With “Falling,” Supergirl Rises

Supergirl is becoming a heartless person following an accidental exposure to red kryptonite and, as she becomes more and more dangerous, she becomes a threat to National City and the DEO has no choice but to take her out.

All right, I’ve never written a review of Supergirl.  It wasn’t out of hatred, but rather out of indifference… it’s not a bad show.  It’s not a great show.  It’s just… a show that I happen to watch and never cared enough to write my feelings about it.  Supergirl was always that “Ho-hum, ain’t that nice?” hour of television I would watch mostly out of obligation because my youngest daughter loves it and wants me to watch it with her and whatever my baby wants, my baby gets!

What’s wrong with Supergirl?  Well, too many characters, two separate and incompatible environments, too many silly aliens of the week, and too many love stories.  All annoyances that I just can’t get over.

Folks, when I say that “Falling” is the best episode of the season, I don’t just mean that it’s the best episode of Supergirl, I mean it’s the best episode out of all of the superhero shows on television right now.  The Flash is amazing, Arrow is wonderful, Legends of Tomorrow and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are… well…   less so.   But not a one of them can hold a candle to what Supergirl did this week.  This episode wasn’t just outstanding, it was laudable.  In just one episode, it managed to overcome so many of the unnecessary and silly plot contrivances that hold it back and told not only a great story, but an epic story full of action, amazing performances, and consequences… so many consequences that, for the first time since it started, I’m really looking forward to next week’s episode more than anything else on television.

Melissa Benoist was excellent as the tainted Supergirl.  More often than not, I think that Supergirl needs an open-handed slap across the face for her passive-aggressive nature (that whole J’onn killing Astra thing pops into mind), but to see Benoist drop Supergirl into so much brindled darkness was intense.  More often than not, red kryptonite is used as a silly plot devise and comic relief so, to see it used here to such an extreme was rather sobering.   Benoist sold every glorious moment of it from her slow de-evolution to evil Kara, her reign as Dark Supergirl, and her heartbreaking remorse at the end.

So much of this episode was on point.  For once, the DEO and CatCo stories helped each other instead of just passing the plot back and forth like a game of hot potato.  The large cast of characters all not only contributed to the story, but helped propel it to new heights.  Can I also say how happy I am that the stupid “competing assistants” story at CatCo looks like its finally over?

What’s made “Falling” even more rewarding is that everything isn’t wrapped up and okay at the end.  There’s going to be fallout and a price to pay and Supergirl isn’t the only one who’s going to be paying it.  Hank/J’onn has been exposed and now the whole DEO is in jeopardy.  Supergirl has lost the trust of the city after going all Man of Steel on it in her fight with Martian Manhunter and her reputation may never recover.  What’s more, the emotional damage is deep.  See, writers, this is how you write a strong female character… not doe-eyed and following a man around all day!

“Falling” was an engaging story of darkness and collateral damage.  It’s a boulder dropped in a pond and I can see the ripples are going to be disrupting the surface for quite a long time.

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