Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 1.16 "Falling"

Oh, this one was good (but fair warning, I do like me a good upstanding-character-gone-dark plot twist).

"Falling" begins with Cat making an appearance The Talk. I only mention this part because (a) I love Cat, and (b) a smidge of subtext occurs when one of the hosts asks Cat if the rumors are true about Cat and Supergirl being "friends." But, the question is asked in a suggestive tone. Cat elaborates, saying that, in her experience, Supergirl is just a genuinely good person. Because she knows these things. she reallllly knows.

What is Supergirl like? Let me count the ways.
In other romance news, Winn and Siobhan are apparently hooking up at the office now. (What is this, Grey's Anatomy??). And, James tells Kara that Lucy broke up with him (and that Lucy no longer works at CatCo, booo). Kara, being Kara, does the thing where she is genuinely sad for them but also a little bit happy because this is her big chance to be with James.

Later, Supergirl is called to the scene of a fire. While there, she is exposed to red kryptonite, dun dun dun, and that's when things get hot. I mean, interesting. No, I mean bad.

Seeing Red
But first, to backtrack. Circa 1983, we learned in Superman III that exposure to red kryptonite corrupted Superman's fine, honorable personality. For instance, instead of saving people, he turned into a guy who drank booze and played pranks on humanity. Like that time he straighened the Leaning Tower of Pisa and blew out the Olympic flame? What a gas! Christopher Reeve Superman, don't ever change. I mean, how charming that the evil, dark version of his version of Superman was 99% less evil and dark than the current leader of the (still) free world.

But, I digress.

In "Falling," we find out the answer to our (n=1?) burning question: whatever does red kryptonite do to our heroic, good-natured puppy, Kara/Supergirl?

Well, for starters, Dark Kara wears a very tight dress to work, garnering the attention of James, Winn, and Cat (natch), because apparently she looks very different than she does in her regular dowdy* outfits (*which she usually looks cute in SO BACK OFF). Then, at the DEO, she acts aloof when Hank is talking about the latest bad alien villain, which, oddly enough, is called a K'hund (don't say it out loud). We know she's aloof because her feet are propped up on a desk and she's inspecting her nails, which is the universal signal for giving zero fucks at work:

Ho-hum
Supergirl later gets in a fight with the K'hund, but she lets him get away, just 'cuz. Apparently, she's not interested in capturing the Bad Aliens anymore. But then, then, the next morning, she takes Cat's private elevator and, when confronted by Cat, mouths off to her. Cat is surprised and.... also, seems to approve, saying, "Brazen. That's a new color on you. I don't mind it. Yet." LOLOLOL. (Same).

Somewhat annoyingly, the Kara/Siobhan rivalry rears its head again. Siobhan has video showing that Supergirl let the K'hund go, but Cat doesn't want to run a story on it until more information is known. When Siobhan pitches it to CatCo's competitor, Kara tattles on her and Cat fires Siobhan.

*sigh*

Imagine for a moment a world in which Dark Kara, Siobhan, and Cat Grant combined their powers for good. Nasty Women unite!

The Dark Kara Extravaganza continues later that night, when dancing at a club occurs. Kara is really forward with James, flirting with him overtly, which James isn't into at all (because ummmm?). His reason is that Kara's not acting like herself, but like I just said ummmmmmm? Totes realistic.

But, actually it is realistic the more I think about it, because I've found the Kara/James romantic plot a bit forced. If they had better chemistry, it would be less realistic for James to turn down this gorgeous woman he's supposedly been pining after for months. As it stands, it actually does ring true to James' character that he would reject Dark Kara because of his principles. It's almost like the maintext of this romantic storyline is that James and Kara should be into each other, while the subtext is that them "being into each other" is actually pretty superficial (ie - they're both attractive, both kind, they work together, might as well, *shrug*). Your mileage may vary, but I'm just not sure what the deeper connection is with that romance.

Anyway, Kara then turns into Supergirl and goes to see Cat. Yessssss. (FYI- I 100% admit my biases).

Stronger Together
The tension here is that Cat wants Supergirl to be a good person - a hero - but also understands that maybe she's experiencing a breakdown. Meanwhile, Supergirl continues to struggle with her central conflict: her powers make her duty-bound to being a hero, but she also longs for a normal life. Dark Supergirl, however, gives zero fucks about being a hero anymore. She tells Cat she quits. But,  Cat stands up to her, saying, "Now, you listen to me. I made you." And, okay, in an ideal world, SuperCat would be an item at this point.

But we're not in that world. So instead, shortly after that point, Supergirl hurls Cat over the balcony, and then saves her at the last second, to make a point that Cat's not the most powerful person in National City after all. Well, shitballs. That's that.

Meanwhile, the super-perceptive Scoobies finally figure out that something's up with Supergirl. Max Lord swoops into the DEO right in the nick of time and confesses that he was the one who made the red kryptonite. He had intended to hurt Non and wasn't anticipating Supergirl encountering it. Whoooops! He then creates an antidote. How tidy. What a relief! (Seriously, though, *shrug* I'm 90% here for the flying, Alex Danvers, and subtext).

Meanwhile, Cat is so shaken up by being thrown off a building that she goes on live TV and denounces Supergirl, calling her unstable and dangerous.

In Danvers Sisters news, Alex goes to Kara's apartment. It seems Kara has made herself a new black spandex-y Supergirl outfit. She also uses her laser vision to set her old dowdy clothes on fire (LOL).  She's then really mean to Alex, saying they aren't really sisters, and it's awful. Okay, Dark Supergirl, you had me until you made Alex cry!

Supergirl then starts going on a rampage in the city, so the DEO goes after her. There's a moment where it looks like Supergirl is going to kill Alex. So, Hank turns into J'onn in order to save her, which publicly outs him as an alien.


Alex is able to shoot Supergirl with the antidote, and so she turns back to normal. Then, instead of escaping, Hank lets himself get arrested and is taken to the bad alien jail. Blub.

Kara then tries to make amends with Alex, James, and Cat. They all sort of realize there were kernels of truth to what she said to all of them when she was Dark Supergirl. On the upside, Cat ends by giving Supergirl one of her tough love inspiring monologues (which should be an app, for all of us), saying:
"If you came here for me to tell you everything's going to be okay, I can't do that. It's not that easy. Now, I said that it's not going to be easy, but I didn't say it would be impossible. Now personally, I don't believe in failure, not if you get back up and face the music. It takes time. But, if anyone can win this city back, it's you."
*sigh*

Deep Thought of the Week: Watching this comedic SuperCat fan vid's all I got, folks. (Note, in particular, moment 1:37).

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