‘Supergirl’ Post-Show Analysis: Season 1 Episode 18: ‘World’s Finest’
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, another Cat Grant ex-employee goes rogue for a super-villain team up, but thankfully there's another hero around to help keep the lethal ladies in check. Yes, it's the DC superhero meet-up we've all been waiting for as Supergirl meets The CW's Flash, played by the great Grant Gustin. To mark the special occasion, we opened a wormhole and brought in Dylan's Flash recap partner Ziah Grace!
'Worlds Finest' was directed by Nick Gomez, with a story by Greg Berlanti and a teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg and Michael Grassi.
Dylan: So that happened! The Flash and Supergirl, teaming up, eating ice cream and punching evil in the face. It was maybe the most fun either show has been in a while. Chris, Ziah, what did you think?
Ziah: This was my first episode of Supergirl, and it was a fun time and a half. Fantastic characterization, goofy visuals, and a tone that refused to get bogged down in the muck and just focused on fun. Just the way the characters played off of each other and brought each other higher --- maybe because Supergirl can fly --- was fantastic.
Chris: This was instantly my favorite episode of either/both of these series, as I’m sure you might have guessed. I don’t even know where to start! If you exclude Agent Carter, this was probably my favorite episode of any live action comic show ever. Except for that episode of Smallville where Clark wasn’t Superman... oh wait, that was every episode.
Dylan: So let’s talk team-up highlights. Obviously, Barry zoom-zooming to get everybody ice cream was pretty great. What else did we like?
Chris: Either Grant Gustin just actually did that somehow and surprised everyone, or Melissa Benoist is the best actress ever, because her delight when she realizes she’s suddenly holding ice cream was the most sincere delight I’ve ever seen on a TV show.
Ziah: Barry being so stoked that Kara was an alien was pretty fantastic. I keep forgetting that he’s never met any aliens in his show yet.
Dylan: Also, it felt really timely to have Barry shooting down the idea of Supergirl or Flash being rivals when the biggest movie of the weekend featured two big name superheroes grimacing at each other for 2.5 hours. That was nice.
Chris: This episode was the perfect antidote for that movie! Seeing two heroes meet and continue to act like heroes. What a delight. I never wanted it to end. Basically every part of this episode was the best.
Ziah: My notes are basically just repetitions of “this is adorable” and it was! So much genuine joy and excitement from basically everyone involved.I want them to team up every year. I want a Supergirl and The Flash power hour.
Dylan: It felt really tight, too. Like the writers really crammed every possible moment with something fun. Except for the part in the second act where people (in this case, Barry and Kara) talk about their feelings while sad piano music plays. Regardless of which earth you’re on, if you on one of these DC TV shows, you gotta have the Second Act Moment of Feels, apparently.
Also, Barry Allen shoudl not be giving love advice to anybody, ever, regardless of what Earth he’s on. Dude is a wreck.
Ziah: Unnatural forced pathos is the real supervillain Flash and Supergirl have in common.
Chris: The script was focused not just for this show, but for most of these shows. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’re just trying to tell a story and not trying to pad out the season’s episode count by not having problems that would be easy to resolve with a conversation (that any two real people would have already had) take an entire season to resolve.
I liked that scene with Kara and Barry out on the balcony though. Even if only because it makes you realize how formulaic all these DC shows that are run by the same people are. Every time Barry said, “We’ve got a rogue like that” or “Something exactly like this happened to me” it made me so happy.
Dylan: Except when he brought up that Rogue, I mentally added, “… but he’s dead now.” to the end of that sentence.
Speaking of old villains, we got the return of one of the more memorable villains from Supergirl so far, Livewire, as well as the continuation of the bugnuts crazy origin for Siobhan Smythe, now known as the Silver Banshee. What did you think of the supervillain stuff, fellas?
