In the wake of Mon-El's exile from Earth, Kara has thrown herself into the role of Supergirl, all but abandoning her friends and her job as a reporter. Alex and Maggie are in the middle of planning their wedding, but Alex seems reluctant to move forward for some reason. Meanwhile, a ruthless land developer named Morgan Edge moves in directions to buy CatCo Worldwide Media and turn it to his own ends while also taking actions that will bring him into conflict with Supergirl and Lena Luthor.
The New 52 Supergirl series (presence of Reign, a Supergirl who is removed from humanity) and the 1987 Superman Series (presence of Morgan Edge and Bloodsport)
Kara takes the time to change into her civilian clothes when answering James' distress-signal watch. Granting that she can change very quickly, why bother if she honestly thought James was in trouble?
The three confrontation scenes where Kara's friends and family approach her about her behavior are high-water marks for all the actors involved. It's good to see Mehcad Brooks being given some meaty material at James Olsen again and to see David Harewood show the softer side of J'onn J'onnz. The best scene however, is when Chyler Leigh and Melissa Benoist let six months of repressed outrage out, as Kara and Alex unload on each other.
The opening sequence, depicting Kara's daydream and the moment where she wakes up and listens to everything going on around her with her super-hearing is well-shot and well-directed.
The effects work of Bloodsport attacking Kara at the military base is good.
The episode title comes from Supergirl's most famous nickname - The Girl Of Steel.
The episode opened with a special opening sequence, featuring Kara walking through a grassy field, where she sees and hugs both Mon-El and her mother, Alura Zor-El. The scene was set to the song Daydreaming by Rosa Pullman.
With this episode, the part of Kara's mother, Alura Zor-El, is taken over by actress Erica Durance. The part was previously played by Laura Benanti in the first two seasons of Supergirl. Erica Durance is probably best known for her previous portrayal of Lois Lane in The CW series Smallville.
As the episode opens, Supergirl has removed herself from humanity and forgotten her life as Kara Danvers. Her personality here is reminiscent of the Supergirl we first see in the New 52 Supergirl series. This version of Kara Zor-El had a less-than-warm welcome upon first arriving on Earth and, upon being discovered by Superman, was less than thrilled at his suggestion of her adopting a secret identity and sacrificing her life to save an ungrateful populace. While hailed by some critics as being a more realistic attitude for a teenage girl forcibly removed from everything she knew, it was also a far cry from the traditional Supergirl personality, who is cheerful and out-going.
Created by the legendary Jack Kirby and first appearing in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #133, (October 1970), the only constant to Morgan Edge's background over the years has been his nature as a ruthless businessman. Originally Edge was President of the Galaxy Broadcast System - the media conglomerate that bought The Daily Planet. It was Edge who was responsible for Clark Kent being transferred from a job as a print journalist to traveling broadcast correspondent and eventually a position as the WGBS News anchorman.
Kirby's original intent with the Morgan Edge character was to play off reports of organized crime infiltrating corporate America and the media, eventually revealing Morgan Edge to be the leader of Intergang and a minion of Darkseid. Kirby was eventually persuaded, however, to limit Edge to a supporting role and the "evil Edge" was revealed to be a clone. Following that revelation, Edge was portrayed as a ruthless capitalist who challenged Perry White's "old-fashioned" sense of journalistic integrity but was shown on several occasions to be a decent man who did try to be fair to his employees.
In the Post-Crisis DC Comics Universe of 1986, Morgan Edge was revised into a character closer to Kirby's original intent. While still serving as President of WGBS News, his ties to The Daily Planet and friendship with Superman no longer existed. This version of Edge honestly did have connections to Intergang, which were exposed by Clark Kent and Cat Grant, the latter of whom went undercover as an employee at WGBS. Edge had his revenge, however, writing a biography while in-prison which revealed that Cat Grant had slept with people for scoops while in his employ. Upon being released from prison, Edge sponsored one incarnation of the Superman Revenge Squad. He later found work as a Bill O'Reilly-esque political pundit during the New Krypton storyline, helping General Sam Lane to build anti-alien sentiment with the public.
The New 52 version of Morgan Edge was reimagined as an African-American man. In this reality, he was depicted as the CEO of Galaxy Communications - a media empire which bought The Daily Planet. He was also the financial sponsor of the Challengers of the Unknown.
The DCTVU version of Morgan Edge is played by Adrian Pasdar, who is no stranger to playing roles based on comic-book properties. He played the role of Major Glenn Talbot on Marvel's Agents of SHIELD and played the roles of Captain America, Hawkeye and Iron Man in various animated series based on the original Marvel Comics. He also famously played the role of "flying man" Nathan Petrelli in the first three seasons of the series HEROES.
