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Supergirl - season 3 (The CW)

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Adam Lenhardt, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I agree about Carl Lumbly. I've always thought he was a wonderful actor, and it was great seeing him play this part.
     
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  2. TJPC

    TJPC Screenwriter

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    Wow! I just saw the last episode taking place mostly on Mars. This had the poorest cartoony CGI I have ever seen! The martians were terrible!

    I also don’t understand the limits on her super powers. Why couldn’t she just fly to Mars? I was also surprised in the last episode when they said she needed air to breath.
     
  3. ponset

    ponset Second Unit

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    Plus Supergirl utters Bugs Bunny's immortal line "I must have taken a left turn at Albuquerque" . :D

    I enjoyed the action on Mars.
    The other stuff not so much.
     
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  4. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    A very heavily theological-themed episode this week. I've never seen this storyline put forth before in quite this way.

    Did I misunderstand Maggie who told Supergirl the man couldn't be arrested because of the freedom of religion and freedom of speech that he was practicing? What about arson? I think that's grounds for arrest.
     
  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Tonight's episode was the first episode this season that I loved without reservation, and probably the first episode I loved without reservation since the Superman two-parter that opened the second season.

    I agree. There have been plenty of stories over the years where a cult or religion formed around Superman, and I've always found them intriguing. On one hand, having the insider's perspective and seeing the trials and tribulations of Clark Kent, the idea that he could be a god seems ridiculous. On the other hand, he is a being with godlike powers that would fit in fairly neatly among the pantheon of Greek/Roman gods, who has saved the planet multiple times. From that perspective, a savior who does not require faith, because his theology is being published on the front page of the daily newspaper, seems quite enticing.

    This episode got all of that, and tied it beautifully back around to the pilot. Though the cult the man built around Supergirl was dangerous, and was correctly labeled as such, the episode took faith itself quite seriously, in its many different forms.

    The show has never quite known what to do with Jimmy Olsen, but I loved his story to Kara about the first time he met Superman. He doesn't believe that Clark or Kara are gods, but he does place his faith in them -- and time and time again, his faith has been rewarded.

    And even though the cult leader is batshit, I actually found his jailhouse conversation with Kara kind of moving, when he pointed out everything weighing her down and told her that he wouldn't just be praying to her, he'd be praying for her.

    "Hallelujah" is a brilliant song that is drastically overused these days, and its placement here was a little on the nose, but I loved that whole closing montage. Especially Kara praying with the hologram of her mother, and J'onn praying next to his father, the Green Martian's last surviving priest.

    It also did a good job of picking up the breadcrumbs dropped in prior episodes and kicking the Reign subplot into high gear:
    We didn't get confirmation for sure that Ruby is Sam's biological daughter, but the episode sure seemed to point that way. Given the particular nature of Sam's biology, Ruby might be the only Kryptonian-human hybrid in the Earth-38 universe.

    Also, the CW has released a promo photo of Annable as Reign:
    Supergirl_S03_001.jpg
    I like how the adapted the Reign skull shape into the mask, but I wish they'd given her the gray skin.

    The young man who set the fire so that Supergirl would save him is definitely going down for arson. Maggie was saying that the cult leader couldn't go down for arson because there was no proof of incitement. Which is true. My guess is that he did it as a grand romantic gesture for his girlfriend, who was the cult's most fervent adherent. (And also, interestingly, played Patricia Arquette's oldest daughter on "Medium" once upon a time. Interesting to see her all grown up.)
     
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  6. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Yes, I recognized Sofia immediately though I don't remember seeing her name in the credits. Something interesting must have been happening at the moment her name appeared.
     
  7. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    The entire episode was either going to be believable and resonant or just stupid and awful depending on the performances, and Chad Lowe was amazing in the role. That was a make or break performance for the episode, and he was, for this genre, transcendent. Even that opening scene talking to the other passenger was great. He wasn't some wild eyed cult leader, he wasn't some crazy bastard, he was a seemingly sane man who had a deep well of belief that he wanted to share.

    I didn't really like the resolution of the bomb threat, so I'm glad they went back to it to show how deep the hole went and used the explosion to kick off the next story arc. But the whole idea of melting open a hole like that, the physics of the heat and material displacement and how much energy still made it back up to the hole into the stadium still felt problematic, but I have grit my teeth and roll with stuff like this. It's part of the WB DC genre -- shit makes no sense all the time.
     
