June 23, 2021

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Poppin Fresh Travel

Period 6, Episode 5, “Prom Night!”

Illustration for article titled A stellar Supergirl time travels back to high school

Photo: The CW

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Sprock yeah! It turns out all it took to kick this year into significant equipment was a time travel journey again to 2009. “Prom Evening!” is an absolute enjoyment to watch—an hour that provides all the zippy, significant-scale, open up-air fun this far more dour, claustrophobic period has been missing. And it is also an episode that really rewards extended-time Supergirl enthusiasts. Especially these with a lengthy memory of the show’s quite a few dangling plot threads. Brainy using off his identity inhibitors in season 5? Nia’s fractured spouse and children drama from season 4? Kenny Li’s deeply upsetting dying from the season three Midvale flashback episode? It all receives addressed below, and all for the much better.

Ahead of tonight’s time-hopping journey, I revisited Supergirl’s to start with teenage flashback episode, “Midvale,” and it’s outstanding just how substantially “Prom Evening!” improves on the system. While “Midvale” felt like properly-solid, nicely-intentioned filler (Alex and Kara returned household and reflected on a formative teen sleuthing knowledge whilst processing their respective Maggie/Mon-El breakups), “Prom Evening!” plays a a lot a lot more meaningful position in this season’s storytelling. Section of that is due to the fact Brainy and Nia are there to tie the previous-set tale to the key time throughline. But it’s also due to the fact “Prom Evening!” prioritizes character-centric storytelling in excess of episodic villain-of-the-7 days plotting. That is been an general energy of Supergirl’s ultimate year. And it is a substantial asset to the calm but concentrated pacing of the initially component of this two-component experience.

“Prom Evening!” locks into the really exciting plan that Brainy and Nia are fundamentally the teenagers of the Tremendous Mates family. So, in a natural way, superior school is the excellent spot for them to method their respective psychological arcs. Nevertheless disappointed by her lack of ability to interpret her goals, Nia longs for her mom’s direction when bonding with teen Kara in excess of their special activities as young superpowered females who’ve experienced wonderful losses. Brainy, in the meantime, realizes that his new inhibitor-cost-free persona is sort of like currently being a hormonal teenager. And like a lot of an anxious, over-attaining significant schooler, he buries himself in extracurriculars to cope.

Illustration for article titled A stellar Supergirl time travels back to high school

Picture: The CW

There is so a great deal sitcom-y humor in “Prom Night!” that could slide flat on its facial area if Jesse Rath and Nicole Maines weren’t so fantastic at providing it. Supergirl delivers an sincere to joke “wassup” joke in the 12 months of our lord 2021, and it genuinely made me giggle! Rath and Maines deftly cope with the goofy comedy of Brainy and Nia posing as formalwear-loving aliens named Brandon and Brenda who’ve inadvertently crash landed in Midvale. But they’re also equipped to carry true spectacular weight to Brainy and Nia’s respective arcs much too. The self-assurance of this episode stems right from their good central performances. And if this does not inspire The CW to give them their possess spinoff series, I hope they at the very least get to grow to be players on Legends Of Tomorrow soon after Supergirl is completed.

The visitor cast is similarly wonderful far too. Eliza Helm does an uncanny Calista Flockhart perception as a youthful Cat—aka “CJ”—Grant, who arrives on the hunch that a solution superhero is building Midvale “the luckiest city in The us.” And while I’m not confident that Cat’s age or career trajectory make a lot feeling right here (the pilot usually takes spot only 6 many years soon after this episode is established), it feels proper that Supergirl ought to celebrate the haughty, dogged spirit of a person of its most formative characters, even without having Flockhart there to do it herself. Moreover you can normally handwave absent any of the timeline weirdness as component of the Disaster reset.

Illustration for article titled A stellar Supergirl time travels back to high school

Image: The CW

In simple fact, which is just what Supergirl does in one of its smartest, most unpredicted storytelling decisions. While the first “Midvale” episode centered on Alex and Kara fixing Kenny Li’s murder at the arms of a corrupt neighborhood sheriff, in the publish-Disaster timeline, Kenny lived and went on to grow to be Kara’s substantial university boyfriend. It is a clever retcon of a storyline that usually felt just a very little far too darkish for Supergirl’s sunny globe. And it’s really exceptional that in just a one episode, humble, smart, supportive Kenny (Peter Sudarso) manages to emerge as the most effective love interest the demonstrate has at any time presented Kara. When teenage Kara presumably won’t accept his offer you to stay in Midvale and do their superheroing out of a homemade Barn of Solitude, if Supergirl in the end settles on a present-day Kara/Kenny endgame, I would not be mad about it.

Rightfully so, nevertheless, the teen romance at the coronary heart of this episode is the a single concerning Kara and Alex. Like the previous “Midvale” episode, “Prom Night!” digs into the central conflict of their close sisterly bond. When the Danvers took Kara in, their complete household construction shifted all around her. Jeremiah misplaced his daily life guarding his new daughter’s secret identity, although Eliza inspired Alex to make Kara her biggest priority. Alex resents being quickly thrust into the pressures of older sibling duty, even though Kara resents currently being guilt-tripped in excess of one thing she in no way requested for—especially when her Earth household tends to downplay her galactic viewpoint and literal superpowers in favor of dealing with her like a little child who will need safeguarding.

Illustration for article titled A stellar Supergirl time travels back to high school

Image: The CW

It’s a wonderful, nuanced conflict superbly portrayed by Olivia Nikkanen and Izabela Vidovic. Supergirl is good to allow each youthful gals have legitimate details of perspective as they argue in the way that only sisters can. When there is some powerful effects get the job done and action throughout this episode—including a definitely exciting truck rescue sequence—the most explosive scene is Alex and Kara’s combat about which just one of them is far more mature. As with a good deal of issues in “Prom Night time!”, it is generally just set-up for upcoming week’s climatic conclusion. But, even so, zeroing in on Kara and Alex’s tense teenage years allows helps make their existing-day bond really feel even additional gained.

All all around, “Prom Night time!” makes use of this season’s strange output constraints as a springboard for creativeness. Following many episodes filled with needlessly challenging Phantom exposition, it is a reduction to see Supergirl strike a lighter, jazzier tone this week. Guardians Of The Galaxy-esque alien hunters Mitch (Matt Baram) and Professor Naxim Tork (Chris William Martin) are very low-essential antagonists who can present both motion and comedy without having pulling too much emphasis from the extra persuasive character-centric stuff. The episode’s only draw back is that it is truly just fifty percent a story. But no matter whether or not future week’s resolution sticks the landing, “Prom Evening!” offers me a ton of hope that Supergirl can nonetheless provide surprises in its final period. And that is “wassup.”


Stray observations

  • So, are Nia and Brainy still dating? It’s unusual how uncertain I am about. With any luck , up coming week’s promenade-themed episode clears things up!
  • I was not guaranteed how to truly feel about Nia singing “9 To 5” at 1st, but in the conclude, Nicole Maines’ earnestness (and pretty voice!) thoroughly sold me on it.
  • Equally, the scene of Nia and Kara excitedly showing off their powers all through a sleepover was pure, unfiltered Supergirl pleasure.
  • At a person point teen Alex claims a thing together the strains of “we need enable and we need to have weapons,” and that’s some wonderful character continuity.
  • It’s a wonderful, if rather inexplicable, contact that Alex has a “Midvale” license plate though Cat has a “Metropolis” one particular. I guess autos are certified by cities, instead than states, on Earth Prime.
  • “There’s practically nothing females adore far more than physics well used.”