Skip to main content

SUPERGIRL Review (S1E4): 'Livewire"



★★★★☆ (4/5)

Due to the horrific events in Paris, CBS decided to switch episodes of 'Supergirl' because the original involved Kara stopping a terrorist threat. Instead, they skipped to their Thanksgiving episode featuring a new homegrown villain and plenty of mommy issues. It was another emotional but exciting chapter of Supergirl's growth and those around her. 

'Livewire' demonstrates without apology that 'Supergirl' has a different viewpoint than the other DC Comics shows on the air. It's told through the female perspective and the characters that surround Kara, for the most part, are women that helped shape her and continue to test her. The protective big sister, the overbearing boss, the evil twin aunt and in this episode her foster mother Eliza (1984's 'Supergirl' Helen Slater) and trolling loudmouth radio host Leslie Willis (Brit Morgan).

If that sounds like a turn-off then I'd remind you that DCTV is filled with plenty of emotional family dialogues of their own. Ollie Queen on 'Arrow' had his own daddy issues and there's been plenty of male bonding with John Diggle and his heartfelt advice he usually ignores. Barry Allen on 'The Flash' was founded on the premise he grew up and became a forensic scientist solely to help solve his mom's murder and help get his dad released from jail after being wrongly accused of killing her. Then there's his foster father in Joe West who also provides him plenty of guidance and security. So the emotional issues on 'Supergirl' are not uncommon or some feminist plot to flood primetime with feelings and stuff. 

The great thing about these shows, all produced by Greg Berlanti, is that they're about more than just the villain-of-the-week. They're about the personal growth and character development of these heroes that help define them beyond their super powers. The challenge for 'Supergirl' or 'Superman' for that matter is to make them interesting and create calamities in their lives that can't be solved with a punch or laser eye blast. 

For Kara Danvers, being able to come out and use the powers she's kept under wraps for years has been freeing and liberating. Her enthusiasm for justice is infectious but the contrasting life of her public identity as Kara, assistant to media mogul Cat Grant, is so unassuming that she's unrecognizable to her own boss as Supergirl. 

This week however, Cat suddenly started to see Kara as a fellow human being. She is actually sympathetic to Kara after she reveals her real parents died in a fire as a child and was raised by foster parents. She suddenly becomes interested in Kara's like. Cat begins to open up about her own upbringing even admitting she knows she's hard on her and the staff because her mom was hard on her. Her mom's tough love was a blessing and a curse, but it helped push herself to where she is now. 

This theme about difficult relationships is also part of Kara's sister Alex and her mom, Eliza. Alex has always felt she wasn't good enough in her mom's eyes, but the alien child that was dropped on their doorstep got all the positive reinforcement. Eliza has a sense of tough love of her own too telling Alex she just wanted her to strive to be better than her. The most moving statement was when she finally told Alex, "You've always been my Supergirl."

The only bad part, and I hate myself for saying this, is that Slater doesn't convey the necessary wealth of emotion in that scene. The performance is pretty flat and could have been more impactful. Yet, the show did find a way to exorcise these issues in a more nuanced way than it has in previous episodes. More showing than telling. 

With all that Thanksgiving angst going on, there was a great villain born in Willis. Under Cat's media umbrella, Willis used her radio gig to disparage Supergirl from her outfit, her alien "otherness," her lady parts, and "adorkable" personality. Willis was already a monster troll before being struck by lightning through Supergirl's body that gave her the power to manipulate and become electricity. 

Willis was hellbent on taking revenge on Cat for demoting her. Livewire, as she called herself, was a powerful counter to Kara's "niceness." It really was the battle of opposites. Not sure how Livewires was as formidable as she was considering Supergirl was stronger, but it didn't matter, Morgan played her with seathing cattiness that made for a fun confrontation. The special effects were impressive as she whipped around an electric whip and traveled through electrical outlets. 

Dean Cain as Kara's foster dad, Jeremiah Danvers, makes a cameo long enough to see a younger Hank Henshaw knock on the door looking for the alien they were harboring. They strike a deal where Jeremiah works for the DEO because of his Superman knowledge and Kara can stay with them. Eliza tells the girls at one point she thinks the DEO is lying about the death of Jeremiah putting Henshaw square in the crosshair of the Danvers sisters. 

