By Josh Melo
‘Supergirl’ Review – S1 Ep.12 (Bizarro)
Childish Things and A Strange Visitor From Another Planet embodied everything that Supergirl should be; a character driven, action packed look into a rookie hero’s life and on a lesser level, a feminist showcase for strong, independent women. Bizarro puts the emphasis on mundane relationship drama while attempting to distract you with poorly choreographed wire fights and grunting women.
Ever since the mid-season premiere Supergirl has been excellent. They’ve executed the character drama with the utmost precision. The villains they’ve introduced have been layered and badass. And, for the most part, the love triangle between Winn, Kara and Jimmy was nowhere to be found. Bizarro marks a return to the soapier aspects of the show and a large decline in the effects department. But before we delve into those issues, let’s talk about the massive plot holes.
At the tail end of last week’s episode fans were treated with our first glimpse of Bizarro Supergirl. It was fairly obvious that Maxwell Lord had a hand in this development, so it stood to reason that we would get a lot of information as to why he has been such a thorn in Supergirl’s side. Alas, it was not meant to be. Instead of coherent reasons for Lord’s negative obsession with Kara, we learn that he has no reason for doing anything. He’s simply racist against aliens (alienist?). In an episode primed to turn Lord into a compelling villain, he devolves into a nefarious mustache twirler. To make matters even worse, it turns out that Lord has secretly been snatching up Jane Does and experimenting on them in the hopes that he can create the perfect Supergirl clone. Only, Maxwell Lord has been doing this for the past two years. Kara has only been in the super hero business for a few months. Unless Lord has some sort of telepathy or has an alien insider, he’s been moonlighting as a serial kidnapper of hot blondes.
We’re 12 episodes into the season and we haven’t gotten a single bit of background information on Maxwell Lord. If you’re going to stage him as the main antagonist, which at this point he clearly is, you have to give him some type of motivation beyond “I’m rich and bored so I’m going to ruin Supergirl’s life”.
The one saving grace on the bad guy front this week was from Bizarro herself. She wasn’t much more than a less intelligent clone but it was interesting to see her have an inner back and forth over what Lord was telling her and what she was experiencing in the real world. But once you move past the attempt at personifying Bizarro, all your left with is a string of crappy wire fights. It’s unfair to compare every action scene going forward to the out of this world encounter from last week, but to go from an epic, alien, action orgy to a spat between sorority sisters is a hard change to swallow.
And then there’s the issue of the poorly handled relationship drama. I know I come down on the show for this often, but if a relationship is handled well (the early days of Patty/Barry on The Flash) I have no issues with it. What I do find irritating is the constant flip-flopping between potential love interests. Winn’s attempt at winning Kara’s heart was expertly written and landed Winn in a very interesting place outside of Kara’s circle of friends. To undermine the resolve he showed a couple of weeks ago, he is now talking to Kara like the good old days (perhaps with less of a smile). Jimmy Olsen was enjoying a nice, drama free existence with Lucy Lane off screen, which works for me (the less chaos in Kara’s love life and the show the better). Only, now he has suddenly head over heels for her again, even confessing his love to her mutilated doppelgänger. And Adam, poor Adam; he finally smooth’s things over with his mother and falls for the angel that acted as intermediary… Only to be dumped the next episode.
Kara and Adam share a single kiss before she decides to dump his guest-starring ass.
My advice, and I’ve said this before, is to pick one guy and stick with it. Or don’t give her a love interest at all. In a show focused on alien invasions and psychotic tech billionaires, the last thing the show needs is forced romance.
Having said all of that, there were a couple of things I liked about the episode (surprise!). Chyler Leigh and Melissa Benoist have always had great chemistry together and that shines through here. Alex choosing to potentially compromise the location of the DEO in order to capture Lord was a bold move and once again proved that, even without super powers Alex is a kick ass chick. I also hate Maxwell Lord so to see him in prison is always a treat.
The tease for next week also falls in the positive category. Hinting at a beloved Superman storyline, Supergirl could easily see its way back into my good books.
Overall, Bizarro gets a 6/10.