Series Issues: Supergirl 1×05 – How Does She Do It?

Spoilers might show you how it’s done. Ok, that didn’t make sense. Nevermind.

(Source: CBS)

(Source: CBS)

We’re back in National City with Supergirl 1×05: How Does She Do It? This was the episode destined to be shown last week, but since the attack in Paris it was switched with Livewire. There’s no actual shooting involved, but there are bombs galore and one man dying in an explosion. It’s a good, almost great episode. Not so much for what happens but for what it implies.

Kara meets her greatest fan. Carter Grant, the young son of Cat, is a diehard fan of Supergirl. It’s all very innocent. It’s about the one thing that seems to make him lift his eyes from the pavement. Kara has volunteer to babysit him. Very sitcom-ish. This is not going to blow up on her face. At all. Okey, yes it is.

Supergirl’s been watched. Drones have been following her around as she disarms a bomb and flies around the city. The technology leads to Maxwell Lord. Alex and Hank pose as FBI agents talk to him. After yet another bomb scare at his main lab, they try to get Maxwell to call off his unveiling of his pet project: A super-train. No, of course not! The Steve Jobs-wannabe will not be scared by the whims of a madman, etc. Of course, as it usually happens there’s more than one bomb.

After trusting Winn, Supergirl decides to go for the bomb on the train while the DEO tries to disarm the one at the airport. I know the show tries to put it so Supergirl chooses the train that Carter is on instead of the airport where there’s a lot more people. They forget one thing. The bomb at the airport is inside a building and fortunately, not on a plane. The bomb on the train is in a super-fast moving train. One can be reach by the agents of the DEO and one can only be reach by Supergirl (or The Flash, but we’re not doing crossovers – yet).

The bomb at the airport turns out to be a dud. Well, not exactly. That’s what Hank Henshaw tells Alex and the rest of the DEO, but apparently he used some meta-level skill to disarm it. Yes, we get the glowing red eyes again. Even Supergirl catches a glimpse them while been groggy after discarding a bomb in the stratosphere earlier.  The bomb on the train is strapped to Ethan Knox, a disgruntal employee of Maxwell, but is he really? He seems to be coerced in this, and with his little daughter as collateral. Kara tries to talk him out of it, but all she gets is 30 seconds to save everyone else in the train. Ethan blows himself up as Kara disconnects the rest of the cars and stops the train.

In the end however, it was Max all along. The multimillionaire was testing Kara’s strength, speed, endurance, reflexes and her decision making. Supergirl can’t prove it but she tells Maxwell Lord she will always be watching.

Sigh. I would have been a little less willing to nitpick this one if we had dispensed with all the Friend Zone and Kara had acted like she was from this age and time. To be honest the whole bombs-all-over the place was also dumb.

Highs/Lows/FriendZoning:

  • Cat gets the oldest question ever from Kara. How does she do it? The trope of the extraterrestrial that comes from a highly advanced technological society but a severely socially hampered one is alive and well. Is Kara from Krypton or the 1950’s? Were there no single women with careers in Krypton? Kudos to Cat for setting her straight, but sometimes it feels like Kara just arrived on Earth earlier that day.
  • Maxwell is Kara’s greatest hater. Carter is Kara’s greatest fan. They’re both in the same train. Ok, I was sure I had something there. Guess not. Still, Maxwell makes for a great enemy of Kara. Let the Lex Luthor comparisons begin.
  • In life imitating… life, Kara gets the same “How do you do it” question from Maxwell moments later.
  • Carter tells Kara that her mother (Cat) always tells him, “nerds can win in the end.” She hopes that is true.
  • Carter (while winning on a video game): “Winn, you are getting killed!” Winn (watching Kara go after James): “Every day, kid.”
  • Alex telling Kara that she spends more time in the Friend Zone that she ever did in the Phantom Zone. No, there is no Friend Zone! Nobody puts you there. If you are a friend, then you should not have any ulterior motives to help your friends. If you just hang around expecting to win enough brownie points, you’re being facetious. Be a true friend. Express your feelings.
  • Hank Henshaw. What is he? Meta? Kryptonian? None of the above?
  • I did skip out on any of the James Olsen and Lucy Lane PDA. Lucy is looking for reconciliation and James still thinks she chose her work to him. We see Kara first trying to distance herself from their drama, then actively helping them. I don’t think Kara “friend-zones” herself here, she just helps her friends. That is what friends are supposed to do. Without manipulation. Not crazy about the whole James-Lucy-Kara triangle to be honest.
  • Even less if we add Winn, because then it becomes the girl-who-wants-the-guy-she-cant-have-while-ignoring-the-guy-who-wants-her and it’s just a romantic knot used one too many times. I’m not picking sides. If you’re a friend, be a friend. If you are not, don’t pretend to be one.

That will do for now.

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