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REVIEW: Supergirl 1×03 “Fight or Flight”

I really don’t see why people seem to hate Supergirl so much. We’re only on the third episode but I’m already liking it more than a couple of the other comic-based shows on television right now. But people just love to hate on Supergirl for some reason. I would hope that the latest episode, “Fight or Flight”, would’ve swayed the public’s opinion, but I think the audience is just too stubborn to admit quality television when they see it. Oh, well. I still had fun with the recent installment. (spoilers ahead!)

At the end of last week’s episode, Cat Grant finally landed her interview with Supergirl. This week’s episode picks up right at the start of that interview, and we get to watch the two discuss SG’s origin and powers. I thought the show would skip over this segment since it didn’t seem necessary to hear the interview. However, I’m glad that we got to watch it unfold because we learned something very important about Cat Grant: she absolutely doesn’t give a crap about who she’s talking to. Even if she’s speaking to a super-powered alien with the power of flight and enhanced strength, she will still maintain her smug, holier-than-thou attitude. She doesn’t drop her guard for ANYONE, which is another reason why I love Calista Flockhart as an antagonist of this show.

Also, during the interview, Supergirl lets it slip that she and Superman are cousins, and it takes the public by surprise. Was it really that much of a shocker? Supergirl has practically the same uniform and powers as the Man of Steel. How surprising can it be that she’s related to him? And why does it really matter?

In the context of the show’s universe, it doesn’t matter, but in the overall theme of the show, it does. Throughout the episode, we keep hearing Kara referring to her cousin and talking about how she wants to stand as her own hero. She’s tired of people constantly bringing Superman up whenever she does something notable. I don’t blame her (or the show’s producers). It’s frustrating when people constantly complain about the lack of Superman in this show. It’s not a show about Superman; it’s about Supergirl. It’s like people who complain about the fact that Gotham doesn’t have Batman when it’s NOT A BATMAN SHOW! If you want to watch Superman, go watch one of the numerous films, shows, or cartoons about him. This is Supergirl. Get over it.

One more thing about the interview between Cat and SG: I still don’t understand how she doesn’t recognize Supergirl’s identity. For most of the interview, SG flies out of reach from Cat or keeps her back turned to her. But at the very end, she looks her right in the eyes. Nothing. Are you kidding me? I don’t care how smug or self-indulgent Cat is, there is no way she couldn’t recognize her own personal assistant’s face in Supergirl. You’d have to be blind not to notice it.

Leaving behind the Cat Grant/Supergirl fiasco, let’s move on to the villain of the week. On this episode, Supergirl didn’t face off against another one of Astra’s Kryptonian henchmen. Instead, she fought the relatively obscure villain Reactron, a normal man who was granted nuclear powers after a near-fatal accident involving Superman. The accident killed his wife, so Reactron harbors a personal grudge against the Man of Steel (in fact, it’s revealed that he almost killed Superman in a fight long ago). Reactron enlists the help of tech mogul Maxwell Lord (who almost seems like an amalgam of Ray Palmer from Arrow and Jesse Eisenberg‘s Lex Luthor) to fix his reactor suit so that he can defeat Supergirl. Soon enough, Reactron and Supergirl have a brief fight that leads to SG getting her ass handed to her. Luckily, her cousin appears in the nick of time to save her, forcing Reactron to flee.

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Here’s another issue I have with this show: Superman has much more experience in the superhero gig than Supergirl. How is it that Reactron was almost able to kill him, but he was hardly able to scratch SG? It doesn’t make sense, unless they’re trying to imply that Supergirl is stronger than Superman. While that may be possible, I’m not buying it in this television universe. It makes as much sense as the Flash, a man with super speed, being taken down by a guy with a cold gun. It’s complete BS. That’s one of the biggest problems I have with Greg Berlanti and his shows: he undermines the heroes’ powers and abilities so that there can be a fair fight. It kinda makes sense since to even the odds, realistically, most of these villains wouldn’t last two seconds against a superhero like the Flash or Supergirl, but it takes away from the experience and only makes the viewer frustrated. Supergirl (or Superman) should’ve been able to beat Reactron in two seconds.

Thanks to Winn (aka Supergirl’s Cisco Ramon), SG discovers a way to beat Reactron. She covers her hand in molten lead and uses it to encase Reactron’s chest reactor, neutralizing his powers and defeating him once and for all. You mean Superman couldn’t have done that? Hell, was the lead even necessary? They could just close their hands tightly over the reactor. I think Superman actually did something like that in one of the DC animated films.

Despite all its flaws, Supergirl is still a fun watch. When you look at it, it’s following almost the exact same formula as The Flash. Why all the hate? I may be nitpicky with pointing out negative aspects of the show, but at the end of the day, I still enjoy it. I think people really need to open their minds and give Supergirl a chance, especially after last night’s episode.

Final Grade: B +

+ The fight scenes between Supergirl and Reactron were great.

+ Flockhart killed it in her performance as usual.

+ Winn may be a discount Cisco Ramon, but I’m enjoying his presence for the most part.

– No, really, how does nobody recognize Supergirl’s secret identity?

– So… Astra just completely disappeared this episode; I thought we’d at least get one shot of her since she’s such a vital character.

– It seems a bit unlikely that Superman, who has been superhero-ing much longer than his cousin, was unable to take down Reactron, yet Supergirl could beat him in their second fight.

Extra Thoughts:

– I wonder if we’ll ever get to see Superman in a full-fledged appearance, or if they’ll just keep teasing him with passing glances.

What did you think of the latest episode of Supergirl? Are you looking forward to more appearances from the Man of Steel, or do you want the show to distance itself from the iconic hero? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

About the author

Alex Reale

From a young age, Alex knew he was destined to be a writer. He also harbored a deep infatuation with superheroes and comics. Luckily, he was able to combine these two passions through his role with A Place to Hang Your Cape, where he works as Junior Sidekick and Social Media Hero.

When he’s not writing for AP2HYC or working full-time as a content manager for a small business website, Alex is diligently at work on other creative projects including a fantasy novel collection and an independent comic series.

You can find Alex's first book, Dodger's Doorway, on Amazon!