November 17, 2016: “Supergirl” Episode Review – S02E06 “Changing”

Superman Homepage reviewer T.A. Ewart (aka liheibao) reviews episodes from the “Supergirl” TV series, airing on The CW.

Check out his review of the 6th episode of Season 2 in which Guardian debuts to lend a hand after a parasite alien drains Supergirl of her power. Mon-El considers a less than desirable new career which then leads him to contemplate his motives. Alex struggles with a new reality.

161107-changing14Originally Aired: November 14, 2016
WRITTEN BY: Andrew Kreisberg and Caitlin Parris (based on a story by Greg Berlanti)
DIRECTED BY: Larry Teng

REGULAR CAST:
Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers/Supergirl)
Chyler Leigh (Alex Danvers)
Mehcad Brooks (James Olsen)
David Harewood (Hank Henshaw/J’onn J’onzz)
Jeremy Jordan (Winslow “Winn” Schott)
Ian Gomez (Snapper Carr)

RECURRING CAST:
Chris Wood (Mon-El)
Katie McGrath (Lena Luthor)
Floriana Lima (Maggie Sawyer)
Brenda Strong (Lillian Luthor)

GUEST CAST:
Sharon Leal (M’gann M’orzz)
William Mapother (Rudy Jones)
Nikohl Boosheri (Kelly Sotto)
Jason Gray-Stanford (Rand O’Reilly)

4Rating – 4 (out of 5): The progress that Supergirl has made in terms of overall story quality should be commended. Supergirl, herself, is incredibly rounded only six episodes into her sophomore season, and characters such as Martian Manhunter follow in that vein. While his power-level fluctuates from standard to groan out loud, Harewood makes the most of his screen time, and Manhunter, despite the aforesaid shortcomings, benefits from it. Winn has successfully been integrated in a supporting role that is nearly innocuous, but at the same time vital… and that is no mean feat. Jimmy Olsen goes from being Esquire in distress, to masked avenger of the night (and in record time!), while also taking on the responsibilities of Catco, and while the jury will still be out for many, as he replaces the much beloved Cat Grant, partially, the transition has been smoother than expected. The biggest treat is Mon-El, super-powered slacker from another planet, with poor judgement and laziness on par with mortal men. Mon-El working as an enforcer, and not understanding why this was wrong, or just not caring, allows for levity, and growth on his part.

Still, there is something missing from the world of Supergirl. The development given to much of the regular cast, is denied any of the villains, and so it’s the bum of the month club in full swing. The dependency on real life events to drive the narrative doesn’t work well, for while amnesty for humans may be fathomable, doing such with visitors from other worlds could prove disastrous, and we’ve been given an idea of how much when we we’re shown that the President of the United States may be an alien herself. Real world happenings being used in fiction isn’t new, but they work best as inspiration, and not the petrol in the engine. Election season is over, and with the hullabaloo done, what seeds have germinated from its usage, is a question that probably will never be answered. While I was happy to see Supergirl have a stronger direction this season, there is still the nagging imperfections of the former year, and frustration on this critics part that those easily solvable problems haven’t been addressed. Cadmus, Lena Luthor, Lena’s mother, Alex, and Maggie have taken up considerable screen time, and the results are questionable at best. Did Maggie need to be introduced for the sole purpose of leaving and leaving Alex thrown over? Does the Cadmus leader need to be Lena’s mother, a trope worn as a Roman road? Did we need to see the Parasite introduced to considerable effect, only to have him done away with, and have Supergirl in kill in the act? Supergirl has much going for it, but it still needs to settle down, and focus on storytelling. What is going on and why, and how these choices will play out later. That’s the only agenda it should have… if any.

Check out the “Supergirl – Episode Reviews” Contents page.

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NeoRanger
Member
You are more lenient with the ratings than I’d be; I don’t find myself looking forward to the show the same way I used to. It starts falling into the CW formula, which is to say it’s doing almost everything that counts wrong. The direction they’re taking Jimmy and Alex isn’t working for me (largely because of how they just fast-forward through both their arcs and got to the end already) and though I can see what they’re trying to do with Mon-El, the guy is just obnoxious. I also never expected it to be a problem, but I think… Read more »
liheibao
Member
There has been too little time with some instances, and too much with others, so I can’t argue with you on your points; they’re valid to say the least. It’s early in the day for me to slate the show, and to be fair, I’m enjoying much of what’s being done. However, there needs to be a tangible goal to the overall season. It can’t be about making the world safe for aliens, or sexuality, as those are dead-ends, but it should be about heroism. That’s the thread that should link the episodes and establish the overall direction. I’m interested… Read more »
redcape
Member

Theses forced relationships are being overdone and not just on this show. I’m noticing it on others as well. Stating to see Supergirl getting knocked around quite a bit more. But in general I think they’re doing a pretty good job. Especially after moving networks and locations. Too many people calling her KARA and not Supergirl. They’ve done a great job with the special effects. Seem like they’ve gotten better every week.

