Supergirl: Crossfire
November 7, 2016 8:49 PM - Season 2, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Supergirl faces a ruthless new gang that's been given new alien technology by Cadmus.
posted by oh yeah! (16 comments total)
I'm mad at myself for not guessing the identity of not-Amanada-Waller as soon as she mentioned her daughter and son. Do I get at least partial points for hitting upon the realization as soon as she walked into Lena's office? Speaking of Ms. Luthor, is this the start of a romance for Winn, what with bonding over high tech under the table?

Apparently Barry's idiot ball has been passed to Kara who though it was a good idea to turn Mon-El into an intern before even teaching him the basics like how to answer a phone. Way to go Kara!

As much as the writers tried really, really, really hard to give James all sorts of motivation for his burgeoning superhero career it all felt really false or maybe forced is the correct description. I mean he's been in charge of Catco for what a couple of weeks at the most and he's already finding that it's not fulfilling enough. Oh, and he also has enough spare time on his hands to wander off and play hero. Again, I'm having problems buying that premise. His sudden dismissal of hiding behind the camera not doing anything but playing the sidekick rings really false in light of past speeches about the power and joy he felt when taking pictures. And why wouldn't he want to tell Winn about his chosen identity? Wouldn't it be nice if his super suit actually reflected his new alter ego [which is easily found online if those who don't know what it is and are curious enough to look it up]. One last comment on this particular line of thought: previously Winn had issues and fears about becoming his father. I know he's not making evil toys, but isn't making super suits heading dangerously down a similar path?

I'm not sure what to say about Alex and Maggie. Yes, I think Maggie pushed too hard. I'm not sure about how quickly Alex came around to her conclusions about her own identity, but this type of process is so far out of my wheelhouse that I really can't comment on it without sounding like a total idiot. I think I would have preferred, however, to have the whole story line play out over an extra episode or two. It just seemed like too much at once to go from Maggie getting dumped to Alex realizing she has feelings for the cop. But again, I'm more than open to having my opinions changed on this matter.
posted by sardonyx at 9:10 PM on November 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

My only problem with the Cadmus-boss-reveal is, wouldn't Lex & Lena Luthor's mother be a recognizable public figure too? The idea the Alex and Kara wouldn't recognize her on first sight just seems preposterous.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:31 PM on November 7, 2016 [3 favorites]

Everyone is trying so hard, though I think it's working better for some (Alex, Lena) than others (James).

Kara: Wants to have a puppy of her own, is not ready for the puppy. The premise that Kara would bring him to CatCo and not have at least shown him a phone at the DEO seems ridiculous, but I also actually liked Mon-El here, so I'm probably just going to hand-wave this away as fun. Kara is learning that enthusiasm can only take you so far (in this and her new job) and I think that is actually important though ymmv.

James: I don't care. I'm over it. I'm glad Winn is helping him so he doesn't die immediately, but meh. Boring. Since the reporter!Kara thing isn't a real storyline, I wish they'd let James explore how being in charge of CatCo affects how he tells stories.

Lena: YES. Evil? Not evil? Mommy Cadmus! My theory is that she's a less extreme version of her mom and brother. Aliens are fine as long as you know who they are. Some kind of separate-but-equal that she's going to have to either make more extreme or abandon in order to pick sides in the upcoming battle. Kara is her only friend! Her reveal to Lena will be great.

Alex: My baby gay, you are so good and trying so hard. You are bad at this and you know it and you'll get better. I have zero perspective here because Alex's story is my story. (sardonyx, this isn't a common coming out story in media, but it's so very common in real life, especially with queer women.) Years of perfectionism and throwing yourself into the things that make sense. General unease with performative and compulsory heterosexuality. Boring relationships with men who are fine but you never understood the fuss. You meet a girl at school/work/event/bar and you're immediate besties. You're jealous of her significant other for no reason. You're SO SUPPORTIVE of her choices. You're there to pick her up when things go badly. You're so invested but it's just because you care. But I so clearly remember being 31, sitting in a bar across from one of my best friends...telling her I was getting a divorce, but that I was feeling other things, I had met someone. I couldn't say the words to this person who I knew would support me. And we sat there until she put me out of my misery by taking me by the shoulders and just saying, "tell me about her." So I did, over many beers, and it was such a relief and every word that fell out of my mouth felt like freedom. [Epilogue: I'm marrying that girl in April and my friend from the bar is performing the ceremony for us.]

