Supergirl Ep. 218 Recap & Review – ‘Ace Reporter’
It has been a month since “Distant Sun” aired. For its grand return, the show decides to try a little bit of every genre under the sun and see what works. Just when I thought I was done with Supergirl, they pull me back in with an episode where she finally does some journalism.
“Ace Reporter” tries its hand at the following genres: rom-com, romantic tragedy, action comedy, heist, and horror thriller. Because of this, the show falls into extreme tonal shifts, undercutting each scene’s significance. There are two instances in which innocent people die horrible deaths, but we don’t have much time to process what just happened because now we’re sitting through Kara and Mon-El’s wacky heist-scapades while crashing Lena’s date with iZombie’s Rahul Kohli.
They’re all great scenes on their own, but…a kingdom for a little consistency, please! At least we’re never bored. That should count for something.
The best thing about “Ace Reporter” is that we finally get to see Kara Danvers, the reporter. If you’ve been following along with my reviews here on Legion of Leia, you know that I’ve complained about how much of Kara’s civilian life has been downplayed. Season 1 has been very much about Kara figuring out how to live a double life. By the season finale, she has a better feel for what she wants to do. Naturally the show should have shifted to her trying to maintain a career while simultaneously saving National City from evil doers as Supergirl. Right?
We don’t really get any of that in Season 2. Instead, we get everyone becoming a hero (like with every DC show on the CW) who become even less like the Scooby Gang than they were before. In another way, I guess it’s fine (for now) that they don’t shed too much light on Kara’s rise to intrepid reporting until they get a writer who has a better understanding of what being a reporter is actually like. It might be time for Lois to make her way to National City. If Cat Grant isn’t going to stick around full-time to play the powerful female role model for Kara Danvers, we might has well bring in someone else to take her place. Don’t you think?
That said, I was impressed with Kara’s moxie as she tries to rectify her previous blunder by going by the book rather than be led by her passion alone.
Another thing “Ace Reporter” does pretty well is build upon the friendship between Kara and Lena Luthor. Playing the supportive bestie gives Melissa Benoist the perfect excuse to turn into a bundle of adorableness. Not that she needs any, but still.
Lena’s old flame, Spheerical Industries CEO Jack Spheer (Rahul Kohli), invites her to his tech launch event at which he introduces some powerful medical nanobot technology. Kara comes along as a supportive best friend whose duty is mostly to make sure Lena doesn’t get too roped into Spheer’s charms. That mostly falls to the waysides as Lena can’t decide whether or not she wants to continue where she and Spheer left off, but Kara’s attempts are nevertheless downright funny to watch. Mon-El even gets in on the awkwardness when he pretends to develop a huge man-crush on Spheer. He even goes as far as delivering one of the most uncomfortable looking man hugs. Sure…it was mostly just to steal his security key card so he and Kara can sneak into his office, but I’d like to think Mon-El also wanted to get a piece that cinnamon pie Kohli was delivering. (Is that even a thing, cinnamon pie?)
Although Kara is no longer employed at CatCo. as a reporter, she still can’t help herself to go toe-to-toe with Snapper Carr at the press conference with Spheer. Before she knows it, she’s sucked back into the world of investigative journalism when a former Spheerical Industries employee blows a whistle on the true nature of Spheer’s Biomax bots. Why he goes to Kara specifically doesn’t really hold up — his trust is solely based on the one blog post Kara made — but it’s enough to get Kara back into the reporting game.
As for Lena, she takes on the role of a lovelorn ex-girlfriend who regrets how things ended with Jack. It’s too bad Rahul is busy with iZombie if only to be a recurring love interest who peels back the layers of Lena’s character in a more natural way. Instead we get all the stages of a rekindled relationship (and its tragic consequences) packed in one episode.
Finding out that Jack is actually being controlled by nanobots (and his CFO), and then making Lena kill him to save the day makes for compelling TV. If only it was given a little more breathing room. It probably would have benefited a lot more if the Guardian subplot was cut out.
Seriously, just pull the trigger on the Guardian subplots and let it die already. I love all of the characters involved, but I hate that they are forced into a story that literally means nothing to the series. Lyra tries her hand at crimefighting vigilantism, but she turns out to be far too brutal on their first night out. For some reason, Winn confronting this fact boils down to “Women are crazy, best just to leave it to the boys.” It’s a very short-lived sentiment, but still. The one good this particular Guardian story does is remind us that Mehcad Brooks is a likable actor. We know he’s talented, so give him something that shows it!
By the end of the episode, Kara realizes that journalism really is her calling, but she doesn’t want to pursue it unless she knows she’s doing it right. She shares a charming moment with Snapper where the two make amends and she’s formally brought back into CatCo. as a reporter. For as much as I complained about splitting Kara’s DEO and CatCo. lives last season, I kind of yearn for that separation now that our hero has a more concrete idea of who she wants to be. Lois & Clark was able to do that beautifully in the 90s, why can’t Supergirl?
Speaking of Lois & Clark, Teri Hatcher returns at the very end of the episode. Looking like a person and not an alien queen bent on ruining Supergirl, she approaches Lena Luthor with an unknown proposition. There’s still a chance for a reunion with Dean Cain!
- Relegating Mon-El to a supporting character this week brought me back on the Chris Wood train. He’s given enough time to squeeze in some funny tangents, but not so much where he steals the entire spotlight from our title hero.
- For the longest time, I thought Snapper’s division was solely concerned with newsprint, but I guess he’s more in the magazine game equal to Time? I’m honestly confused about everything in this respect.
- Why is Ms. Tessmacher Snapper Carr’s gofer? I thought she was James’ assistant.
- In some scenes, we’re shown that Jack Spheer is totally comprised of nanobots, but in others it looks as though he still has a body. Was he just covered in bots then, or did the effects team just forget?
- Beth: “It’s true what they say. Behind every man is a strong woman.”
Lena: “I wouldn’t know. I’ve never stood behind a man.”
- I get a sense that Lena is on her way down a slippery slope to villainy after the death of Jack. She is a Luthor, after all.