Martin Carr reviews the tenth episode of Supergirl season 2…
Neither a statement nor call to arms in the literal sense Bowie’s anthem has been employed in any number of ways since his sad passing last year. Even now there are those for whom the dust has yet to settle on a person many called unique, but never less than individual. For the purposes of Supergirl however, I think it unlikely that ‘The Thin White Dude’ and his connection to their tagline was ever anything more than incidental. However I suspect the sentiment is not only intentional but heartfelt and sincere.
If episode ten is about anything beyond the mechanics of plot, structure and narrative then its chief resonating point concerns character. There are moral and personal issues at stake here for all involved and it is the exploration of these which raises the bar. Relationship dynamics are dissected, an understanding of heroism and humanity are thrown into the mix, combined with a moral lesson revolving around forgiveness of others. There is a return of old adversaries, an epiphany or two regarding their impact on National City, as well as some good old fashioned explosions.
For the first time since the beginning of season two there seems to be a coming together of character interests. In part this is to do with revelations, confrontations and narrative necessity but nonetheless nothing feels forced. Brooks and Jordan have a storyline which feels cohesive rather than an afterthought. Hank gets to complete an arc which had just been left blowing in the wind and provides a real backbone to proceedings, while Alex and Maggie sit back after the heavy lifting of previous outings. Only the Kara Mon-El tangent feels under developed now despite the best efforts of all concerned.
For all the solid stuff put on screen by the pairing there is simply nothing for him to do. Relegated to sidekick and comic relief, Mon-El feels like padding and unless there is a serious turnaround on the horizon he may remain just that. There have been hints of deeper plot points peppered across the season but as of right now these have failed to translate. In all fairness we are looking at another ten episodes until the curtain falls on another season so there is time, but I think it fair to say a clock is ticking.
That minor niggle aside season two has continued to attempt a transcendence beyond its comic book roots by addressing some challenging questions. Similar in many ways to Gotham in terms of growth as a series, Supergirl has achieved in little more than thirty episodes what some programmes take a lot longer to gain; namely credibility.