I truly never thought that this little show was going to show I never see myself in media. Last night I read that article that plastic_animals posted and I feel good about this. Ugh, sorry about the novel, I just have so many good feelings about this and so few good feelings about today and the election.
posted by komlord at 9:02 AM on November 8, 2016 [23 favorites]

Well congratulations and best wishes on your upcoming marriage. I'm very happy for you.
posted by sardonyx at 10:28 AM on November 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Vulture - Supergirl Recap: Finding Yourself

Autostraddle - “Supergirl” Episode 205 Recap: Welcome To The Team, Danvers!

So happy with how they're writing & acting Alex/Maggie, just beautiful.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:35 PM on November 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Once a frat boy, always a frat boy, even if you dress him up in Clark Kent/Martin from Legends-wear. Also, putting someone on answering phones when he literally doesn't know what a phone is is asking for trouble. The assistant dropping her pen and her jaw when she saw "Mike" and then running off to bang him was funny. But that said...this dude cannot be a love interest for Kara whatsoever if he's this shallow.

I think it's reasonable that James would want to try superhero-dom himself and get sick of being a sidekick. (I was rolling my eyes on the repeated harping on his camera, though.) But let's face it, James is only "head" of Catco because they didn't feel like hiring another actor to play the boss. Why they didn't just put this "snapper" dude on it, I don't know.

So Lena's the only non-evil Luthor because she's adopted, then? Also, vaguely kinda wondering if she's interested in Kara.

Alex wasn't already out? Huh. Ah well, the girlfriend's gone, time to move in for the kill. I about laughed at the ex's complaint that Maggie was a workaholic and Alex was all, "what's wrong with that?"

I rolled my eyes at "Operation Doubtfire." WHY WOULD YOU NOT CALL YOUR SHAPESHIFTER FRIEND IN ON THIS?
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:24 AM on November 9, 2016

yeah where was J'onn this entire episode? did I miss something from last episode where he went away?
posted by numaner at 11:03 AM on November 9, 2016

That Autostraddle article is great.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:01 PM on November 10, 2016

Hm. Typical Supergirl: some parts were great, others were clunky. The thing I usually miss on this show is any hint of subtlety.

* Within this episode, they handled the stuff surrounding James becoming a superhero adequately. The discussion between him and Winn was fine and all, and he has a good reason to keep this from Kara until it's too late to talk him out of it. I agree that the most clunky part was him going on about the camera being destroyed: that was some hacky symbolism, and emphasizing it didn't help.

In the context of the bigger picture, the whole thing is still pretty annoying: as mentioned above, James should be too busy running CatCo to do this. Presently, I'm taking a 'wait and see' approach to the whole thing: if they finally just stick with *one* plot thread with him, I will grudgingly accept this. If they drop it halfway through the season, I will be frustrated. (I would still prefer to see James, Gatherer of Intel and Connections - it's something he's genuinely good at in a way the rest of the gang is not, and therefore a more logical contribution to the group than 'guy what whacks stuff with a baseball bat.')

* I'm cis het, and therefore this is not my bailiwick, but I liked Alex's talk about how she never really understood why dating didn't work for her. Her preoccupation with Maggie was also a rare case of the show handling relationship stuff realistically: that totally rang true about every crush I've ever seen or had. I was braced for this to be really annoying, (see Kara/Winn/James/Lucy stuff), but this was all right. I hope they keep up the quality there, and don't devolve into melodrama. (Also, I will be royally pissed if Maggie is subject to the whole 'bury your gays' thing, as mentioned above.)

* Lena reads to me as either having a crush on Kara, knowing she's Supergirl, or maybe both. I actually hope she's on the level - I would be tickled if part of the arc this season really is 'a Luthor and a member of the House of El fight crime together without backstabbing or ulterior motives.' (My favorite times on Smallville were very early in the run, when Clark and Lex were buddies. I mean, if something's going to go alt-continuity anyway, it's a great place to flip the script.) Her working with Winn so easily gives me some hope there.

* Alex probably should've recognized Cadmus Boss Lady, yeah. Her connection to all things Krypton is deep, both personally and professionally - she should know all their dossiers backward and forward.

