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REVIEW: Supergirl 1×05 “How Does She Do It?”

Written by Alex Reale

Supergirl continues with its steady flow of decent episodes with this week’s “How Does She Do It?” Although there wasn’t necessarily a “villain-of-the-week” this time around, we did get to see the possible development of a new Big Bad in the form of Maxwell Lord. Meanwhile, we also learned more about Cat Grant’s lighter side, as well as the tumultuous love life of Kara Danvers. (spoilers ahead!)

Kara is tasked with watching over Cat’s son Carter while she’s out of town to accept a prestigious award. Knowing Cat as well as we do, I figured that her son would be a complete brat with a snobbish attitude (like mother, like son). However, we see that he’s actually super shy and a bit of a nerd; almost an exact opposite of his mother. It makes you wonder if Cat is secretly the same way behind closed doors, and if she acts like such a domineering boss as a way of hiding her insecurities.

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It’s a touching moment when you see how much Cat loves her son, and it’s obvious that he’s number one in her heart. Underneath that tough, callous exterior beats the heart of a hard-working single mother. We already saw last week how Cat has a softer side; now we’re learning even more about her caring qualities. Personally, I like the way her character is being developed, though, some people may think that her transition is happening too fast.

Carter reminds me of a young Bruce Wayne (the Gotham version), just not as outspoken. He’s shy, enjoys video games, and absolutely admires Supergirl. His love for the hero is so strong that he actually sneaks away to meet her, almost getting himself killed during a bombing. At least he had the chance to finally see Supergirl in person, and it’s cute seeing him go gaga over her. But here’s another issue: how the hell doesn’t he recognize her? What kind of fan is he if he can’t spot the similarities between her and Kara? So much for being super smart…

As I said, there’s no real “villain-of-the-week” in this episode. Instead, Supergirl is tasked with finding out who has been leaving bombs all over the city. She and the DEO assume that the culprit is Maxwell Lord, the conniving Lex Luthor-ish businessman of National City. I’m kinda iffy about how they’re portraying this character. He’s trying to come across as a likable philanthropist with a heart of gold, but it’s almost too obvious that he’s a sadistic sociopath who probably kicks puppies in his spare time. I don’t understand how nobody besides the main cast sees this.

What really, really annoyed me was the scene where Alex Danvers confronts Maxwell about the bombings. The sexual tension between the two couldn’t be more obvious if it slapped you in the face. I guarantee that they’re going to sleep together at some point in the future, and you can tell that this will lead to Maxwell having some leverage over Kara/Supergirl.

I hated this scene for two reasons. First, I didn’t like the implication that Alex will fall for Maxwell. She’s a government agent who has faced down some of the world’s most dangerous people. Now it looks like she’s falling for a dude with a nice smile and a crisp business suit? Second, Greg Berlanti needs to f***ing stop with the forced relationships at every turn. Almost every single main character in his shows HAS to be in love with another one. Why can’t we have just one instance of a boy-girl platonic relationship? I think Harrison Wells from The Flash is the only person who wasn’t romantically involved with another main character. We don’t need to see Alex falling for Maxwell. Find another way to cause conflict.

It’s possible that I’m just overreacting and that there is absolutely nothing going on between Alex and Maxwell. But I can’t be the only person who noticed the sparks flying between these two.

Speaking of love stories, do we need to know about James Olsen and Lucy Lane’s whole relationship drama? I know that Berlanti is a one-trick-pony who relies on relationships to develop characters, but needless to say, it’s getting old, and it severely slows down the pacing of the show. We get it: Winn loves Kara, Kara loves James, James loves Lucy. Now, if we found out that Lucy loved Winn, THEN things will get a little interesting. Or, plot twist: Cat loves Winn. THAT would make for some good relationship drama.

Back to the main story, Supergirl soon finds out that Maxwell was indeed (indirectly) responsible for the bombings. In a not-so-subtle way, he hints the reasons for his nefarious plot – he was trying to gauge the hero’s powers. He wanted to monitor her agility, her strength, her speed, and her compassion. With this knowledge, Maxwell may be able to take down the Woman of Steel. So now Supergirl has to deal with her Aunt Astra on one front, and possibly Maxwell on the other.

I’m still enjoying Supergirl, no matter how quirky or goofy it may be. Isn’t it sad that I have to keep stating that? Every week, I notice people bashing the show for one reason or another. It’s cool to have an opinion, but make sure it’s founded on a legit reason. I don’t know why it seems like people go out of their way to hate on this show. Keep going, Supergirl!

Final Grade: B +

+ Solid acting all around.

+ Maxwell is proving to be another formidable villain.

+ I loved seeing the more endearing side of Cat Grant.

– No, really, this isn’t even funny anymore. Carter Grant is such a huge fan of Supergirl and he can’t even tell that she’s Kara. Is the Grant family blind?

– Another filler episode; what the hell happened to Astra?

– The James/Lucy/Winn/Kara love triangle (love square?) is getting tiring.

Extra Thoughts:

– Alex is soooo gonna bang Maxwell, which will cause a huge rift between the sisters.

What did you think of the recent episode of Supergirl? Are you impatient for Astra’s return as the main villain? 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!