Kara's first day as a reporter doesn't go nearly as smoothly as she'd hoped, when her new boss, Snapper Carr, refuses to acknowledge her hiring. And when mercenary John Corben returns with a Kryptonite heart and nearly kills Supergirl, Superman is quick to blame J'onn and the DEO. It turns out the true culprits are Cadmus - the group that abducted Kara's foster-father - which has now publicly threatened every alien on Earth and anyone who would help them!
John Bryne's run on Superman (the design and origin for Metallo, the presence of Kelex - the Fotress of Solitude robot), the Adventures of Superman show (the sequence of the robbers shooting Superman and then trying to punch him), Crisis On Infinite Earths #7 (the shot of Superman holding a fatally injured Kara mirrors the cover art) and the Superman comics of Jack Kirby (Project Cadmus).
Alex says she hasn't been on a date in two years. Apparently her date with Maxwell Lord last year didn't count.
With all due respect to Winn's technical genius in reverse-engineering Kryptonian technology on a day's notice, you'd think he might have come up with a design that didn't obscure the S-shield on Superman and Supergirl's chests with a rather obvious panel.
Credit where credit is due - Calista Flockhart does turn in a fantastic performance her as Cat Grant lets her mask slide away and proves there is a heart under all the bluster in both her farewells to both Kara and Supergirl.
That performance, however, is edged out by Jeremy Jordan as Winn. Thrown into his element as a techie for the DEO, Winn's wit and wisdom is given a chance to shine throughout the episode. Too often, Winn is reduced to being simple comic relief. Here, we see the hidden depths of his character in a way rarely seen since the episodes based around his infamous father from Season One from his pointing out Alex's pettiness in being upset over Clark and Kara bonding to his sheer fanboyish joy at Superman praising his work.
The direction and special effects work in the open sequence of Kara and Clark fighting crime together are impressive.
Kelex is brought to life wonderfully through the CGI.
The chase scene in which Alex flees from the Cadmus soldiers is one of the better action sequences in the show's history.
J'onn's disguise of a little girl in a home-made Supergirl costume as he's watching Clark's back is a nice comedic touch.
This episode opened with another new voice-over, reflecting Kara's new job as a reporter.
The posters advertising this episode featured an injured Supergirl being held up by an anguished Superman. This was a direct visual tribute to the cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 and the death of Supergirl. We later see Superman holding this pose as he picks up the injured Kara.
In the opening sequence, two robbers empty their guns trying to shoot Superman and Supergirl before one of them tries to punch Superman and breaks his hand. Criminals unloading their guns into Superman and then either throwing the guns at him or punching him used to be a staple of the 1950's Adventures of Superman show. The impracticality of this action has been a joke in fandom circles for years and long-time Superman fan Jerry Seinfeld had a routine based around it.
J'onn sends Superman and Supergirl after a rogue Kigori. In the DC Comics Universe, The Kigori are a race of Martian spider-men, who first appeared in Flash Comics #23 (November 1941). The Kigori had large black spider bodies with hairless faces, green skin, large fangs and prehensile green-skinned hands on their forelegs. Any relationship to the Green Martian race that J'onn J'onzz is part of is unknown.
Lucas "Snapper" Carr first appeared in the comics in Brave And The Bold #28 (February 1960) - the same issue which introduced The Justice League of America. An ordinary teenager, Snapper was nevertheless inducted into the Justice League as an honorary member after providing the critical clue that allowed the superheroes who formed the Justice League to resist the mental powers of the alien conqueror Starro.
Snapper's nickname came from his habit of snapping his fingers when excited or emphasizing a point. This trait - as well as much of his personality - was taken from the character of "Kookie" Kookson from the then-popular show 77 Sunset Strip.
Since then, Snapper Carr has shown up around the DC Universe and in various media adaptations. He gained his own super-powers for a time and was brainwashed into becoming a super-villain. He's been shown as a STAR Labs worker, a member of Checkmate and acted as a mentor to the teen superheroes in Young Justice. A teacher named Lucas Carr served a similar function in the Young Justice animated series. And he appeared working as a television reporter in the DC Animated Universe.
The DCTVU version of Snapper Carr has nothing in common with any of his counterparts from the comics or cartoons, apart from the one version who was a reporter. Even then, he was a broadcast journalist rather than a magazine writer. Personality wise, he's basically Perry White with the serial numbers filed off.
As noted last week, The DCTVU version of John Corben is an assassin for hire apparently employed by Lex Luthor to do various dirty deeds "off the books". This is similar to the version of John Corben seen in the DC Animated Universe, who was a mercenary working for Lex Luthor before he had the surgery that transformed him into Metallo. The only real difference here is that Corben is changed by scientists working for Cadmus rather than Lex Corp. He has his comic book counterpart's abilities of enhanced durability, super-strength and the ability to shoot focused blasts of Kryptonite-laced energy from his chest.
Cadmus or Project Cadmus is the name of several independent scientific organizations in the DC Comics Universe. It is named for Cadmus - the first king of Thebes in Greek Legend, who was said to have created warriors by sowing the teeth of a dragon. In keeping with this idea, the various versions of Cadmus have created warriors through genetic engineering and advanced science. The first version of Project Cadmus was created by the legendary Jack Kirby in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #133 (October 1970).
