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TV Review: Supergirl - Season 1 Episode 5 "How Does She Do It"

11.23.2015

EPISODE 5: "How Does She Do It"

SYNOPSIS: Kara’s dual identities are stretched to the limit tonight as she is tasked with babysitting Cat’s son, while also trying to prevent a terrorist from blowing up National City.

REVIEW:

Tonight’s episode of SUPERGIRL, “How Does She Do It”, was scheduled to air last week. However, it was postponed due to the plot similarities with the terrorist bombings in France. So if you noticed any continuity errors involving the love triangle of James/Lucy/Kara or the mistrust Kara and Alex now feel toward Hank Henshaw/the DEO, you can attribute it to the scheduling change. With that said, tonight’s explosive episode has been a slight step up from the last couple of episodes. What SUPERGIRL does best is explore Kara’s relationships with the people in her life, while also having some kick ass action scenes sprinkled in. And continuity errors aside, this episode delved deeper into character development, had interesting action scenes, and was actually pretty fun!

Last week I wondered how it was possible to air episodes out of order. Well, “How Does She Do It” shows that it isn’t so easy. The opening scene, for example, introduces a giant continuity error. As Kara is flying around National City, she notices a UAV following her. She uses her heat vision to bring the drone down, and assumes it is a DEO asset. As it turns out, it was somehow too advanced to be from the DEO. What? Aren't they a secret organization with lots of high-tech gadgetry?

Anyway, tonight Alex tells Kara she can trust Henshaw and the DEO. However, last week’s episode ended with both girls thinking the exact opposite thanks to new information about their father Jeremiah Danvers, who was blackmailed into joining the shady organization in order to protect Kara. But as it turns out, the DEO is in the clear when it comes to the drone; Maxwell Lord is its real manufacturer. This sets into motion one of the biggest revelations of the season. Our suspicions about Maxwell Lord are confirmed and by the end of the episode, he shows his villainous true colors. Surprise surprise.

Let me not get too ahead of myself. In "How Does She Do It," Kara is faced with perhaps her biggest obstacle yet, babysitting Cat Grant’s son Carter, who, much to Kara’s amusement, is a huge Supergirl fanboy. Cat needs to go to Metropolis to accept the prize for women in media (sorry Lois Lane!), which leaves Kara on babysitting duty. However, due to a terrorist planting bombs around the city, the gig isn’t a piece of cake. And Alex worries Kara is spreading herself way too thin. Not even the “Girl of Steel” can be a superhero, Cat’s assistant, and a DEO agent.

Though as we have seen so far throughout the series, Kara is not one to take a break. So when the first bomb (of many) explodes at an office building, Kara races over to help. She is able to use her steadily-improving super breath, problem-solving skills, and heat vision to make sure the building doesn’t collapse. But when a drone is shown watching her, it is obvious this bombing was a setup. Further analysis of the bomb fragments point the DEO in the direction of Maxwell Lord. Of course, Lord denies he had anything to do with it, asking why he would want to blow up the building since it contained one of his labs; however, we know better!

Alex and Henshaw are thrown further off the scent after another bomb is found in Lord’s lab. When they try to deactivate it, the bomb starts to count down even faster and Supergirl is called to the scene. She flies up to throw the bomb into outer space, but is hurt by the explosion. Apparently the DEO planned for this, and Kara wakes up in a tanning bed-type apparatus, which gives her high concentrations of the sun’s rays to aid in her healing. However, as she is in and out of consciousness, she sees Henshaw’s red eyes. At the time, she probably thought this was a hallucination, but I bet this piece of evidence will come up again now that Alex and Kara are suspicious of their DEO boss.

Meanwhile, the DEO identifies the potential bomber/terrorist as a “disgruntled” employee named Ethan Knox. Out of fear of another bombing, Alex warns Lord not to go forward with the ceremony celebrating his new electromagnetic train’s maiden voyage. However, since Knox is one of Lord's minions and the train is a huge element of his evil plan/test, he continues on as-scheduled. As it turns out, Lord has it out for the government because faulty safety regulations killed his parents. He says it himself, “Orphans don’t get over things easily.” Ya think? How many times have we seen parental death be a character motivation before? I guess at least the writers of SUPERGIRL made a joke out of it.

