Supergirl Review – S01 E03 – Fight or Flight

After watching “Fight or Flight” I called the people up at Nerdopotamus and asked if I should continue reviewing Supergirl. You can’t blame me since each episode feels exactly the same and the show is already falling into the trap most super hero shows fall into.

Unfortunately for myself, I’m a big enough fan of the character that I’ll give the show a few more chances before I totally abandon it.

I hope it doesn’t get to that point.


Pictured: Melissa Benoist Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Here’s a quick recap. Cat gets her interview with Supergirl. Supergirl blurts out that she’s Superman’s cousin and that makes headlines everywhere. Kara needs to stop “accidentally” revealing that information or it’ll bite her on the butt. We’re entering Amazing Spider-Man territory again, down to things feeling like uncomfortably crafted music videos. The amount of mismatched soft pop gushing from my speakers in this episode was headache inducing.

Later, a villain (of the week) called Reactron attacks. His goal is to defeat Supergirl in deadly combat to take something away from his enemy, Superman. Supergirl wins the first round, but of course, the villain of the week needed to return, as all weekly villains must. We don’t care about Reactron and his goals because he’s introduced with the obvious intention of being tossed away. Superman couldn’t beat him, as we’re told, and that’s the only real takeaway.

Reactron captures “genius” Maxwell Lord and demands he fix his suit from the tussle with Supergirl. Supergirl and her super team discover how Reactron came to be and what his weakness is. Remove the source of his energy and they win. Pretty simple stuff.

Supergirl saves Maxwell, who attends a party Cat throws, where Reactron attacks again. Before the attack, Cat makes some moves on Maxwell. Big whoop!

Supergirl stops the attack with some rough fighting and with the help of James who runs interference.

Everything is well written and “formulaic,” a word I don’t think should have negative connotation, but in this case certainly does since the formula is deferring success and hasn’t changed for several episodes now. Part of the formula is having the show constantly reminding the audience Supergirl is indeed a girl. Boy, that’s annoying!

Kara’s two best friends fawn over her while she’s obviously lusting over just one of them – James. When she finally musters up the courage to talk to him, Lucy Lane makes an appearance begging James for a second chance at their relationship. They were almost married once.

Pictured left to right: Mehcad Brooks and Jenna Dewan-Tatum Photo: Trae Patton/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I can’t hate the episode even though it doesn’t trust the audience. It’s shot well, the writing isn’t disgusting, and the arcs are making sense. It’s a continuous disservice insulting the combined intellect of audiences by still criticizing their ability to understand gender. I get that we’re living in a world where gender fluidity is confusing to a vocal minority, but that isn’t a fair reason to torture the hefty majority of people who are actively watching Supergirl.

If I had to sum up the episode to someone in regular conversation, I’d simply say “This week’s episode was ‘villain of the week’ meets Superman Jr.”

The final shot contains Kara and Clark having their first on-screen dialogue that takes place through text messaging. Clark explains that Kara is doing things he could never do, including taking out Reactron. The fan nod made me half grin, but quickly faded after once again realizing Supergirl relies too much on a character that hasn’t even had a proper introduction in the show. The series seemingly wants to assure its viewers that it’s not about Superman, but unwittingly proves otherwise.


The great cast, professional writing, and overall solid filmmaking made the episode watchable. Stay to the end and watch a weirdly composed online conversation between Kara and Clark Kent. That was okay, I guess. Fan service, am I right?


Daniel Mihailescu