Monday, March 28, 2016

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 18 - World's Finest

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Livewire is on the loose and partnered up with a new villain called Silver Banshee, who also holds a grudge against Supergirl. Luckily, help arrives in a Flash, as Barry Allen - a superhero who is the Fastest Man Alive on his world - runs into Kara's life... much to James Olsen's annoyance.


The classic World's Finest Comics series, The Flash #123 - Flash of Two Worlds (The Flash travels to another dimension and teams with another superhero before returning home) and various comics in which The Flash races other heroes.


CatCo must have some crack security team to allow Siobhan to get up to the level of Cat Grant's office with no questions asked, given that she's been kicked out of the building twice before now.

After blasting Kara out the window with her sonic scream, Sibohan doesn't go after Cat Grant? Granting that Kara is the focus of Sibohan's anger, you'd expect her to go after the boss who fired her and denied her dream of becoming a reporter too.

Cat objects to the name of The Flash on the grounds that it suggests someone exposing themselves, yet she has no objection to The Red Streak?

Barry describes his enemy Blackout as a being of living electricity when Kara describes Livewire. While Blackout was able to manipulate and absorb electricity like Livewire, he was not made of pure energy.

The Silver Banshee's curse doesn't seem like much of a curse, all things considered. Being unlikable doesn't seem to have stopped Winn from falling for Siobhan and it doesn't seem to be stopping any of the women in her family from being able to attract men long enough to spread the curse on to the next generation. And super-strength and the power to kill those who wrong  you with a focused thought and a scream don't seem like bad things if you're a miserable witch like Siobhan.

Barry is really quick to trust people with his secret identity in this episode, allowing Kara to reveal his identity to Winn, James, Lucy and several DEO agents. This is maddening considering how reluctant he was on his own show to let his girlfriend know who he was.

How did Sibohan know where to meet Livewire after helping her escape?

Granting that Kara and Barry didn't have much of a plan for going after Livewire, it's hard to believe that Barry would be so stupid as to try throwing lightning at a villain he's been told can manipulate electricity.

Sibohan's costume as The Silver Banshee costume looks more like a Day of the Dead costume than the outfit from the comics it is meant to emulate.

Barry says "We're not going to win this today" and encourages Kara to run... just as they've knocked Silver Banshee and Livewire down under the combined force of Kara's super-breath and the twin cyclones Barry made with his hands.

James seems oddly unphased by the lightning bolt that knocks him across the room. No burns or shock at all.

A whole lot of civilians come out of nowhere to enter the park when people are needed to witness Kara sacrificing herself, after fleeing it once the super-villain fight broke out.

All of Barry's talk about Kara's relationship with the people of her city improving in time is seriously undercut by everything being fixed instantly after Kara takes one lightning bolt to the chest trying to save a helicopter.

Livewire's got a point about how stupid it is everyone is just now realizing Supergirl was willing to die for them and deciding the feeling is mutual when they were ready to string her up two days earlier.

We're told that thanks to The Flash, the National City Police Department now has a way to lock-up and contain metahumans. One wonders why the DEO didn't discretely offer up this technology years ago.

Either Cat Grant is deliberately trolling Kara regarding her secret identity or she truly is the biggest idiot ever, if she can figure out Barry Allen is The Flash but not put two and two together regarding her continually disappearing assistant and Supergirl being needed somewhere.


The chemistry between Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist is quite good and manages to sell some of the more difficult aspects of the script through sheer charisma.


The special effects for Silver Banshee's scream are far better than the ones used for the Canary Cry on Arrow.

Super Trivia

The title for this episode - World's Finest - comes from a classic Silver Age DC Comics anthology series, which featured a variety of stories and characters. In time, it would come to feature stories of Batman and Superman teaming-up though occasionally it would include team-up stories involving other heroes.

World's Finest was also the title of a 2009 mini-series written by Supergirl writer Sterling Gates, which centered upon various Batman and Superman allies teaming-up... including Supergirl!

More recently, World's Finest was the title of a comic devoted to the adventures of Power Girl and Huntress - the Supergirl of Earth 2 and the daughter of that world's version of Batman and Catwoman.

The World's Finest title has been applied to various mini-series and one-shots, including a recent one teaming Batwoman and Wonder Woman

The title World's Finest Heroes is usually applied to Batman and Superman.

The doctor at the DEO who treats Siobhan is named in the show credits as Dr. Amelia Hamilton. She appears to be a feminized version of Dr. Emil Hamilton - a character from the DC Comics Superman books.

In the comics and various other adaptations, Dr. Emil Hamilton is a scientist who helped Superman by acting as a scientific adviser, medical doctor and by constructing various devices such as the Phantom Zone Projector.

Livewire is seen for the first time since S104.

