Supergirl: Season 2
Typically, when a new television series is canceled after only one season it inevitably indicates that the show could not gain sufficient traction with the fans or critical acclaim the series relegated to little more entry in IMDB. Recently, one exception disproved this observation. The DC television universe expanded with the addition of the Girl of Steel, ‘Supergirl.' The series premiered on CBS, but after the freshman year, they announced its cancellation. The show was a critical hit and instantly popular with the fans. In this instance, those fans were already deeply invested with the mainstay of the DC presence of television. The universe of heroes was grown around the core series, ‘Arrow.' In rapid succession, this show was joined by ‘The Flash’ and a spinoff of both, ‘Legends of Tomorrow.' The annual event that ever fans anxiously awaits it the cross over event. The format has been used many times before whenever characters shared between two or more shows. The reason fans were elated about CBS releasing ‘Supergirl.' Everyone concerned agreed that the series belonged on the CW with the rest of the Arrowvese. Among the benefits created by the move is that crossovers no longer required coordination across two different networks. The second season was not just unaffected by the transition, but it flourished. There was even a one off guest appearance of Kara Zor-El ( Melissa Benoist) of ‘The Flash’ for special musical episodes bringing her back to song and dance with her fellow ‘Glee’ alumni, Grant Gustin, aka, Barry Allen. It was an incredible flight of fancy that would not have been possible if not for the switch in networks. ‘Supergirl’ has become the crown jewel of the Arrowvese and one of the best television series currently produced.
The second season starts off by introducing one of the less relevant characters in the Superman comic, Mon-el (Chris Wood). There were several incarnations of this character encompassing a variety of origins, abilities, and weaknesses. Within the context of the show, Mon-el is a prince of Krypton’s rival planet, Daxam. Mon-el possesses similar abilities to Kryptonians but with a lethal reaction to lead. Kara found him in a Kryptonian inter planetary pod like the one that brought her to earth. She brings him to the Department of Extranormal Operations (DEO), where Kara works beside her adopted sister, Alex (Chyler Leigh), and the last of the green Martian race, J'onn J'onzz (David Harewood). Previously a member of the IT department at Cat Co., Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan), quit working full time as for the DEO. The change of networks offered an ideal opportunity to revamp many characters and place them in different functions slightly. This change was also extended to Kara who was reassigned from Cat Grant’s (Calista Flockhart) personal assistant to a reporter for Cat Co.’s news magazine. One side effect of the change is to mirror the dynamic long established by her cousin, Clark Kent/Superman (Tyler Hoechlin). Much to the delight of the fans Kara’s famous cousin finally made an appearance. The changes instigated in this season brought the show closer to expressing its look and feel allowing it to integrate with the other series than ever.
Along with the change in network and the official incorporation into the Arrowvese, Kara is pulled into a standard sub plot shared by all the other shoes, training. An element of being a superhero that is rarely if ever discussed in the presentation of the genre is how much preparation and arduous training is necessary before setting out to save innocent citizens and vanquish the evil doers. The writers efficiently took advantage of the addition of a naïve newcomer permitted the now requisite training montage. Mon-el is confined to the custody of the DEO where he becomes enamored of the beautiful last daughter of Krypton. This is to be expected not only since a love interest for the titular character but after all, it is the CW. A cursory glance at the actors regularly employed by this network will reveal that they seem to be conducting a eugenics program to fill their shows with exceptionally attractive people. Kara's insistence hinders the burgeoning relationship that she is not attracted to the handsome Daxam prince. When Mon-el expresses a desire to become a super hero, J'onn J'onzz demands that Kara train him. Conveniently this forces the pair together. Exasperating matters is the fact that Krypton and Daxam have hated each other for centuries. One aspect that permeates the entire suite of series is the organic way situations, and character development flows from one major story arc to the next. In this instance, Mon-el's rank of crown prince and heir apparent to the throne of his planet almost leads to the enslavement of humanity.
Mon-el's parents are the rulers of the devastated remnant of their world. When Krypton exploded, it showed debris on their home world. His parents, King Lar Gand (Kevin Sorbo) and Queen Rhea (Teri Hatcher), come to earth with an armada of war ships. Rhea is extremely prejudiced about Kryptonians and refuses to accept her son feelings of love for this last of their perennial enemies. When he refuses to accede to his mother’s demands Rhea decides to enslave the earth. Even after Supergirl derails Rhea’s plans for conquest, she returns to National City with a new threat deceiving Lex Luthor’s s sister, Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath). Lena and Kara have become best friends punctuating Lena’s determination to put her brother’s reputation as a criminal mastermind behind. She rebrands Lex Corp to emphasize her philanthropic intentions. Lena is determined to separate herself from the family as highlighted by her adversarial relationships with her mother, Lillian Luthor (Brenda Strong) who is the leader of Project Cadmus. Cadmus is a terrorist organization whose mandate is to rid the earth of extraterrestrials. Aliens from all over the galaxy have come to our planet to seek asylum or just find a better place to live. The main purpose of the DEO is to ensure a peaceful coexistence between the people of earth and the visitors from space.
This plot device becomes a principle motivation for a substantial portion of the season. Utilizing a time-tested device of providing a common location for the characters to interact. This is achieved efficiently with a bar that is frequented by aliens of all types. Think of a cross between the cantina from Stars Wars and Cheers. Besides the aliens most of the DEO has a penchant for gathering there after work, Alex encounters a police detective, Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima). The current incentive embraced by many shows is diversity. The CW has a substantial track record in this, extending it to the main storyline here. Alex realizes that she has fallen in love with Maggie so after an awkward ‘coming out scene’ with Kara, the two become an official couple. Winn also gets a girlfriend, Lyra Strayed (Tamzin Merchant). She was a prisoner of an intergalactic prison/slavery camp, formerly an Art thief. He feels for Winn provide an incentive to reform. Lyra unofficially joins the masked vigilante personal assumed by James Olson (Mehcad Brooks). Tired of photographing heirs he creates a costume to help him fight crime employing Winn as his intel source. James goes under the nom de guerre of Guardian. In his ‘civilian’ life James is currently in charge of Cat Co, while Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), who has taken a sabbatical to pursue her interests in politics.
This is a densely season reflecting its status as part of the DC television universe. Thanks to the concept of multiple parallel universes introduced on the Flash, the characters, and events on Supergirl can remain reasonably isolated until a merger is necessary. This overlap occurs for the ratings boost achieved for all participating shows during a for the cross over event. A plot device such as this an excellent means of allowing the series to develop its own identity and narrative while retaining a consistency with the other shows in the Arrowvese. The energy of the show is delightfully entertaining mainly attributed to the synergistic chemistry of the cast. At the center of it all is the remarkable performance by Ms. Benoist. She made the transition from a musical performer on ‘Glee’ to the broad range of emotive states required here showcases the broad range of talent possessed by this young woman. The third season will pick up with the resolution of a tense cliff hanger. I look forward to watching this series continue to grow and mature.