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REVIEW: Supergirl 1×06 “Red Faced”

Written by Alex Reale

For once, I was actually disappointed with Supergirl. Don’t worry, I still think it’s a fantastic show overall, but it’s obviously not perfect. This recent episode, “Red Faced”, was DOA to begin with, mostly due to the poor reception of the set photos of the latest villain, Red Tornado. I was giving the show the benefit of the doubt since they could always improve effects and visuals in post-production. However, not only was Red Tornado ultimately disappointing, the entire episode was just a downright crap-fest. (spoilers ahead!)

Kara is dealing with personal human problems again. This time, it’s her anger. The entire episode revolves around how she needs to control her anger, and instead of letting the anger take over, she should learn how to use it to her advantage. In the beginning, her attitude gets her into a heap of trouble when she accidentally breaks the hand of a driver in the midst of road rage (but to be fair, the guy was an idiot for actually trying to punch Supergirl). Later on, her anger provokes her into talking back to Cat Grant and telling her to shut her face. Honestly, I’m not sure which is worse…

Quick side-note: I think I’m about done dinging this show because of the “How does nobody realize Kara is Supergirl?” aspect. Obviously, this show takes place in a universe where people are oblivious and lacking common sense. In this episode, there were kids taking cell phone pictures of her just a few feet away. These pictures will undoubtedly end up on some blogs and social media, and if people STILL can’t make the connection between SG and Kara, well, I’m not even going to bother anymore.

The villain of the week is Red Tornado. We saw pictures of RT a while ago, and the response across the Internet was… well, “negative” is being polite. People hated the look of the character, and honestly, I wasn’t a fan either. Take a look.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 7.57.12 AM

Red Tornado is supposed to be an android. If you want to get technical, androids are robots that look and act like humans. Again, I can’t fault the show because of the Red Tornado looking so organic. But at the same time, look at him! He literally looks like a human with red face paint and cheap gardening gloves he bought at Target. This is supposed to be a highly advanced battle android created by the U.S. military. Couldn’t they make him look more refined? I expected him to look much better than a bad Comic Con cosplay. I’m assuming they were on a really tight budget for this episode, which is why the outfit looks so cheap. Kinda surprising if you ask me. I mean, it’s not like they put any of that money toward the lackluster special effects budget.

The military tests the android in a fight against Supergirl, but during the battle, it goes rogue and escapes the training area. SG is blamed for the incident since she refused to stand down, which must’ve triggered Red Tornado’s escape protocol. At the same time, RT’s creator, Dr. Morrow, is also fired for his failed experiment.

For a moment, I expected this to turn into a Short Circuit-esque episode with Red Tornado gaining sentience and soon cherishing all life. Come on, they totally set up the episode to follow that route. But alas, it becomes a classic “Supergirl has to learn a new lesson in order to defeat the latest villain” storyline. This week’s lesson? Controlling her anger. Who better to teach her this lesson than Cat Grant?

I normally love Cat and any story revolving around her. In “Red Faced”, we finally meet her mother who, surprise surprise, is egotistical and extremely verbally expressive. Like mother, like daughter.

I don’t know how to properly put it in words, but Cat’s mother was… disappointing? I guess that’s the best way to put it, but I feel like I use that term too much. I expected much, much more from her. She’s essentially Cat times 10 only with no redeeming qualities. I’m guessing Cat got her more personable traits from her father’s side.

Cat goes on her weekly belittling of Kara, calling out her flaws and mispronouncing her name several times, before Kara finally snaps and tells her to shut up. This makes Cat see her in a new light; a more respectable light. The two go out for drinks and discuss the concept of anger. Cat reminds Kara that she needs to find a way to control her anger because women who are angry in the workplace are seen in a negative light. This turns into another lesson of how Kara, being a female superhero, has to be careful of her actions since she’s facing extra scrutiny. Let’s face the facts: it’s true. Both in the world of Supergirl and in the real world, she deals with so much criticism, and I’m almost positive it’s due to the fact that she’s a woman.

While all this is happening, there is also a subplot involving James, Lucy, and Lucy’s father, who happens to be head of the military project that commissioned Red Tornado. This whole storyline was bleh. I won’t analyze the glaring coincidence that Lucy Lane is dating Kara’s love interest AND her father happens to be in charge of Red Tornado’s initiative. Really, I’m tired of this entire Lucy-James-Kara-Winn love-square subplot. Greg Berlanti needs to stop shoehorning romance into these shoes. Let them flow naturally. Stop trying to make it the number-one aspect.

In the end, Supergirl and Red Tornado have another face off. It’s revealed that Red Tornado is still being controlled by his creator, Dr. Morrow. Alex Danvers and the DEO track down Morrow while Supergirl battles the android. Want to guess who wins? Go on, I bet you won’t get it.

Oh, look! Supergirl won! She used her anger to fuel her heat vision before turning RT into a pile of red scrap metal. At the same time, Alex kills Dr. Morrow. Since this is a comic book show and since Red Tornado and Dr. Morrow are fairly prominent characters in DC, it’s safe to assume that either one or both of the characters will make a reappearance soon.

So there you have it. A less-than-mediocre episode in an otherwise great show. That seems to be a trend this week. I guess all the shows are slacking with the holidays coming up. With news of Supergirl getting an official order for an entire first season, I’m hoping that the cast and crew really pick it up and make the next couple of episodes really stellar.

Final Grade: C –

+ Some decent fight scenes.

+ Fair acting – nothing spectacular.

+ At least the episode didn’t focus too heavily on the romantic aspects.

– Disappointing Red Tornado.

– More and more filler.

– Terrible special effects, even for network TV.

Extra Thoughts:

– Will Red Tornado and/or Dr. Morrow return?

What were your thoughts on the latest episode of Supergirl? Do you think Red Tornado was a let-down? 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!