"My name is Kara Zor-El..."
...and Melissa Benoist is the Supergirl and the heroine we've all been waiting for. I've said it before and I'll say it again, she was born to play this character, and I'm so very glad that her time has come.
Supergirl had a pilot that was not only strong, but also compelling, filled with the type of comic action that everyone loves and most of all, it was really, really well done. Produced by Greg Berlanti, -the mastermind behind Arrow and The Flash- and created by Ali Adler, whom I've been a fan of since Chuck, Supergirl's pilot episode is filled with charming moments and life-changing choices. The Kryptonian's world has always been captivating, and I honestly hope that I'm not wrong when I assume that the main villain being set up for Kara is surely to bring some really intense moments to the show.
Besides the developing storyline, what makes Supergirl as good of a show as it's shaping up to be is Kara Zor-El. She is the kind of female hero that's going to turn out to be a great role model for women everywhere. Not only is she quirky and smart, but Kara is also the kind of everyday girl that enjoys dating, dressing up and having fun; which are qualities that are rarely found in a female lead, especially one as strong as Kara. It's a refreshing change, that's for sure.
Another great thing about this pilot episode is all the amazing secondary characters this show already has. From Laura Benanti playing Alura and stealing the opening scene and the one at the end of the episode; to Chyler, who plays Alex, being as badass as she's always been. To Mehcad being a walking charm and Jeremy Jordan playing the one "nice" guy that everyone already dislikes. All these characters are so different and so complex, I'm seriously looking forward to see how they develop throughout the season.
Without a doubt, my rating for this pilot is a solid A+.
Make sure to watch the episode and in case that you're not able to, you can read my recap below. Enjoy!
The episode starts with Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) narrating the story of how her cousin Kal-El (aka Superman) was sent to Earth by his parents in a last attempt to protect the Kryptonian race from absolute extinction, and how her own parents sent her to Earth as well, in order to protect Kal, because he was just a baby when Kara was 13 years old. Before departing, Kara's mom, Alura Zor-El (Laura Benanti) tells her about the Earth's Yellow Sun and how, because of it, she'll have more power than anyone else in that galaxy, the kind of power that she can use to be extraordinary.
However, Krypton's destruction sends Kara's ship off course and into the Phantom Zone, a place where time doesn't pass. Kara sleeps there for 24 years before crash-landing on Earth. Upon her arrival, Kal was there waiting for her and Kara discovered that she was still the same teenager that left Krypton so many years before, but that her cousin was all grown-up and had already revealed himself to a world that knew him as their hero, as Superman.
Wanting Kara to have a safe childhood, Kal places her with an adoptive family -the Danvers- two scientists who had helped him understand his powers. But regardless of being taken care of, Kara still feels lost because Kal didn't need to be protected and therefore, she didn't have a mission anymore.
Then time jumps to an already grown-up Kara, who is working as an assistant because she decided to fit in, instead of using her powers, since she believes the Earth doesn't need another superhero. The sequence displays Kara being in a hurry; she's quirky and polite but she's also clearly overwhelmed with shores, since she works for Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), the most powerful woman in National City and the owner of Catco Worldwide Media, an online and print empire.
As Kara walks into the building, she meets Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan), an IT technician that works at Catco and that also happens to be her best friend. He tells Kara about an armed car robbery incident that happened the night before and that it might be alien-related because the alleged suspect had horns. Kara just laughs and tells him that aliens don't exists. Winn then asks Kara if she wants to go watch a movie with him, but she denies, not realizing that he's asking her out and instead telling him that she's going on a date with a guy she met online.
Just then, Kara's boss walks into the building. Cat Grant is rude, arrogant and disrespectful. Remember Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada? Yeah, exactly like that. Inside her office, Cat tells Kara that she needs to prepare termination letters because their publication isn't selling much. Unlike Metropolis, they don't have a superhero that makes the cover all the time. Kara then goes meet the new Art Director, Jimmy Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) who turns out to be the same photographer from Metropolis' Daily Planet that's friends with Superman. Kara is immediately smitten with him, while Jimmy remarks that Kara looks a little bit like Superman.
Later that day, Kara opens the door of her apartment just to greet Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh), who is the Danvers' older kid and Kara's big sister. Alex is there to help her sister on her date before she leaves for an important conference, and while she looks for outfits, Kara complains that she's tired of being normal because she thought that by now, she would be making a difference. She knows that she has the same powers as Superman and she's frustrated because she just wants to help people. Alex convinces her that she can help people by picking something to wear so she can get to her conference on time and Kara relents.
On her date, the guy leaves Kara alone at the bar and ditches her; and that is when Kara hears on the news that Alex's plane is having engine failure and that the pilot is circling the city to try and avoid crashing. Kara uses her super sight to confirm that Alex is actually on the flight to Geneva. When she sees her sister, Kara flies towards the plane and tries to carefully put the plane down. After some struggle, Kara successfully manages to save everyone. And just like it happened with her cousin Kal-El (Superman), the world realizes for the first time that Supergirl exists, right after she saves a plane from crashing badly.
