Episode Review: Smallville : "Supergirl" (Season 10, Episode 3)

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Tonight- The Maid of Might shows up in Metropolis to take on a mission from Jor-El, Clark learns to fall, and Glorious Godfrey makes an appearance.

Darkseid makes his first beachhead in his conquest of Earth…. so, how'd he do?

Recap

Three weeks ago, Darkseid came through the portal that Clark opened to send the Kandorians to a new Krypton. He found a host in a small time radio host and amplified his abilities and caused him to be an overnight sensation. Gordon Godfrey becomes the leading voice in a rising anti-vigilante movement.

During a rally, a badly CGI'd billboard starts to fall on the crowd…. a red and blue streak flies in and saves the crowd. The figure pauses a bit- it's Kara Zor-El, Clark's cousin, dressed in her classic Supergirl costume. Well, close, anyway. No cape, no 'S', but other than that, Supergirl.

Clark quickly tracks her down at a photoshoot. (Photoshoot? Kara has a publicist?) She's determined to get her image out, to counter the anti-hero movement. This is under directive from Jor-El, who has disowned Kal-El. She has taken his place as protector of Earth because Daddy Dearest has lost faith in him. She pointedly tells him that he can't face the coming Darkness ( I swear, they pronounce it with a capital 'D') because he doesn't even have a grip on his own powers. Fergoo'ness sakes, he can't even fly! Clark speechifies Kara and convinces her to tutor him in flying.

They run out to the Kent Farm, where Clark starts to fly by listening to a butterfly's heartbeat. (Well, I guess it beats Connor MacLeod listening for the stag's heartbeat…) He flies, loses confidence and plummets. Kara's admits that it's a start, but she doesn't need a rookie on her quest to stop the Darkness.

Now, I realize that "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" was as much a parody as anything, but really, The Darkness was not that bad!

Anywho… as I didn't mention above, Lois is back in Metropolis, having had Cat exiled to Alaska. She finds out that Godfrey has gotten evidence that Ollie is Green Arrow and is going to release it in less than a day. She goes to Ollie and tries to convince him to do something, but Oliver won't. Since Chloe split, his heart isn't in keeping secrets anymore. Lois decides that she will protect him if he won't do it himself. She goes undercover with two purposes: One, determine where Godfrey has the information kept; Two, somehow discredit Godfrey.

Well, item one is easy. Posing as a chaufferette, she finds that he has it on him, in a USB drive. Item two is slightly tougher- she poses as a dominatrix to get scandalous photos of him in an S&M club. (DeSaad's. For those familiar with the whole Darkseid/New Gods mythology, it was a funny little easter egg, and somewhat of a bad inverse pun). This backfires somewhat, as the Darkness that possessed Godfrey doesn't care about scandal, it's more concerned with conquest through the weakness of mankind than smutty pics in a tabloid.

Lois has underestimated the enemy.

Clark and Kara show up at the club, looking for Lois. Clark finds Godfrey and the Darkness starts looking at Clark's soul, sees the doubt, the conflict, the hate. Right before Dark(ness)side tries to jump from Godfrey's body to Clarks, Kara jumps in and deflects the dark cloud with her bracelet. (Eyebrow raised. This is Kara, not Diana….)

Kara then saves Lois while Clark hides in the shadows, proving Jor-El's point.

Lois heads back and gives Oliver the USB drive. He thanks her, and then starts a press conference where he states, for the record: "I am Iron M…. I mean, Green Arrow". He does this to shine light on superheroes, to show that they are not vigilantes hiding in the darkness.

Clark finds Kara, outside with a wig and glasses to disguise herself. She tells Clark that the fight against the Darkness isn't his fight- to leave it to her.

Observations

Wow. Pretty impressive. We had some Kryptonian superheroics, some flight lessons and some arc progression.

First- I'm glad to see Kara back. She's a great Uber… Power… something… girl. I'm very glad that all the dancing around the Superman conventions and tropes is about over. It's getting too cute by half.

Second- Flight. Of course, it couldn't be that easy. But there's progress.

Third (and most importantly)- Kara is on the right path- she's putting a bright public face on superheroes in the Smallville universe. Oliver is stepping down that path as well. This brings up what is probably the central philosophical underpinning of this season: Heroes don't skulk in the darkness (or The Darkness), they step out into the light and bring hope.

And that's the whole point of Superman- to bring hope and to shine light. Kara gets it. Ollie gets it. Eventually, Clark will get it, and that's what this show is about. Now that I see where they are going with Darkseid, I like it. I think that this is just the challenge to make Clark finally step up and out of the shadows.

Up there, a few paragraphs up, I wrote:"Kara then saves Lois while Clark hides in the shadows," This is the central challenge in Clark's life at this point. He will need to become Superman to overcome it.

Will Conservatives like it?

Well…. they might get annoyed at the portrayal of Godfrey as a Glen Beck-ish radio host, but if you'll recall, in the Smallville Universe, Black Canary is also a conservative talk-show host, so there's a bit of balance.

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