There is a strange middle ground of wanting to be our own identity apart from our family and the longing of family recognition. This episode of Supergirl in its latest episode titled Fight or Flight tackles the subject exquisitely.
The villain of the week is Superman’s for Reactron, the only survivor of a nuclear reactor meltdown. After Cat Grant reveals that Supergirl and Superman are cousins, Reactron flies into National City to kill Supergirl. During Supergirl’s second clash with Reactron, she is beaten into unconsciousness whereupon Superman rushes in. But don’t get too excited; it’s only a very blurry shot of Superman’s shoulder. With a little help from Alex and Henshaw, Supergirl is able to stop Reactron after he crashes Cat Grant’s magazine launch party.
For a show that is centred on a character whose major ability is flight, the graphics have become a bit of a letdown. Many of the long shots are well done, especially as Reactron and Supergirl battle through the night sky. However, the close up shots are not convincing.
This week’s villain, Reactron, was surprisingly familiar with the large light in the middle of his chest (hi, marvel). However, the suit it translated brilliantly from comics and is given a dark and grungy look. The mask itself almost looks like a skull and, if you look closely, the costume designers have kept the criss-crossing of an atom’s proton and electron orbital path that can be seen in the comics.
After the fight between Astra and Supergirl last episode, the fights this time around were a little disappointing. Supergirl is still very awkward in her fighting stance and the choreographing is slow with minimal impact. However, we can’t expect Kara to be a black belt after only asking Alex to train her last episode, and the intelligence her character puts behind solving the problems almost makes up for it. And although Kara’s punches weren’t hard hitting, Reactron’s nuclear gloves packed a punch.
What might be a surprise to some is the sudden appearance of Superman. We see very little of him and he actually does very little which is as it should be in Supergirl. I did approach his appearance in the episode with some apprehension but his addition to the story is essential. Fight of Flight follows Kara as she tries to make her own identity and tries to figure out who she is with this new freedom. But it’s also her trying to receive validation for her actions. She is too often compared to and made less than Superman which creates a fantastic struggle in the search for her identity apart from her family. And who hasn’t felt cold in the shadow of family?
One thing that is interesting is Cat’s strong, feminist stance in episode one compared to her actions in the interview with Supergirl. Cat stated in the pilot that if anyone had a problem with ‘girl’ the problem was with them. However, this episode has Cat asking Supergirl if she has any plans to start a family. On one hand, it’s a great way to highlight what female celebrities are asked compared to their male colleagues but the question flips Cat’s feminist identity on its head. Surely, a reporter like her is intelligent enough to ask the more meaningful questions. It can be argued that the question was a ploy to get a snap response from Supergirl, but Cat is a veteran reporter and she prides herself in what she asks and her strength as a woman. The question just felt out of character and would probably have been better when asked by a less experienced journalist.
To leave the episode, the writers have thrown a blockade in Jim and Kara’s potential love as Louis Lane’s sister, Lucy, enters the scene.
Quote of the Episode: I hope you get fat. (Alex)