Showing posts with label The Flash. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Flash. Show all posts

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Review - Supergirl: 2x08 - "Medusa"

Supergirl
Episode 2x08 - "Medusa"

Synopsis

The threat of Cadmus re-emerges as Lillian Luthor launches her latest plan – a deadly airborne virus that only affects aliens. With Mon-El in critical condition and J’onn slowly becoming a White Martian, Supergirl is forced to turn to Lena Luthor for helping in taking down her mother’s organisation.

Review

Rather surprisingly, this mid-season finale wraps up most of the ongoing plot threads established in these initial eight episodes of Season Two, with Cadmus seemingly defeated and the Martian Manhunter’s “affliction” cured before he could transform fully into a White Martian. I was fully expecting Cadmus to be an omnipresent threat throughout the entire season in the same way that Astra, Non and their Kryptonian army were in Season One, but it seems that they’ve been shut down already with the arrest of Lillian Luthor. Despite wrapping up its ongoing storylines, the episode did drop some hints about future events for the remainder of the season with a brief interlude that featured two mysterious aliens who were searching for Mon-El. Presumably this is related to his attempted confession in “The Darkest Place”, where he tried to tell Kara something important about Daxam but was interrupted before he could finish. While it was refreshing to see Cadmus defeated so quickly, it did feel slightly rushed – especially the Martian Manhunter’s sudden cure – and I hope that we will still see the after-effects of Cadmus’ defeat play out in the remaining episodes since the real Hank Henshaw is on the loose and Jeremiah Danvers is still missing.

One of the central aspects of this episode was the burgeoning relationship between Mon-El and Kara, and I have to admit that the pair have a lot more chemistry than Kara ever did with Winn, James or Cat Grant's grown-up son. Chris Wood does a great job at portraying the  charismatic Mon-El and I find myself rooting for the two characters to finally hook up. This romantic sub-plot, along with Alex and Maggie, demonstrates the vast improvements that Supergirl has made in its soap-opera elements compared to its debut season. There's a maturity to the love stories being told in the series now, and the show seems to have a much better understanding of its supporting characters – especially James and Winn. I'm really fond of the current ensemble and how the show is beginning to show a wider focus on developing its entire cast, rather than being the 'Cat Grant and Kara' show.


After delving into her mother and aunt's chequered pasts on Krypton, this episode focused on Kara's father – Zor-El, a scientist responsible for developing a deadly weapon that would kill any alien apart from Kryptonian. Poor Kara seems to have really bad luck with her family tree, and its interesting to see her attempt to come to terms with the crimes committed by her birth parents. I liked the comparisons between Kara and Lena Luthor, both good people attempting to fix the mistakes made by their parents and I am glad the writers avoided making Lena “break bad” and turn evil as it would have been far too predictable and a waste of a character. Having Kara working alongside Lena Luthor to help aliens on Earth is a great plot development and subverts my expectations of where the writers were going to take Lena's character.

Peppered throughout the episode were appearances of the rift in time and space which culminated in an appearance from The Flash and Cisco. Unfortunately, I don't watch The Flash – despite his brilliant cameo appearance in last year's “Worlds Finest” - and so I won't be following the upcoming four-way crossover into the rest of the Arrowverse in the near future. Luckily, it seems like it'll be relatively self-contained for Supergirl fans with most of the storyline taking place in the other three shows. When the series returns next year with the Kevin Smith directed “Supergirl Lives”, it should pick up from where the series left off without leaving single-series viewers like myself in the dark. This was a great, albeit oddly paced mid-season finale that perhaps fumbled some of the more emotional pay-offs to its established storylines in an effort to clear the deck for the back-half of Season Two. I'm intrigued to see what the writers have left in store for Kara and her friends – presumably the aliens hunting Mon-El and James' turn as the Guardian will be the main focus, but hopefully we will also see Hank Henshaw's Cyborg-Superman take over Cadmus in Lillian Luthor's absence, ensuring that plot point isn't lost completely during the hiatus.


