Supergirl S3x02 – TRIGGERS

With all the changes hitting her job at CatCo, like her best friend now her boss, Kara Danvers is still dealing with the fallout of the season 2 finale. When a psychic villain comes to town who can manipulate people’s fears, Supergirl will need to face down her demons to come out victorious.

Previously, on SUPERGIRL

After what I thought was a fairly lackluster season premiere, the third season’s second episode is, unfortunately, more of the same from last week. The series is establishing the new status quo in National City, and putting the pieces on the board is taking a bit longer than I expected.

This week, we get Lena Luthor taking over CatCo and getting acquainted with the staff and the ins and outs of running a huge media conglomerate. She spends the episode touring the offices, meeting with the various departments and opening up Cat Grant’s elevator to anyone who needs to use it. The one thing she didn’t bother with was liaise with James Olsen, who’s run the company in Cat’s absence. In the real world, that probably wouldn’t bode well for Olsen’s future with the company. But since it’s a CW show, it probably means Olsen and Luthor will be dating by the end of the season.

Other than castrating Olsen, Lena also offers a stern warning to Kara, who is ditching work to perform her duties as Supergirl. When Kara shakes off talking about her personal problems with Lena at work, Lena goes into boss mode and chastises Kara for her unprofessional behavior. I’m not sure if this was meant to establish Lena’s dark side, but I actually thought it made her more likable. Maybe that’s just me.

Lena also officially passes off her leadership of L-Corp to run CatCo full-time, in what should be one of the more baffling moves on the show, but in reality I doubt it cracks the top 10… The new head of L-Corp is Samantha Arias (Odette Annable), who we met last week. Arias spends the episode dealing with her daughter, Ruby, who thinks her mom has superpowers after last week’s display at the waterfront.

But the main event this week is Supergirl’s battle with the villainous Psi, a psychic who preys on peoples’ fears to get what she wants. Her first two confrontations with Kara send the Girl of Steel into more visions of her mother on Krypton and sending Mon-El away in the pod. The emotions the encounters bring up are bad enough that it causes Kara to have a panic attack – which Alex notes she used to get as a kid.

While her first two encounters with Psi didn’t end very well, Supergirl was determined to get the better of the criminal. After a pep talk from her sister, Kara manages to put her fears behind her and stands up to Psi, much to the bad gal’s surprise. Even more to Psi’s surprise? The headbutt Supergirl uses to knock her out to end the threat.

I felt like last week’s episode was the weakest of the four ARROWVERSE shows, and the second effort of the season didn’t do much to improve on it. You can tell the show is building to something, especially with Samantha unsure of whether she actually has abilities and the Luthor-Olsen “feud,” but nothing has felt important.

The worst part is that too many members of the cast feel like complete afterthoughts, like Olsen and Winn Schott.

Supergirl really needs to bounce back soon, because it seems to be struggling to find its footing the third time around.

Show Notes

• The character Psi first appeared in comic books back in 1982’s Daring New Adventures of Supergirl 1. She’s had sporadic appearances over the last 35 years, including serving as a member of the SUICIDE SQUAD, where she was killed by the Rocket Red Brigade. Her most recent appearance was during the NEW 52’s FOREVER EVIL story.

• Kara’s sister, Alex, spends most of the episode arguing with her fiancee, Maggie Sawyer, over whether they should have a band or a DJ at their wedding. They also discover they have differing opinions on children, with Alex wanting kids and Maggie not. We’re building toward trouble…

• Executive Assistant extraordinaire Eve Tessmacher is back, now fetching coffee for Lena. She gets excited when she finds out she can use Cat Grant’s elevator. Hopefully, Lena belts out a MISS TESSMACHER! (a reference to 1978’s Superman The Movie) at some point this season. It would feel like a waste otherwise.

The Super Cinco

This season, we’re introducing weekly Power Rankings to the Arrowverse recaps. Each recap will include an individual ranking, with an overall ranking posted every weekend that shows air. You can check out WEEK ONE now.

This was a bit difficult to fill out, since it didn’t feel like anyone did much of anything, but a Super Cinco we must have:

  1. Lena Luthor – The new owner of CatCo is establishing her dominance, not just within the halls of her new media empire, but on the show overall. Between making James Olsen feel like he hadn’t been running the show and putting Kara in her place, Lena is quickly becoming the Alpha Female of National City. (Last week’s ranking – 1)
  2. Samantha Arias – National City’s newest character basically came out of nowhere and is now running L-Corp. That’s a pretty good week on it’s own. But she also spent the episode denying she had superpowers to her daughter, something she’s not so sure of. (Last week’s ranking – unranked)
  3. Hank Henshaw / Martian Manhunter – Used his Martian psychic powers to help take down Psi and had the last word in the band vs. DJ debate, coming down on the side of DJ. (Last week’s ranking – 5)
  4. Supergirl / Kara Danvers – Sure, she managed to take down Psi and once again fought back a few personal demons, but her overall demeanor is way too close to early ARROW Oliver Queen for my liking. I really hope things lighten up a bit soon. (Last week’s ranking – 4)
  5. James Olsen – In a week of weak individual performances, Olsen showing up to question why he was being left out of things gives him the final slot in the rankings this week. (Last week’s ranking – 3)

That’s all for this week. Be sure to check out Joe’s recaps of THE FLASHand LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, and then I’ll be back later this week with ARROW and this week’s ARROWVERSE POWER RANKINGS!