You Won’t Like Supergirl When She’s Angry
The week gets off to pretty terrible start for Kara as she flies in to stop two road-raged drivers from running over a bunch of kids at a crosswalk. One of the drivers (who is apparently unaffected by the fact that he almost committed several acts of vehicular homicide) doesn’t take too kindly to the damage Supergirl gave to his car and tries picking a fight with her, getting a broken hand for his trouble. The National City media being the most fickle people on the planet have a field day with this and accuse Supergirl of having rage issues. Unsurprisingly, Lord is shown once again on TV leading the anti-Supergirl charge. It’s not a good sign that we’re only three minutes in and this episode is already pissing me off.
Meanwhile at CatCo, Cat is visited by her mother. The last couple of episodes have hinted at what a horrible shrew this woman is and oh boy did she not disappoint. In about two minutes, she belittles her daughters accomplishments while at the same time taking a couple of pot-shots at Supergirl. At one point she even says “Call me old-fashioned but I still prefer male doctors.” Okay writers, dialogue like that makes it really hard to stick up for this show sometimes. She then later ditches Cat altogether to have dinner with some Nobel laureates.
Kara and the DEO are called in by Lucy and her dad General Sam Lane (Glenn Morshower) to have Supergirl fight against a new weapon the Army has developed to test out it’s effectiveness. They’ve even gone to the trouble of having the President sign an executive order forcing Supergirl to comply. I’m not really sure the President has the authority to do that but I digress. The weapon turns out to be a robot called the Red Tornado designed by a man named Dr. T.O. Morrow (Iddo Goldberg).
Later at Kara’s apartment, she’s having a game night with James, Lucy and Winn, playing what I think is some form of Celebrity. James and Lucy are doing well together while Winn proves to be so horrible at this game that he actually gives Kara the hint “your cousin” for Superman right in front of Lucy, though luckily for Winn, Lucy doesn’t notice that little faux pas. Lucy does however, mention that she just met Supergirl and wasn’t really impressed.
The next day, Supergirl and the Army start on the Red Tornado test. It takes about a grand total of two minutes for Supergirl to thoroughly defeat the Red Tornado but Kara in another fit of rage continues to beat down the robot so badly that she rips one of it’s arms off, causing it’s emergency self preservation function to kick in and fly away. Morrow notes that the Red Tornado is now 100% undetectable and General Lane wastes no time blaming Supergirl for the killer robot now being loose on National City and fires Morrow for his incompetence. Which part of this was Supergirl’s fault exactly General? That your robot sucked so much it literally didn’t last two minutes with Supergirl? That it has the biggest design flaw since the Death Star, which you told the DEO nothing about beforehand?
Edge of T.O. Morrow
Back at CatCo, Cat starts yelling at Kara, causing Kara’s anger to finally boil over and she snaps at her boss. Cat rather than fire Kara on the spot like she probably would’ve in the pilot takes Kara to get a drink. Cat doesn’t appear to be particularly angry at Kara for her outburst since by her own admission she’s been taking her problems with her mother out on her anyway. She does warn Kara against having outbursts at work in the future though saying while men might be able to get away with it (at one point reminiscing about Perry White throwing a chair through a window), women tend be seen as crazy for doing the same thing. She also observes that Kara is actually mad about something else and she needs to find some sort of release so she can figure out what it is.
Meanwhile, Alex pays a visit to Lord, asking him to help analyze the Red Tornado arm that Kara ripped off but Lord declines due to his mistrust of the government.
Later that night, James is having dinner with Lucy and General Lane. Once Lucy leaves the room, General Lane point blank tells James that he doesn’t approve of Lucy’s relationship with him because he feels James isn’t good enough for her.
Shortly after dinner, Red Tornado has shown up again and attacks Lucy and General Lane. Supergirl flies in and saves them but before she can fight the robot very long, it sends a tornado after some civilians and flies away. Kara is thankfully able to stop the tornado from causing too much damage.
Back at the DEO, Lucy, not being a complete douche-bag like her father, thanks Supergirl for saving her and General Lane. General Lane, on the other hand is angry at Supergirl for letting Red Tornado get away. Supergirl and Lucy are quick to point out though that Red Tornado obviously knew Supergirl would choose to save civilians rather than prevent it from escaping. What’s more Henshaw has figured out that the Red Tornado was specially designed to fight against Kryptonians (man the Red Tornado sucks at it’s job worse than I thought) and calls General Lane out on it. General Lane insists that he was justified in having a plan for killing Kryptonians since in his words the only difference between Supergirl and the aliens the DEO are holding prisoner is that Supergirl has blonde hair. Personally, I figured a smarter argument would be to remind the DEO that they’re already facing an alien threat against Astra and God knows who else but hey General Lane hasn’t done the smart thing yet, so why should I expect him to start now?
