Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Recap Wednesday: Supergirl 1.4 "Livewire"

Episode four begins with Alex prepping for a visit from her mom for Thanksgiving. There is some angst in this relationship, it seems, and it's making me experience vicarious anxiety. Alex thinks her mom is going to be upset at her that Kara "came out" as Supergirl and it all feels so very gay.

Anyhoo, this week's villain is Leslie Willis, a shock jock Mean Girl type of radio personality. We see her reciting an on-air monologue against Supergirl that could have been ripped straight from Internet comment sections. She sneeringly calls Supergirl "adorkable" (ex-squeeze me, that's a bad thing how?), says she wears an "Olympic figure skating outfit" (harsh, Leslie, harsh), and jokes that Supergirl gives off a "Sapphic vibe" (yes please).

Cat Grant is not amused at this harassment, and for that I love her even more. She calls Leslie into her office and demands that she stop. You see, Cat wants to have a relationship with Supergirl. Er, I mean, wants CatCo to have a business relationship with Supergirl and she can't have Leslie demeaning her. Yes, ahem. So, Cat cancels Leslie's show and puts her on the traffic beat instead. That night, while Leslie is covering traffic in a helicopter (because this change would obvs happen immediately), there's a bad storm and Leslie's helicopter is in peril. Supergirl tries to save her, but Leslie gets struck by lightning.

As a result, Leslie sort of turns into Dark Willow:

"I'm so evil.... and I think I'm kinda gay"
Kara then hosts Thanksgiving dinner for her foster mom, Alex, and Winn.  Alex is drinking a lot of wine (as one does) and Kara invites everyone to go around and (ugh) "share their feelings."

I'm with her.
After a few glasses of wine, Alex "comes out" to her mom that she's actually a DEO agent and her mom gets really upset (more wine, more wine).

Before that can be fully explored, Cat calls Kara back to the office. On Thanksgiving. To help solve a technical issue. Because of course she does. While there, two things happen. First, Kara suggests they call Winn to help and Cat says, "What's a Winn?" and I can't help but laugh (sorry not sorry). And, two, the power goes out and Leslie (now calling herself "Livewire") shows up. Kerpow!

Kara disappears to "go get security," and then a few seconds later Supergirl swoops in. As Supergirl does. Livewire and Supergirl cross the streams with their electricity bolts and heat vision, respectively, and Livewire ends up fleeing. As villains often do in this show. This auspicious fleeing allows Supergirl and the DEO to contemplate what Livewire's specific strengths and weaknesses might be.

Hank indeed figures out that some of Supergirl's powers got transferred to Leslie when she got hit by lightning. (*shrug* I can go with it). So, he gives Supergirl what seems to be the equivalent of a ghost trap in which to catch Livewire. Then, later that night, Cat and Supergirl team up (#SuperCat) to defeat her. I'm not sure why the the ghost trap idea is abandoned, or why Cat and Supergirl don't make out at some point, but Supergirl sees a hose lying on the ground and sprays water onto Livewire. It turns out electricity and water are not a good combo, and Livewire is defeated.

Speaking of fizzles, the next day at work Kara and Winn are talking and he leans in and kisses her on the cheek. (As.... one....does.... in the workplace?)  And, welp, this is what Kara looks like when Winn kisses her:

Everything's fine. This is fine.
Now, he either knows Kara has a crush on James and doesn't care or he's completely oblivious to the fact that Kara doesn't like him like that. Yikes. There was also some James/Kara flirting, but I will have more to say about that at a later recap I think. For now, the relationship/chemistry there seems a little.... forced? Like, I can 100% buy them being into each other.  But, every scene they're in together doesn't have to include dramatic, longing interactions, right? Take a cue from the queer gaze: romance can be subtle and people, even straight people, might still pick up on it I think?

The episode then ends with Alex's mom revealing that Alex's father worked for the DEO as well, that he was killed while serving, and he was recruited by Hank Henshaw. *dun dun dun*

Deep Thought of the Week: As mentioned, the Thanksgiving dinner scene was tense because, to me, it had the emotional resonance of coming out to one's family. In the show, Alex's mom had put a burden on her to watch over Kara starting when they took Kara in.  So, when Kara came out as Supergirl, Alex was blamed for it. It felt very uncomfortable because I know queer people who have actually been blamed for "turning" other people gay. So, it happens.

And, to top things off, she found out that her dad was secretly in the DEO (gay) too and suddenly it's like the superhero version of Fun Home. Or not at all, really. Too far. I've taken the metaphor too far.

Whatever. I'm going to drink some wine now.

 [Note: In November 2017, CW/Supergirl Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg was suspended after allegations of sexual harassment.]

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