The DCTVU version of Morgan Edge is very much in the vein of Jack Kirby's original vision. Though his background is in land-development, he threatens to buy CatCo for his own ends in much the same way the Morgan Edge of the comics attempted to manipulate The Daily Planet and WGBS. He also deals with criminals such as Bloodsport to further his own agenda.
Robert DuBois a.k.a. Bloodsport is based on a character created by John Byrne and Karl Kessel, who first appeared in Superman #4 (April 1987). Drafted into the Vietnam War, DuBois fled to Canada rather than fight. His brother, Mickey, took Robert's place and suffered severed injuries on the field of battled, becoming a quadriplegic. The guilt drove Robert crazy and he spent the next few years of his life bouncing from mental hospital to mental hospital. Robert was chosen by Lex Luthor to be the recipient of a technology that would allow Robert to summon any weapon he could think of to his hand. Luthor's intent was to use DuBois as the perfect weapon to fight Superman. Unfortunately, DuBois turned out to be far too unstable to be reliable and killed many innocent civilians trying to draw Superman out.
The DCTVU version of Bloodsport is an ex-military man turned mercenary. He was responsible for a series of bombings at National City Hall before going AWOL. He formerly served on the security detail at Fort Harrison, outside National City.
One of Cat Grant's press conference has her mocking the Speaker Of The House's claims that The President is spying on him with secret cameras in his microwave. This is a reference to similar claims made in the real world by Donald Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway that President Barack Obama had been spying on The Trump Campaign using secret microwave cameras.
This episode marks the first appearance of Emma Tremblay as Ruby Arias - a tween girl who is a huge Supergirl fan.
This episode marks the first appearance of Odette Annable as Samantha Arias a.k.a. Reign.
Reign was a super-villain from the 2011 New 52 Supergirl series. Resembling a white-skinned human female with red hair, Reign was a genetically engineered creature created on Krypton for some undefined purpose. Reign was one of five such "Worldkillers" who were created to be living biological weapons that would continually evolve, becoming more and more capable of causing untold death and destruction. It was never confirmed but strongly suggested that Doomsday - the monster that killed Superman - was the fifth missing Worldkiller.
There is no sign in this episode of Samantha's origin as Reign, apart from a closing sequence where Kara's vision of her mother suddenly changes with the land around Alura going dark and Alura turning into a rotten corpse. We then cut to Samantha waking up in shock, apparently having had the same horrific dream as Kara.
Kara is able to use her super-hearing to track Bloodsport's submarine when he is able to cloak himself from all visual perception and electronic surveillance. This is a common trick used by Kryptonians when tracking invisible enemies. Perhaps the most famous example of this occurred in the Superman: The Animated Series episode My Girl, where Superman cheerfully noted to the Lex Luthor minion who was counting on using lead-lined buildings to hide himself and his hostage that while he couldn't see the minion and hostage, "My hearing is pretty good."
Kara's dealing with Morgan Edge is reminiscent of the Golden Age Superman comics, where Superman was more of a social justice warrior than his modern "Boy Scout" characterization, directly threatening corrupt businessmen with violence rather than working to uncover their crimes.
Aluminium tubing can be used to build a nuclear centrifuge.
A high-pressure regulator could be used in combination with the cloaking device from a Daxamite ship to retrofit an aircraft into a perfect stealth vehicle, undetectable by even the DEO's radar and Supergirl's X-Ray Vision. The regulator would stabilize the internal pressure of a F-18 or B-52 to withstand the force emitted by the cloaking device.
The pressure regulator was meant to low-altitude rather than high-altitude. This leads Supergirl to conclude that Bloodsport is masking a submarine rather than a bomber.
(Kara has just blown off Alex's invitation to taste-test hors d’oeuvres for her wedding. J'onn and Winn walk up.)
Winn: Okay, I thought it was bad when she skipped pizza night. But skipping free apps? I mean, come on! These are like... the beginning of the dark days...
J'onn: Hey, come on. Grief doesn't have a deadline.
Winn: Look, I know. But I mean, she goes from being "Little Miss Sunshine" to... well, Alex, basically.
Alex: (incredulous) What?! I'm not like that!
J'onn: Oh, come on, Alex. Your unrelenting seriousness is one of your best qualities.
(J'onn walks off. Alex looks at Winn, who makes a face and quickly follows after J'onn.)
Alex: I'm not like that. I'm not!
(Kara flies into James' office at CatCo, having heard his signal watch.)
Kara: What's wrong? Why did you use the signal watch?
James: You didn't get that article in.