Score - 9.5 out of 10

Friday, 1 April 2016

Review - Supergirl: 1x18 - "Worlds Finest"

Supergirl
Episode 1x18 - "Worlds Finest"

Synopsis

Supergirl finds herself outnumbered when the Silver Banshee and Livewire team-up to take her down, but luckily she has back-up in the form of Barry Allen - The Flash - who has arrived from a parallel Earth and needs her help to get home.

Review

As someone who doesn’t watch The Flash, I was a little bit apprehensive when it was announced that Supergirl would crossover with the series, fearing that I would need to binge-watch The Flash to catch up. However, the more details that were divulged during the production of the episode, it became clear that it would involve the Multiverse and that The Flash would be entering Supergirl’s world, rather than Supergirl visiting his. I have to say that the series writers did a fantastic job at making this episode accessible to those who don’t watch The Flash, but also dropped plenty of references to the other series to reward fans of both. After seeing Barry Allen in action here, I must say that I’m very keen to check out The Flash and Arrow to find out more about their universe, so it certainly worked well as a teaser in that respect. Hopefully, viewers of those shows had the desire to watch the earlier episodes of Supergirl. Looking online, it also seems like the show received a spike in its ratings, which will help its chances for a Season Two renewal.

The appearance of The Flash definitely seemed to energize the cast, especially Melissa Benoist and Jeremy Jordan, who seemed to be very excited at the crossover, letting their enthusiasm translate onto the screen. It was fun to see Kara and Barry interact with each other, both in and out of costume, and the script-writers took advantage of the two world’s colliding to deliver some brilliant banter between the heroes. In some ways, it’s a shame that Barry Allen had to go back home as they definitely clicked as superhero partners and I’d have happily have watched more from the pair of them. Moreso than previous episodes, there was a cinematic quality to this installment with the dual threat of Silver Banshee and Livewire against our ‘dynamic duo’. Admittedly, the special effects when the two ‘raced’ at the end of the episode was slightly laughable – I’m guessing they used the old treadmills against green-screen trick – but there was plenty of action that made the 45 minute running time fly by faster than Barry Allen on his way to get ice cream.


While the special effects were largely effective – I have to say that the costume design for both Silver Banshee and Livewire weren’t that great. With more daylight scenes in this episode, the flaws in Livewire’s make-up and wig seemed much more prominent, especially in her close-ups when threatening Cat Grant. Also, her make-over on Siobhan was awful – sure, it made her look scary but it was also really terrible. I get that they were trying to follow her design from the comics, but it just stuck out as a bit weird – hopefully she’ll undergo another make-over before her next appearance! Despite these minor hiccups, it was fun to see some villains teaming up and while they might not have been the smartest of baddies, the show presented them as credible threats – while, right up until they were both defeated by some water. I did like the scene where the city came to Supergirl’s aid – it reminded me of similar scenes in Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, and while it wasn’t quite as cheesy as those films, I did find myself mocking their earnest attitude towards protecting the Girl of Steel.

Without any hint of hyperbole, I have to say that this was the greatest episode of Supergirl yet, and a strong send-off before the two-part season finale. While I’m sure the series was scheduled for renewal already, I hope this crossover and subsequent ratings bump will ensure that Supergirl returns for another year of stories. Also, given that The Flash has travelled to Kara’s world once now, I’m sure that those TV gods (the execs) will allow the two to meet again the future, possibly returning the favour and having Kara appear in The Flash. If so, I really should get around to binge-watching those episodes to catch up! While it wasn’t as gripping as the recent events in Gotham, this episode of Supergirl was pure, unadulterated fun and you could see it on the faces of the cast as they acted. With just two episodes left to go, Supergirl has the potential to end its first season on a massive high – a far cry from the weak start seen in its pilot episode way back when. Despite my initial judgments, this has become one of the highlights of my week and a perfect example of a superhero TV show, as it strikes the perfect balance between its soap opera elements and action scenes.


Score - 9.8 out of 10

Next Episode - "Myriad"
Non and Indigo use mind control to make the citizens of National City their army, so Kara must find a way to save her friends.
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