The CW‘s “Supergirl” is back and their universe is changing incredibly quickly. Lana (Katie McGrath) now knows Kara (Melissa Benoist) is Supergirl, and Kara is holding on to a lot of guilt for not having told her yet. Brainy (Jesse Rath) and Nia (Nicole Maines) are dating. . . and so are Alex and Kelly (Azie Tesfai). Oh, and perhaps most importantly, in this episode we get to see Supergirl’s new suit. Let’s talk about “Event Horizon.”
We’ve already been told this season is going to deal a lot with the media and with technology. Enter Andrea Rojas (Julie Gonzalo), a tech billionaire who buys CATCO Worldwide Media and who tells the staff in a new meeting that “clicks are everything.”
The show takes several broadsides over the course of the episode at media companies who value clickbait over journalism, especially using the foil of (drumroll please) Kara won the Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on Lex Luthor and the (former) president colluding with Kasnia! (This entire subplot is perhaps the most fantastical piece of this show. We can easily imagine flying Kryptonians, but a president being held accountable for illegal actions? A media entity being responsible in its duties as The Fourth Estate? That seems unlikely.)
The most interesting part of this dynamic, though, is that Thoroughly Millennial Millie Kara Danvers is set up for some spectacular “get off my lawn” moments, decrying that people spend too much time on their phones and don’t care about things like voting or reading real news any more.
But snuck into the dialogue, and some great confrontations with a new star reporter William Day (Staz Nair) are some discussions about inherent bias and ethics in journalism. Like with all things, our girl Kara stands as a scion of truth and idealism. It’s really refreshing, although, as stated previously, the most unbelievable thing in the series.
This plays off extremely well against the intense personal turmoil Kara is having over not telling her best friend her giant secret. Maybe it was just because I’d just watched Batwoman before. Maybe it was because the show opens with a scene where Lena punches Supergirl in the face (as seen in the trailers). But this episode felt incredibly tense and kept ratcheting up the pressure until a couple of scenes late in the episode release some of it.
And yes, there’s a supposed main plotline in this episode about a new villain named Midnight (Jennifer Cheon Garcia) but the real tension of the show comes from the personal drama. The episode also moves the storyline forward about the appearance of J’onn J’onzz’s (David Harewood) long lost Martian brother. But for the most part, all of the tension of the episode is personal, not cosmic, not superheroic. It’s a nice touch.
But all that tension has to be cut, and cut it is by some fantastic little vignettes. Supergirl fights a T-Rex, with the help of a friendly Supergirl museum exhibit tour guide (Kate Micucci). Everything is better with Kate Micucci. I would watch a spinoff of her as a museum tour guide. Kate Micucci is: Docent at Large. Have her join the Legends of Tomorrow. All I’m saying is I hope this isn’t a one-off cameo. It seems like you wouldn’t cast Micucci in such a small role unless you had plans for her.
And then there’s the new outfit. It’s spectacular. And Kara’s reaction to it is priceless. We are, however, going to continue to be disappointed with it, especially if it is a high tech, nanotechnology fiber suit designed by Brainy that can appear and disappear at will, if it doesn’t have pockets. It’s a simple request and it’s not clear why given all the tech in the suit we can’t take that step. #GiveSupergirlPockets
The other most important thing going on here is what’s happening to Lena. She’s isolating herself, working on a new project. It’s an AI that talks to her, like a cross between Siri and Scarlett Joahnnson in Her. She’s retreating into virtual reality simulations where she fights Supergirl to purge all of her negative feelings towards Kara. . . so she can play nice with her in private?
It’s unclear what Lena’s long game is here for the season, but they’re setting up some important things. She makes some key decisions in the episode and then explains them to her Evil Siri (no spoilers) late in the third act, and we’re left salivating over what will come next.
Speaking of what comes next, there are also some fateful decisions for James Olson (Mehcad Brooks). While it was announced in July he’d be leaving the show, we’d been left wondering how he’d be written off. We start to get the first hints here. But James gets a lot to do here, both as the Editor of Catco and a scion of journalistic integrity in his own right, and as Guardian.
I, of course, can’t wait. This is a great new episode for the show to return to. And lined up back-to-back with Batwoman, Sundays are now appointment television for me on the CW. Oh, and the final scene of the episode? Again, no spoilers, but we see a familiar face and something unexpected happens to them. Can’t wait.