Directors: Glen Winter, Rachel Talalay & others
Starring: Melissa Benoist, Chyler Leigh & Mehcad Brooks
Synopsis: The adventures of Superman’s cousin in her own superhero career.
Rating: 12 Duration: 894 minutes Release date: 21 August (UK)
As season one of Supergirl ended, there was an instability that hung over the show. Where would the show go in its second season and would it prove essential viewing in a world already full of superheroes? The answers are; not too far from the first season and not quite. Supergirl is a charming show, mostly due to Melissa Benoist, but it lacks the edge to be truly great and falls flat in the final few episodes.
As season one closed, audiences were left, as they often are in these types of shows, with a cliffhanger. A small space ship had crash landed and the identity of its occupant remained secret. Luckily, season two opens with Kara (Benoist) and the Martian Manhunter (David Harewood) opening the crashed pod to find Chris Wood’s Mon-El inside. A Daxamite and alien refugee, Mon-El’s ancestors were constantly at war with Kara’s home planet of Krypton. Initially, the two are at odds, but as the show progresses and various other situations materialise the two bond and form a close relationship.
As Mon-El plants himself firmly into Kara’s day-to-day life, firstly at CatCo and then at the DEO where Kara works with sister Alex (Chyler Leigh) and adoptive father figure Hank Henshaw/Martian Manhunter. The key relationships set up in the first series remain here and as Kara negotiates her way through her double life as Kara Danvers and Supergirl, she must also contend several new entries into her life. While the Luthor name has lingered in the background of the show, season two goes a step further and introduces his sister Lena Luther and mother Lillian. Separating itself from the father/son relationship seen in Smallville, the Luthor’s of Supergirl offer a similar dynamic, only we don’t know where this one is headed. As with any Supergirl/Superman set story, the driving force between the house of El and the Luthor’s is key and proves pivotal during the shows sophomore year.
As well as the Luthor family, Kara deals with her on/off relationship with Mon-El. This a sore point for many as it feels as if the relationship has been tacked on, especially at first, in some vain effort to give every hero a romantic relationship they must become beholden to. It’s only towards the end of the season when their relationship hits a high note and ends in a bitter-sweet way. The show has a more fulfilling relationship between Alex Danvers and Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima). The shows commitment to an openly gay relationship is both brave and rewarding and has a much more interesting development than that of Kara and Mon-El. Perhaps it’s the human element, and the two are more vulnerable because they aren’t super-powered aliens that are seemingly indestructible.
Another welcome addition is that of Kara’s cousin, Superman (Tyler Hoechlin). Hoechlin’s man of steel is a much more perceptive and attentive version than audiences have been shown in the recent DC films and this iteration is closer in tone to that of Christopher’s Reeve indomitable take on Superman. The only shame is that they only have him appear in three episodes. This is likely due to the show-runner’s not wanting to take away from the main event – Supergirl, but the chemistry and camaraderie between the two is plain for all to see and more moments like this would be very welcome in season three.
Those who suffer are Jimmy Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) and Winn (Jeremy Jordan). Both vied for Kara’s affections during season one, but have now seemingly moved onto other things. Jimmy, with the help of Winn, has become the head of CatCo and taken on the mantle of a vigilante known as Guardian. While Winn has now moved to head tech-guy at the DEO and begins a relationship with a female alien he picks up at the local alien friendly bar. The two suffer from lacking a clear direction and the paths they head down are not warranted or earned. Jimmy in particular is thrown head first into a new job and lifestyle in a move that seems a million miles away from the character in season one. Meanwhile, Winn now looks like a tacked on character with little to offer other than snappy one-liners and being the one character to constantly end up in trouble. Fingers crossed these elements are fixed soon.
Supergirl Season Two is indeed an improvement on the first season. There is more confidence to the show now and where other shows in the Arrowverse grow darker this, along with Legends of Tomorrow, offers a warmer more sunnier take on superheroes. That aspect has to be admired, but season three must also look at the darker side of things and attempt some real character growth now, something that can only be achieved by facing inner turmoil.
- Supergirl 2016 Comic-Con panel
- Alien Fight Night
- Did You Know? Facts for Fans
- Aliens Among Us
- A conversation with Andrew Kreisberg and Kevin Smith
- Commentary with Andrew Kreisberg and Kevin Smith on Supergirl Lives