* The thugs with alien weapons really reminded me of Intergang as presented in the DCAU - I fully expected the gravity weapon to form giant hands like in Tools of the Trade.

* I felt like Kara deliberately passed on tapping J'onn in, here. Unlike with Cat, Lena didn't really need to see Kara and Supergirl in the same moment, only the same event, and she has superspeed. In her shoes, I might have left J'onn alone about it too, since he's extra-broody lately.

* Every time Mon-El had a scene, it felt to me like the episode crossed over into a rom-com... except it clearly starred Miss Tessmacher falling for a douchey clueless pretty boy who's all wrong for her, and the episode just omitted her half of the story in favor of laser guns. It was funny, but pretty weird and inappropriate if they're going for a Kara/Mon-El romance. (I so, so hope they're not. I would actually be very amused if Mon-El passes on superheroing entirely and just decides he really likes a normal profession. Bartender? Candy store employee? Inventor of Skittlebrau?)
posted by mordax at 1:33 AM on November 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

(Also, I will be royally pissed if Maggie is subject to the whole 'bury your gays' thing, as mentioned above.)

From the Hollywood Reporter interview linked above though:
The decision to add a lesbian character to Supergirl comes not long after several TV shows were criticized for killing off prominent lesbian characters — a controversial trend that became known as the "Bury Your Gays" trope.

However, Kreisberg says that hasn't factored into Alex's narrative. "Well, they're not dying, either of them, so we're not really thinking about that right now," he says.

While he could be lying (the 'The 100' producer/writers certainly did), I feel like Supergirl is much less kill-happy/angst-driven than the rest of the Berlanti-verse, and that I can take that quote at face value.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:38 AM on November 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Lena reads to me as either having a crush on Kara, knowing she's Supergirl, or maybe both. I actually hope she's on the level - I would be tickled if part of the arc this season really is 'a Luthor and a member of the House of El fight crime together without backstabbing or ulterior motives.'

I feel like it's inevitable that they will be enemies, but I think Lena is for real now. My guess is that some painful rift will eventually open between them, leading to a classic Superman/Lex Luthor dynamic -- that is, with Lena despising Supergirl for reasons that are either unfair or altogether irrational, and Supergirl angry at Lena's actions but predominantly just sad over the loss of her friend, and over her friend's great squandered potential.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:29 AM on November 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I am just about out of patience for Mon-el. He has no storyline, he's not charming, he's not interesting, he is very blatantly being set up to have a heroic turn and then die at the end of the season. This is the part of the story that establishes his character and draws us into his journey, gets us emotionally invested. This is what's supposed to make us like him?

Interestingly each episode so far has left out either Winn, James, or J'onn. Almost ... like ... they have one too many characters now oh snap

just kidding no really maybe not kidding

I'm tuning in now specifically for Alex's epic gay odyssey, which was a tad underwhelming in this episode, but still worth the price of admission.

I do kind of like where James is going here, but it's not really earned. Also they missed a super cool line in there. When Winn said "Kara can fly and stuff," he should have said "Kara's bulletproof." this is what ticks me off about the DC shows okay
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 3:51 PM on November 11, 2016

My tivo didn't record a new Supergirl last night, it's showing #6 as new for Saturday, but AV Club has a recap up as usual and from skimming the comments it looks like plenty of people saw it. Maybe some regional thing? Looks like I'll have to watch it off the CW site tonight, anyone who watched it already should go ahead and start the new thread.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:45 AM on November 15, 2016

A couple of Easter eggs here -
- Valerie Perrine played Eve Tessmacher in Superman: The Movie. She was Lex Luthor's secretary.
- I immediately thought that Mon-El was being set up to be a Power Girl analog. Why? Because of when he was trying on shirts and he couldn't button on of them up all the way so there was a little gap, and then when the baddies zapped him at the party there was a shot of him with a giant hole in his shirt, a la Power Girl. He's Power Boy!
posted by smartyboots at 4:01 PM on November 15, 2016

Hoping someone sees this and can maybe help.

Why aren't episodes 205, 206, and 207 on the CW app/streaming app?? It's making me crazy! I thought maybe once the new one came out, 205 etc. would show up, but nope.
posted by cooker girl at 4:32 PM on January 25, 2017

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