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REVIEW: Supergirl 1×18 “Worlds Finest”

 

It’s been a pretty disappointing week for DC crossovers, hasn’t it? I won’t get into my lukewarm thoughts about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but Supergirl‘s “Worlds Finest” could’ve been much better. This was one of the most anticipated episodes of the entire season because of the Flash’s appearance, and while it had its brief moments of greatness, it was ultimately a letdown. (spoilers ahead!)

Kara is still dealing with the repercussions of her Red Kryptonite episode from a few weeks ago. The citizens of National City are hesitant about trusting her, and only adding to Kara’s stress is the fact that she has no idea as to the whereabouts of her sister or Henshaw. The chips are stacked against Supergirl. The only people to provide comfort are Winn, James, and Lucy, but it seems like they’re busy with their own agendas.

As revealed in the last episode, Siobhan Smythe has superpowers – super-screaming to be exact. No, she’s not an alien. No, she’s not really a metahuman either. Straying a bit from her comic origins as Silver Banshee, it’s revealed that she is a product of an old Gaelic banshee curse on her family, which gives her supersonic screaming abilities when she’s been “wronged”. However, the curse will eventually claim her soul unless she kills the person (or people) who wronged her, meaning Cat and Kara. Siobhan understands that she can’t take them down alone since Supergirl is protecting them, which is why she’ll need to recruit Livewire to her cause.

Now how does the Flash figure into this episode’s equation? If you’ve been watching The Flash this season (which you should be doing since it’s fantastic), then you understand how Barry Allen has been trying to increase his speed in order to defeat his latest enemy, Zoom. Flash has also been hopping across various dimensions, or “Earths”, and encountering alternate versions of his home world. In this episode, Barry travels to what we can call “Earth 3”, where his hometown of Central City exists, but S.T.A.R. Labs and the accompanying brilliant minds are nowhere to be found. Therefore, he’s temporarily stuck in this dimension.

I thought this was a clever way for them to introduce the Flash into Supergirl’s universe, though this means that it’s unlikely we’ll see a crossover happen again in the future. I had been hoping that National City and Central City were sister cities, and that the Flash just happened across Supergirl during a random outing. Unfortunately, this “accidental inter-dimensional traveling” component makes it so that it’s a one-and-done deal. While it’s not exactly impossible for another crossover to happen, it’s very unlikely due to the fact that Barry stumbled upon Earth 3 by accident, and it seems like the whole cross-dimensional traveling is a big no-no for the S.T.A.R. Labs crew. It’s a shame because I would absolutely love to see Team Arrow, the Flash, Supergirl, and Martian Manhunter come together for a TV Justice League in a future episode. We can still hope, right?

I also enjoyed how Supergirl managed to incorporate the Flash into its show so that non-Flash fans could understand. Even if you don’t watch his show, you could still understand what was happening with the Flash and why he was in this universe. Likewise, if you only watch The Flash and you decided to tune into Supergirl for the first time, this episode may have seemed easy to follow. I’ll say this – if you only watch one of those shows but not the other, then you’re missing out. Both are pretty great.

Anyway, Siobhan breaks Livewire out of the DEO, allowing them to team up. Livewire tells her new cohort that it’s time for a makeover. When the Flash and Supergirl finally show up to the villains’ hideout, they’re met with a fully costumed Silver Banshee. First – how long was the timespan between Livewire’s escape and the Flash and Supergirl appearing at the hideout? And second, where did they get the makeup and costume for SB? I appreciate the show for trying to mimic Silver Banshee’s comic look, but it came off a little silly. You have to think about how the two villains must’ve spent time going to the store and grabbing makeup, silver clothing, and special contact lenses for Siobhan to complete her look. It’s one of those quirky comic book moments that you don’t really notice until it’s on the screen.

Predictably, Supergirl and the Flash get their asses handed to them in their first battle against the villains. While they regroup and devise a new strategy, Livewire and Silver Banshee kidnap Cat Grant. I loved seeing Cat Grant once again show her ballsiness by standing up to supervillains like it was no big deal, but later on in the episode, I became disappointed. Livewire and Silver Banshee are holding Cat hostage in the park while waiting for Supergirl and the Flash to show up, and Cat begs for her release; not because she’s scared for herself, but because she doesn’t want her kids to grow up motherless. I wanted to sympathize with the character and understand where she was coming from, but it felt very rushed. One minute, she’s fearless in the face of the enemy, and the next, she’s almost crying to be let go. It would make more sense if the villains had directly threatened her children. THAT would’ve made Cat’s fears seem more organic and justified. Instead, her flip-flopping of emotions felt very rushed.

Here is where the episode lost me. The Flash and Supergirl arrive at the park, now equipped with special earbuds that Barry had previously developed to protect against the villainous Pied Piper. Silver Banshee’s screams can no longer harm the heroes, but Livewire’s electricity is still pretty lethal. The two heroes square off against the two villains, only to be defeated once again. The tides turn when Supergirl throws herself in front of Livewire’s attack before she can destroy a helicopter. The citizens of National City see that SG was willing to die to protect them, so they all form a protective circle around her. Just as Livewire and Silver Banshee are about to attack again, a team of firefighters drenches them with their firehose, thus defeating them.

Talk about disappointment! The Flash barely did anything to help in the fight against the villains! They had to resort to a lame “yay teamwork!” shtick that you’d find in a workplace employee training video. I hoped Barry would’ve done much more, but it seems like his appearance was pure gimmick. What a waste of so much potential.

I’m pretty happy the show didn’t try to force a relationship between Barry and Kara this episode. A part of me was dreading the notorious “Berlanti Curse” where executive producer Greg Berlanti seemingly forces relationships with virtually every main character on his shows. Barry and Kara remain friends, though there were a few moments where you almost see a tiny spark of romance between the two.

The real relationship drama this episode lies within Kara and James. Cat and Barry both offer a bit of relationship advice to Kara, showing her how to get James. For all those people who’ve been waiting for that magical kiss to happen, you’re in luck! James and Kara finally smooch tonight! But their brief romantic moment is interrupted when James walks out of Kara’s apartment in a trance, along with the other tenants in the apartment complex. It appears they’re all under Non’s hypnosis, but what does he have planned? Looks like we’ll have to wait a while to find out.

The whole “Flash stuck in Earth 3” problem is solved rather quickly, thus taking away from the impact of the whole ordeal. Long story short: Supergirl and the Flash fly/run as fast as they can, and SG throws Flash hard enough to break through the inter-dimensional barrier. It’s a surprisingly simple solution, yet I’ll give the show props for finding a way to add a Supergirl vs. Flash race into the mix.

“Worlds Finest” was barely an above-average episode. I didn’t want to believe it, but it seems like this was purely thrown together to get the Flash on Supergirl in an effort to boost ratings. At least we finally got to see Flash and Supergirl on screen together – that’s good enough, right?

Final Grade: C +

+ It was great seeing the Flash and Supergirl on the same show!

+ I enjoyed the team-up aspect for both the villains and the heroes.

+ The show did a good job of incorporating Flash so that people who haven’t watched his show could still understand.

– The Flash barely did anything in the final battle besides giving Kara those earbuds.

– More relationship drama.

– I wasn’t a fan of Cat this episode.

Extra Thoughts:

– It may be unlikely, but I’d like to see another crossover in the future.

How did you feel about “Worlds Finest”? Would you welcome more Supergirl team-ups in the future? Let us know what you think 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!