Ziah: This was insane and amazing. There’s no reason for Silver Banshee to look like a perfect replica of her comics counterpart and they don’t even try to explain it, the episode just runs with it. The actress who plays Siobhan even doubles the amount of vamping she does and the episode went from good to great. I dunno if she’s the Wentworth Miller of Supergirl, but I do know that every goofy line and bored eyeroll was the highlight in an episode full of highlight reels.
Chris: Italia Ricci is a treasure and you can tell she was enjoying getting to go so over-the-top in her screaming skeleton get-up. I really hope they keep bringing her back.
Ziah: On the negative side of things, maybe I missed something, but was her grandmother/aunt (the sound was bad on my television during this scene so it was hard to tell) pretending to be an "Oriental" fortune teller?
Dylan: Irish. Hence the banshee mythology. Crack an accent book much? Cuz it don’t sound like ya do. Seriously, that was the most crazy thing. Siobhan, who has just survived a fall off of a roof by screaming at the ground, leaves the DEO and goes to her… fortune telling aunt? Who is like, “You know the Irish myth of the banshee? Well it’s real and it’s you and now you gotta murder people, okay?” And it just moves on. Like, “Okay, let’s do this. Let me find an appropriately Goth-looking costume and break a zapper-lady out of jail real quick and we can get to work banshee-ing.” Bonkers.
Chris: I loved that apparently Livewire and Siobhan had a “coming up with costumes” montage off screen at some point that I definitely wish we could have seen. Especially if it was set to “Walking On Sunshine”. The idea that Livewire was like, “You can’t be a supervillain with me unless you look goofier than I do” was the best! I want every episode to be this episode.
Speaking of costumes though, maybe I’m misremembering, but did Livewire look noticeably worse this episode than in the other one? I mean, beyond Supergirl, costuming is not really this show’s biggest strength, but Livewire’s wig and makeup looked a lot worse to me this time. I’m not trying to nitpick, I’m just curious if that was just me.
Dylan: One of the benefits of this show taking place on an earth where costumed supervillains are a thing, as opposed to the CW’s closet cosplay approach, is that you get stuff like the Indigo costume and this one, too. Just weird comic book stuff on a major network.
And yeah, Livewire’s wig was really terrible. Between this and Max Lord’s weird wig a few weeks back, it’s been a rough go for the fake hair department this season. Still, I admire her trying to give Livewire a personality, even if that personality consists of nonsensical puns and hating helicopters.
Ziah: Oh man, shades of American Horror Story’s, “I hate trees!” Wonderful.
Chris: I laughed out loud at that “I hate helicopters!” bit.
Dylan: It was beautiful. As much as I liked a lot of that last boss battle against Livewire and Silver Banshee, them trotting out the “citizens step in to protect their hero and also first responders are the Real Heroes here,” bit was a little much for me. We all saw those Sam Raimi Spidey movies.
Ziah: Sexy firefighters are the real heroes of Supergirl, Dylan.
Chris: Well, they saw how bad Supergirl’s “being electrocuted” acting was and were like, “Oh jeez, she probably needs a hand.” I think readers are aware that we have nothing but good things to say about the living embodiment of rainbows and sunshine that is Melissa Benoist as Supergirl, but that was some hilariously goofy electrocution acting.
Ziah: Would you say that her acting was charged?
Chris: This is the kind of fun that makes me glad we’re doing this crossover.
Dylan: Yes. “Fun.”
Another big thing this episode is Kara and James getting hot and heavy. I have to admit that Sulky James is maybe my favorite thing on the show? Watching him squirm while Kara and Barry buddied out was real fun, making their smooch at the end of the episode all the more earned. What do you guys think? Long overdue, or did they jump the shark by hooking them up this early?
Chris: The main thing here is that I’m going to need you to never say “hot and heavy” ever again. For all we know James may not even remember it, so that way they can keep dragging it out. Hooray.
Ziah: I’m just glad they finally made Jimmy Olsen a hunk. Jimmy Olsen’s a hunk, you guys. He’s always been a hunk. He’s got a fan club and has dated robots and future ladies, Jimmy Olsen is a #RadDude. Also, her reaction to his stunned face was amazing. “Was that good? Was it not good? Was it too good?”
