With the move to the CW, “Supergirl” sees some improvements….and takes a few steps back. The biggest loss is Calista Flockhart’s Cat Grant. Due to the show’s filming locations switching from Los Angeles to Vancouver, it was announced that she would be having a reduced role. Ultimately, that meant only appearing in two or three episodes. Not only did that mean Supergirl would no longer have her maternal bonding and sage advice from Cat Grant, but we would also see the Catco sequences reduced to a handful of scenes. It seems as if they wanted “Supergirl” to have their own hero’s lair like “Arrow” and “The Flash” to keep all the shows consistent.
Another about-face was the screeching halt to the Jimmy Olson/Kara romance. After building it up all last season, it was quickly scrapped with little explanation. It seems it was done to set up Kara’s new love interest, Mon-El. While a bit obnoxious at first, and a big departure from the comic book version, Chris Wood’s grows more charming with each episode. His chemistry with Kara is believable and carries a lot of episodes when the writing fails.
This season also saw the Alex coming out story. While this seemed to come out of leftfield as season one she seemed to be into men, it was fairly well thought out and there was some good dialog explaining Alex’s lifelong confusion. The biggest beneft from this change was giving the character more depth while allowing her to have storylines not tied to Supergirl.
One thing that never gelled was having Jimmy Olsen suddenly become the vigilante, Guardian. This really added very little to the show and seemed to copy the other Arrowverse shows by having as many superheroes as possible.
Speaking of heroes, there was the much-hyped “Invasion” crossover. The “Supergirl” portion was a huge letdown. It was one quick scene at the end of an episode. A scene that would be repeated anyways later in the crossover.
The greatest asset still is Melissa Benoist. She brings so much depth to Supergirl. She is what holds the show together. Even fighting alongside her more famous cousin, Superman, she is the star. (Solid performance by Tyler Hoechlin as Superman. He may not be the most muscular version of the Man of Steel, but he captures much of the classic charm.)
Finally, the show had one major flaw this season: A lack of a clear villain. Early episodes set the stage for Cadimus to be the big threat. But, they mostly got shove off to the side. The midseason brought us what would eventually be the true threat, but they were built up so slowly that the show was on the final few episodes by this point. The lack of focus really hurt, and allowed all the other flaws to stick out.
**1/2 out of *****