In Review: Supergirl, Episode 54 “Midvale”

Forget Young Sheldon, I want more adventures of Young Kara and Young Alex!

Supergirl, Episode 54 “Midvale” Broadcast on November 13, 2017

Written by Caitlin Parrish & Jess Kardos

Directed by Rob Greenlea

Previously on Supergirl: The title character confesses to J’onn that for the last few months when she dreams she sees Mon-El, Alex and Maggie break up, and Kara calls J’onn at the DEO to tell him that she and her sister will be out for the next few days because they’re going home.

In the present, Alex and Kara drive to their childhood home in Midvale in J’onn’s car. Mom is waiting for them, but Alex only gives her a silent hug and then goes into the house alone. That night, Kara and mom talk about Alex, but Mother Danvers quickly manipulates the conversation to discuss Kara’s bottled up emotions. Mom is concerned about her closing herself off, “You’re allowed to be a mess.” Her step-daughter counters that she can’t, “Too many people depend on me.” The conversation makes Kara uncomfortable. Upstairs, Alex is drinking. Kara tries to talk to her, but Alex tells Kara that she doesn’t get to shut down for six months and now wants her to talk her loss after a few hours. They go to bed angry and when the sun comes up it’s ten years earlier. The girls wake up to go to school and rush to see who gets to the bathroom first. They yell and scream at each other as only siblings can, with mom giving a good holler as well. Cue opening title card.

What a terrific episode! I was prepared to write this off as a “filler” episode, since the majority of the story is set in the flashback of the two sisters encountering grief for the first time with a mystery involving a classmate. Instead, this story shows how the two came to be incredibly close, mend some fences, and know that they could rely on one another when the going gets tough. This allows for the two to patch things up in the present for the episode’s coda. My hat’s off to Parrish and Kardos for a great story.

Izabela Vidovic and Olivia Nikkanen nail their adult counterparts, Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh. The smugness of adult Kara is easily seen in the gym on Vidovic when she addresses Nikkanen, who herself has the tonality of Leigh in her line delivery. This is fantastic casting and even better acting. Ivan Mok has some great scenes as friend Kenny Li, who’ll break you’re heart in a scene under that stars. There is an absolute scream worthy appearance by an actress who has a history with a character from DC Comics on the small screen from a different series (though she has appeared on this show) and an equally scream worthy assistance from a character from the same series. I would love to see this actress, who I will not name, reappear on this series, with the same name, but that can’t happen unless things return to the past.

The good: Izabela Vidovic, Olivia Nikkanen, Ivan Mok, Benoist, Leigh, Helen Slater, the breeze’s reveal in the forest, the incident in the boy’s locker room, flip phones, the name of the agent (OMG!!!!!!!!!), and the closing song.

Fun lines: “You don’t seem happy,” “You don’t get to do that,” “Are you better?”, “Try and keep up,” “For me,” “Alex Danvers knows,” “It’s not your job to protect people,” “Mom?” and “She’s coming.”

The bad: The opening song on the way to the house — the music did not match the singer. The bass on that song was so heavy I though I was listening to a lost track from Twin Peaks by Angelo Badalamenti. The individual who teases Kenny is the go-to bad guy of every high school story, so that wasn’t too original. The reveal of who the antagonist was obvious after one person is implicated. These are extremely minor nits on a highly entertaining tale.

The final line: Forget Young Sheldon, I want more adventures of Young Kara and Young Alex! The story smoothly uses a tale from the characters’ past to address their current woes and allows them to grow. Someone keep Parrish and Kardos writing for this show! Overall grade: A

 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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