Chris: Clearly you’re new around here, because this universe’s Mr. Olsen does not like being called “Jimmy”, Ziah. Also, as shocked by every new development that happens on this show as he is, I doubt very much that this version has dated any robots.
Dylan: It’s sad, really.
Chris: Speaking of dating a robot, I’m really warming to Lucy now that her character doesn’t have anything to do with dating James and being a romantic rival for Supergirl! Who could have guessed? She also looks to really be settling into her new role as the head of the DEO. I am still a little hazy on how being a lawyer qualifies her for the job though.
Dylan: Lawyer and Army Person are basically the same thing.
Ziah: We’ve all seen A Few Good Men, Dylan.
Speaking of some good men, I know you guys don’t really like Winn, but I have to say I loved him as Barry’s hypeman this episode. Him becoming Barry’s CBS-Earth buddy just because of how excited he was about it was great.
Chris: Let the record show that Dylan is the one who has hated Winn. I was merely occasionally irritated by him, and looked for reasons to cut him some slack. And he rewarded that faith in him this episode by having a standout performance that never drew attention away from the plot. From his excitement over the revelation that there are alternate universes to thinking Barry is the coolest and having someone else to be a science nerd with, it was the best.
Also the best, Winn getting to give James a little good natured guff about his pouting over Kara having a cool, new friend. A cool, new friend that doesn’t always need saving and that likes donuts as much as she does.
Dylan: Oh yeah, Winn has come so far from those early Dink Days. I actually felt for him when he was trying to talk SIobhan out of going HAM on Kara. Like, dude’s dad turned out to be a murderous psycho, the girl he’s crushed on forever is not interested and also an extraterrestrial. Dude finally hooks up with somebody and she turns out to be cursed with banshee-itis. I might be on the Winn Train now that he’s not sniffing around Kara like it was his job.
Chris: I think Winn gets my vote for episode MVP this week.
Dylan: False. Cat Grant is the best. This is not a question. This is an empirical fact.
Ziah: Every single line she had was amazing. “You look like the attractive, racially-diverse but non-threatening cast of a CW show” was incredible. Incredible. Her flippancy with Livewire and Silver Banshee trying to kill her, her instant acknowledgement that Barry was The Flash, her weird cupcake metaphors!
Chris: The only thing that felt a little off was that moment when she was asking Livewire not to take her children’s mother away from them because she was all that they had. She could have just been trying to buy herself (or Supergirl) some time, but it didn’t come across that way in the performance, so it just seemed a little out of character for Cat. Plus, her one son (“Haircut”) is a grown ass man, who has his own place and seems to be doing fine for himself without her.
Dylan: I felt like it was her letting her guard down for once, though I’m not really sure why she thought it would work on Livewire, a person who hates her ever-loving guts, but we all do crazy things when we’re about to get zapped to death in a public park, right?
Chris: I don't know, it looked like it might have actually given Livewire a little bit of a pause for thought, but maybe I'm in too good a mood and wanting to hand out extra-credit to everyone.
Dylan: We also got a glimpse at Non’s plan, Myriad. Now, “myriad,” as you know, means “many,” and apparently this plan involves mind-controlling many people to… some end. On one hand, it’s nice to see this plot finally start betting resolved, and James walking off like a zombie after smooching Kara was a heck of a suckerpunch. Personally, I just want to get the fight with Non over with. If this episode showed me anything, it’s that I just want Supergirl fighting weird supervillains in garish costumes every week. How are you feeling about it?
Ziah: It was a real good punch, but since I don’t watch Supergirl regularly, you could say it was a bit of a… non-starter for me.
Chris: Because his name is Non! I’m with you there though, Dylan. Freak of the week is pretty cliche among these shows, but if they do it right it can be great!
Dylan: And if any episode is a good example of “doing it right,” it’s this one. Good job Supergirl team. Hit the showers.