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TV Review: Supergirl - Season 2, Episode 6 - "Changing"

11.15.2016

EPISODE 6: CHANGING

SYNOPSIS: The Guardian makes his debut in National City to lend a hand after a parasite alien drains Supergirl of her power; at the same time, Mon-El considers a less-than-desirable career change; and Alex struggles with a new reality.

REVIEW:

As the late and legendary Leonard Cohen once sang, “Hallelujah”!

I’ll be honest with you, folks, it’s been a hell of a week and tonight’s rock-solid episode of SUPERGIRL really helped lift my spirits. For me, tonight’s adventure was filled with plenty of standout moments - so let’s get to talking about them already, shall we?

For starters, how adorable was that bar room sequence in which Kara and Mon-El were kicking back and sharing a few drinks? Oh, and was that Tame Impala’s “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” I heard playing in the background? That’s the second time this season that I’ve heard a musical selection from a band I actively listen to on this show - check out this week’s Extra Tidbit to discover the other band that graced the alien bar’s speaker system in a previous episode. After tonight, I’ve come to the conclusion that I really like the Alien Bar as an alternative location for the event’s of SUPERGIRL to unfold. Not only do we get cool extraterrestrial-related cameos chilling among the billiard tables and love testers, I also find it to be a welcomed retreat from the day-to-day dealings that go on at the D.E.O. Headquarters.

Okay, let’s talk about lab safety protocol, people. Now, while I, myself, enjoy rummaging through a good ol’ 5,000-year-old wolf carcass, I would make certain that my ass was wearing a hazmat suit while I do it! “Dr. Jones! Paging Dr. Jones, do you even science?” Common sense nitpicking aside, the infected wolf lead to what I thought was a very cool villain, this episode. Admittedly, I’m not entirely certain that I understood the nature of tonight’s beast. However, I’m of the opinion that I don’t need to shake hands with the devil of every detail when in regard to comic book entertainment, either. The fact of the matter is that I enjoyed the progression of tonight’s villain. At first, Dr. Jones was merely that dude everyone hated from ABC’s LOST. Then, he started stumbling around while doing The CW’s tried-and-true energy sucking routine. Shortly thereafter, dude transformed into something truly hideous, the major Superman foe, Parasite - making his involvement vastly more interesting than Kara boringly trading blows with yet another human-looking Kryptonian or whatever. I’ll give you that the creature’s motivations were standard fare, but more-than-admiral CGI on par with THE FLASH’s King Shark will earn you extra points in my book.

Picking up an on-going thread of this season, I’d like to comment once more on how well the writers of SUPERGIRL are presenting Alex’s sexual awakening. For my money, Chyler Leigh is doing a fantastic job in adding a wide range of emotion to the Agent Danvers character, this season. I’m just going to say it, Alex’s journey into her new feelings is an important thing for viewers to see, right now. No, I’m not about to get all political on you, that’s not why we’re here. But suffice it to say that presenting Alex’s awakening as something that has always been a part of who she is - and not something that was learned or can be electrocuted out of her - serves as positive messaging for all who’re tuning in. Make no mistake, this blossoming aspect of her character isn’t there simply to “give Alex something to do this season”, or, to present dudes with an excuse to play “pocket pool”. It’s about giving Alex an added sense of agency within herself - an internal battle that can’t be fought with a super suit.

Speaking of agency, let’s make some noise for my boys Winn and James! Yo, how harsh was Winn on Jimmy when being hounded about the status of Eager-For-Action-Olsen’s new gear? As much as I’m warming to James’ motivations for suiting up, it felt really good to see Winn take charge of what was definitely an awkward situation. That said, I will give Olsen props for putting his ass on the line and stepping up to Dr. Jones. That mutated behemoth was quite the foe for a first-time-out, and I applaud James for taking him on. Granted, it was Supergirl’s handy dandy discs that ultimately won the day, but Olsen’s Guardian persona definitely helped turn the tide.

Okay, it’s time to talk about everyone’s favorite character, that irresponsible rapscallion from Daxam, Mon-El. Is it just me or did our alien refugee show a little bit of backbone this episode? I’m happy to see that we’ve finally arrived at Mon-El wanting to be more than just another pretty face in National City. Granted, the guy still has a lot to learn, but he did make some significant strides by running interference against Dr. Jones before Kara and The Guardian could arrive. Obviously, if you’ve watched all the way until the end of tonight’s episode, you know that Mon-El gets abducted by Cadmus. More than likely, this will impede on Mon-El’s trek toward heroism, and that sort of bums me out. I say this because of the predictable nature of the situation. Cadmus will turn Mon-El into a weapon, he’ll fight Supergirl, she’ll beg him to search within himself for the good that she knows is there, and blah blah blah blah blah. It’s filler, really. Now, I have no idea if this is how upcoming events will actually play out, but don’t be surprised if in a few episodes there’s a smug “I told you so” in my review.

Lastly, no review would be complete without reflecting on the charm and bad assery of SUPERGIRL. Tonight’s episode was an interesting one, both for Kara as well as her super-powered-persona. While I might have found Kara’s reaction to Alex’s coming out to be a bit of a surprise, I do appreciate that her reaction was one that felt quite … human. After all, it’s not everyday that your own sister admits to experiencing homosexual thoughts and emotions. I bring this to your attention because I’d found this to be a situation wherein the writers could have bypassed the sometimes awkward nature of something like a coming out, and instead painted Kara as this unblemished, forever-understanding character.

Alternatively, Benoist showed that Kara was taken aback, mystified even. Truthfully, I don’t want or need Kara to be perfect. For me, flawed characters who learn from their misunderstandings will always be far more interesting than those who act accordingly at every turn. And besides, this is uncharted territory for both Alex and Kara, correct? Therefore, it seems only natural that, like Alex’s transition, both sisters would need a bit of time to adjust. Thankfully, the two characters share an outstanding moment of resolution toward the end of the episode that almost has me choking up. What? I said almost!

Until next week, my friends, stay super and keep your head held high.

SCORE:

STINGER: Episode 7: The Darkest Place - Guardian must clear his name after being accused of a murder committed by another vigilante; at the same time, Supergirl comes face to face with Cyborg Superman while on a solo mission to rescue Mon-El, who has been captured by Cadmus.

Extra Tidbit: Yeah, so the other band I wanted to bring your attention to is the New Zealand brother/sister duo, BROODS. Their song "Free" was also heard playing in the Alien Bar. Supergirl's music coordinator obviously knows their stuff.
Source: joblo.com

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