Lord, having apparently changed his mind about helping Alex (while also not so subtlety hitting on her), tells her that Red Tornado is being remote controlled by somebody and it takes Alex all of two seconds to figure out it’s Morrow.
Kara meanwhile has taken Cat’s advice on finding a release for her anger and invites James to do it with her. James takes his anger out on a punching bag while Kara does the same with a car. James’ anger mostly stems from General Lane being a complete tool, while Kara’s is a little more deep seeded. She finally realizes that her anger is due to her being frustrated that she has no hope of ever having a normal life. This little epiphany comes just in time for Alex to call her back to the DEO.
Alex figures to stop Red Tornado they need to find and stop Morrow. She figures the best way to do this is lure Red Tornado out into the open and use him to trace Morrow’s location. Henshaw has the idea of using General Lane as bait, since he’s the one Morrow’s targeting. Even though they just used a hologram of General Lane instead, it was nice to have a couple of seconds of hope that General Lane would die horribly. Anyway, Supergirl fights Red Tornado while Alex tracks down Morrow. When Alex goes to confront Morrow, he smugly tells her the only way to stop Red Tornado is to kill him (why he thinks a secret government agent would hesitate to kill him when he’s already committed one act of terrorism is anybody’s guess). Alex manages to kill Morrow but that turns out not to matter since Red Tornado has somehow now become sentient. Of course, that’s also proven to be rather irrelevant since Kara destroys the robot outright with a super charged beam of heat vision.
The next day, General Lane gets ready to go back to Metropolis but is surprised to find out Lucy isn’t going with him and resigning from her job working with him and staying in National City (I don’t think the Army let’s you just do stuff like that but hooray for love I guess). General Lane tells her he thinks she’s making a terrible mistake and hopes that one day she’ll come to her senses.
Back at CatCo, Cat’s mother berrates Kara for not calling a car for her. Cat finally has finally had enough of listening to her mother’s bull crap and says that she can deal with being demeaned by her but she doesn’t get to do the same thing to Kara and insists that she’s actually an excellent assistant. Afterwards, Cat claims she only said that to shut her mother up but I think it says something that Cat’s breaking point was her insulting Kara in the first place. Afterwards, Kara breaks a glass and as she goes to pick it up she accidentally cuts herself and is surprised to find she’s actually bleeding.
Kara and Alex, not knowing who they can trust in the DEO, ask Winn to hack into the DEO servers to see if he can find out how Jeremiah died. Winn is hesitant to do this at first since as he rightfully points out, what they’re asking him to do is technically treason but he eventually agrees to help. After Winn does a little digging, he finds out that Jeremiah and Henshaw went to South America to capture a hostile alien but they both disappeared and were presumed dead. A month later, Henshaw resurfaced without a scratch on him and claiming to have no memory of what happened to him.
Supergirl has just received an order from CBS for an additional seven points but if they’re anything like ‘Red Faced’, I’m going to dread every single one of them. Some folks seemed to enjoy because it delves into Supergirl’s motivations but that isn’t worth sitting through the rest of the episode to get there.
You might have noticed in this recap that I can’t stand General Lane. Dubious military officers and government agents aren’t anything new in comics with people like Amanda Waller, Thunderbolt Ross, General Eiliing and or even Henshaw on this show but those characters at least have the benefit of not completely sucking at their jobs. I take back everything I said about Henshaw being a one-dimensional foil to Kara in the pilot episode because Henshaw at least made a couple of decent points in that episode about Kara possibly doing more harm than good. Now I don’t hate General Lane as a character and actually really liked how Michael Ironside portrayed him in Smallville. As for the Supergirl version, I am legitimately astounded that this belligerent idiot achieved the ranking of General.
The other problem here is Red Tornado. It’s bad enough that the show took a card carrying member of the Justice League and made him into a villain but they don’t even bother to make him interesting. With the exception of Kara’s concentrated dose of heat vision, the fight scenes were all really underwhelming and for a weapon specially designed to fight Supergirl, he sure did suck at it.
The feminism of this episode also felt a little forced. I don’t necessarily disagree with anything that was said on the subject in this episode (well most of it anyway) but the writers still need to work on not being so heavy handed and on the nose about it.
For the third episode in a row though, Cat is easily the best part of the show. Once again, she’s undoubtedly the funniest character and Calista Flockhart actually does a good job with unspoken emotions. The looks on Cat’s face while talking to her mother ranged from deeply hurt to seething anger and up until the end it’s evident she’s using every fiber of her being not to grab her mother and strangle her.
Hopefully things will improve next week with ‘Human for a Day.’