The first element of Lord's final test for Supergirl involves putting a bomb at the National City airport. The second involves a bomb on Lord's high-speed train via Knox's suicide bomb vest. And just when you think it can't get any worse, Carter also sneaks onto the train with Wynn in close pursuit. He heard that Supergirl may be at the train station to protect against the recent bombings and wanted to meet his hero. So now Kara has to make a difficult decision. With two bombs set to go off at the same time in different locations, which group of people will she save?

Because Wynn and Carter are on the train, Kara decides to save the train while the DEO agents save the airport. Carter finally gets to "meet" Supergirl when she asks him to move everyone to the back of the train. Kara then makes her way to the front car to confront Knox. However, everything isn’t as cut and dry as it seems. As it turns out, Knox was only planting the bombs in order to save his daughter. He was told his daughter would get a life-saving surgery if he went along with Lord's plan. Unfortunately, there is no way to save Knox from the bombs on his vest. So, Kara dislodges the front of the train and after he gets far enough away, Knox blows himself up without hurting anyone else.

Back at the airport, Alex and Henshaw attempt to dismantle the bomb. However, just like in the lab, nothing they do works. Henshaw orders Alex to leave the facility while he works on it solo. Once alone, Henshaw’s eyes go red, and he rips the bomb apart using his mysterious powers. He tells Alex that the bomb must have been a decoy, but after some research at the lab, Alex realizes the bomb was real. So why did Henshaw lie? And more importantly, how did he dismantle it? Looks like Henshaw has some ‘splainin to do.

As we find out at the end of the episode, this SOPHIE’S CHOICE bomb situation was orchestrated by Lord. He wanted to see what area Supergirl would choose to save. Instead of the more crowded aiport, Supergirl chose to focus her attention on the train. Therefore, Lord deduces that she had a friend on-board, a person she cared about enough to focus her attention there. It is only a matter of time before he finds out who that is.

Besides the mistrust between Kara, Alex, and Henshaw, the other major continuity error from last week’s episode involved filling in the missing piece of how Lucy and James' relationship went from exes in episode 3 back to boyfriend and girlfriend in episode 4. We are also given some background information on Lucy. Lucy is a JAG officer, who let her career get in the way of her relationship with James. Yes, she broke up with him, but now she has come back to National City to get him back!

Meanwhile, Alex tells Kara not to allow James to talk about his girl problems because that will just put her in the phantom zone… errrr… friend zone. After all, does Kara really think James will inevitably choose Lucy over Supergirl? Based on a conversation Kara later has with Lucy, the answer is probably not. Lucy put her work first only because James put Superman first, so she doesn’t think she has a chance against Supergirl. But Kara sees the situation another way. She doesn’t want the threat of Lucy looming over her relationship with James forever, so she tells James to give his ex another try. And still... Wynn is left in the dark.

Besides the interesting developments with Lord and Henshaw, my favorite part of the episode was that we are again shown a softer side of Cat Grant, a character that never ceases to entertain me whenever she’s on-screen. Here, we see that she tells her son it’s okay to be a nerd because nerds win in the end. Not only that, she makes sure her son thinks about all of Supergirl’s awesome attributes, other than her beauty. She is also intelligent, powerful, has a great heart, etc. Throughout the episode, we see Kara worried that she has spread herself too thin. She wonders how her boss is able to run such a successful company and be a great mom. Of course, when Kara asks Cat that very question, she is shot down and told that is the most idiotic question of the century. You can have it all, you just have to take your time.

And perhaps the time and patience we have given to Kara and co. over these past few weeks will continue to pay off. If tonight’s episode is any indication, SUPERGIRL is on its way up. Let's just hope we won't be hit with any kryptonite next week.

 

FINAL VERDICT:

Source: JoBlo.com

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