Supergirl: “Human for a Day” Season 1 Episode 7 Review

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Supergirl bounced back this week with an episode not focused on Kara’s evolving powers, but instead on her role as a hero. Oh, and it delivered one hell of a twist for DC fans.

Possibly the biggest problem for Supergirl‘s first season is that it’s airing just a year after The Flash‘s. These two shows are undoubtedly similar. They’re light superhero shows about a hero discovering all the great uses for their powers. Where Supergirl lags behind is its supporting cast, superheroes or not. Winn is no Cisco, for example. But one of this series’ biggest mystery roles just got a lot more interesting. As it turns out, through a sometimes fun subplot involving Alex taking out an alien threat, Hank Henshaw isn’t who he says he is. In fact, he’s J’onn J’onzz, better known as Martian Manhunter. This isn’t Black Canary or Firestorm. Martian Manhunter is pretty much an A-list superhero, mostly thanks to the wonderful early 2000s Justice League cartoon (fine, B-list). This is the kind of world building Supergirl needs to be doing. But even this excellent reveal was just the icing on the cake of a pretty great episode.

Kara still doesn’t have her powers from last week’s cliffhanger, but that’s not going to stop an earthquake from hitting National City (You’d think it was Jarden, TX once the second one hits. That’s right, that was a joke for the four people who watch both Supergirl and The Leftovers). Kara’s frustration is initially, uh, frustrating. But once she stops whining about not being able to do anything, she actually does something pretty cool. As looters raid a convenience store, Kara puts on the suit and goes to face them, even though bullets won’t bounce off of her this time. The result is a powerful scene, intercut with Cat’s heroic speech to the city, that shows what kind of hero Kara has the potential to be. She calmly talks the robber into giving her his gun and that he doesn’t want to do this. That’ll always be better than punching someone through a wall.

The rest of Kara’s story in “Human for a Day” was predictable. She gets her powers back just in time to save James from dying. They share a look. Everyone’s frustrated. But still, this episode had two really great scenes, both hopefully monumental for the show’s future. That was enough to make this one of the best outings for Supergirl yet. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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