After a few weeks off, SUPERGIRL returned last night with its latest entry, “Ace Reporter,” which finally puts Kara front and center. Seems like a pretty basic requirement, but as I’ve said before, Supergirl’s sophomore season has become more ensemble in nature, at times at the expense of its main star Kara Danvers. This has been especially true in recent weeks with the drama between Mon-El and his parents. (I should mention that “Ace Reporter” ends with a pretty interesting tease as Rhea pays Lena Luthor a visit.)
How does Supergirl fare in this Kara-centric episode? Unfortunately, not too great. The whole idea that Kara has been banned from CatCo is not really credible to me. For starters, one of Kara’s closest friends Jimmy is head honcho at CatCo, not Snapper. The fact that Supergirl has insisted on acting like Snapper actually has bite behind his bark doesn’t add up. Of course, the easy solve would have been to let Snapper take on Cat Grant’s role in the first place. But that did not happen.
I also am a bit confused about how Kara being banned from CatCo speaks to any kind of theme. Yes, Kara went behind Snapper’s back and published a story. But so what? She was right. The idea that breaking some set of rules, even if you feel like you’re doing the right thing (and turn out to be right), is always unacceptable seems kind of dissonant with the show.
OK, rant over.
So now that Kara is working as an independent journalist, she’s invited by Lena Luthor to the unveiling of CEO Jack Spheer’s nanorobot technology. As it turns out, Lena and Spheer used to have a thing (a sphere of love, if you will). So Kara tags along both for moral support and for a potentially red hot story. Lena and Spheer were never able to get their stuff off the ground but now Spheer has finally seems to have cracked the code by himself.
Things soon escalate as Kara interviews test subjects for Spheer’s technology. A swarm of bots envelops a car where Kara interviews someone. And later, when Snapper gives an interview, that same swarm goes after him. He would have definitely been toast if not for Supergirl who comes in and saves the day at the last moment.
Kara and Mon-El sneak into Spheer’s office and find evidence that shows in fact that Spheer hasn’t tested his technology at all. Well, except on himself, morphing him into some kind of metahuman. Kara brings this news to Lena who was just starting to rekindle her romance with Spheer. Lena is initially resistant to this news but later discovers that someone else is pulling the strings behind Spheer.
Away from the main storyline, there’s a subplot with Guardian/Jimmy, Winn and Lyra. I’m actually pretty disappointed with this B story however. For starters, the fiery and sketchy Lyra was also given some depth recently, when we find out that she was only doing certain bad things to help her family. She got stuck in a tough situation where everything had to be transactional, so she screwed even Winn over. Still, Winn believed in her and it seemed to all work out.
Well, now Supergirl has just undermined all of that by reverting back to Lyra being crummy again. But worse than that, she just comes across as crazy and manic, even beating up some kid with minimal motivation. If the conclusion is that she’s just a crazy woman, that doesn’t seem too interesting or imaginative. Later, though, with the help of Guardian, Lyra is enlisted to their crimefighting team provided that she agrees to a set of rules.
The main storyline also struggles a bit with its climax. After Kara being at the center for so long, the final battle scene basically has her incapacitated, with Lena using her martial arts skills to take out the bad guys. Ultimately she has to say goodbye to Spheer in order to save Supergirl and makes that choice. And Kara does a bunch of apologizing to Snapper and is brought back to CatCo because she did such a great job with the story. Oh, and she gets to share a byline with Snapper on their Spheer story.
Season 2, Episode 18 (S02E18)
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8PM on CW
Ade Adeniji | Contributor