Supergirl season 1 was good, but there was no doubt that the show would need an overhaul for season 2. Luckily, the change of networks from CBS to The CW provides the perfect opportunity for Supergirl to reinvent itself. The season 2 premiere, titled “The Adventures of Supergirl,” definitely picks up where season 1 ended. The continuity is the same. Everything else, though, feels different — and all the changes are very much for the better.
Of course, the biggest change is Tyler Hoechlin‘s arrival as Superman. Superman is no longer doing his best Wicked Witch of the East impression by only showing us his shiny red boots. He is a fully fledged and present character now. Superman, however, is just one small part of what makes Supergirl fly even higher in season 2.
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Bring on the Aliens
Though there are a multitude of changes coming to Supergirl, we start with an old-ish mystery. The episode opens on the cliffhanger ending from season 1. We finally find out who was in the strange pod that crashed to Earth. The answer is honestly pretty underwhelming. The passenger of the pod is unconscious. He’s definitely an alien, maybe Kryptonian, and a total white bread hunk, but he is so handsome that it’s rather boring. We have other handsome alien guys to deal with beyond this guy, so everyone sort of moves on.
Even the DEO has moved on to an entirely new location. The HQ is now in a skyscraper with windows and actual sunlight. While things have changed on the inside of the DEO, National City also looks different on the outside. It is almost identical to Star City on Arrow, Central City on The Flash and, you know, the actual city that is being used for almost all of The CW’s shooting, Vancouver.
With all the new stuff, some things have not changed. James and Kara are still dating. No one really wants to see that, though, and their first date is mercifully interrupted. The engine of The Venture, the first civilian spaceship, explodes on its inaugural launch. Kara and Superman, in Metropolis at the time, both go fly off to save the ship. Their team-up is just that easy, and almost instantly, every other supporting character is forgotten about on Supergirl.
I’m not exactly complaining. Tyler Hoechlin‘s Clark Kent and Superman isn’t the best live-action adaptation of the character ever. (It’s too early to determine something that huge.) Hoechlin is a refreshing change of pace from the moody, cry-baby deconstruction of Superman that Henry Cavill played in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. It’s been a very long time since Superman cracked a smile on-screen.
Clark Kent and (Lena) Luthor
Everyone else is just as enamored by Clark and Superman. The most amusing reactions are by Winn and Cat Grant. Winn does take long enough to stop fawning over Clark to explain why he looks virtually the same age as Kara. There are Kryptonian reasons; Clark ages slower than most humans. This is also a comic book rule, but let’s face it, The CW was not going to have a Superman who looked like Calista Flockhart’s contemporary.
J’onn, though, seems to have some personal issues with Clark. Clark is bothered with J’onn’s use and possession of Kryptonite at the DEO. Clark is worried that someone will use the Kryptonite against him or Kara. J’onn isn’t the only one who really isn’t on board the Clark Kent love train, though.
Kara finds out that someone who had a ticket was not on The Venture when it exploded. It was Lena Luthor. Lena is the adopted kid sister of the (imprisoned) supervillain Lex Luthor. Kara and Clark go to talk to Lena and see if she is just like her evil big brother. They think she must be behind the attack of The Venture.
Lena tells Clark and Kara that she is trying to change the public perception of her family name. She has taken over Lex’s company and is changing the name from Luthor Corp to L Corp. While that move doesn’t really suggest a great deal of creativity on Lena’s part, she doesn’t appear to be hiding anything — well, nothing apart from actress, Katie McGrath’s real accent.
Winn realizes that the explosion on The Venture would have killed the person in Lena’s seat. Lena was not the one who tried to blow up The Venture; she was the one who the real terrorist wanted to kill. The terrorist is a man named John Corben, who has been hired by Lex Luthor to kill his sister. His first attempt failed, so Corben attacks Lena with drones as she leaves her building in a helicopter. Superman and Supergirl suit up and manage to save Lena’s life.
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Taking the Dive
This being Supergirl, though, Kara is also having some real personal issues. She feels stuck. She doesn’t know how to handle being Kara Danvers and Supergirl anymore. This covers everything from picking her new career at CatCo to her relationship with James. Clark tells Kara that being Kara Danvers is exactly as important as being Clark Kent. This is horrible and repetitive advice. Supergirl season 1 was all about this exact personal problem for Kara, so it is pointless to bring it up now, even with the premiere being a soft reboot.
Cat Grant swoops in and tells Kara to get off her ass, figuratively. Cat tells Kara that to keep living, she needs to keep diving forward. She can’t be paralyzed by inaction before a big decision. Kara needs to make a decision about her career and about James, but especially that earlier one.
Amusingly enough, it is Lena Luthor who finally gives Kara the push. Corben shows up in person and attacks Lena for a third time. This time, he has just a simple gun … and a bomb that blows up part of Luthor Corp’s — sorry L Corp’s — building. Working together with Alex, aka the true bad-ass of the Kent/Danvers family, Kara and Clark manage to take down Corben. Clark writes a newspaper article about the whole ordeal. And Lena, for whatever reason, thinks that Kara should have written it with him.
A New Super World
Kara goes to Cat and tells her she wants to be a reporter. Cat tells Kara that she knew this all along. Cat even wrote “reporter” on Kara’s initial resume. When Kara leaves the office, Cat is inspired to take a plunge herself. Supergirl leaves us in suspense about what Cat will be doing, but it’s almost certain that it will be the reason for Calista Flockhart’s shortened role this season.
Speaking of behind-the-scenes activities affecting the show, Supergirl finally has heard the cries of countless fans and their utter apathy for James and Kara as a couple. After declaring that she wants to be a reporter, Kara declares to James that she just wants to be friends. Whew! Our national nightmare of terrible chemistry is finally over.
Though the awkward romantic stylings of Kara and James are out of the show, new dangers are on the horizon. Corben survives his encounter with Alex and the Supers. Corben ends up in a mysterious facility called Cadmus. He is approached by a woman who couldn’t appear any more like an evil scientist. She offers Corben his life back, with some strings attached. Corben takes the offer, and our mystery evil lady tells him that Corben is dead but Metallo has been born.
What did you think of the premiere? Do you like the changes to season 2? How do you think Hoechlin’s Superman stacks up against past iterations? Are you more or less excited for season 2 after this episode?
Supergirl season 2 airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Supergirl Facebook page for the latest updates!
(Image courtesy of The CW)