You can tell with 'Livewire' the writing is finding a groove, a better balance of outright declarations of love, trust, and support and there's more action in that department. There's still some awkward moments but 'Supergirl' is shaking off the rookie jitters and embracing their feminist spirit with the same tenacity the boys on CW have embraced their sensitive side. 'Supergirl' continues to soar with adventure and heart.  

Here's a look at the next episode "Red Faced" featuring the live-action debut of Red Tornado on Monday, November 30.



Personal and professional stress get the better of Kara when she goes too far during a training exercise against Red Tornado, a military cyborg commissioned by Lucy Lane’s father, General Sam Lane. Also, Cat’s tough exterior is shaken by a visit from her judgmental mother, Katherine, and Alex enlists Winn to look into her father’s mysterious death.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

An Artist Will Get His Revenge in The Post-WWII Original Graphic Novel SIMON SAYS

Image Comics announces an all-new, original graphic novel Simon Says by Andre R. Frattino and Jesse Lee which will paint a post-World War II Europe in a scarlet shade of revenge this September.


Simon Says is a drama-filled, crime noir story that follows a former artist to the Führer who hunts down and seeks justice upon the Nazis he witnessed murder his friends and loved ones during the war. It is an original graphic novel inspired by true events and by a real-world Holocaust survivor, Simon Wiesenthal, an artist who lost his family and took justice into his own hands.
"Simon Says is about an innocent and gentleman, an artist, whose family and life are destroyed by a real-world event. Not something sci-fi or fanciful, but something that has happened and could happen again. In that way, it's the story of any of us, and how we would respond if who we were and what we had were lost,” said Frattino. "The real-life, famed Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, was quoted as once sayin…

Dynamite & Playboy Present Exclusive Vampirella Story for Her 50th Anniversary

Dynamite announces an exclusive standalone Vampirella story published in Playboy's Spring 2019 Freedom of Speech issue available now.




The story is written by the legendary Gail Simone (Red Sonja, Wonder Woman, Domino) and drawn by the peerless Joyce Chin (Xena Warrior Princess, Wynonna Earp). Colorist Addison Duke (Barbarella/Dejah Thoris, Curse Words) and letterer Taylor Esposito (Batman, Aquaman, Elvira) round out the team on this six-page tale. The cover of Playboy was shot by photographer Kelia Anne MacCluskey.

Vampi protects a couple of professional cosplayers from crazed cannibal peers. Cosplay, cannibalism and no kink-shaming! Fans of the Daughter of Drakulon will not want to miss this story.

This is actually a reunion for Simone and Chin, fitting for Vampirella's 50th anniversary banner year. The pair collaborated on the colossal crossover Witchblade/Magdalena/Vampirella published by Top Cow Productions in 2004.

“Vampirella is the original monster girl of comics. It’s …

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

Legendary Comics Releases Volume Two of 'Lost in Space: Countdown to Danger' and 'Firebrand: The Initiation of Natali Presano'

Legendary Comics announces the release of the second seasons of popular comic series: LOST IN SPACE: COUNTDOWN TO DANGER and FIREBRAND: THE INITIATION OF NATALI PRESANO.


Launching into comic stores and online today, Volume Two of Lost in Space: Countdown to Danger tells all new thrilling backstories of the show’s favorite heroic characters, with a special focus on Parker Posey’s villainous ‘Dr. Smith’ and fan favorite ‘Robot.’ While, Season Two of Firebrand: The Initiation of Natali Presano, created by Jessica Chobot and Erika Lewis, continues the journey of a young witch who has come to Seattle to defend humanity against darkness, now available exclusively on Webtoon. Readers can download the official Webtoon app by visiting the Apple App Store and Google Play.


LOST IN SPACE: COUNTDOWN TO DANGER:

Penned by writer Richard Dinnick (Doctor Who; Thunderbirds) and Brian Buccellato (Detective Comics; The Flash) with stunning artwork by Zid (Skull Island: Birth of Kong; Trick ‘r Treat: Days …