‘Supergirl’ Post-show Analysis: Season 1 Episode 16: ‘Falling’
Welcome to Supergirl Guys, our regular feature breaking down the highs and lows of CBS’s Supergirl TV show starring Melissa Benoist in the super smiling title role. Your travelling companions on this journey are Superman super-fan Chris Haley, and Flash recap veteran Dylan Todd.
This week, your good girl is gonna go bad as the world's happiest superhero gets a hit of meanifying Red Kryptonite, and "Hank Henshaw" is forced to take desperate action. "Falling” was directed by Larry Teng from a script by Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller.
Dylan: So this week, we got a dose of Red Kryptonite, a villain got vanquished, matters of the heart got all mushed up. J’onn got Manhunted, and Cat Grant got tossed off a building. As usual, we can get into the specifics of the episode in a bit, but what did you think if this Week’s Supergirl, Chris? (Spoilers: I kind of loved it.)
Chris: I really liked it. No one and no show is perfect, so I’m sure we’ll have some of our usual “pedantic killjoy” style complaints, but this was definitely a standout episode!
Dylan: Let’s start with the main plot: Kara got dosed with some Red Kryptonite! Which makes her overly honest but also mean. I have to admit that, for the most part, I loved Red Kryptonite Kara. I know we’re supposed to be scared of her as the episode wore on, but she was finally honest with some people. I mean, she obviously heel turns halfway through her conversation with Cat, but it was nice to see her strut into a room, manhandle James, and tell him exactly what his problem was. Agree? Disagree?
Chris: It hurt my stomach just reading that. There’s such a difference in being honest and being a dick. I mean, jokes aside, I know you know that, and yeah, it’s fun to see her give some jerks a little taste of their own medicine, but it’s not that she’s a doormat, it’s that she’s better than that.
It’s like that dude from The Walking Dead in Love, Actually. Sure, he’s being honest by telling his best friend’s wife that he thinks she’s perfect and loves her or whatever, but it’s a real dick move and not something he should have done. Kara using her new attitude (it was such a wasted opportunity that they couldn’t find a way to use the Misfits’ song in this episode) to one-up Siobhan is great, but saying hurtful thing to the people who care the most about her, even if there is a sliver of truth in them, isn’t cool.
Could she stand to be a little less pushed around by Cat? Sure. But getting frisky on James and then almost breaking his arm when he’s like, “This is weird and not like you” isn’t being honest. Telling Alex they aren’t really family because they’re not related by blood isn’t being honest. It’s being a jerk. And Supergirl isn’t a jerk. But, I mean, I’m the dude that would much rather see Superman and Batman high-fiving than fighting, so what do I know.
Dylan: Okay okay. I will grant that she took it a little too far, but Kara strutting out of that private elevator and telling Cat to deal_with_it.gif was some cool stuff.
The Red Kryptonite also ushers in the return of Maxwell Lord, who created the stuff to deal with Non and his army of super-dopes. Which makes a lot of sense, actually, even if his method of deployment for the Red K didn’t make any sense. I mean, if a bunch of aliens tore through my corporate HQ, I’d start looking for something to maybe level that playing field a little.
This version of Max Lord is kind of… decent? It’s weird to see him being walked back from conniving, manipulative supervillain, but I didn’t hate him here. I’m cheering on Red K Supergirl, I’m liking Max Lord… Chris, have I turned evil? (Except when he was all, “No no, Cat has nine lives,” after saying that Supergirl threw her off the balcony. That was seriously egregious.)
Chris: What do you mean “turned”? Nah, you’re right though, this was a Max that for as much as we can tell was being straightforward and honest and… maybe the Red K switched his personality too??? He seemed like he was being a decent guy this episode, and yeah, of course he’s going to try to come up with a way to stop the evil Kryptonians.
Did you have any doubt in your mind when we first saw the Red K that he was going to be the one behind it? Should we even bother talking about how this episode is so much the plot of Superman III that it almost goes past homage and into rip-off?
Dylan: Hey, if you’re gonna steal from the Superman movies, steal from the best one.
Chris: Hahaha, classic Dylhouse. I did keep track of every Superman III reference I noticed, so we’re all in good company here. Also, now that they’ve introduced Red K, hopefully it will lead to some even crazier stuff next season since historically in Superman comics Red K has a different effect on Kryptonians every time they encounter it.
Dylan: So the alien guy that Kara lets go in the first part of the episode, was he supposed to look like Robert Z’Dar?
Chris: Haha, oh man, that’s exactly what I thought! I was like, “Yeah, okay, this would explain so much about Robert Z’Dar… there’s just a whole planet of him out there somewhere.” I’m glad you thought that too.
Dylan: MST3K Bros for life. I wasn’t sure if it was an intentional homage, an accidental one or if that species was an already-established DCU one. Either way, dude was totally tubular.
Should we discuss Siobhan? We totally just saw her supervillain origin, I guess, right? Also, were they straight-up boning in that supply closet or am I just being a perv? Because the context seems to suggest that Siobhan and Winn were getting mad rutty in there.
Chris: Oh man, I would hope that they were just making out, but the way all involved reacted would certainly suggest that they were in the Bone Zone.