When the Supergirl logo appears just before the first commercial break in this episode, the theme from The Flash TV show plays and we hear the lightning effect that usually plays before commercial breaks on The Flash as the S-shield disappears.

Barry's explanation for how multiple earths work is taken directly from The Flash #123 - the comic which introduced the idea of the DC Comics multiverse. Perhaps not coincidentally, it also fits neatly in line with The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Physics, which was introduced four years earlier, though there's no evidence that comic writer Gardner Fox was familiar with the theory. (See Technobabble below for more on the MWI.)

Winn suggests the existence of a parallel Earth where everyone good is evil. In the DC Comics Multiverse, this world is commonly referred to as Earth 3 and it is ruled by an evil version of The Justice League called The Crime Syndicate. Their version of The Flash is called Johnny Quick.

Cat says that James, Winn, Kara and Barry look like the cast of a show on The CW network. The Flash is aired on The CW Network.

Cat considers the names "The Red Streak" and "The Blur" for the mysterious new speedster hero. In the early parts of the first season of The Flash, Barry was called "The Streak" in the local press and referred to himself as a blur.

In the classic DC Comics Universe, The Silver Banshee's powers were the result of a magical curse, albeit one far different than the one we see for Siobhan Smythe.

The original Silver Banshee was named Siobhan McDougal. The scion of an ancient Gaelic clan, Siobhan attempted a magical ritual to claim her rightful place as head of the clan over the objections of her uncle and brother. She was drawn into the netherworld, where a being known as The Crone offered to send Siobhan back to Earth in exchange for a magical book that had been part of Siobhan's father's library. The quest to recover the book resulted in several murders, which got the attention of Superman and brought him into conflict with The Silver Banshee.

The Silver Banshee's powers in the comics include super-strength, speed-agility, super-speed, super-hearing, super-durability to both physical and energy attacks. She has a hyper-sonic scream capable of incapacitating even Kryptonians and Amazons. She also has the ability to kill anyone by speaking their full true-name. Since her powers are magical in nature, they are capable of hurting Superman and Supergirl.

The DCTVU version of Silver Banshee's powers are magical in nature, part of a curse that affects all the women of the Smythe family. According to Siobhan's aunt, some female ancestor stole from a banshee and every woman of their bloodline was cursed to be unlikeable.

The second level of the Smythe family curse is triggered when someone wrongs a woman of the Smythe family. This causes the woman to hear the voice of the Banshee in her head, until such time as she kills the person who wronged them. If they fail to do this, the power of the banshee grows within them and their voice becomes a lethal weapon. Not only can they scream at people in front of them and cause great pain, but they can focus their scream anywhere in the world and even kill the target from a distance. Doing this, however, will cost the woman her soul.

The DCTVU version of Silver Banshee exhibits the hyper-sonic scream as well as the power of super-ventriloquism, projecting her voice anywhere in the world as when she uses her scream to remotely break the glass in Livewire's containment cage. She also possess enough super-strength to punch Supergirl and make her feel it.

Lucy Lane asks if she could call The Flash "Speedy". This is, ironically, the code-name of Green Arrow's sidekick in the comics and on Arrow.

Barry introduces himself to Lucy Lane as a CSI. Curiously, Barry never uses this term to refer to his job or himself on The Flash - presumably because the term is also the title of several CBS TV series. Since Supergirl is on CBS, however, he can safely say those letters here.

Barry and Kara address each other by their nicknames from the comics - The Girl of Steel and The Scarlet Speedster.

There have been numerous comics devoted to the idea of The Flash racing other heroes - most frequently Superman. A list of them can be found on the wonderful The Flash history website Those Who Ride The Lightning.


The theory of the multiverse - AKA The Many-Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics - holds that there are many worlds which exist in parallel at the same space and time as our own. First introduced in 1957 by physicist Hugh Everett III, a remarkably similar idea would appear in The Flash #123 in 1961 and form the basis for what would become known as the DC Comics Multiverse.

Barry has to consume 10,000 calories per day in order to make up the energy he expends running at super-speed.

Livewire's ability to absorb the electricity in the air around her gives Barry the idea to compose a computer algorithm that monitors variations in meter usage around National City, allowing him to find where she is at any given moment.

Winn suggests using an industrial capacitor to trap Livewire - the plan from Kara's first fight with her that didn't work due to equipment failure.

Barry creates special ear-plugs for himself and Kara that negate the effects of Silver Banshee's scream.

Dialogue Triumphs

Lucy: Five people were rushed to the hospital last night. All suffering from electrical imbalances in the brain. Is there anything you wanna tell me?
Livewire: Yeah. The food here sucks.
Lucy: You are the only person we know with the ability to cause electrical phenomena of this magnitude. How did you do it?
Livewire: I'm flattered you think I'm behind it, but I've got bigger brains to fry. Like Cat Grant's. And Supergirl's. And when I get out of here? You're all going to pay.

