Like a lot of people this weekend, I didn’t see Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Life is too short and precious to spend time on terrible versions of cultural icons and two of my heroes grimacing and growling at each other for TWO AND A HALF HOURS and also murdering people. Screw that noise; if I want this story, I just pull up The Batman/Superman Movie: World’s Finest and my itch is scratched.
Still, I own Zack Snyder and co. some gratitude, I guess. It was definitely their gray grimfest slouching into theatres that got the higher-ups to sign off on tonight’s Supergirl episode, also called “World’s Finest.” And just as every cloud has a silver lining, so is this episode the sunshine poking through the curtain of scowly rain that’s its cinematic cousin.
When The Flash premiered, it hooked me for the same reason this show has: it remembered that superpowered heroes beating up colorful bad guys is supposed to be fun. Granted, I’m terribly behind (finishing up college made me fall behind on the show) but I’ve learned on the periphery that that tone is still maintained. I mean, for Christ’s sake, they brought frigging KING SHARK to television! I mean…HE IS A SHARK. Now, if they could just stop being so dumb about Iris…
Anyway, not to make this all about The Flash, but it’s important to note that Supergirl has learned and learned quickly from its faster cousin. That confidence is depicted in tonight’s passing of the torch which is full of good old-fashioned superhero business as well as probably the sharpest barbs from Cat Grant.
It’s a little on the nose, but Cat’s joke about the CW is a fantastic zinger and had me howling. The earlier bit where Barry demonstrated his abilities by zooming out and getting ice cream from everyone which made Kara delighted was another laugh out loud moment. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The episode begins with Kara and Winn at the DEO as Siobhan Smythe (Italia Rozzi) is being treated after surviving her rooftop fall from last episode by screaming so loud she formed a cushion with sound waves. The DEO finds no medical explanation for why this is possible so Siobhan storms out, accidentally overseeing Lucy Lane interrogate Livewire (Britt Morgen) about Cat Grant and Supergirl.
Inspired, Siobhan–tormented by loud wailing and flashes of a banshee–storms into CatCo, stares at Kara then screams her out the window. Her plan is foiled when Kara is saved by a scarlet blur that appears out of nowhere and taken to an open field. Kara’s rescuer reveals himself as Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) and explains that, while testing his speed (with some device on his chest that must be related to whatever’s going on his show right now), he accidentally went too fast and crossed over into a parallel world–Kara’s.
The two goofballs (who, it should be said, are played by alumni of Glee) become fast friends. As an added bonus, this makes James jealous of Kara–something Cat had told her to do in order to get James to fall for her. It’s an interesting little tension that pops up throughout the episode and shows how much better Mechad Brooks is at playing the silently lovelorn than Jeremy Jordan was.
But with every superhero teamup, there’s also a supervillain teamup (it’s Siegel’s Third Law). Siobhan, after consulting her estranged fortune teller aunt and learning that all the women of her family are cursed by a banshee to suffer unless they kill one who has wronged them, breaks Livewire out of her DEO cell by screaming and lures her to an empty warehouse to offer a team-up. Livewire accepts but first tells her partner, “You need a makeover.” Exit Siobhan, enter Silver Banshee.
This episode is just a whole lot of fun with good action–courtesy of director Neal Gomez–a cast that clicks instantly with their big, flashy guest star and a script that gets at the heart of what makes these characters work and inspire all of us–courtesy of writers Andrew Kreisberg and Michael Grassi from a story by Greg Berlanti. This was a heck of a lot of fun and even if we didn’t get to check in with fugitives J’onn J’onzz and Alex, the show offers one heck of a cliffhanger to what’s probably the best superhero teamup you’ll see all year.
Unlike modern superhero comic crossovers, if you watch one of these shows and not the other, you won’t feel lost with this episode. Check it out; you’ll be smiling like Kara and Barry all the way through.