Four Color Television - Supergirl Season 2 Recap
When last we saw Supergirl, she and J’onn were flying toward a Kryptonian pod that had just crashed in National City and discovered a man inside. The man she and J’onn found is going to have to remain a mystery for just a little bit longer, because it’s Season 2 and of Supergirl and we’ve got some business to attend to.
First we have to introduce the audience to the new DEO headquarters, located in the heart of National City this new office is miles away from their old desert outskirts (also this set exists in the show’s new Vancouver digs rather than the old LA based soundstages.) Most importantly though, it’s time to stop pussyfooting around the issue of The Man of Steel and have Supergirl team up with her very own Superman (Tyler Hoechlin*) to take down the Kryptonite powered villain John Corbin AKA Metallo and the shadowy organization known as Cadmus. Cadmus is the anti alien terrorist group run by Lillian Luthor (Brenda Strong) who has goals of ridding the earth of all alien life –starting with those pesky El family members. Another Luthor showing up in National City is Lex’s sister Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) who is taking over the reigns of the family business now that Lex is in a supermax prison for as yet undisclosed crimes. After helping Supergirl stop some crimes and beat up Metallo, Superman heads back to Metropolis; James and Supergirl decide they are better as friends and should just ignore that romance plot that simmered all throughout season one; Winn quits his job at Catco to go work with J’onn and Alex at the DEO; Cat Grant decides she is too comfortable and leaves the show for a “new adventure”- leaving James Olsen in charge of Catco; and Kara takes a job as a cub reporter in the Catco newsroom under the direction of Snapper Carr (Ian Gomez.) Our mystery alien from the Kryptonian pod wakes up and reveals himself to be Mon-El (Chris Wood) of Daxam, Krypton’s sister planet inhabited by hedonist tyrants who kept slaves and other unsavory things. Mon-El tells Kara that he was the servant of the Prince of Daxam, and she actually believes him despite the continual clues that he is in fact the Prince himself.
Alex meets Detective Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima*) of the NCPD and must come to grips with the fact that she is a lesbian; the two enter into a relationship that becomes one of the driving forces of the season. Working in the bar that Alex and Maggie frequent is M’gann M’orzz (Sharon Leal) – another Martian who doesn’t have the destruction of the earth on her mind. Lillian Luthor launches numerous plans to try to kill the aliens on earth, and it is revealed that she has working for her a very much alive Hank Henshaw who has been reconstructed as a cyborg – and Jeremiah Danvers whom Cadmus is holding prisoner.
J’onn discovers the M’gann is in fact a White Martian, the race that slaughtered his own Green Martians and reacts by throwing her into the cells at the DEO. Mon-El convinces Supergirl to teach him how to be a hero, but he isn’t the only supporting cast member with dreams of superherodom. James Olsen gets Winn to help him design an armored costume and starts patrolling the streets as Guardian. And then:
ALIENS INVADE A completely unrelated Earth in the multiverse, and Barry Allen hops over to ask Kara to take a side trip over to Earth One to help them stop some Dominators. Supergirl gets a special device courtesy of Cisco that allows her to jump back and forth between Earth 38 and Earth One at will.
Lillian Luthor continues to vex Supergirl, and begins trying to manipulate Lena into turning against Supergirl. Mon-El and Kara begin dating. Jeremiah Danvers is rescued by the DEO and comes home to his daughter and adopted daughter and everyone is happy to see him except for Mon-El who thinks it’s a trap of some kind, and Mon-El is right. The fifth dimensional imp Mr. Mxyzptlk pays a visit to National City to propose marriage to Supergirl on Valentines Day. Winn starts dating an alien girl from the alien bar, Alex and Maggie continue their romance, and Kara manages to get fired from her job at Catco by publishing a story online that her editor refused to let her run with in the Catco magazine.
A ship carrying the King Lar Gand (Kevin Sorbo*) and Queen Rhea (Teri Hatcher*) of Daxam arrives at Earth to try to collect Mon-El. Mon-El refuses to go, citing that he is in love with Kara and has rejected the terrible teachings of Daxam. Lar Gand is convinced by Mon-El that he truly loves Kara and the King orders the Daxamite vessel to depart, but Rhea refuses to leave and instead murders her husband and comes to Earth in secret to make an offer to Lena Luthor. Kara does some good reporting and gets her old job back.
Lena, working with Rhea, helps to develop a matter teleportation device that Rhea reveals is actually designed to open a portal allowing the entire Daxamite fleet to jump into Earth orbit. The Daxamites invade, and Cadmus allies with the DEO against Rhea and her invading horde. Cat Grant returns to try to take Rhea down with a charm offensive, and Cadmus reveals that they have a weapon that will saturate the atmosphere with lead which is toxic to Daxamites. Rhea has also brought a powerful weapon to her side in the fight against Supergirl: she has infected Superman with a form of Kryptonite that makes Superman believe Supergirl is General Zod. After a massive battle Kara defeats Clark and frees him from the effects of the Kryptonite, she then challenges Rhea to ritual combat for the safety of Earth. Rhea and Supergirl fight, and it becomes increasingly obvious that Rhea will cheat. Supergirl orders the use of the lead weapon which will make Earth’s atmosphere uninhabitable for Daxamites, including her boyfriend Mon-El. The lead is launched into the atmosphere, the Daxamites flee, Rhea dies and Mon-El has just enough time to say goodbye to Kara and escape in the pod that brought him to Earth in the first place. Kara is alone again, and we flash back to the last day of Krypton when another baby was placed into a pod and launched from a strange science lab on the same day that Clark and Kara were launched.*
What works about Season Two? Melissa Benoist is just as charming in season two as she was in season one. Removing Winn from the Catco roster and putting him squarely on the DEO bench allowed him a little more to do in this season, but it still doesn’t open the character up in the way they could. The sparse usage of Superman was excellent, and Tyler Hoechlin was PERFECTLY cast in the role. I love Henry Cavill in the role, but Tyler in these four episodes of Supergirl has quickly risen to the top of the stack on my rating of live action Supermen. Kevin Sorbo and Teri Hatcher where inspired casting for Lar Gand and Rhea, as was the female President played by Linda Carter.
What doesn’t work about Season Two? The Kara/Mon-El relationship felt very forced, and while the performances were excellent the Alex/Maggie relationship sucks some of the air out of the room when exploring other romantic pairings. The lack of Calista Flockhart’s Cat Grant is keenly felt, and there is an aimlessness to the use of James Olsen in this second season. I would like to see more from James and more from Winn in future seasons, as both actors are fantastic and fantastically underused.
Next Week: Run, Wally, Run Flash Season 3
In Two Weeks: A TV Show vs Comic Book Showdown: Arrow vs Green Arrow.
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