A quick word about this episode. Originally, this was supposed to air before Livewire, but they switched the order around because the date this episode was supposed to air unfortunately coincided with the November 2015 Paris attacks and also unfortunately had content that was similar. For the most part, switching the order doesn’t affect the story too much, but there are a couple of things that don’t totally line up. For one, there’s the fact that the end of Livewire had a dramatic reveal about Alex’ father and Hank Henshaw that is mysteriously not brought up at all. There’s also James and Lucy’s relationship, which in Livewire was good enough that they were spending Thanksgiving alone together but here is not really a relationship at all, as they’re still trying to figure out if they even want to be together. So, those two details don’t really make sense if you’re not aware that the episode order was switched, but other than that it works fine.
One more thing about this episode. It’s… not very good. It’s really too bad that it followed the first truly great episode. I wouldn’t say this is a bad episode, because there are actually some things in this episode that I like a lot, but as a whole it’s not very interesting.
This review will probably be kind of short because I don’t have a lot to say about this one, but here’s the jist of what happens:
- Supergirl is being followed by a drone that she originally suspects is Hank Henshaw’s, but turns out to actually belong to Maxwell Lord.
- Cat is receiving an award for women in media (go Cat!!) and needs someone to watch over her son Carter while she’s gone, and Kara volunteers to do so.
- Carter is smart and sweet but very, very shy, and he has a huge crush on Supergirl. Same, Carter, same.
- Kara has to juggle her responsibility of taking care of Carter with her responsibilities as Supergirl. This goes poorly.
- A bomb goes off in a building and Supergirl manages to save it, and later two more bombs are set to go off, one at an airport and one on a train.
- The DEO has the bomb at the airport covered, so Supergirl goes to take care of the one on the train. She chose the train because Carter was on it. He slipped away to try and meet Supergirl.
- The guy planting and setting off the bombs is actually just a really sad and desperate guy who says he’s doing all of this for his daughter, which confuses Kara because how does any of this help his daughter?
- Maxwell Lord is why. The bomber’s daughter is sick and Max was paying for her to be treated. The bombs were Max’s idea to test Supergirl, and all of them has fail-safes in case something went wrong. Maxwell Lord is a scumbag.
- Cat’s advice to Kara at the end of the episode is basically the same as her advice in Stronger Together. Start small, don’t bite off more than you can chew right away, etcetera etcetera.
- There’s a lot of focus on James and Lucy’s relationship and the reason they broke up. Lucy was the one who broke it off and James says it was because she wanted to focus on her career, but Lucy says that the real reason is because James was always putting her second to Superman.
So, okay, let’s talk about what I liked in this episode.
I liked seeing Cat as a mom! It’s really sweet, and she and Carter seem to have a great relationship. And I really like this moment, when Cat is reunited with Carter after he’s saved by Supergirl, and she’s all fussy and worried and he’s just excited about having met Supergirl.
Carter: I met Supergirl! She was amazing. And she’s so much prettier in person.
Cat: Oh. Well… did you notice any of her other attributes?
Carter: Um, she’s super strong…
Cat: And smart and brave and kind and she saved you. Tell me, what do you think makes her a hero?
Carter: I’d say her legs. Definitely her legs. Her heart, Mom. (LAUGHS)
Cat: (CHUCKLES) Oh! That was a joke. That was a joke. Carter, you made a joke. You never make a joke.
This such a cute moment, because first you have Cat being the worried mom who wants to make sure her kid is safe and okay, but then she immediately shifts into Feminist Mom mode to make sure that Carter understands why Supergirl is a hero and why she’s important. And of course Carter knows why Supergirl is a hero, of course he admires her for who she is as a person, and from the look on his face he’s probably used to Cat talking about Supergirl and how important she is nonstop. It’s an adorable moment both for Cat’s relationship with Carter and for her relationship with Supergirl, because we see her voicing appreciation for Supergirl as a person and not just as a symbol and it’s just great.
What else did I like? Well… the scene on the train was good. Supergirl’s talk with the guy planting the bombs was actually really emotional and there was a lot of excitement and tension in watching Supergirl save the train.
The scene between Supergirl and Maxwell Lord at the end was also pretty good. Maxwell Lord became genuinely threatening in this episode because we can now see how far he’s willing to go and how many people he’s willing to sacrifice to get what he wants. I think what really makes him scary, though, is how justified he believes he is. He doesn’t see himself as a villain, he probably doesn’t even see himself as an antagonist. He’s obviously a “the ends justify the means” kind of person, and while that doesn’t always have to be a bad way of thinking, it is a slippery slope.
Aside from those few scenes, however, I really didn’t care for much else in this episode. None of it was really bad, but there wasn’t a lot for me to latch on to. Most of the episode was focused on things I didn’t particularly care about. A lot of time is spent on Lucy and James’ relationship, and while I like them as characters I really wasn’t interested in their drama. Carter is cute but he’s not enough to hold my interest, and many of the more interesting characters took a backseat to Kara babysitting Carter.
This is kind of a dull episode, unfortunately. But the goods part of it are good. You know that expression, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”? This episode is the opposite of that for me. I like separate parts more than I like the whole.