Warning: This recap for “The Last Children of Krypton” episode of Supergirl contains spoilers.
Superman’s guest appearance has been cleverly used to disguise the fact that the first two episodes of Season 2 have all been table-setting. The show is losing Cat Grant as a regular character; Kara, James, and Winn all have new jobs; Cadmus is replacing Astra and Non as season-long villains; and Lana Luthor and the guy from the pod (his name is Mon-El) are replacing Max Lord as frenemies. That sounds mean, but it’s actually turned out to be good for pacing — that’s a lot of exposition now out of the way.
Supergirl and Superman are having #toomuchfun taking out bad guys with their combined powers, but their chumminess rubs Hank and Alex the wrong way. Cat introduces Kara to her new boss, Snapper Carr (Ian Gomez), who immediately fires her. Cadmus reveals themselves and their mission to rid the world of the alien menace (Superman and Supergirl, mostly). They also bring the assassin from the last episode back as the new-and-improved kryptonite-fueled Metallo (Frederick Schmidt) who fires blasts of green death from his chest. Team Krypton stop him once, but Cadmus creates a second kryptonite assassin and sets one on National City and one in Metropolis. Superman teams up with Martian Manhunter, and Supergirl teams with a power-suit-enhanced Alex to defeat both. Kara offers Carr a scoop on the Metallo story, and he reluctantly gives her her job back.
One of the things that makes Supergirl a delightful counterpoint to Arrow is that it’s retained the interpersonal drama but dropped the soap-opera-like continuity. Alex feels left out because Kara is palling around with Clark but, after an episode or two, it’s resolved. Clark hates that J’onn has kryptonite, but otherwise they’re on the same page. Most tellingly, the season-long tease of Kara and James, for all intents and purposes, is over. Every series needs a little bit of ongoing emotional crises, but Supergirl has figured out that that’s not where the fun of their show is.
Hank and Winn
The fun of the show, obviously, is Winn making smart-aleck remarks at Hank’s back. “Grumpy.” “Eyes on the keys!” Winn does realize that J’onn J’onzz is probably strong enough to toss him into outer space, right?
Cat and Kara
All that stuff about lack of drama isn’t to say that the emotional depth isn’t there. You probably won’t see a more satisfying emotional moment on any show this season better than the hug between Kara and her Prada-wearing devil mentor. A soap opera is about characters who never change, whereas every week Kara learns, grows, and becomes more confident. It’s a shame to see Calista Flockhart go, but, storytelling-wise, they’ve managed to make her leaving essential to Supergirl’s arc.
Snapper and Kara
Will there be a similar hug in the future from her irascible new boss? Almost certainly, but it doesn’t look like it’ll be too soon or too easy. Gomez fulfills the same role as early Season 1 Cat — the impossible-to-please boss — but brings a great new energy to it. Or maybe it’s an old energy? Like J. Jonah Jameson before him and Perry White before that, the curmudgeonly editor is a classic comic book trope that almost feels incomplete without a cigar to chomp on.
- That power armor was cool as hell, but can somebody explain why J’onn J’onzz appeared as a tiny version of Kara — complete with tiny suit and cape? That feels way more conspicuous than a big ol’ green dude.
- (Missed) Line of the Night: When Alex flings a pipe through Metallo’s chest, it’s almost exactly that scene from the old Schwarzenegger movie, Commando. During the production process, someone must have cut out the part where kryptonite gas comes spewing out of the pipe and Alex says, “Let off some steam.”
- Line of the Night: “I don’t like you and I never will, Ponytail.” “I don’t need you to like me, Jerk … Guy.” Melissa Benoist makes it look easy, but don’t be fooled — there aren’t many who could sell a line that silly and make you love her for it.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.