Check out Our Review [WITH SPOILERS] of Supergirl Season 1 Episode 16: “Falling”
I think we all knew there would be a Red Kryptonite episode of Supergirl at some point. And I think that, pressed for an answer, we all would have guessed that it would have involved Kara turning evil. The lore of seeing the good-hearted sweetie Melissa Benoist go full mean-girl was just too tempting, I guess, but who could have imagined that this inevitable story direction would have been so seismic?
That’s exactly what it was: seismic. It also might have been the most effective episode of Supergirl to date. It all starts with Supergirl being exposed by the Red k after rescuing a trapped fireman. Turns out, the building is owned by Max Lord and he was experimenting with synthetic Kryptonite. Boom, we have an episode.
The new evil Kara gets Siobhan fired, she creates a rift with Alex, she confronts Cat Grant (tosses her off a roof for Rao’s sake), and she refuses to capture the villain of the week, a nasty Khund warrior that looks kind of like Sloth from The Goonies.
All that is secondary to what Kara does to her own reputation, because now, National City hates her, Cat turns on her, and the DEO must hunt her. J’onn J’onzz must expose himself to bring Kara down and cure her of the Red K poisoning. So we have major status quo changes for J’onn, Kara, Cat, and Alex. We have J’onn in prison and we have a city hating their idol. It was so wonderfully pulled off and Melissa Benoist carried the episode on her back. Benoist makes one hell of a mean girl! Heck, we even have a Superman III riff complete with peanuts and breaking mirrors. That alone was worth the hour spent watching this bit of genius.
There is a sequence at the beginning of the episode where Kara swoops down to help a little girl that is being bullied. She pretends to know the little girl and be her friend.
Later, when Kara breaks bad, the little girl is seen tossing her Supergirl gear in the trash. In addition, when Kara is cured of the Red K, her first words after waking up are, “Did I kill anyone?” Kara’s concern for her people is so moving and is note-perfect for the character. In those two scenes, Supergirl showed that it understood the Superman mythos and core themes more than Man of Steel did in its entire bloated run time.
That awareness of genre and what a Superman or Supergirl story is supposed to be is just so refreshing. It also makes this the finest episode of Supergirl CBS has aired so far.
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