MattComics
Member
I thought it was a solid episode with a really emotional core running throughout. I’m still a little wary of Jimmy becoming a superhero but I get the sense they’re sort of combining ideas of various ancillary heroes in Superman’s comics into one. I basically read Guardian, Steel, and a pinch of Gangbuster along with the idea that Jimmy has had hero ID’s distilled down to one character. While I’m not big on hero ID’s being passed out to the supporting cast I’m gonna wait and see on this one. I liked that they went with a monstrous take on… Read more »
liheibao
Member
While I’m not big on hero ID’s being passed out to the supporting cast I’m gonna wait and see on this one. I’m going to give it a fair go, partially because Jimmy got the shaft after being trumped up as the love interest for an entire season. The other part is that Brooks has the physical qualities for a super-hero, and he looks like he can handle the role, so go for it. I’d hoped though that he would be a visiting villain rather than having another member of Superman’s rouges gallery being generated on Kara’s side of town.… Read more »
andramus
Member
All sympathy aside, her story is the perfect mix of slapdash and pandering. What do you mean by slapdash and pandering? If you were in charge of writing Alex’s subplot how would you write it so that it wasn’t slapdash and pandering? Last week’s episode I felt Jimmy’s decision to become a superhero came out of nowhere (although I did manage to rationalise it to an extent) just like Kara’s decision to drop him in the season premiere. That’s my definition of slapdash. However I liked him as Guardian in this episode and will be interested to see where it… Read more »
MattComics
Member

andramus brings up a good question T.A. how would you approach it? and you don’t have the option of just excising Alex and/or Maggie and their sexuality entirely. If the show is supposedly doing it so bad then how would you do it better? How would you do it so that it wasn’t “pandering”?

liheibao
Member

If forced, I’d do it the way Byrne did, when he introduced Sawyer’s backstory, in Superman #15.

NeoRanger
Member
I don’t see how Alex’s story is being done gradually; last episode Maggie was like “oh you into girls?” and in this episode they went straight to “you should come out to Kara”. That’s not gradual, that’s light-switch change as Neal Bailey used to call it; Lex is evil now because reasons. Even Buffy did the gay thing more gradually and I’d argue even Buffy (in regards to Willow) didn’t do it all that well either. The way they went about this, being too expository but without giving the characters time to adapt, they actually reinforce what T.A. said in… Read more »
liheibao
Member
What do you mean by slapdash and pandering? I’m uncertain why you’re asking me to qualify what I’ve stated pretty firmly. It’s slapdash and pandering because it’s slapdash and pandering. It’s no different than your assessment of Jimmy’s situation. So far I’ve found Alex’s storyline has been better paced having been given 4 episodes to develop as opposed to Jimmy’s 2. Sure, if totally ignore that Jimmy had been about this in season one. Recall his confession to Kara in episode three. It ties into what he’s restated this season. That’s hardly two episodes. If you were in charge of… Read more »
MattComics
Member

Well, honestly T.A. my concern is that there may be a bias of your own when it comes to Alex and Maggie.

liheibao
Member

How? I’ve been on record with my criticism of Alex since season one. I was never accused of bias then.

MattComics
Member

Don’t get me wrong, I think you’d still have your criticism of Alex being a “Mary Sue” even if she were maybe crushing on Clark or Mon-El instead of Maggie. But I do keep getting a sense from your reviews that there is nothing the writers could have really done to make either of them being gay work for you because you’d just as soon that not be there in the show at all in any capacity whatsoever.

liheibao
Member
Don’t get me wrong, I think you’d still have your criticism of Alex being a “Mary Sue” even if she were maybe crushing on Clark or Mon-El instead of Maggie. But I do keep getting a sense from your reviews that there is nothing the writers could have really done to make either of them being gay work for you because you’d just as soon that not be there in the show at all in any capacity whatsoever. A sense? With Maggie? Who is already a lesbian to begin with? Who’s origin as rendered by Byrne I stated as an… Read more »
supergepetto
Member
The show should now be called Superfriends or Super Alien Nation. Jimmy Olson becoming a super hero is ridiculous. Just how many heroes is this show going to have? Supergirl by herself is mighty enough. I do, though, like Mon-El, but in small doses. I still cannot stand that the city is inhabited by all of these odd aliens and no back story is given just how they got there. Alex turning gay appears to be a gimmick that is falling flat. Winn is a good character, but time is being taken away from Supergirl with all of these unnecessary… Read more »