There are a lot of DC comic shows on The CW, but none of them changed in the same way as Supergirl as it began its second season. First things first, Supergirl just joined the network only a couple of months ago. However, while there is a lot of different and new things that we see in Supergirl, the reason it succeeds in its premiere episode is because it is highlighting the qualities that made it work from the first week. The biggest question that was surrounding the show and the new season was how the shift from CBS to The CW would work.
The audience wondered if National City would look the same as production had moved away from Los Angeles to Vancouver due to the network change. Would the reduced budget mean that the special effects are no longer the same? Luckily, the change in networks doesn’t seem to have any negative impact on the show, whatsoever. Sure, National City is not the blatant LA it used to be, but in essence, the only noticeable change we have seen in terms of set design is that the DEO have moved their headquarters from a bargain basement to a sexier and sleeker office building, which is located in the center of National City.
As far as the special effects are concerned, the show doesn’t seem to be worse off. Even though CBS had invested considerable sums of money in the previous year, a lot of action sequences and flight shots had come off as unconvincing and stiff as opposed to shows such as the Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash. It seems that the VFX teams working on the other CW shoes is doing a better job at a lesser cost. The premiere of the second season may have been a tad conservative when it came to showing us how Kara and her cousin took flight to save the city, but the scenes they did provide were quite nicely done.
Speaking of her cousin, this is the other question mark that has been revolving around the second season. How will the addition of Kara’s cousin i.e. Superman change the plot? In Season one, it was perfectly understandable to keep her and Superman at a distance as it was essential to define Supergirl before they brought the Man of Steel into the mix. Nonetheless, even though the show went out of its way to keep Superman in the background like with text message conversations, but this only drew attention to his absence.
Luckily, ‘The Adventures of Supergirl’ went a long way in making up for the prolonged absence of Superman as Tyler Hoechlin of Teen Wolf made his debut as Clark Kent and Man of Steel in this episode. Even though initial photos of the actor in the suit were not exactly appealing, he did a good job in his role. He came off charming as both Clark and Superman. Most of the character’s inspiration has been drawn from the Lois and Clark TV series and Richard Donner Superman movies, which means that Hoechlin’s portrayal came off as a lovable and bumbling dork.
His superman is always smiling, compassionate and confident. The purpose of the hero is to inspire optimism and hope and this is exactly what he does. This Superman works for the exact reason Supergirl does; they possess an earnest charm and warmth and contrast their dorky and nerdy civilian personas rather well. This could be the reason why Benoist and Hoechlin play well together. The two characters seem to have a palpable and clear bond, something that was not indicated through Superman’s absence in the previous season. Another point to be noted is that the debut of Superman didn’t take away the spotlight from Supergirl.
This season, Kara is prepared for a stronger character arc as she is struggling to decide what she wants from life and attempts to juggle a love life, career and superhero responsibilities, all at the same time. Even though it was fun to watch Kara play the role of Cat Grant’s frazzled and good natured assistant, it was nice to see her move to bigger things. Moreover, this presented an opportunity for the show to bring in iZombie’s Andrea Brooks as Miss Teschmacher, who is Grant’s new assistant. Calista Flockhart is amazing as usual as the elegant Cat Grant, but this might mean that she is going to get less screen time this season.
In fact, this might end up helping the show in the long term. One of the flaws of the show is that they have not been able to fuse the story and took us on two different pitches in the first season. First was Kara’s life at Catco and the other at the DEO. The Flash has done an excellent job at merging the two storylines together and Supergirl also needs to do that. Jeremy Jordan’s Winn has also officially joined the DEO so the DEO life may become a greater priority in the second season.
One thing that the episode didn’t handle well was Kara’s romance with James Olsen. After the buildup in the first season, it seemed rather abrupt for Kara to decide that the relationship was doomed. Regardless, the main area where Supergirl has lacked so far is in the case of villains. While all DC shows on The CW have had their share of lousy villains, Supergirl has dealt with the worst of the lot. It remains to be seen whether the trend will be reversed, but it is off to a good start.
The episode introduced Lena Luthor and Metallo John Corben. The former seems to be the replacement of Maxwell Lord, which means she might not be the main antagonist. The introduction of Mon-El is also worth mentioning, but all he did was lie in a coma in the entire episode and got very limited screen time. While we didn’t want anything to draw attention from Superman, it seemed as if the episode forgot about the character after the first few minutes.