Kara: (stunned and stammering) You - you beepered me for a deadline? That watch is for emergencies only!
James: I know what the watch is for but this - this feels like an emergency. I'm worried about you, Kara. And at a certain point in time, I have to be your boss.
Kara: (angrily) No. Don't ever, -ever- do that again.
James: What? Ask you to do your job?
Kara: I am doing my job!
James: No. Supergirl is doing her job. Kara Danvers has been completely off the radar.
Kara: (sarcastically) Oh, I'm sorry, James. I've been a little busy, you know? The world's not going to save itself!
James: But you still have a life, okay? You still have a job as a reporter. And that life makes you you.
Kara: No, what makes me me is Supergirl. That's who I am at my core. And you're one to talk. Guardian.
James: (sighs) Okay. Guardian means a lot to me. But so does James Olsen. And he runs CatCo. And that job is important.
(Kara seems to struggle for a moment to speak but finally does so.)
Kara: You know something? If I'm expected to put Supergirl on hold just to write this article for you? Then maybe being a reporter isn't a good idea.
James: What- what are you saying?
Kara: I'm saying I have important things to do, but not here at CatCo. Not as a reporter. Not as Kara Danvers.
James: Kara, don't do this...
Kara: I quit!
Alex: Okay. This is done. I am done walking on egg shells. We all are. I've kept my distance. I have given you time to grieve without prodding. Without making you talk about Mon-El-
Kara: There's nothing to talk about..
Alex: Without forcing you to go to game nights or come to the bar.
Kara: There was a burglary...
Alex: There's ALWAYS a burglary! (pauses) But I've let it slide. Your pity party has gone uninterrupted.
Kara: (incredulous) My pity party?
Alex: Who are you right now?! Kara Danvers doesn't quit.
Kara: She quits the things that aren't important.
Alex: CatCo is important! You help people there!
Kara: Not like Supergirl does.
Alex: Kara Danvers-
Kara: Kara Danvers sucks right now! (pauses) Supergirl is great! Supergirl saved the world! So, if I could choose to be her, why would I ever choose to be the sad girl who's boyfriend is gone?! I don't like that girl, Alex.
Alex: I know it hurts-
Kara: No, you don't know anything! You've never had to make a decision like this!
Alex: Okay, then. Tell me what it feels like! Please! Just let... let me help. Let me help you get over him!
Kara: Get over him?!
(Alex stutters a bit.)
Kara: He didn't dump me. I sent him away! And for all I know, he...
(Kara's voice trails off)
Kara: It doesn't matter.
Alex: You're not letting yourself feel anything! You're just bottling it up inside and you are making bad decisions. And I am worried-
Kara: If it were Maggie, what would you be doing?! If the woman you were about to marry was gone forever, what would you be doing?
Alex: (pausing and stammering) I- I-
Kara: You'd be at the bar every night. You'd be a wreck at work. You'd be broken.
Alex: (nodding) I would. I would be. But it's okay if you are...
Kara: I'm not. (shrugging) That's what humans do. And I'm better than that. Clark said it himself. The decision I made? He couldn't have made that sacrifice. But me? I couldn't have lived with myself if I hadn't. I will always make the decision I made. I am not a human. I tried to be. But I'm not. Kara Danvers was a mistake. So... if you have an update about work, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise...
Alex: Bloodsport has the capability to cloak a nuke. We're thinking that he's going to hit the statue unveiling at the waterfront. J'onn wants everyone there.
Kara: I'll be there.
(Alex moves to the front door then turns around.)
Alex: Kara Danvers... is my favorite person. She saved me more times than Supergirl ever could, so just think about that while you're trying to get rid of her!
(Alex exits the apartment and slams the door as Kara stares at her computer, looking up at the door looking uncertain once Alex leaves.)
(Kara is watching the crowd at the statue unveiling. J'onn lands beside her, shifting into his Hank Henshaw appearance as he does so.)
Kara: No sign of Bloodsport.
J'onn: It's quiet up here. (pauses) You know, I rarely flew on Mars? It was for battle, not for pleasure. When I first came to Earth, I spent hours up in the sky. It was the only place I could feel empty.
Kara: Well, that's now what I'm doing up here.
J'onn: Forgive me for saying, but you seem to be courting emptiness of late. And that's not you.
Kara: I tried to be Kara Danvers for 15 years. But I'm not supposed to be her. I'm not supposed to be human.
J'onn: But you have a human heart now. It aches. It scars. But it keeps on beating. If you try to cut it out, you will lose something essential.
Kara: I can't help people if I'm broken...
J'onn: You are not broken! You are the strongest person I know. (pauses) You saved me, remember? You taught me that my loss made me stronger. That was Kara Danvers, not Supergirl.