  8. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    This was a really good look at the nature of religion. It was refreshing to see it addressed differently than it was in Star Trek TNG (Who Watches the Watchers, an episode I loved). The Superman mythology has always had echoes of religion in it, so it makes sense that Supergirl would too. I thought it was handled very well.

    The only part that strains credibility to me is Alex. I buy her dilemma on wanting kids when her partner doesn't, and I thought that was handled well. What I don't buy is that this young woman is second in command of the DEO. She seems way too young.
     
  9. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Looks like they're heading toward a Jimmy-Lena romance to take over since Alex-Maggie is kaput. I'll fast forward through those scenes just like I did with the others. I'd watch romantic scenes involving Kara, but I'm just not interested in the love lives of any of the other characters.

    I thought the writing was kind of facile to allow Lena to be torn down with no comebacks about how humanity was saved by her invention. And seeing her just give up made for a very depressing hour this week.
     
  10. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    If I'm not enjoying this season as much as the first season, I'm still enjoying it considerably more than the second season.

    In some ways, this was an unconventional choice to have Kevin Smith direct, since it wasn't an especially big or especially funny episode. But in other ways, it was the perfect episode to have Kevin Smith direct, because it was all about character and back before he discovered marijuana, he was the writer-director of character-driven pictures. Even when the writing wasn't quite up to snuff here, the consistently solid performances carried the scenes through.

    One of the hanging threads from last season was the dispersal of sufficient quantities of lead into Earth's atmosphere to make Earth uninhabitable for Daxamites for a very, very long time. Lots of people reasonably asked what the side effects for humans would be, since lead isn't exactly great for us, either. It was nice to see that play out: we see that the formulation of lead that was dispersed was uniquely targeted to Daxamites, making it far more potent for them than for us. And the lead poisoning was just one of Edge's vicious schemes.

    Edge is kind of a boring villain for me, because he's just such a straight-forward villain with none of the moral ambiguity that made Maxwell Lord so interesting. But Adrian Pasdar is really good at playing a ruthless scumbag, Reminds me a bit of his "Profit" days.

    I've mostly found the Alex/Maggie storyline tiresome, so I'm glad to see it wrap up. I thought it was a well done breakup episode, too, that took some twists and turns I wasn't expecting. I especially liked how they expressed gratitude to each other for what they'd done for one another, before going their separate ways.

    I agree that a Jimmy/Lena romance would be just as tiresome, and just as much of a time suck. They still haven't figured out what to do with Jimmy. I do think it's a sign of maturity that he's not insisting on James anymore. You're Jimmy Olsen, man -- embrace it! The only non-Kara relationship that's kept my attention is Winn/Lyra. I think part of that is that they sprinkled it in sparingly, and part of it is that Jeremy Jordan sells the hell out of every scene he's in.

    I actually really appreciated that she didn't get defensive or make excuses: When she thought she was responsible, she owned up to the possibility that she was at fault and stepped aside until the truth could be determined. It's something that Lex never would have done, which makes her a bit more interesting than Lex.

    I do think her mopes were just a plot device to throw Kara and Sam together, so we can casually learn that, hmmm, they're both having nightmares that are keeping them up at night.

    I continue to be fascinating by origin story as horror movie, when it comes to Sam. "Smallville" kind of flirted with this at times, where the emergence of Clark's powers was unpredictable, unexpected, and not without problems.

    My theory for where a couple of these storylines are headed:
    My guess is that when Reign is defeated at the end of the season, Sam (or whatever's left of her) will be either dead or long-term incapacitated.

    Ruby will turn out to be Sam's biological daughter, and her own superpowers will start emerging. Alex ends up adopting her, drawing on what she learned being Kara's big sister, and ends up being her adoptive mother the way that her mother Eliza was for Kara.
     
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  11. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Good points as always, Adam, and your forecast about possible plotlines to come makes a lot of sense.
     
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  12. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    It was a good episode that was dragged down a bit by the Alex/Maggie drama. Why does every cast change have to be mined for maximum drama? We're all reasonably sure Maggie will be back in some fashion. Why couldn't they write her off for a few months by saying she got a really cool fellowship offer somewhere? I just don't buy Alex as this very emotional person - it's not consistent with her role as the No. 2 person in a major government agency.
     
  13. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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  14. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    With "Supergirl" this time a full participant in the four-way crossover "Crisis on Earth-X", they needed to build in an episode that was light on the main cast members while they were shooting material for episodes of three other series.

    Doing basically the Supergirl version of "Smallville" was a great way to do that without sidelining our main characters. It was a risk building an entire episode around two guest stars, but I thought it really paid off.

