Review: Supergirl, “Truth, Justice and the American Way”

Progressive/nerd/parent review

No one wants to be defeated.

Supergirl Season 1, Episode 14 “Truth, Justice and the American Way” (spoilers)

Bechdel-Wallace Score: 3/3 – The first lines of dialogue in the episode, Between Kara and Alex, passed all three tests. Several later scenes were three-pointers, as well.

Shukla Score: 2.5/3 – It is a really weak 2.5. Director Henshaw and Alex (posing as FBI agents) have a discussion with Detectives Warren and Draper. So, technically, Henshaw and Warren are named characters discussing something other than race. But! White people are standing there too and they do most of the talking by the end of the scene. So really, 2.5 is generous.

Russo Score: 0/3 – Another week with zero LGBTQ representation. 👎😡

Kittehs: 😹😺🙀/5 – This episode brought the funny and managed to tackle an issue that exists for most superhero shows: extrajudicial detention, interrogation, and sometimes execution. Kara learns her lesson so maybe she can mention it to Barry when the Flash/Supergirl crossover episode happens, seeing as how STAR Labs is the metahuman Guantanamo Bay of Earth-1. But I digress! It was a good episode and I was pleasantly surprised by how directly they tackled the topic of due process, even where villains are concerned.

Low points: The first fight between Supergirl and Master Jailer was well done, but poorly conceived. Supergirl could have blasted the dude’s face or iced his armor, but instead she takes the time to redo the fight scene from Beat It with chains instead of knives, and (b) she isn’t going to lose track of someone that easily while she has super hearing and vision. Also, I mean, Jimmy Olsen’s visit to the DEO was a total WTF?!?! moment. As I have said before, there is no way Kara gets a plus-one at the super secret, alien containing, government agency base. Also, Jimmy and Kara had their heart to heart about values in a room literally walled with guns. Even if I am being charitable and assuming that this was a visual critique of American gun culture – folks debating justice and liberty while ignoring the deadly weapons all around them – it was still an off putting visual.

Highlights: The introduction of Siobhan Smythe was great. I particularly enjoyed the artisanal coffee she presented to Cat Grant: “I hand pressed it myself, using beans grown in the shade of guava trees, on the slope of Mount Baru in Panama.” The instant messaging sequence between Kara and her new rival was also very funny.

Dad edits: Some people get shot and it is during a very skippable scene. We will probably also skip the early scene when Master Jailer decapitates a prisoner (the act itself is not shown, but each component of it is shown and my kid would put it together in his head). I am looking forward to explaining to him, with Jimmy Olsen’s help, that it is not okay to just put people in prison whenever, wherever you catch them making a bad choice.

Supergirl airs on CBS on Mondays at 8/7c

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