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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Supergirl S2E10: We Can Be Heroes.

Series 2, Episode 10
We Can Be Heroes.

So, rumours are abound that David Harewood is in the running to play the next Doctor (or even that he was asked to play him before, and turned the role down, and is now in the running again), a role which he would doubtless excel at but which would also very much ensure that he can no longer be on Supergirl. I admit to having mixed feelings about that, because while he'd make a great Doctor, he's also great on Supergirl -- but I'll save any more pronounced mixed feelings until after we find out if there's any actual truth to the rumours.

(Other rumoured actors in the running for the role, incidentally, are Ben Whishaw, Richard Ayoade, Rory Kinnear, Hayley Atwell, and Colin Morgan. Nothing has been confirmed yet, and since this is a Supergirl review and not a Doctor Who one, this is the last we'll say about it.)

In this week's episode, Livewire escapes prison, driving Kara into  frenzy as she searches for her -- a frenzy which is only made worse by Mon-El, now a newly minted superhero helping Kara out, refuses to listen to orders, and when she learns that Jimmy is Guardian. As it transpires that Livewire actually didn't escape but was kidnapped, Kara is forced to re-evaluate her outlook on the supervillain. Meanwhile, when M'Gann falls ill, J'onn must decide whether to telepathically bond with her in order to save her life.

Kara and Mon.

A lot of this episode is predicated on Livewire being Kara's nemesis, which sort of left me sitting, squinting at my computer screen, going 'Is ... she?' This would seem like a relatively new development, because I don't recall there being any indication that the two of them had a hero-nemesis thing going on before. Livewire has shown up as a villain all of twice, and one of those times was in a crossover episode and thus barely counts, and Kara doesn't have that much emotional connection to her, does she? Livewire was somebody she hated, and then she became an electricity-themed villain and continued to be someone Kara hated.

I could buy that maybe Livewire would see Kara as her nemesis, but just not the other way around, and my suspension of disbelief shattered every time it was brought up.

If it hadn't, this would have been a compelling episode, as Kara is forced to face up to her black and white thinking, and as her and Livewire come to some kind of understanding, making that leap from 'pure enemies' to 'sort of frenemies with an emphasis on the enemy part' that so many hero-nemesis pairs do. The idea of Livewire being drained of electricity to create electrified clones of herself is an interesting concept for an episode, too.

A Livewire copy.

The B-Plot, meanwhile, is about J'onn struggling with his emotions as he figures out whether he wants to save M'gann or let her die. It feels like it's been a while since we had a major J'onn subplot, but of course, it hasn't -- the last one was in episode eight, it just feels longer because of the hiatus. This subplot is good, but it isn't utilised to its fullest extent: Mostly, we just get a few scenes of J'onn agonising over it, and then a short scene of him going into M'gann's mind to help her out. It's never even made clear why M'gann got sick, beyond 'telepathy related guilt things,' and it seems to mostly serve as set-up for the characters to learn that the White Martians are on their way to cause trouble.

Jimmy, being displeased.

The C-plot, intertwined with the A-plot, is Jimmy and Mon-El's development as superheroes, a plotline I might like more if I cared much for Jimmy's Guardian subplot, or for Mon-El as a character. Shippers will be glad to see that there's some hint of Jimmy/Kara here, as Jimmy is openly jealous over Mon-El, but that's about the only thing this plotline brings to the table. Honestly, Mon-El is starting to get on my nerves now, and Jimmy isn't doing much better. It also seems very odd that Kara would be so convinced that a normal human being a superhero would definitely lead to Jimmy being killed, since she's met Ollie, Sara, Thea, and Diggle, and since we've had reference made to Batman in previous episodes.

All in all, not a brilliant episode, but an entertaining one, at least. Next episode will seemingly have a White Martian assassin coming after M'gann, and the team deciding to defend her, which should be pretty interesting to watch, I think. It even looks like Winn will get a badass moment with a flamethrower and the liberal use of slow motion. Oh, and M'gann fighting a White Martian -- although weirdly she seems to be using her Green Martian disguise to do so.

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