*cue super-mega-awesome Supergirl logo*
Kara is back at her apartment watching the news regarding the almost-plane-crash when Alex walks in. Kara starts rambling about how great it felt to save everyone and to fly again, when Alex confronts her. She's upset because Kara exposed herself to the world, meaning that she could be in danger, while Kara is upset that Alex doesn't understand that she didn't come to Earth just to be an assistant.
The next day at Catco, Cat and her team reunite in order to try and figure out who the mystery hero is. Jimmy is sure that if this new female hero is anything like Superman, she'll be back to save more lives as soon as she's needed. Kara then meets Winn at the rooftop and she tries to tell him that she's Supergirl, but Winn mistakes her words and thinks she's just coming out to him since he wrongly believes that's the reason why Kara won't date him. She only manages to convince Winn after jumping off the rooftop.
Across town, the same guy involved in the armed car robbery, turns out to be an actual alien and even more so, to have knowledge of Kara's true origin. He's ordered to eliminate all the agents of the Department of Extra-Normal Operations as well as Kara before the General arrives. The man is only happy to comply, since killing off Alura's daughter should be more than enough revenge for what she's done to them.
Back to Kara and Winn, the duo is working on Kara's new costume because while Winn hacks the NCPD's frequency to find out where the crimes are happening, he sends Kara to stop a car chase; so she does, but not before crashing while flying, because she lacks a cape that helps with the aerodynamics. After that, Kara stops a bank robbery, which turns out to be really easy because she's actually bulletproof, just like her cousin. This leads her to add the "S" symbol to her costume since it's her family's coat of arms, the House of El. Kara then sets off to help with a building that's on fire when she's suddenly shot with kryptonite, which neutralizes her and makes her pass out.
Kara wakes up in a D.E.O. facility, where Hank Henshaw (David Harewood), the Head of the Department of Extra-Normal Operations introduces himself and also reveals that Alex Danvers is an agent that works for the organization. He explains that their mission is to monitor extraterrestrial activities, visitors or possible invasions and that the D.E.O. was founded right after Kal first showed up. Hank then tells Kara that her pod wasn't the only thing that made it out of the Phantom Zone because along with her, Fort Rozz, ond of Krypton's maximum security prison, also crashed on Earth; therefore releasing some of the worst criminals of the galaxy on their planet. Kara offers her help to catch them but Hank outright refuses, since he thinks Kara will do more damage than actual good. Alex tries to explain herself to Kara but she won't listen because she's mad at Alex for lying to her for years and because she thinks that her older sister was recruited by the D.E.O only because she's an alien.
The next morning, Kara walks into Catco just to realize that Cat has named the mystery hero: Supergirl. Kara is angry because she thinks the name will be demeaning all she does, but Cat tells her that there's nothing wrong with the name, since a girl can be powerful, smart, beautiful and excellent. Right then, Cat is about to fire Kara when Jimmy walks in and tells their boss that it was thanks to Kara that they managed to finally capture a clean photograph of Supergirl in action; which makes Cat tell Kara that she gets to stay.
It is then that Vartox, one of the convicts that escaped from Fort Rozz and the one tasked to eliminate Kara, makes contact with her, using a frequency that no human can hear. He tells her that, unless she comes face him, he'll start hurting innocent people. Which of course makes Kara suit up and go meet Vartox without a second thought. Since Kara doesn't really know how to fight and Vartox is an experienced criminal, he quickly beats her. But before he can deliver the final blow, Alex and the D.E.O. show up, saving Kara and sending Vartox on the run.
Back at the D.E.O. base, Kara asks Alexa about her real mom, Alura, to which Alex replies that she was aware of Alura's position regarding Fort Rozz and that knowing such information was the reason why she wanted Kara to remain hidden. Kara tells her that maybe everyone is right, that she isn't cut out to be a hero, and walks away from the base.
Alex then shows up at Kara's apartment, where she opens up about what it felt to grow up with her and then tells her that the world needs her to fly. Kara is still doubtful, so Alex shows her a message that Alura left Kara and that Hank and his team were able to recover from the pod. In the message, Alura encourages Kara to be true to herself, and the words are so powerful that Kara finds the strength within her to go fight Vartox once again. With Alex's help, Kara manages to convince Hank that she can go fight Vartox and he relents, telling her that she better win.
Supergirl beats Vartox by using Alex's scientific knowledge and her super heat vision, but before he can be apprehended, the convict kills himself. Kara stands victorious, while Alex learns from Hank that even though she entered the program because of her relationship with Kara, she stayed because of her own talent.
The next day, back at Catco, Kara learns from Jimmy that he knew the truth all along, and that he was sent to National City by Kal-El, who told him to keep an eye out for Kara. He tells Kara that her cousin is really proud of her, and he then gives her the blanket in which Kal-El came to Earth wrapped in, because the material will make up for a cape that cannot be torn. Jimmy then asks Kara whether she has a city to save, and beaming, Kara flies up, up and away.
It's revealed at the end of the episode that the General is in fact Alura's twin sister, who was locked up in Fort Rozz and now plans to conquer Earth, giving the order to kill Kara Zor-El, her own niece, just because she won't let anything stand in her way.
I hope to see you guys back here next week for what I'm sure will be yet another incredible episode!