Martin Carr reviews the twentieth episode of Supergirl season 2…
Family ties, fatherly bonds, disillusioned heroes and surrogate parental figures all loom large and play an extensive role in this week’s Supergirl. Beyond the plotting of Rhea we get interlinking familial feelings with virtually every character, whereby James, Mon-El, Lena and Hank all experience their own epiphany. As for how effective this is in bringing things together let’s just say I am undecided.
Bonding moments between episodic characters, small children and mainstay seasonal regulars is going for saccharine rather than dramatic content. There are few moments where wanton destruction is not used as a substitute for substance. Only a few incidents where James is bonding with an orphaned alien do we get hints at the pathos possible. Touching on the civil rights movement in a chuck away line, harks back to a time of racial segregation, colour prejudice and alienation beyond the DEO borders.
My suspicions from last week are confirmed when we get too few solid plot points and a culmination of minor ones, which amount to very little and just make for an expensive effects budget being squandered. Rhea and her motives for building a portal between worlds is understandable, yet the need to focus on her plans while barely touching on more emotionally valid avenues made things feel forced.
Ever since the Daxamites turned up in orbit around Earth and it became a scaled back version of Shakespeare in the park, Supergirl has felt less than the sum of its parts. Benoist, Wood, Harewood, Leigh and Brooks all still give one hundred percent but this feels like it was trying to get to a final destination without involving the audience. Yes it is entertaining but Rhea represents a far from convincing enemy in the grand scheme of things. For such a savvy woman Lena seems too easily drawn in by the lure of a surrogate mother figure and Hatcher does nasty just the wrong side of convincing.
Plus it feels like Olson’s disillusionment is contrived as well. His way back into the light through connections elsewhere is convenient without feeling convincing. With a season finale and monumental resolution issues an episode or two away, Supergirl needs to work hard in order to win me back. I have been a keen supporter since it started and the effects were no more extravagant back then than now. Where our issues lie I believe is with the continued development of these characters. We seem to have reached an impasse where shallow connections have been substituted for something with more substance. Until the writers rectify this oversight figures are destined to keep dropping.