In Review: Supergirl, Episode 3 “Fight or Flight”

The fun of Supergirl is sucked out by a pair of antagonists more threatening than the super villain.

Supergirl, Episode 3 “Fight or Flight” Broadcast November 9, 2015

Written by Michael Grassi & Rachel Shukert

Directed by Dermott Downs

“Previously on Supergirl,” James Olsen and Kara Danvers meet, two of her friends realized they both know Kara’s alter ego, Maxwell Lord goes on television to say that Supergirl is a threat, Cat Grant threatens to fire James if she doesn’t get her a sit down interview with Supergirl, prompting Supergirl to lift up Cat’s gar and take her to a remote location. Supergirl says, “Let’s talk.”

Picking up right from last week, Cat asks the expected questions, but, not getting anything different from Superman’s origin, her line of queries take a turn, causing Kara to reveal that she’s cousins with Superman. Kara ends the interview and flies off, leaving Cat screaming, “What do you do all day when you’re not flying around town? Do you have a day job?” The next day, Alex meets Kara for breakfast at a restaurant where she asks her to stop talking to people about Supergirl. That’s when Cat’s news channel breaks in with the story that Supergirl and Superman are cousins. Back at the office, Winn asks if it isn’t a little dangerous letting out who she’s related to. “She tricked me,” Kara says of Cat. “She’s like a villain. She’s like a super interviewing villain.” Meanwhile at a junkyard, a disfigured man sees the news story, puts on armor, looks at the television, says, “Cousins,” and blows it away with an energy blast from his fist. At the headquarters for the Department of Extra-Normal Operations, Henshaw is upset at Supergirl’s interview. A pile up on a freeway gives her an excuse to leave and she helps a woman trapped in a bus. Having assisted the woman, she’s blasted to the ground by a flying figure, the armored man. “Who are you?” she asks, to which he replies with a shrug, “A ghost.” A fight breaks out with a sudden ending. Cue opening title sequence and first commercial break.

Iron Man versus Supergirl should have been the subtitle of this episode, because that’s what the battle was. A decent origin is given to Reactron, as is his justification for wanting to kill Supergirl. The effects on their fight are great, though didn’t it end in the same location where she fought the Persuader in the pilot episode, except it’s now night? Much more time seem to be spent on building up Maxwell Lord’s character, because after just one full episode with him, I’m waiting for his head to be snapped by any female hero. I don’t blame Peter Facinelli, it’s the way his character is written; he has no redeeming qualities, not even in a fun way. He’s an arrogant genius, minus the charm of Tony Stark. Speaking of annoying, Cat Grant. Again, the actor, Calista Flockhart, can’t be blamed, but if she’s going to be this heavy the entire time, I’ll be eagerly looking forward to when Kara leaves Catco. Melissa Benoist sells the scenes where she’s pleading her case to other characters, and I liked the disagreement between her and Mehcad Brooks‘ James Olsen. Jeremy Jordan‘s Winn Schott was the only character to bring any joy to this episode. It was nice to see Henshaw’s red eyes again, and the introduction of Jenna Dewan Tatum‘s character is a good addition to make the office drama move away from Cat.

The good: Dermott Downs‘ direction (with some excellent daytime fight scenes and a terrific exit from Kara’s apartment in the end), Melissa Benoist, Jeremy Jordan, Chris Browning as Reactron, the effects, and some goosebump inducing moments with Kara instant messaging with someone.

Fun lines: “I’m an alien,” “What’s next?…’Keeping Up With the Kryptonians’?”, “…it didn’t work out,” “Your story is just starting…”, and “What’s so bad about falling?”

The bad: This was just a downer of a story with all the nasty people (Cat and Max) making Kara’s life hell. I know there’s supposed to be conflict, but this episode had barely any optimism in it: Hint to writers — Watch The Flash for the tone this show should have. When Kara wasn’t suited up, this episode was a downer. National City had Los Angeles’ downtown skyline when she flew to the freeway accident. This series is only three episodes in and I don’t think the writers believe they can get away from Superman’s shadow. I’m hoping this is it for seeing him and talking about him, outside of the communication used in the end. And I just noticed, how did Kara pierce her ears? I don’t think magnet earrings would be possible to create an attraction through her Kryptonian lobes. Yes, it’s a nitpick, but this dreary episode had me looking all over the screen.

The final line: The fun of Supergirl is sucked out by a pair of antagonists more threatening than the super villain. This was okay, but not nearly super. Overall grade: C

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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