Supergirl: “Crossfire” Review
By Mitchell Sigal
Supergirl has cemented itself as one of the greatest comic book shows on television currently. This season has been very strong in the writing department. (Having Superman around in the first two episodes also added to the fun.) Last week’s installment mainly focused on J’onn trying to understand why M’gann was standoffish. This week’s episode, “Crossfire,” takes a break from that plot point to focus mainly on the Cadmus storyline, among a few other things. Unfortunately, it’s the weakest episode this season so far.
The opening focuses on Kara getting Mon-El ready for his first day on the job at CatCo. Sadly Mon-El has turned into one of the show’s most annoying characters. There are some good moments in the opening act. Kara’s happiness with Mon-El looking ready for the job was nice, and the brief dialogue with him thinking bringing coffee to other workers at Catco was bribing was amusing. These good moments are hindered by things such as Mon-El getting intimate with one of the workers. The scene with Kara finding them was one of the show’s worst. Mon-El never gets better and the viewer is left wondering why we’re seeing him instead of Superman.
As stated in the first paragraph, the Cadmus storyline, the season’s main plot, makes its return. The propaganda-like scene with Cadmus on TV screens detailing why aliens need to be stopped was very well done and genuinely chilling. The Cadmus lady, still unnamed, has a few scenes. The first biggest is when she states her goals: she wants to save the world, not rule it. The writing is so far content with making her as generic as possible unfortunately. The second biggest scene is when she kills some men before they can reveal who she is. She does this with some kind of supersonic device. Beyond that, she doesn’t do much. Hopefully, starting with today’s cliffhanger, the writing will explore her character more because right now she’s just as un-compelling as Non was in Season One.
“Just a bunch of thugs with guns” describes the villains for this week. There’s nothing to say about them because they are literally just guys (whose generic goal is to become rich) Cadmus gave alien weapons to. At the very least, the first main action sequence featured some nice visuals. The second action sequence was however hard to take seriously because of James Olsen. Speaking of James, one of the episode’s primary focuses is on him. Since becoming head of CatCo, he hasn’t technically done much. This changes here, but not for the better.
Perhaps the episode’s biggest turning point (not really) is when James’ camera gets destroyed. This makes him want to make a difference by becoming a superhero. This plot point was incredibly hard to take seriously. The dialogue, “My whole life I’ve been a sidekick” should have been effective, but came off as just cheesy. James asking Winn to make him a suit comes out of nowhere. Winn’s dialogue saying that it’s okay not to be a superhero and instead make a difference fighting with knowledge was very good, and true. One doesn’t have to be a superhero to make a difference. James doesn’t see it that way. The worst scene is when he attacks the thugs alone. Naturally, he’s blasted away in a laughable sequence. The scene shortly after with him running in slow motion was maybe the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.
Lena Luthor has been an interesting wildcard character, and that continues here. The writing is carefully portraying her as a character attempting to distance herself from her villainous brother. This has been a compelling character arc. All of her dialogue is excellent here. I especially liked the brief scene with her and Winn discussing how a device worked. Hopefully the writing doesn’t secretly have her be an antagonist, because that would destroy all of this quality development. Speaking of Winn, it was good to see him do something other than relay information behind a computer screen. The cliffhanger reveals the Cadmus woman to be Lena’s mother. This is an intriguing development; it’ll be interesting to see where the writing goes with this.
Overall, Supergirl’s streak of great episodes ends with “Crossfire.” There are some things to like, such as nice visuals and Lena Luthor’s intriguing character arc. Cadmus also finally makes its return. But there are too many mediocre aspects, such as James’ laughable subplot and one-shot villains. In addition, Alex’s subplot took away from the Cadmus storyline and Mon-El was painful to watch. Hopefully the show will bounce back next week.