So if last week’s Supergirl was all about establishing itself in a new space–literally and figuratively– this week’s is all about setting up the season’s arc. That’s typically reserved for premieres and while “The Adventures of Supergirl” covered a lot of ground, it didn’t introduce the big bad–the xenophobic doctor of Cadmus who turned John Corben into Metallo–until the very end. Thus, with “The Last Children of Krypton,” there’s a lot more setup. Necessary setup, to be sure, but as an episode, this is a bit of a step down.
So after a fun and funny opening montage of Kara & Clark (Tyler Hoechlin) saving the day and J’onn/Hank being grumpy about it because he and Superman don’t get on, we cut to Project Cadmus where Unnamed Lady Doctor (Brenda Strong) who explains to John Corben (Frederick Schmidt) that they repaired his injuries by making him Kryptonite-powered cyborg Metallo so he can kill “the invaders.” It turns out the Doctor is basically Donald Trump as mad scientist, wanting to reclaim Earth for humans away from any and all aliens.
Meanwhile, Kara learns at work that Cat Grant, after the various talks between them last week, has decided to take a leave of absence from CatCo to travel the world (a move to shade the fact that Calista Flockhart will only be a guest star from now on due to the show moving from L.A.). Thus, Jimmy is now acting director of CatCo in her absence with the irritable, dismissive Snapper Carr (Ian Gomez) as Kara’s new boss now that she’s a reporter. Or he would be if he wasn’t super dismissive and insulting to Kara immediately.
There’s some fun in Kara’s flustering to Snapper’s dismissiveness, but honestly, he was my biggest problem with this episode. It’s very clear that Gomez is only playing someone named Snapper because that’s “a name fans will recognize.” Otherwise, it’s a completely new thing. Nothing wrong with revamping a character like that–heck, I love that this show made Jimmy Olsen the Hot Guy–but given the vast gulf between this Snapper and the teen sidekick of the JLA he started out as, it’s just a little off. Plus, his total dickishness towards Kara just didn’t gel with me.
That’s my biggest issue with this episode but it’s also irksome that, even after making Corben into Metallo then making her underling into another Metallo to attack Metropolis, they don’t get anything even remotely resembling costumes. They’re just dudes whose shirts burn open to reveal Kryptonite chest lasers. I get the undercurrent of threat that’s present in that but it feels really cheap.
Furthermore, after the rush of setup from last week, the slow-down here makes the episode feel like a drag when it shouldn’t be. Still, some of the digressions are important. Parallel arguments between J’onn & Superman and Alex & Kara are well-done with each side perfectly making their case. It’s good stuff and I’ll admit Kara’s goodbyes to Cat as both herself and Supergirl did hit me pretty hard. Alex also gets a lot of good action and a fun speech this episode, both well played by Chyler Leigh and a reassertion of Alex that’s welcome, given she often feels kinda peripheral.
Hoechlin proves yet again that he’s absolutely fantastic as Supes, even with less to do overall. Jeremy Jordan proves to be much better at basically being Supergirl‘s Cisco rather than Guy Pining After Kara and I loved every bit of his interactions with Superman.
Overall, while not as zippy as last week, this was still a decent episode that just got burdened with all the groundwork. Hopefully all this laying of threads pays off.