    Malina Weissman (now one of the stars of Netflix's "Series of Unfortunate Events") was an adorable 12-year-old Kara, but she was never really plausible as a younger Melissa Benoist -- she was a brunette, with a very different face. Other than her dimpled chin, Izabela Vidovic was eerily believable as a 15-year-old Kara. When the camera caught her just right, and especially when she had the glasses on, you'd swear that you were looking at Benoist as a teenager.

    The girl who played young Alex in the first two seasons was better cast than Weissman, but Olivia Nikkanen here is even better. There were a number of moments in this episode where the body language or intonation mirrored Chyler Leigh's performance choices.

    It also helps that, unlike "Smallville" where you had actors in their late twenties playing high school freshmen, here you have teenagers playing teenagers. It led the episode a more naturalistic feel.

    One of the things this show does well is portray the fact that Kara is a Kryptonian refugee on Earth, not American-raised child of Kryptonian birth parents. There were a number of great moments that captured that, especially because a couple years into her time with the Danvers family she was still learning how to assimilate. Advanced math and science are rudimentary to her, but history class is hard -- because she grew up learning the wrong history. The "Isaac Washington" bit was great, because it's exactly the kind of mistake an immigrant like her would make: she half-remembered the correct answer, but didn't have a lifetime of reverence of George Washington drilled into her to fill in the rest. To her, Washington is just another memorized name along with all of the others.

    Smartly, the real center of the episode was telling the origin story of Alex and Kara's sisterly bond. The show spent most of its second season with the various characters siloed in their individual storylines. This relationship was arguably the most important of the first season, and it's nice to see it get some attention again.

    It's always nice to get Helen Slater, the original Supergirl, back on this show.

    I like how Midvale provides that idyllic setting that Smallville provided for Clark, but in an entirely different way. Instead of flat vistas of endless cornfields, it's a slightly "Twin Peaks"-esque Pacific Northwest landscape of rugged mountains and Douglas firs.
     
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  15. 35 Nov 13, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
    Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    With all of the noisy squabbling in the first third of the episode both in present and past time, I was ready to completely check out of the episode, but as it ran, I got interested and was glad I watched the whole thing. It was nice to see when the sisters really began to bond. The death of the boy was really, really sad to me.
     
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  16. 36 Nov 14, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
    Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    That worked out way better than I anticipated, mostly because the actors were so good. Young Kara was good casting looks wise, but Young Alex was such a dead ringer it was distracting at first. "Is that CGI?" I wondered for a minute. When she first got out of bed and revealed her face, my jaw dropped a bit -- it was uncanny. I had to stop watching Riverdale for a variety of reasons, but top of the list was terrible acting that never improved over the course of the season, and that show has teenagers portrayed by adults. So to drop two young unknowns into what amounts to a pilot and expect them to carry an entire episode is almost foolish in its conception. But they were great. I wouldn't mind revisiting this time again. Hell, I wouldn't even mind a spinoff series. I was seriously impressed.

    BTW, is it possible to have a small town depicted on TV where one of the teachers isn't a pedophile and the top cop isn't corrupt and homicidal? To have those two shop worn tropes in one episode was overkill, especially considering the pedo teacher was just there to be a red herring. On the flip side, wasn't Kenny a voyeuristic creeper? And blackmailer? He seemed to get a lot of sympathy and affection even though his most prominent character trait was quite unsavory.
     
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  17. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Given that the CW Seed platform exists for digital offshoots, I'd love a "Kara and Alex's Midvale Mysteries" spinoff.
     
  18. 38 Nov 14, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
    Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan

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    This was my favorite episode of the season. Really well done IMO.

    So, are they basically connecting this with SMALLVILLE? The references to Chloe and her "wall of weird" seem to make that connection pretty clearly. I think the Chloe character was brought into the comics, right? So it could have been a refer no to the general comic mythology. But then was the "wall of weird" something that was ever referenced in the comics or is that unique to SMALLVILLE?

    It's been so long since I've seen SMALLVILLE that I can't remember if there were things that blatantly would not mesh with this continuity. I "feel" like there were plenty of things that wouldn't line up, but I can't remember the specifics. But this Chloe and her wall of weird reference really stood out.
     
  19. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    Sounds damn good to me.
     
  20. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    I enjoyed "Midvale." The young actresses were both terrific. They can do a lot with hair and makeup to make them look like their older counterparts, but the acting matched as well. Hope to see more of these two. (Surprised to learn Kara and Alex were in the same grade, and that Kara was only 15 ten years ago.)
     

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