Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Supergirl Season 2 'Medusa' Review

The mid-season finale was a strong, moving and aesthetically successful accumulation of season 2's narrative arcs.  With Thanksgiving a time of gratification and grace, the Danvers family dinner was a heartwarming opener with touches of tension between Alex and James to exemplify the complicated atmosphere.

I was thankful for the medusa virus as it created an effective antagonistic rivalry for Supergirl to battle because it gave her the opportunity to discover that her father created the virus himself, which has now put Mon-El and National City's alien population in danger.

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Her disappointment and pain at how disillusioned her parents have made her was fascinating from a psychological standpoint because of how fragile a parents influence can have towards their children.  Lena herself had the opportunity to use this to her advantage as she manipulated her mother into thinking that she had become an advocate for Cadmus' cause. Personally, I had second thoughts about Lena's betrayal but she revealed herself to be her own hero, switching the isotopes and causing the Medusa virus to become inert. 

The developing relationship between Kara and Mon-El was endearing, allowing Kara's personal life to take an interesting direction. J'onn's mutating dilemma also packed emotional moments into the dire outcome of the virus. The return of mother Danvers was a welcomed treat. Her scene with Alex was stunning and powerful, I loved that she was able to come in, use her brilliant brain to cure J'onn and Mon'El and then depart.

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Another character arc which had a very joyful and wonderful resolution was when Maggie decided, after a near death experience courtesy of Cyborg Superman, that life was too short and realised her feelings for Alex. This was a really moving and sweet scene which I hope will not signify that terrible things are to come.......

This episode had a lot of character threads to tie up which was executed beautifully and the balance of the Medusa virus played a vital role, providing great conflict for Supergirl to conquer, when ultimately, it was Lena Luthor who saved the day. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Supergirl Season 2 'The Darkest Place' Review

In this episode, the Cadmus story line begins to take shape but the Guardian plot thread fails to deliver any valuable content, contributing little to the narrative.  The problem with James story line is it lacks credibility and his clear cut, 'Guardian is a hero, not a villain', motif is that he cannot call himself a hero just because he's thought, 'Being a hero sounds pretty cool, I'll do that.'

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It's a plot point that lets the episode down and needs to be wrapped up before the mid-season finale. The conflict between Kara and Cyber Superman was very entertaining but I didn't understand why he had to so straightforwardly reveal, 'I'm not Hank Henshaw, I'm cyber superman.'  A little bit of mystery as to who he was would have made his presence more gratifying.

Also, J'onn's discovery that he's mutating into a White Martian was an effective technique to explore his character. Imagine if we were infected with our own worst enemy's blood? It would most definitely cause psychological damage, which makes his character's story arc worth investing in.

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Kara and Mon-El's interactions were suspenseful because there were more revealations to Mon-El's character which revealed a more honest and sensitive side. It was particularly harrowing to see Supergirl drained of her powers, her blood being visible and the use of flickering camera shots added to the disorientation and powerlessness she felt. 

Even though, Cadmus feels like it's going to become a better crafted villain I would like to see Lillian Luthor reveal some vulnerable and emotional aspects to her character rather than her approach at being a stereotypical insane scientist who believes she's saving the world. Maybe a flashback to her past could reveal why she has dedicated her whole life to experimenting on aliens?

The reappearance of Jeremiah contributed to a very moving scene where Jeremiah expressed how proud he was of Kara had become. However, I wasn't convinced that's he managed to avoid experimentation all these years.

I was glad to see that the aftermath of Alex's humiliation has made her stand up to Maggie. It truthfully depicted the awkwardness that can follow on from a complicated situation such as this. I'm still hoping something will happen because even though it's very sweet to see them playing pool, there needs to be more conflict between them if their relationship can continue to develop.

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This episode succeeded in driving the action towards Cadmus' ultimate goal and the vulnerability that Supergirl experienced was gripping and tense. Alex's continued struggle was very effective in showing the after effects of humiliation and her sense of loss.

Again, James story line failed to rise to the quality of the remaining narrative but did manage to explore a fraction of how Kara and her friends might be pulled apart when she discovers they've been lying to her about Guardian's identity.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Supergirl Season 2 'Changing' Review

The capability of what this show can offer has proven itself worthy of recognition for producing an astounding collection of character moments. With a menacing antagonist that acquired more than one dimension to its character, this episode is a brilliant example of what a superhero drama can offer.

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This episode encapsulated the fantastic relationship between Kara and Alex, their scenes were moving, heartwarming and truthful to what a sister relationship can and should be like. Both Chyler Leigh and Melissa Benoist performances were utterly stunning, raw and gripping.

It was fantastic to see Alex's inner conflict with her sexuality finally reveal itself, her bravery and obvious loneliness she's experienced was very connecting and made her character even more empathetic. The vulnerability and fear that she displayed, as well as her confusion, inspired a natural and beautiful expression of her character's complexity.

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Certainly, Mon-El's journey was a natural progression for his character and a welcoming addition to the conflict that he has begun to experience with Supergirl. He clearly knows Supergirl better than some of her other friends because he's an alien too, and can relate to her selfish reasoning behind being an hero, and how that cause negative choices to develop.

The villain for this week was one of the best the show has produced. It was creepy, compelling and there was a unique justification for why the parasite had infected the scientist, which when he mutated, made me feel pity for his character because Supergirl knew that she would have to kill a man who was trying to fix humanity's mistakes.

