Superheroes are everywhere; comics, film, television and radio. They inhabit our dreams and inspire our decisions. What does Supergirl in particular give to the audience? An honest, intelligent, witty, clumsy, strong and independent character who has more humility than the average person could ever possess.
Even though the main protagonist- Kara Danvers, was born on the planet Krypton, she possesses the essence of what a human being should be and expresses the potential of what we can achieve as a species.
Last season’s story arc built up to a resolution for Kara where she discovered who she was and how she would fit into society. The climax to the first chapter of her story led the audience to ponder how she would develop as a person once she became comfortable in a familiar environment.
There was a nostalgic atmosphere to this opening episode, due to the aesthetically pleasing view of Supergirl and Superman fighting alongside to commit selfless acts of heroism. I pondered what Superman’s role would be and realised that his character would provide some inspiration and subtext to how Kara feels about leading a double life. Does she feel isolated because of her unique abilities? What psychological issues manifest themselves when a being with impossible strength and speed, has the power to cause so much destruction and save lives in disastrous situations?
Here the narrative focuses on at what point a person is supposed to know what they want to achieve with their life? Kara is given many career opportunities that she could explore and ultimately finds the person she has always loved. This presents new challenges with the narrative because the audience will be expecting conflict.
This is presented cleverly through the unpredictability of human fallibility. Though she is not human, Kara’s wants vary and continue to shift back and forth. Throughout the last season, she was hoping James Olsen and herself would become a couple, when that event finally happens, Kara is confused as to what she truly wants.
Personally, I admired this change in the story because it was unexpected, truthful to human behaviour and brought Kara to a state of self-awareness where she asked herself what she truly desired.
With every drama serial opener, there are high expectations of how fresh the narrative is truly going to be. The story doesn’t feature heavily on the antagonist; an unknown opponent who has been driven to utilising the latest drone technology to achieving his own goals of mutually assured destruction.
Having the protagonist reach a brick wall is a striking and ambitious but natural progression for their character arc because the audience becomes more invested with how that character deals with new challenges, ones we face everyday.
The protagonist is beginning to learn that she has to evolve, take risks and let her decisions guide her to where she needs to go. What might it mean for the audience if the main character isn’t sure of where her fictional existence is heading towards? It makes it exciting and enables her character to evolve and challenge herself.
A nostalgic, meaningful, unpredictable and funny season opener for the most endearing superhero on mainstream television.