The Prisoner’s Dilemma

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SUMMARY: A former Phantom Zone prison guard is tracking down and executing his former inmates.  James confronts Kara about the unethical imprisonment of the one prisoner that the public knows about, but none of the prisoners the public doesn’t know.  Cat Grant finally hires a new assistant who is good at her job.


 

Syd: Welcome to Episode 14 of Supergirl, where you shall have no other god before the Status Quo.

Margaret: You may question the Status Quo, but the Status Quo rules all.

Syd: Before we start, there were some little world-building Easter eggs you might have noticed in this episode – like when Supergirl references some other town where masks are in vogue or when Alex mentions an intergalactic bounty hunter.  The geekier among us know what the writers are hinting at – Boba Fett is going to be on the show!

Margaret: Oh my God, I would be so excited if they announced that Boba Fett was going to be on the show, but unfortunately, that can never be because Star Wars is owned by Disney.  That’s ABC.
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Midseason Recap

 

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Syd: Welcome to a special bonus edition of Tales from the Krypton, where we will try to break down where each Supergirl character is 13 episodes in.

Margaret: CBS’s original order for the series was 13 episodes. It wasn’t until after the first few episodes had aired that 7 more episodes were added to the season. Everything after the 13th episode wasn’t planned until after some of the season had aired.

Syd: I’m pretty sure they didn’t plan out the full 13 episodes when they were first ordered. A lot of the past few episodes seemed like they were made up as the show went along.

Margaret: We don’t think they’ve planned anything very far ahead.

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Winslow “Win”? “Winn”? Schott, Jr.

Syd: We’ll start with a little correction. We have been shortening Winslow’s name to “Win” – spelled like something he rarely does – because it’s what we heard people calling him and because it’s the first syllable of “Winslow.” That makes sense, right?

Margaret: But on IMDB, his name is “Winn,” which doesn’t make any sense. “Winslow” only has one n. This is like shortening “until” to “till.” Why would you do that? Maybe this is the way real life people named Winslow spell it? I don’t know, because I don’t know anyone named Winslow.

Syd: Well, it’s more likely that we got it wrong than they did, so going forward, we’re adding the extra n. This is a bold and dynamic move for the blog.

Margaret: Henceforth, “Win” will be “Winn.” It’s a good thing we don’t have to talk about him too much. This season, they had a good character arc for him, but they just dragged it out too long for it to completely repair his initial introduction. Winn had one of my favorite character moments. Unfortunately, it was just kind of walked back.

Syd: As we are introduced to him, Winn is Kara’s best friend, and, as often happens, he has developed a crush on his best friend, and there was a lot of talk about “The Friend Zone,” which is something that grew old around 1995 when the Friends episode that originated the term was being rerun.

Margaret: This is perfectly normal behavior – for 13 year-olds.

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A Dream, A Hoax, and an Imaginary Story

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SUMMARY: While in a coma, Supergirl dreams that she is back on Krypton. Meanwhile, the D.E.O. tries to stop the Phantom Zone criminals’ plan, despite still not knowing what that plan is.


Margaret: Welcome to episode 13 of Tales from the Krypton – the end of the original run of Supergirl before it was picked up for the back 7 episodes. Tonight, we delve into what Supergirl really wants, or what the showrunners want us to think she really wants.

Syd: Except, no, we don’t. That is the biggest problem with this episode. It’s based Alan Moore’s Superman story called “For the Man Who Has Everything,” which had an interesting set up in that Superman was put into a prison that he wouldn’t want to escape from because he was experiencing his fantasy life.  Through this, you got to see what kind of life Superman would find ideal. You saw him being married and having children and still living on a Krypton that was never destroyed. It’s kind of a simple idea that there is a tragedy that this dynamic action hero who rubs elbows with gods is being denied the simple life he really wants by being a superhero. So the story has the interesting dimensions of showing the audience what the hero really wants and then forcing the hero to escape what he really wants. This episode provided neither of those things.

Margaret: What did you think they were going to do that they didn’t? Was it her having a family?

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Syd: I don’t think that is what Kara wants most. I’m not sure what she really wants has anything to do with living on Krypton and not being a superhero, and just about the only thing we see of her life on Krypton in this episode is her family telling her she’s crazy. “For the Man Who Has Everything” starts with Superman coming home from a day at work to a surprise birthday party from his family and he is genuinely happy and we get the sense of how much he would have to give up to escape this dream life. This episode starts with Kara waking up on Krypton and immediately knowing something is wrong. Even when she starts buying into the illusion, we don’t see what her life is like – she has a family, but no career, no purpose, no ambition, essentially no life. It looks like a nightmare that she should want to wake from.

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Bizarro! I’m Helping!

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SUMMARY: Kara goes on a date with Cat’s son Adam, but decides it was not meant to be. A genetic duplicate of Supergirl fights the original Supergirl. The D.E.O. kidnaps Lex and holds him indefinitely. 


NOTE: Regular Syd walked out of this episode in disgust halfway through, so Bizarro Syd is filling in on the blog.


Margaret: Welcome to Tales from the Krypton, Episode 12: “Bizarro,” where we meet a Bizarro Supergirl who is neither Bizarro nor Supergirl.

Bizarro Syd: I was really excited to see this show’s take on Bizarro Supergirl, who has got to be like my second favorite supporting character from Supergirl – after Comet the Superhorse, natch. In the comics, Bizarro is an evil clone of Superman created by Lex Luthor. He first showed up in John Byrne’s Man of Steel, and he was like the one bright spot in an otherwise unnecessary reboot. Bizarro just was an instant success and started showing up everywhere. This Supergirl episode isn’t even Bizarro’s first time on primetime TV. There was a 90s show called Seinfeld that did an episode about Bizarro, but that was pretty obscure, so I don’t think you would have heard of it. But it makes sense that he was on a comedy show, because Bizarro is always hilarious and he makes every comic he’s in great. Like in Geoff Johns’ Teen Titans run when he made the Superboy clone Match explicitly into a Bizarro, that was such genius, because when writers take a new character and reshape him into some framework that the reader is already familiar with, the comics can do really deep stuff like metaphors. It’s like how Captain Manhattan from The Watchmen is a metaphor for Superman or like how Superman is a metaphor for Jesus. I think that’s why I like Maxwell Lord on this show so much – because he’s a metaphor for Lex Luthor.

Margaret: Or even Supergirl, who is a metaphor for Superman.

Bizarro Syd: It’s so deep.

Margaret: If only that were true, Bizarro Syd.

Bizarro Syd: This whole episode was like poetry. It even opened with Maxwell Lord reciting poetry. Maxwell Lord is supersmart. He got a medical degree in one year!

Margaret: He has multiple degrees, but none of them are in English or in poetry.

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