The version of Cadmus we see in the DCTVU greatly resembles the version of Cadmus seen in the DC Animated Universe. That version of Cadmus was described as a collection of "power brokers, politicians, criminals and mercenaries with one thing in common - they're humanity's best hope against metahumans." The DCTVU version is focused on aliens rather than metahumans but otherwise the xenophobia and methods used are precisely the same.
Winn identifies Promethium as having Atomic Number 61. While there is a real-world element called Promethium with that atomic number, it is far from the strongest metal known to man. Indeed, Promethium is notable for its instability. All of its isotopes are radioactive and it is quite rare in the natural world.
The DC Comics version of Promethium is regarded as the strongest metal known to Earthlings. There are two forms of Promethium - Depleted and Volatile.
Depleted Promethium is made through a combination of titanium and vanadium. The bionic portions of Cyborg are made of Depleted Promethium.
Volatile Promethium is capable of generating and absorbing near limitless amounts of energy and has been used as a mutagene to trigger super-powers. Deathstroke wears armor made of Volatile Promethium and his sword and staff are made of the same substance. It is believed that Deathstroke's healing powers protect him from the effects of the metal.
The strange visitor in the Kryptonian pod repairs himself at a cellular level in a process not unlike photosynthesis. His body absorbs the electrical energy of the DEO building and transforms it into chemical energy.
Cadmus gave Metallo a metal endoskeleton made of an alloy capable of resisting the blunt force trauma of a Kryptonian's punch.
The metal of Metallo's endoskeelton has a film of radiation commonly associated with contact to Promethium.
Kara (voice-over): When I was a child, my planet Krypton was dying. I was sent to Earth to protect my cousin. But my pod got knocked off-course and by the time I got here my cousin had already grown up and become Superman. I hid who I really was until one day, when an accident forced to reveal myself to the world. To most people I'm a reporter at CatCo Worldwide Media but in secret I work with my adopted sister for the DEO, to protect my city from alien life and anyone else that means to cause it harm. I am Supergirl.
(Having just put out a fire together.)
Supergirl: Does this ever get old?
Superman: If it does, I'll let you know.
(After a robber tries punching him and hurts his hand after emptying a gun.)
Superman: See, now... if the bullets don't work, right... why the punching? I've never understood that.
Alex: You promised Kara that you'd be nicer when her cousin was around.
J'onn: I said I would try.
Winn: (Yoda voice) Do or do not, there is no try.
J'onn: Exactly how badly do you want this job, Mr. Schott?
J'onn: Agent Schott? Get Non and Astra's anti-Kryptonite technology out of storage. See if you can improve upon it for our two friends here.
Winn: I- I get to make Superman's new suit?
Superman: No pressure.
(Entering into the Fortress of Solitude, J'onn sees the large statues of Superman's parents.)
J'onn: Your parents?
J'onn: (speaking Kryptonian) They have not left you, even in the face of death.
Superman: You speak Kryptonian?
J'onn: We're both men without a home, Kal. If we don't preserve each others' history, who will?
Superman: (smiling softly) You can't have it both ways, J'onn. You can't offer friendship with one hand and Kryponite with the other.
J'onn: I have to.
J'onn: Because Mars is a crypt! Because angry gods burned our young and we were helpless to stop them. Because I will not be caught unprepared again. Hate me if you want. It is what it is.
Superman: I don't hate you, J'onn. I just don't trust you. Because you don't trust me. We should have been allies. Is Kryptonite really worth us being alone in this fight?
Veep is Clark Kent and Alex Danvers' favorite show.
Snapper Carr is in charge of the investigative reporting team m for CatCo Magazine. Cat Grant says he's one of the best journalists she's ever known and he won a Pulitzer for investigating corruption in the National City mayor's office.
Clark does not drink alcohol, despite it not affecting Kryptonians.
A shipment of Kryptonite was stolen from the DEO four months before the events of this episode.
J'onn refers to Non and Astra's plot to launch Myriad, from the first Season of Supergirl. He then suggests that Winn try and take the anti-Kryptonite armor they used and modify it so that Superman and Supergirl can use it.
Promethium is the strongest metal known to man.
James Olsen takes over running CatCo when Cat takes an extended lave of absence.
J'onn encases all of the Kryptonite the DEO has in lead and gives it to Superman to dispose of.
Khao-Shuh is a Kryptonian phrase with no direct English translation, meaning roughly "to be continued."
The episode ends with the strange visitor from the Kryptonian pod trying to strangle Kara.
The Fortress of Solitude, somewhere in the Arctic circle.
Krypton Park in Metropolis
The Fridge Factor
The usually excitable Kara suddenly develops a fear of the unknown and abandonment issues regarding the cousin she hardly ever saw. This is nearly as vexing as Alex's sudden resentment of Kara's bonding with Clark.
The Bottom Line
A major step-down from last week's premiere. This episode is badly paced and tries to do far too much. Cat Grant is given a fair send-off and Winn proves a far better fit with the DEO team than he ever was at CatCo. But James' presence in the story is almost an afterthought and Snapper Carr barely makes an impression. Alex's sudden jealousy is incredibly forced and the twin Metallos barely register as threats.
What sells this episode - apart from Jeremy Jordan and Calisa Flockhart stealing every scene they're in - is the interaction between Kara and Clark and the subplot involving the animosity between Clark and J'onn. Melissa Benoist does a lot to sell her scenes on pure charisma but even she struggles to make her interactions with Snapper Carr work on the most basic level. It's not a bad episode but it sure seems like it after the great episode we got last week.