To Be Continued: Supergirl, “The Last Children of Krypton”

“I do not do well with change,” a flustered Kara declares on this week’s Supergirl, as her new boss unhires her as a reporter and a new threat descends upon National City. In a cruel twist of fate, Kara has to say goodbye to both Clark and Cat, as various obligations pull them out of her orbit and into their own side plots. But not before Supergirl and Superman have one last #TooMuchFun teamup against Project Cadmus.

Spoilers for Supergirl 2×02 “The Last Children of Krypton.”

I’m not the only one who took Clark’s comments from last week to mean that he would be sticking around for at least a multi-episode arc, right? It seemed so bizarre that no sooner has the Man of Steel landed amid praise and blathering fanboying from Winn that he’s getting ready to go, with a tearful Winn hugging him goodbye, all in the space of two episodes. Sure, he has an irate Perry White hounding him about taking time off from work—and, presumably, Lois doing her own thing while waiting patiently for him to return—but we didn’t get nearly close enough to tying up any of the loose ends established with his appearance in 2×01.

Supergirl 2x02 "The Last Children of Krypton" television review

Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW

Like his ideological debate with J’onn J’onzz over the DEO’s possession of kryptonite—a shipment of which got delivered right into Cadmus’ hands! You’d think the DEO would be a little faster to notice a mole among their ranks. The slip-up is certainly helping Clark’s argument, but he and J’onn see eye to eye more after taking a joint visit to the Fortress of Solitude. J’onn revealed that he doesn’t hold on to the kryptonite as an antagonistic action against Kryptonians; on the contrary, he speaks their tongue and honors their culture. “Both men without a home,” he tells Superman. “If we don’t preserve our history, who will?” But after “angry gods” burned Mars, J’onn doesn’t ever want to be caught unawares again.

Speaking of angry gods, Project Cadmus’ entire ethos, as explained by its nameless doctor (The 100‘s Brenda Strong), is to save the world from the alien menace of Superman and Supergirl. “The Earth has been stolen from us,” she implores her fellow humans, presenting Cadmus as a cure to the poison. “What happens when the gods decide to rule instead of serve?” This sounds a lot like the argument against Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and we saw how well that turned out.

It’s also incredibly easy for Kara and Kal-El to dispose of The Doctor’s (to borrow The A.V. Club’s nickname for her) two Metallos, one being former assassin James Corben and the other being her poor henchman who dared to question the gameplan. All it took was some kryptonite-resistant suits from Winn, because apparently the Metallos are shooting kryptonite beams only at the House of El crests on their costumes. Throw in some fancy footwork from Alex in her own super-strong exoskeleton, and it’s quick work to rip out these Cadmus guys’ arc reactors kryprtonite hearts. No wonder Clark decided to hightail it back to Metropolis; even though Cadmus’ whole strategy was about humans and superheroes not teaming up (huh?), they’ve proven that they’ll attack National City and Metropolis in equal measure, so he might as well stay put.

Which is one of many reasons that Kara should not join her cousin in Metropolis. Melissa Benoist really sells painfully earnest moments like this, in which Kara convinces herself that she could totally tag along with Clark in his daily life, reporting together and crimefighting together. (And if only she still wanted to date James, they could do double dates together, too! After relocating him, that is.) Aside from not thinking properly about personal boundaries, Kara also manages to upset Alex, who feels that after a lifetime of sacrificing her career (giving up medicine for the DEO) and personal life (“Do you know the last time I went on a date?” she bemoans to an unsympathetic Winn) for Kara, she’s just getting dumped as Kara flies onward to bigger and better things. Not to mention that she points out that when Kara landed, Kal-El dropped her with the Danvers family rather than take her under his wing—er, cape. It’s easy for him to be the fun older brother kind of character now when he didn’t have to shoulder the responsibility of raising another superpowered individual before.

Supergirl 2x02 "The Last Children of Krypton" television review

Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW

Alex is just about cemented as my favorite character: She’s got layers to her, plenty of unaddressed angst about being more of a protective older sister than anyone else has had to be. When The Doctor tries to draw her to Cadmus’ side with (I’m paraphrasing here) “imagine what the world would be like if these aliens had never arrived,” you know that Alex is contemplating the pros and cons of a life without Kara. I hope that this becomes part of her arc for the season, this temptation toward a world not caught between warring alien civilizations.

But for now, Kara is staying put. After all, she and Alex have to find Jeremiah Danvers! Who is probably going to turn out to be one of Cadmus’ ghastly hybrid creations sooner rather than later. Not to mention, Kara has to win over her new boss, Snapper Carr (Cougar Town‘s Ian Gomez), who is even more of a perpetual sourpuss than Cat Grant. That said, his derision toward the girl he sees as an entitled brat isn’t unjustified: When she protests that “this is the job I chose,” he sneers at her that she doesn’t choose the job, she earns it: “Journalists live to tell the story.” Well, she certainly “lives” through the Metallo(s) siege of Metropolis and turns in an adjective-free piece of copy. It’s not perfect, though, and I like that—she proves she has potential without being a Mary Sue and automatically becoming the star reporter.

Forget Clark’s departure—the episode’s true emotional core was Cat deciding to leave. Especially when Kara took it much worse at first: “Ms. Grant, are you dying?” It was such a ridiculous question that not even Cat could keep a straight face. No, she just took her own metaphor about “taking the plunge” and decided that it was about time for her to dive into a new body of water. But watching Cat get ready to dive has Kara in the emotional equivalent of clutching the diving board, unable to step off it–which not only confounds Cat, it enrages her:

Cat: You are smart and talented and astonishing. And how many times do I have to tell you you are?

Readers, my heart. I’m gonna miss these two.

Supergirl 2x02 "The Last Children of Krypton" television review

Supergirl 2x02 "The Last Children of Krypton" television review

Thankfully, Cat and Kara got two goodbyes! Or rather, Cat and Supergirl had the final moment on the Balcony of Feelings. At this point, Kara has had more time to process her mentor’s decision, and she can discuss it as something closer to a peer. Though it’s interesting that Cat still gave her some advice, too—about how she will be many people over the course of her life, all of them extraordinary. Seems like an odd thing to say to a superhero whose cause is pretty clear. Maybe Cat does know who Supergirl really is…

We end on Supergirl visiting the mysterious crash-lander who’s still unconscious at the DEO, because she wants him to have someone to wake up to. Too bad that when he does open his eyes a moment later, it’s to choke Supergirl!

Other Thoughts

  • “See, now, if the bullets don’t work, why the punching?” This Superman is just too charming.
  • Though not even the Last Son of Krypton should muscle in on sister night! Veep + Chinese food is Danver girls only.
  • Of course Kara bought a fresh reporter pad for her new job. School supplies FTW.
  • I was gripping the arm of my couch when that sweet little blonde girl in the Supergirl outfit was watching the battle. I was so sure she was gonna get caught in the crossfire that I didn’t even guess that she was J’onn’s disguise.
  • Also, Kara, stop calling him Hank!
  • At least Kara and Clark are back to texting.
  • Not sure I buy James becoming the interim CEO, but clearly the writers have a direction in mind for him.

Natalie Zutter can’t wait for Cat Grant’s next appearance. Chat TV and geekery with her on Twitter.

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