Dylan: Two out of two recappers agree: they were doin’ it in there. So Siobhan played herself by trying to scoop Cat Grant on the “Supergirl turned evil story,” and it totes blew up in her face because… well, because Red K Kara turned her in, but also because she’s a little weasel. Now, she’s being set up as Silver Banshee, but do you think there’s been enough for that reveal to “land”? Also, how sad for Winn are you right now? Poor dude finally finds a woman who will have relations with him at work and she got her butt fired.
Chris: The thing I don’t get is why the hell they were hooking up at work? I mean, they’re both single adults! Presumably with homes or apartments or somewhere better than work to do that kind of thing. I definitely felt bad for him, because that all makes it seem like it’s a work only thing. Which is pretty unprofessional for starters. I’m very curious to see how this is going to lead to her having magic screaming powers.
Dylan: I’m not going to touch that last phrase. This is a family site.
Chris: If you can think of a better way to describe Silver Banshee’s powers, I’d love to hear it.
Dylan: So WInn and Siobhan aren’t the only ones making a love connection. Seems that Senator Whatserface is also throwing major woo at Hank Henshaw. This is made even sweeter by the fact that she is straight-up racist against space aliens. As usual, J’onn/Hank is the best part of this episode, with him not only putting up with Supergirl’s super-‘tude, but then turning around and giving up his secret identity to stop her when she starts wrecking National City. How’d you like the Martian Manhunter stuff this week, Chris?
Chris: Like you said, he’s the best. I’m not sure why he had to turn into Martian Manhunter, much less let everyone see him do it, to momentarily stop Kara so Alex could shoot her with the deus ex machina gun, but it was fun getting to see him really have it out with her. I hope he shows up somewhere in the background of Batman v Superman.
I was also puzzled as to why the DEO agents just immediately arrested him even though he was clearly on their side. Because he looks weird? If he can look like anyone and still use his powers (like he did when he masqueraded as Supergirl to trick Cat), why not just look like a normal guy that has powers?
I know that the answer to so many of the questions that bug us about this show is “because plot”, but I wish that wasn’t the case. You know what I like, dude? I like when I watch something and I don’t feel like I could have improved on it. I don’t think I’m a genius or a great writer or anything, but if your show is making me ask simple questions that there are no good answers for, then it bums me out.
Dylan: I can No Prize it away by saying that he acted in the heat of the moment and by the time he realized that he’d gone all green, it was too late. Or, that he weighed the consequences and still deemed it worth it in order to help take Supergirl down. And it’s not surprising that the secret government agency whose job it is to round up aliens who are infiltrating Earth would immediately lock up their director who has successfully infiltrated a secret government agency for literal decades.
And I don’t doubt that we’ll see more of him through the series. It’s just a bummer that Senator Whatserface, who was all, “I don’t trust aliens,” now has a pretty great reason to continue in that mindset.
Chris: That’s a good enough explanation, I suppose. When Senator Whatserface said, “Everything you said to me was a lie” to Hank/J’onn, I was like, “Come on, lady. That’s a little hyperbolic. I know the guy you had a crush on is 8 feet tall and green, but that doesn’t make him a compulsive liar.”
I know why they don’t and can’t, but since they mentioned him again, doesn’t this seem like when it might finally be a good time to call in Superman?
Dylan: Chris, there’s no easy way to tell you this, but: Superman died. He’s dead. I have the comic. It came with an armband and everything.
Chris: That’s not true. That’s impossible! Speaking of Superman, he’s super, and Kara is super and this episode had my favorite moment of the series so far. I bet you can guess what it was.
Dylan: Was it when the cop showed up to stop Kara after she’d all Astra-ed herself out and he starts shooting her like he has no idea who Supergirl is or what her deal is?
Chris: … would you like to take another guess?
Dylan: Was it when Kara completed her turn to the Dark Side by… burning her wardrobe?! (Seriously I have no idea what it might but I know when you say it, I’m gonna smack myself on the head.) Tell me.
Chris: It was when the little girl was dressed up like Supergirl and getting picked on, and Supergirl swooped in and told her she thought she looked pretty awesome. By your standards, I guess it wasn’t a good thing to do though, since she was technically lying when she said she was friends with that little girl she’d never met.
Dylan: Oh man! I totally forgot that part. That was super-sweet and totally something that would get the Old Chris Haley waterworks a-pumpin’. Do you want to guess what my favorite part was?
Chris: Hmmmm.. Let me see. Was it the part where Alex cried because Kara finally realized she’s the real bad guy of the show? No wait! I’ve got it! It was the part where Supergirl spun around in that office chair because she was bored by the DEO meeting about the K’Hund.
Dylan: Close! It was Cat Grant being all NBD about getting thrown off a building. Cat Grant is the best.
Chris: Dang! I should have known it would involve Cat. I might’ve guessed it was her being at her absolute Cat-iest on The Talk. I really did enjoy the conversation she and Supergirl have at the very end of the episode though.
Dylan: I definitely agree. It’s one of the few heartfelt scenes this season that’s really landed for me. It’s crazy how far both of these character have come, huh? So, what’s on the deck for next episode?
Chris: If I'm not mistaken next week we'll get to see the story of how J’onn became Hank! There’s basically no way a Hank-centric episode can be bad, right?
Dylan: Hope springs eternal!