“Fight of Flight”, episode three of CBS’ “Supergirl”, aired Monday night and the story of the “Girl of Steel” continues to soar higher and higher as it finds its footing among the other male-dominated superhero television shows airing throughout the week.
In Tuesday night’s episode, Kara Danvers a.k.a Supergirl (portrayed with such cheerful delight by Melissa Benoist) faced off against a menacing villain named Reactron (portrayed by Chris Browning), a super-powered human seeking revenge on Superman.
The third episode began where the second one left off, with Cat Grant (portrayed with sass by Calista Flockhart) conducting a rooftop interview with the “Girl of Steel”. The impromptu interview, which borrows two lines from the 1978 “Superman” movie, starts off on a bad note, with Cat commenting about how similar Supergirl’s origin story is to Superman’s, and turns completely sour when Cat asks Supergirl about having kids.
That scene addressed an issue that many female superheroes face: inequality. No one, except Lois Lane in the 1978 “Superman” movie, asks Superman if he has a girlfriend, if he has kids or a day job. They just accept that he’s an alien from another world who has a desire and love to save the day. But, a female superhero, with similar powers, is bombarded by questions that many women unfortunately are asked everyday: “Are you married?” “What are you waiting for?” “Do you have any children?” “Why not?” “What are you waiting for?”
The viewpoint of who Kara is as a young superhero is further undermined when Cat releases the information that Supergirl is Superman’s cousin. This makes Kara more reluctant to ask for help from her cousin because she feels no one will believe she can stand on her own if she has to his help.
Because of the age of independent women and doing it solo, this is a harmful mindset to have and one that nearly gets Kara killed. James “Jimmy” Olsen (portrayed by charming and always smiling Mehcad Brooks) knows this and calls in Superman to help Supergirl, against her wishes. Kara’s anger is understandable but also over the top. It seems she would rather be beaten to death than to accept help from her famous male cousin.
The thing is that Superman understands her situation and has kept his assistance to a minimum, trying his best not to overshadow his cousin’s budding career. He wants her to be recognized as a hero, not Superman’s cousin. The instant chat conversation the cousins have near the end of the episode is amazing and heartfelt.
Other highlights of this episode include the hilarious reaction of Winn Schott (portrayed by Jeremy Jordan) when James carelessly reveals Superman’s secret identity, James’ super signal watch, the sisterly jabs Kara and her adoptive older sister Alex Danvers (portrayed by Chyler Leigh) make towards each other, and the arrival of Lois Lane’s baby sister and James ex-girlfriend, Lucy Lane (portrayed by Jenna Dewan Tatum), just as Kara is ready to acknowledge her feelings for James.
The mystery continues to grow on who or what Alex’s red-eyed boss, Hank Henshaw (portrayed by David Hardwood), head of the Department of Extranormal Operations (DEO), is and what his plans truly are for the metahumans his department has been rounding up.
In the 1990s’ storylines of DC Comics’ “Superman” titles, Henshaw was an astronaut who, along with his wife and two other crew members, was transformed by radiation from a solar flare (in a way similar to the Fantastic Four) in the 466th issue of “The Adventures of Superman”. Believed to have died, Henshaw embeds his consciousness into some Lexcorp technology and eventually transmits his consciousness to Superman’s birthing matrix (long story) and becomes the villain Cyborg-Superman in the 500th issue of “The Adventures of Superman. He attempts to pass himself off as a battle-damaged Superman (again, long story) before aiding in the destruction of an entire city, killing millions of people. The show may not take that route in story-telling, but Henshaw is definitely someone to keep an eye or eyes on in the upcoming episodes.
Another character to watch is Maxwell Lord (portrayed by Peter Facinelli of “Twilight” and “Nurse Jackie” fame), who was taken hostage by Reactron.
In the storylines of DC Comics’ “Justice League” and “Infinite Crisis” titles, Maxwell helped form the Justice League and later, with mind control, pitted Superman against Wonder Woman in the 219th issue of “Wonder Woman”. Wonder Woman used her Lasso of Truth on Maxwell, who believed metahumans to be dangerous, and asked him how she could free Superman from his control. “Kill me,” Maxwell replied and without hesitation, Wonder Woman broke his neck. Again, this storyline probably won’t be used, but Maxwell isn’t a helpless smart guy and could work against Supergirl in future episodes.
“Supergirl” is a hit and keeps getting better every week.
The show is created by Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, the creators and executive producers of the CW’s “Arrow”, “The Flash” and the upcoming “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”, according to IMDb.com.
“Supergirl” airs Mondays at 7 p.m. Central on CBS.