Series Issues: Supergirl 1×06 – Red Faced

Spoilers might storm in.

(Source: CBS)

(Source: CBS)

Not crazy about the title for this week’s Supergirl 1×06: Red Faced. All titles for TV serials usually try to convey both the main plot and the secondary one. The thing is, the main threat is just pretty much a machine-out-of-control scenario on the surface. Beneath there’s- well, nothing really. Enter General Lane. Also, enter Lucy Lane who works with her father. They basically want to test a new weapon against Supergirl. Actually, the weapon is specifically targeting Kryptonians. So we get Tornado and its creator, T. O. Morrow, both played by Iddo Goldberg.

The main antagonist in this episode is Kara’s own anger. In her defense, General Sam Lane (Glenn Morshower) is infuriatingly dull. After Kara defeats the Red Tornado to the point of breaking off one of his arms, the weapon malfunctions and goes rogue. The General’s response is to blame the DEO and Supergirl, because they actually created this super powerful monstrosity capable of generating tornadoes and – wait a minute. They didn’t. The General is just looking for an angle when the shit hits the fan. Kara’s only sin here is doing her work a little too well. Oh, and the General decides to fire the inventor of the android. That’s not going to blow up in his face. Right? Riiiight.

Back at the office, things are not better. Cat Grant is dealing with a visit from Katherine, her mother, who’s threatened by her daughter’s success and keeps trying to elevate her own importance by belittling Cat’s achievements. Too harsh? I was paraphrasing Cat’s own assessment which her mother will get to hear before the episode’s over. In the meantime, Kara will finally go off on Cat Grant, resulting in a little cocktail therapy. And this is where the show gets interesting. Cat sums it up with an anecdote from the Daily Planet. Perry Grant once was so mad at someone missing the deadline that he threw a chair through a window. However, Cat explains, when you are girl you can’t even throw a napkin lest you will be judged irrational and emotionally unstable.

As Cat explains, you can’t lose your temper when you’re girl in any line of work. And she is right on the money here. You will be instantly judged. A man losing his temper has passion. A woman, has issues. And in the superhero world, Supergirl losing her temper is instantly seen as a threat by men such as General Lane. Even when the Kryptonian alien he so desperately wants to have a weapon against just saved him and his daughter’s life against a threat of his own making (ok, his own sponsoring and financing at least).

General Lane is also the main offender in James and Lucy’s renewed relationship. “She could do so much better than you.” Hold your horses, Archie Bunker. How old is Lucy again? Why do you feel you have any say whatsoever here? In a very cathartical exercise suggested by Cat Grant, Kara decides to take the old punching bag therapy to work through her aggressions. For that reason, Kara also invites James to join in. James with a punching bad and Kara with a… car.

Meanwhile we use the excuse of Alex consulting another mad scientist to have her meet Maxwell Lord again. Really, Hannibal Lecter would’ve been less creepy. Still, Maxwell does help eventually pointing out the obvious: Red Tornado is still being controlled by his creator. Hank Henshaw is the thinking man in charge telling the General to stop blaming Supergirl and help lure the runaway red locomotive into holding. It’s a team effort as Alex corners T. O. Morrow, who boasts the link to his weapon will not be severed until his death. Then, he foolishly attacks Alex because that will help. Eventually Alex’s gun goes off during the struggle. I would have preferred Alex just taking aim and firing, but I understand we can’t go that dark. Yet.

And yes, Red Tornado goes sentient. Which means Kara has use all her rage into her heat supervision and destroy the malfunctioning power ranger.

Highs/Lows/Twisters:

  • General Lane, General blah. Glenn Morshower plays military leaders in almost every movie, but really he’s so wooden and anti-charismatic he might as well be playing the android. There are characters that we love to hate. Joan Juliet Buck does a more impacting role as Cat Grant’s manipulative mother, Katherine. Yes, you do learn to hate the General so you’d think it’s working, but it’s just a dull stereotype. I hate more that he was included.
  • Lucy Lane, meh. It’s still feels that we don’t know this character. Eventually an ally, but for now she’s the too-perfect girl against Kara and she seems to just act goofier around her to accentuate the difference.
  • Cat Grant once more steals the show, giving Kara advice both to her everyday assistant personality and her Supergirl persona. Yes, anger has little to no place in the workplace. And it is unfair that women are somehow held to a stricter standard while men are just seen as passionate and with character when they display emotions. On the other hand, Kara will need that advice for the larger picture which is to stay in favor with the government and to stay employed. There’s a third aspect as well. Supergirl, as the actual TV show, is also being held up for scrutiny. Even at that level, Kara is being judged for her emotions. It’s not only unfair, it’s meta-unfair.
  • Most awkward game night ever. And Winn basically gave away Kara’s identity. Did Lucy honestly not catch that after reading the card? Are all the Lanes short-sighted? Can I spin this one so that I make a joke on how close minded Lucy’s and Lois’ father is? No, but I so wanted to come up with something smart-alecky to say here…
  • I wish we would not keep trying to make Maxwell Lord and Alex Danvers a thing. Also, neither the DEA nor whatever branch the General works for had a though about the inventor of the android? Maxwell had to tell them that? I thought about that the second the General fires him.
  • Red Tornado… I’m not sure how much justice was done to the character. He gets no lines. I get it, Iddo Goldberg is playing both parts. I guess it would’ve been a tall order to make him talk – specially since as a weapon it wasn’t really supposed to need speech.
  • Cat already knows that Kara has a crush on James Olsen. Is it completely insane to suppose she has already figured out Kara is Supergirl?
  • Seven more episodes were recently ordered by CBS, meaning we’re going to get a full season of the girl of steel. That’s a definitive plus.

That will do for now.

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