As we head towards Monday’s Supergirl Season 1 finale, which is intriguingly titled ‘Better Angels’, we take a look back at our top 5 episodes of Season 1 so far, at the show’s chances of renewal and at who we would like to see in the show’s much sought-after second season.
For many fans of Kara Zor-El in the DC comics, the notion of ever seeing Supergirl on screen again (the most prominent being her 1984 film) in any substantial capacity seemed an implausible one. Perhaps we expected to see her appear as a side character again (like in Smallville), within some future incarnation of some other DC character’s on screen venture. Then the impossible happened; Greg Berlanti and CBS collaboratively defied our expectations and brought Kara not only to the small screen, but they chose to give Kara her very own show. And with that, the Maid of Might shot once again onto our screens.
The show suffered a slightly rocky start, pre-airing. People ridiculed Supergirl‘s initial trailer and the show’s pilot episode leaked online months ahead of the show’s debut air date. But, like Kara herself, the show quickly proved that it held a great strength beneath its pretty exterior. Early on, Supergirl showcased a substance and sincerity that rapidly indicated just how brilliant a story the writers intended to tell, all supported by a phenomenal cast and production team.
We at The Nerd Recites loved the show right from the get-go, but the moment that the shows rose even higher in stature for us was that crucial pivotal scene in Episode 7, Human for a Day (which very nearly made this list), in which Hank revealed himself to be J’onn J’onzz – the infamous DC hero Martian Manhunter. Following that revelation the show continued to prove that this wasn’t the only bow in its quiver by astounding us with a variety of characters and events adapted straight out of the Supergirl comic pages.
The season has continually delivered through its now 19 episode run and below you will find the 5 episodes that we consider to be the show’s very episodes best to date (we’re expecting the finale to give this list a run for its money, once it airs). We tried to place this top 5 in descending order of quality, but this proved too difficult, due to the show’s boundless quality. Instead, we’ve opted for the chronological order of air dates.
Bizarro (Season 1, Episode 12)
Bizarro characters are well-known to any DC comic fan and it is certainly a tricky character to adapt to the screen. This is partly because Bizarro characters often hold a limited vocabulary that could easily sound foolish and clumsy once spoken aloud by actors. Yet the writers and cast made this work. Even though Lauren Hope plays Bizarro for a portion of the screen time, there’s something great about seeing Supergirl take on a foe that is visually identical to her.
For the Girl Who Has Everything (Season 1, Episode 13)
The greatest tragedy for Kara (and, of course, for Kal too) is never getting to live the full life on Kypton that she might have lived, had her home planet not been destroyed. In this fan-serving episode the writers pulled the Black Mercy straight from the comics (in which it is well-known for latching itself onto Superman and showing him Krypton in a similar manner) and had the creature show Kara a vision of the life that she might have led.
Solitude (Season 1, Episode 15)
Other than bringing Indigo into the show (played by ex-Supergirl herself, Laura Vandervoort), who is admittedly a hit and miss character for us, this episode finally brought Kara to the fortress of solitude (wonderfully, via that giant key), which gave us not only a look at Superman’s hidden fortress, but also at the robot Kelex. The episode closes out with possibly our favourite moment of the entire season; Alex admitting to Kara that she is the one who killed Astra and Chyler Leigh’s sublime portrayal of Alex breaking down as she delivers this revelation.
Falling (Season 1, Episode 16)
It’s true that red kryptonite is something that has been done many times before (most of those times being in Smallville), but we simply loved getting the chance to see Kara show her bad girl side. Near the episode’s close we are provided with another heart-wrenchingly emotional scene; this time with Kara herself breaking down about her time under the red kryptonite. Kara exclaims, amidst tears: “it was so horrible, Alex, it was so bad. Every bad thought I ever had, it just came to the surface. I couldn’t stop it. I didn’t mean it.”
Worlds Finest (Season 1, Episode 18)
What couldn’t be great about The Flash and Supergirl finally meeting in one smile-inducing episode that really was just as cute as could be. Barry and Kara’s characters have both always been charming and awkward in a very cute kind of way and we have always spotted similarities between them, so pairing the two up really was just a perfect alignment of personalities. Sure, the villain choices here were B-grade (Livewire and Silver Banshee, but at least we go to see Siobhan go full banshee for the first time) but the interactions in this episode are brilliant, right down to the moment where Barry races off and places an ice cream in Kara’s hand and she fails to contain her complete and ecstatic glee. The episode closes out with a race between the two heroes and marks itself as not only a landmark episode for Supergirl but also for comic book television cross-overs.
Hopefully our list left you eager not only for the finale but also for a second season of Supergirl. CBS, however, are yet to deliver official confirmation and announcement of a renewal for the show. Word of mouth indications of a renewal, however, have certainly been very positive for several weeks now. The CW also picked up a whole batch of its Berlanti Superhero shows for new seasons, which implies good things.
We have also been following the viewer ratings for Supergirl here at The Nerd Recites. The show started off strong (staying around the 7-8 million mark) and maintained this for many weeks, before then dropping to upon Episode 12’s airing (surprisingly, one of the episodes from our above list). The ratings picked up after this and then dropping again for Episodes 15, 16 and 17 (again, Episodes 15 and 16 being another two from our list), with Episode 17 (Manhunter) seeing the lowest ratings for the season so far (5.9 million).
Luckily, the cross over episode with The Flash, Worlds Finest, gave the ratings a large and much needed boost (picking them back up to 7.1 million), which has hopefully spurred CBS to look towards featuring more Supergirl/CW crossovers in the future.
Last week’s episode dropped to low figures again (6.1 million), but we remain optimistic for the show’s chance of survival, as do many Supergirl fans across social media. The general consensus is that this is a matter of the right decision likely already having been made by CBS, but they are just dragging their feet in revealing the news.
Why might CBS be doing this? Possibly just to see how the show’s finale closes out, ratings-wise. We’re hoping that the season wrapping on air will be the push that spurs CBS to give us the positive news that we are all eagerly awaiting.
Assuming that we are granted that all important second season (and if for some reason we are not, then there will be tears worse than Alex’s at the end of Solitude), there’s one character here at The Nerd Recites that we’d love to see appear in Season 2 (and therefore in Berlanti’s ever growing DC universe) and that is Cassie Sandsmark, AKA Wonder Girl.
Cassie is often portrayed in the comics as being a close friend of Kara’s and we’d love to see the two build that bond on the small screen. Excluding Alex – who is after all, Kara’s sibling – Kara doesn’t really have many strong female friends in the show, especially with Siobhan recently embracing her Silver Banshee side. We think that Season 2 could open strong with Kara meeting a new female friend; one who’s on her side for once – ideally Cassie.
As far as we’re aware, Cassie hasn’t so far made her debut in any non-animated small or large screen venture, so this would be a first for the character and in a world where characters like Captain Cold and Toyman are given on-screen portrayals, we don’t see why Cassie can’t be given the same Berlanti treatment.
All importantly, Cassie is also a crucial and founding member of the Teen Titans group, so if Berlanti was so inclined, Cassie’s appearance in Supergirl could easily then branch off into to a Teen Titans TV show (on whichever network), all building upon Berlanti’s universe and allowing for further cross-overs with Supergirl. It’s all just wishful thinking for us, but it’s definitely something that would make us as gleeful as Melissa Benoist on a midnight shoot.
The Supergirl finale airs on Monday 18th April and we encourage you all to tune in to watch the season’s close and support the show.
Image credits: DC, The CW