoechlin as Superman barely registered. Expanding the alien presence through the simple addition of a small element suddenly gave National City more breadth. Meaning that Carter’s President and her reason for visiting grounded things still further. Also it was nice that the idea of a female World leader ran in tandem with the present election campaign, making things feel topical without being heavy handed. Combine that with the new found friction between Snapper and James Olsen in their fight for dominance and things were rounded out nicely.
By taking into consideration elements of race, gender and sexual diversity within National City amongst those fireballs, relationship dramas and off world villains made things feel slightly more Berlanti in influence. He has done similar things with The Flash and Arrow in terms of challenging topics which others might choose to steer clear of. My understanding is that these issues are important to him and their inclusion is only ever there to serve story, not grandstand or act as a form of soapbox for people to beat their chest. Which is why the arrival of a new character in Maggie Sawyer, a strong female police officer who also happens to be open about her attraction to other women comes as no surprise.
In truth her introduction segues cleverly into an expansion of the DC universe within National City, whilst giving Chyler Leigh something other to do than stand next to Harewood looking intense. Floriana Lima brings a cock sure confidence to Sawyer establishing her quickly and adding an element of vulnerability making her more audience friendly. Suddenly there seems to be a balance restored and more possibilities opened up as a result. Supergirl has succeeded then in reinvigorating an aging property, injecting new life into a DC legend and reminding me what good television is capable of. Long may it continue.