Kara: Do you still dream about them? Your family?
Kara: (sounding sadder yet more like Kara than she has earlier in the conversation) Past couple of months when I dream, I see... I see Mon-El. With my mom.
(There is a long pause. Kara shakes her head and resumes her neutral tone.)
Kara: We should keep our eyes on the sky right now.
(Alex and Maggie make their peace over their wedding plans over the DEO comms.)
Maggie: I love you.
Alex: You too. Forever.
Winn: (wistfully) You two are my favorite couple.
(Alex and Maggie both speak at the same time.)
Maggie: Winn, shut up!
Alex: Winn, get off the comm!
Morgan Edge: You are going to regret - SO regret - the day you screwed me. I sure hope you enjoyed yourself. Because now... you have all of my attention.
Lena Luthor: Oh, Edge. Like every woman who's ever had all of your attention, I couldn't care less.
(Supergirl drops Morgan Edge on top of a shipping container. She walks away from him.)
Kara: The attack on the waterfront? I know it was you. To clear the way for your development. You're the only person who had anything to gain from it.
Morgan Edge: Yeah, well... you can't prove anything.
Kara: Not yet. But I see you, Edge. National City is my town. (smiling) And now you've got all of my attention.
(Supergirl flies away. The camera pulls back to reveal that the shipping container is one of many.. on the deck of a freighter at sea.)
Morgan Edge: (distantly getting quieter as Kara flies away) Hey You can't just leave me here!
(As J'onn begins to tear up at being asked to give Alex away at her wedding.)
Alex: Stop. Don't cry. If you cry, I'm going to cry. And everybody here is going to know that we actually can cry.
It is officially confirmed that Maggie Sawyer and Alex Danvers have become engaged.
Morgan Edge's company has spearhead much of the rebuilding of National City following The Daxamite invasion. Lena Luthor and James Olsen are both quick to point out that Supergirl did most of the literal heavy lifting and that Lena's company also donated millions to the rebuilding effort.
Morgan Edge has a plan to revitalize the National City waterfront, where a statue of Supergirl is being built. Lena Luthor accuses him of planning to force people out of their homes to build high-rise apartments for the wealthy.
Cat Grant is now the Press Secretary for US President Marsdin.
Snapper Carr is reportedly on a sabbatical from his job as Kara's editor.
Crime in National City has gone down 65% over the past six months, entirely due to Supergirl.
Fort Harrison is a military base about 20 minutes outside of National City.
Kara quits her job as a reporter at CatCo following an argument with James about her missing deadlines to fight crime.
General Sam Lane has apparently gotten his hands on a fully-functional Daxamite warship. This is in defiance of The President's orders that all alien technology be handed over to the DEO.
Bloodsport is in Morgan Edge's employ.
Martians rarely use their flight powers outside of battle. J'onn never used his purely for pleasure before coming to Earth.
Alex's reluctance to move forward with the wedding plans are due to her father not being able to be there due to being on the run from Cadmus. Maggie stays she understands but asks her to consider all the people who will be there to make the day special. Alex agrees to try.
KPJT is the Channel 3 news station in National City.
Supergirl cannot breathe underwater.
Samantha Arias is shown to acquire great strength in moments of stress. She uses this to lift a heavy scaffold off of her daughter without help.
Lena Luthor considers Kara Danvers her best friend.
Lena Luthor buys CatCo, thwarting Morgan Edge's effort to do so. He swears revenge.
Below the waterfront of National City, a rocket is seen among the area unearthed by Bloodsport's missiles. It appears to be Kryptonian in design.
Winn never buys the first round of drinks.
Alex tells J'onn that she considers him family, that he's always acted like a father to her and asks him to give her away at her wedding. J'onn tearfully accepts.
Kara gets her job back from James and meets with the rest of her friends at the alien bar as the episode ends.
Reign was first referred to in the final scene of 222, where it was revealed that a third child was sent away from Krypton on the day of its destruction. Described as an "it" and being tended to by sinister women in black robes, they say that the child will "reign" on Earth.
Cat Grant took a position as The White House Press Secretary at some point during the past six months.
The Bottom Line
A solid enough opening. Curiously, the weakest point is the introduction of the season's new villain, which comes out of nowhere and has nothing to do with the main plot. Adrian Pasdar is a delightfully smarmy Morgan Edge and the established cast do wonders with the material they are given, particularly Chyler Leigh and Melissa Benoist. If it hadn't been for the forced bits attempting to introduce Reign (which are just confusing if you don't know that's what the show runners are doing), this would have been a perfect start to the season. As it is, it's merely good.