(The Flash catches Kara in mid-freefall and runs her to a field outside of National City)
The Flash: You're on fire!
(The Flash is about to try and pat out the fire but then realizes he's almost touched a strange woman's breasts and hesitates.)
The Flash: I.. . nope... uh...
(Kara looks down and begins beating the flames out herself.)
The Flash: You don't seem that bothered by the fact that you're on fire?
Kara: I didn't need you to save me.
The Flash: (chuckling) Uh... you just fell from a skyscraper. So if I hadn't been there, you would have gone splat.
Kara: I need to get back to the city.
(Kara jumps up into the air. A few seconds later, her work clothes come falling down on top of The Flash)
The Flash: What the what?  That's a new one. I thought I was the impossible.

(The Flash goes running after Kara, now in her Supergirl costume, She sees the lighting bolt on the ground and flies down to cut it off after he gets ahead of her.)
The Flash: How did you do that?
Supergirl: I'm Supergirl!
The Flash: ... you're who now?
Supergirl: Sorry. I was just a little... disoriented from the scream.  How did you save me?
The Flash: Well, I... you- you fell out a window and I... I caught you and ran you all the way out here, which I did not mean to do. But I've been working on my speed and...I guess I'm faster than I thought.
Supergirl: Yes, yes, but I... (deep breath) Who are you?
The Flash: I'm The Flash!
Supergirl: The who now?
The Flash: The Fla- wait, do you not know who I am?
Supergirl: Should I?
The Flash: What about The Green Arrow?
(Supergirl shakes her head.)
The Flash: Black Canary?
(Supergirl just shakes her head and looks confused.)
The Flash: Firestorm? Atom? Zoom?
(Supergirl shakes her head and looks at The Flash like he's speaking another language.)
Supergirl: (apologetic) Sorry.
The Flash: Oh boy. Not as sorry as I am.
(The Flash reaches up and pulls his mask off.)The Flash: Hey. I'm Barry Allen. I'm the fastest man alive. And I think that I'm on the wrong Earth. I'm gonna need your help.

(Looking at Kara, Winn, James and Barry)
Cat: All four of you standing there, doing nothing? You look like the attractive yet non-threatening, racial-diverse cast of a CW Show.

(Siobhan enters a shop called Luck of the Irish. She sees the shopkeeper, a red-haired matronly sort with a thick Irish accent, taking to a customer.)
Shopkeeper: Thank you, my dear. Love will soon be coming yer way. Don't forget ta write his name five times in your journal every night.
(The customer leaves. Once she is out the door, Siobhan turns to regard the shopkeeper)
Siobhan: What the hell was that accent?
Shopkeeper: (now speaking in a normal American accent) It's one of the many talents I use to trick Muggles to buy 300 bucks worth of cheap quartz.

(Siobhan reveals herself to Livewire)
Livewire: Who the hell are you?
Siobahn: Siobhan Smythe.
Livewire: It's like your parents knew you'd grow up to be a big snob.
Siobahn: I need your help.
Livewire: I can help you catch on fire.
Siobahn: You should be a little more grateful. I'm the one who broke you out of your hamster wheel.
Livewire: How'd you do that?
(Siobhan looks up at a window and screams, breaking it. The noise brings Livewire to her knees.)Siobahn: Luck of the Irish.
Livewire: Okay. Listening. Sort of.

Livewire: You see, Cat, I'm still 50/50 if your heart's actually beating, but I'm going to stop it anyway.

The Flash: Hey, Sparky!  Shrikey! Hi. What do you way we step away from the nice lady? Settle this like women?
(Supergirl gives The Flash the side-eye.)
The Flash: What? There's more of you guys here than me.
(Supergirl nods, smiles, and keeps moving forward toward Livewire and Silver Banshee)

Dialogue Disasters

Siobahn: You and I have shared interests. You want to kill Cat Grant and Supergirl and I want to kill Cat's assistant, who is protected by them both. Figured we could team up.
Livewire: Like an evil Taylor Swift squad?
Siobahn: What do you say?
Livewire: Not in that outfit. You need a makeover.
Siobahn: This is going to be fun.

Silver Banshee: All my life I thought I was cursed, but now I see I was cursed for the better.


Every single moment of the crowd coming forward to protect the fallen Supergirl.


Kara and Winn both refer to the events of S116 and Kara losing the public's trust after being poisoned with Red Kryptonite and turning evil.

The tests Dr. Hamilton conducts confirm that Siobhan is 100% human. She has no explanation for Siobhan's powers. This seems to confirm that metahumans - human beings who are genetically enhanced in some form or fashion - do not exist on the Earth of Supergirl or, at the very least, they're rare enough the DEO hasn't encountered any besides Livewire.