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Another beautiful and surprising twist came when Alex revealed her feelings for Maggie, and they weren't reciprocated! This came as a shock because I've become a fan of those two characters, but I valued the writers decision not to make their relationship predictable. Alex got to experience humiliation which though not a wanted experience, allowed for the reality of her situation to relate to the audience.

J'onn was thrust into a very dynamic predicament when his green martian friend, who is actually a white martian, brought him back to life with a transfusion of her own blood. This was a very clever story development which I think will take his character to some very dramatic and heartbreaking experiences.

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On the downside, Jame's story arc seems to be a lost cause with no justifiable end in sight. His motives for wanting to suddenly become a hero was extremely unconvincing because he's never been interested in being the hero, he's always had the unique opportunity to capture heroic acts behind his camera, inspiring cities all over the world. How is that not heroic and noble?

Also, his role at CatCo means that he possesses some of the most important power in National City, and could achieve so much within that position. His main goal to become like his friends isn't going to benefit him or anyone else. Why would he want to lose his individuality? I cannot understand it and find his whole journey emotionless and not interesting enough to hold my attention.

'Changing' felt like metaphor for the character's inner transformation which was beautiful, tragic and despairing. Jame's story arc either needs to find a resolution quickly or take a different path. I don't believe that his presence brings any dramatic need or purpose to the series which needs to change in order to play a valuable role.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Supergirl Season 2 'Crossfire' Review

Supergirl still has to make vast improvements with regards to its villains. This week, Cadmus intensifies its power and its sociopathic boss struggles with her disturbing justification for the destruction her organisation has caused, apparently she wants to save the world, albeit hurting innocent people in the process. 

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Their only motivation seems to be that they're harbouring alien weapons and giving them to criminals to use against alien citizens. It's as if they know that the only way to create fear among society, is to anger aliens into wanting to become the monsters Cadmus is portraying them as. 

Even though the conflict between Supergirl and Cadmus fell flat, the dynamics between Kara/ Mon-El and Alex/Maggie really drove the momentum forward. Personally, I believe that Kara and Mon-El aren't romantically linked because I feel more of a paternal relationship building between them. But it would be a surprising twist seeing that their species went to war with one another. Their relationship could become a symbol of what can be achieved if they united together.

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There were some fantastic comedic moments when Kara was trying to teach Mon-El about human society; answering phones and social security numbers. Kara realised that she may have been pushing Mon-El to becoming like her, when actually he needs to discover who he is as an individual.

It was evident that themes of discovery and identity were the main subject of 'Crossfire'. Especially in terms of Alex's development. I was relieved that she was able to express vulnerability and uncertainty towards her sexuality, because it added many compelling dimensions to her character. 

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Her awkward defence against Maggie's confrontation that, "She read her wrong", was really effective in showcasing the hidden aspects to her character. Has she had these thoughts before, and has she tried to explore these feelings without telling her sister?

When she admits to Maggie that there may have been some truth to what Maggie said, it made that scene very compelling because it was self-contained, intimate and allowed Alex's character to develop into new areas that I never would have expected.

Season 2 is excelling at character development but James's progression feels false and forced because his motivation for wanting to make a difference feels like it has come from nowhere. If he wants to make a difference, he could always showcase his photography and power being the boss of Catco. That way, he would be true to himself and have an original statement for being a hero rather than copying his friends.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Supergirl Season 2 'Survivors' Review

Dealing with last week's revelation that Hank wasn't the only Green Martian to survive, the themes of 'Survivors', explores the nobility of a surviving member of a species feeling guilt over their continued existence.

As Kara must deal with her antagonistic and hard to please boss, Supergirl is given a greater challenge in combating the villain of the week- Roulette, a seductive and sadistic lover of chaos who believes she gives aliens a purpose, in which to provide entertainment for the rich and diabolical.

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Ultimately, Roulette isn't a three dimensional antagonist and so it's hard to find her role in the narrative compelling. The show still needs to develop their villains as well as their protagonists. However, her presence does provide some conflict with Supergirl.

The strengths of the episode lie with the character dynamics between Alex and Maggie, who have already begun to put their new partnership into action with effective fight scenes and endearing moments, especially when they both compliment each other before entering the alien fight club. 

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Their relationship is funny, adorable and conflict driven, especially when Alex asked Maggie for a drink, but is then interrupted by Maggie's girlfriend. I hope the progression of their relationship is rich and unpredictable as Alex deserves to have some happiness and an actual life outside of the DEO.

Likewise, Mon-el and Winn's pedantic escapades were greatly comedic and the direction of fast moving camera angles and split screen shots were really effective in injecting the story with some light humour.

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It was strange that Hank was so forceful towards Megan bonding with him, because he'd only just met her but was acting like they were close friends. Also, their conflicting outcomes was great a building the tension, particularly as they fought one another.

The cliffhanger was suspenseful, surprising and clever as Megan in fact turned to be a White Martian, morphing herself to look like a Green Martian, which explains why she doesn't want to create the psychic bond with Hank.

This episode lacked a worthy and thrilling villain but the conflict between Hank and Megan was interesting enough to hold the story together, and the dynamics between Alex and Maggie, Winn and Mon-El, are becoming the highlights of the season.