Progressive/Nerd/Parent Review: Supergirl, “Better Angels”

Progressive/nerd/parent review (spoilers)

Two of the three best characters on the show, once again inexplicably without the help of the best character not on the show.
Two of the three best characters on the show (the third is Cat Grant), once again going into battle inexplicably without the help of the best character not on the show (Superman).

Supergirl Season 1, Episode 20 “Better Angels” (spoilers)

Bechdel-Wallace Score: 3/3 – This test was aced by Kara and Alex and/or their mom Eliza right at the beginning of the episode. (Many other scenes aced the test, as well.)

Shukla Score: 1/3 – Olsen and Henshaw/J’onzz figured prominently in the episode and were even in a scene together briefly, but never spoke to each other.

Russo Score: 0/3 – Another zero score for LGBTQ representation this week. I will save my complaints about this for the upcoming season recap & look ahead to season 2.

Kittehs: 😾😾😾/5 – Three unhappy kittehs. Remember, the kitteh rating is about engagement more than quality per se. I was engaged and curious to know what would happen, even if I was seriously bothered by many of the storytelling choices, during this episode. Certainly it was more engaging than the previous week’s shit show.

Low points: Sandwiched in between the episode’s highlights (we’ll get to those in a minute), the low points of this episode were all to be found in between when Kara defeats Non and when she goes back to work. Alex, in the process of having her brain fried, would not suddenly learn how to pilot Kara’s old shuttle, move it into a launchable position, fix the damage done to it during the previous episode, being able to locate Kara in space, have anyway of getting Kara into the shuttle with her, or any knowledge of how to successfully re-enter the atmosphere and land. That was just some serious bullshit. Next up, Henshaw/J’onzz being pardoned is believable – but his being reinstated as director of the DEO is just absurd. This isn’t an episode of Full House, we don’t just have an “everything goes back to how it was and we eat ice cream yay” moment at the end. Maxwell Lord’s redemption also didn’t ever sit well with me – and I am somebody who likes redemption, I forgave and came to adore Gaius Baltar, ffs – and so that was another low point in my mind. Also, if you ask me, the cliffhanger at the end was unwelcome. I guess at some level I actually prefer the “everybody is happy and we eat ice cream drink champagne yay” moment over a needless tease.

Highlights: Well it was a weak episode with many problems, but one highlight was just how much better it was than the previous episode. Also Kara’s defeat of Non, while not especially thrilling, was very satisfying. Fast forward past the next few scenes and we get to Cat Grant and Kara having one of their best scenes, which are by far the best thing about the show, as Cat gives Kara a write-her-own-ticket promotion. Finally, Jimmy Olsen and Kara finally got it together. While I have been critical of the writing of their relationship over the course of the season, I am nonetheless glad as a viewer that the two of them are together now instead of just circling each other. I really think TV shows can create more and better drama out of ongoing relationships than out of on/off relationships.

Dad edits: The moment when J’onn J’onzz tears apart Indigo with his bare Martian hands is a bit dicey, both because it is rough and because women always get the worst of the violence on TV shows. We skipped over that little bit. Otherwise it was fine, but one way I know the plot was weak is that the kid asked a lot more questions than usual to try to understand what was happening.

Tell TLP what you think of this episode!  Send an email, comment on Facebook, or tweet on Twitter. There is also Tumblr and the comment field below, if you’re into that kind of thing. 

Click here for all of TLP’s Supergirl reviews

Supergirl season 2 will be airing on The CW beginning this Fall (2016)

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