Cat Grant wrote a romance self-help book in 1998 called The Lighthouse Technique. She admits it wasn't her best work, but it did get her on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

The Earth of Supergirl's reality does not have a Flash, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Atom, Firestorm or Zoom. These are all superheroes or super-villains in the reality of The Flash.

The Earth of Supergirl's reality does have a Central City (Barry Allen's home town) but there's no STAR Labs (the scientific organization that was responsible for Barry gaining super-power) or a Caitlin Snow, Cisco Ramon or Harrison Wells - the three scientists who help Barry out as The Flash.

Both Barry's Earth and Kara's Earth have Mariah Carey, donuts and the book The Three Musketeers.

Barry's reaction to Kara being an alien seems to suggest there is no proof of alien life in the reality of The Flash. This also seems to suggest, indirectly, that there is no Superman or Supergirl in the reality of Barry Allen's Earth 1. Or, at the very least, that they do not operate openly, as on Supergirl.

When Winn suggests the existence of a world where everyone is evil, Barry says that he's been there and it sucks. This may be a reference to F213 & F214, in which Barry traveled to the world of the super-villain Zoom and discovered that three of his friend's counterparts on that Earth were super-villains.

Barry admits to having traveled in time by accident but never traveling between realities by accident. This refers to the events of F116 and A408.

Kara's Earth has a CW Network.

Siobhan has an aunt who runs a new-age magic shop called Luck of The Irish. She's a bit of a con-artist, using a fake Irish accent to sell phony artifacts to people. Yet she does seem to have some honest magical knowledge, if no real power. She apparently killed her own husband to rid herself of The Smythe family curse.

When telling Barry about Livewire, Barry says that he has an enemy who is living electricity called Blackout. He fought him in F107.

Barry runs around Livewire to build up an electrical charge, which he then throws at her as a lightning bolt. This is a trick Barry learned in the second season of The Flash from fellow speedster Jay Garrick in F202. Unfortunately, the attack only charges-up Livewire's powers.

Barry refers to the events F216, where he was blamed for several thefts committed by a female super-speedster called Trajectory but the public eventually grew to trust him again.

Barry refers to The Pied Piper - a villain who used sonic-based technology - and how they used special earplugs to block his powers. This didn't happen in the original battle between The Flash and Pied Piper (F111) but may have happened in the changed timeline that came about because of The Flash's actions in F217, where his time-traveling changed the events of Episode F111 in a major way.

Kara refers to S114 and James' lecturing her on the importance of criminals being tried for their crimes, after the DEO took Maxwell Lord into custody.

The NCPD now have the means to contain metahuman criminals, thanks to The Flash.

Cat Grant figures out that Barry Allen is The Flash.

The trick where one speedster uses another speedster's momentum to boost their own was first utilized in F211,when Barry used his speed to send The Reverse Flash back to his own time. Here, Barry has Supergirl throw him forward at her top speed in order to break the boundary between realities.

At the end of the episode, James Olsen and hundreds of other people walk out into the streets like zombies. We find out this has something to do with Myriad - the Kryptonain secret weapon - being activated.

Untelevised Adventures

At the time of this episode's airing, it was unclear exactly when Barry Allen jumped realities relative to the timeline of his own TV show. Specific references indicate it was sometime after F216 - the last episode of The Flash to have aired when this episode aired.

Barry refers to making special earplugs to block the powers of a villain called The Pied Piper. This did not happen in any previous episode of The Flash at the time this episode aired. However, the episode that aired the next evening, F217, had Barry travel back in time and alter things in such a way that his first encounter with The Pied Piper changed and the second one never happened. Also, STAR Labs had a chance to replicate The Pied Piper's special ear-pieces, which may have led to Barry knowing how to make the earplugs he creates here.

The Kryptonite Factor

Honestly, the fight with Silver Banshee and Livewire should have taken about a minute.  Have Barry run out and back, grab Silver Banshee, run faster than sound and knock her out. Then all Kara has to do is remember that water shorts out Livewire and boom. Done.

Really, the only thing that saved them is that the villains were stupider than they were in the final fight and they didn't think to kill Cat Grant at literally any other point in the episode or Siobhan didn't think to just sit in a quiet room, focus on Supergirl and THEN attack her from a distance like she did with Livewire's cell.

The Bottom Line

About the only thing this episode has going for it is the charisma of its two leads and the quality of the special effects. The script is crap, with horrible dialogue, numerous logic problems and some continuity problems regarding The Flash. Turn your brain off and maybe it could be an enjoyable distraction. As is, this could be the worst episode of Supergirl to date.

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