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REVIEW: Supergirl 1×16 “Falling”

 

I dare you to find something wrong with the latest episode of Supergirl. Go on, I’ll wait. Seriously, “Falling” was probably the best episode to date, and I think it’s easily better than the entire fourth season of Arrow so far (come at me, bro). With the finale getting closer, it looks like executive producer Greg Berlanti and his team are pulling out all the stops to conclude the first season of Supergirl on a high note. “Falling” was strong enough to close out the season entirely, and I honestly don’t know how the show can top this episode. (spoilers ahead!)

The episode begins with Kara going about her normal routine, being the perfect model superhero and doing things a superhero should do. We get it by now – she’s awesome. The show doesn’t need to reinforce the point at every turn, but I guess it’s a good way to show that no matter how much some people distrust and denounce her, she’s still going to suit up and save the city. It’ll take a lot more than harsh words to bring the Kryptonian down.

While she’s putting out a burning building, Supergirl is exposed to a strange substance that has an unnatural effect on her. At first, nothing happens, and Kara shakes off the weird feeling, but over the next couple of days, things start to take a turn for the worse.

First, Kara begins to show a little more aggression in the workplace. She throws on a new ensemble and begins to adopt Cat Grant’s more… assertive… mannerisms. It gets to the point that Kara actually exposes Siobhan Smythe’s dirty plan to sell a story to one of CatCo’s biggest competitors. Smythe is promptly fired, and she’s notified that her name is essentially blacklisted in Metropolis and that she won’t be able to get a job at the Daily Planet (or any media outlet). Kara pretty much ruins Smythe’s life. Not very Kara-esque, but it definitely sets up Smythe’s return in a week or two (and trust me, she’s definitely coming back).

Supergirl’s attitude changes as well. At the DEO, she has a more casual, laid-back attitude about her job, and she even starts to show a bit of disrespect to her sister and to Henshaw. The DEO realizes they have bigger things on their plate when another Fort Rozz escapee makes an appearance in the city. Supergirl wastes no time in racing to the scene to apprehend the criminal. However, she eventually lets him go, saying he’s not worth the trouble. When the DEO arrives at the scene, SG says the escapee got away, but Alex soon finds out the truth.

Nobody is safe from Kara’s attitude throughout the episode. I loved seeing Melissa Benoist don this new persona. She’s proven herself to be diverse in her performances (as we saw with Bizarro a few months ago). Tonight, she did a complete 180 and tore everyone apart with her ferocious attitude. The only person who gave a better performance than Benoist was Chyler Leigh. There’s a moment when Alex is truly hurt about what Kara has become, and you can tell her heart is breaking at the sight of her sister turning to the dark side. Even I felt sad watching it unfold. The scene where Kara torches her old wardrobe almost as if it were an effigy against Alex? Devastating.

If you still weren’t convinced of how dangerous Supergirl was becoming, there’s a scene near the middle of the episode where she literally throws Cat off a balcony. Don’t worry – she saves her at the last minute, but holy crap! She threw a woman off a building! What if Cat had gotten a heart attack? Or what if something happened and Supergirl couldn’t save her? This is one of the few moments of the season that actually made my jaw drop.

Cat denounces Supergirl as a villain on public TV, and soon, the whole city turns against her. Supergirl’s aggression hits a breaking point near the climax of the episode, and she almost goes on a full-scale rampage, until Henshaw drops his disguise and transforms into J’onn in front of everyone in order to stop Kara. The two have a great little fight scene where they just beat the living hell out of each other. Alex and the DEO manage to stop Kara at the last minute thanks to a helpful tip from Maxwell Lord (who, big surprise, created the synthetic Red Kryptonite and hid it in the burning building, which triggered Supergirl’s aggression).

The last few minutes of the episode will hit you pretty hard as Kara apologizes to Alex and Cat about her change of attitude. Thankfully, they forgive her, but it looks like National City might have a hard time trusting the Woman of Steel ever again. Not only that, but Henshaw/J’onn is now imprisoned within the DEO’s cells due to his being an alien. There’s no happy ending on this week’s Supergirl.

I really can’t find anything wrong with the latest Supergirl. “Falling” was excellent, and it got me hyped for the final installments of the season. I’m just curious about how Supergirl and J’onn will both return to their former glory given what happened during these events.

 

Final Grade: A

+ Fantastic performances from Benoist and Leigh.

+ Loved the fight between J’onn and Supergirl at the end.

+ A great way to introduce Red Kryptonite.

– The fight between J’onn and Supergirl could’ve been longer.

Extra Thoughts:

– J’onn’s identity has been exposed! I hope this doesn’t mean he’ll be “kicked out” of National City. I’d rather him just team up with Supergirl and carry out missions with her in the future.

What were your thoughts on “Evil” Kara on the latest episode of Supergirl? 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!