TV Review: Supergirl – “How Does She Do It”

"How Does She Do It"
Warning: this review contains spoilers.
"How Does She Do It" tackled the age-old superhero conundrum: how to balance the many responsibilities of being a hero with an already hectic civilian life. As common as that trope is, I like how Supergirl used Cat Grant as an example of someone who successfully juggles an impossible number of responsibilities. For most of the episode, the phrase "how does she do it" applied to Cat, not Kara. She’s the best supporting character of the show, though sadly she was away for most of the episode. But her absence demonstrated just how difficult it was to deal with everything she had to. This tied into Kara’s story thematically but also offered her someone to look up to and, by the end of the episode, take advice from.
The subplot with Kara babysitting Cat’s son was fun and cute, but I would have liked it if it were better explored. There was a lot going on in an episode about too much going on, so it just got lost in the shuffle. Still, his crush on Supergirl was sweet and a nice example of how public opinion (boys as well as girls) is on Kara’s side. And he did add a sense of imminent danger to the climactic scene, even though his presence there was somewhat predictable.
Yet again, this week’s villain, the bomber whose name I already forgot, was unmemorable. But I’m letting that slide because he was just a tool in a larger plan concocted by Maxwell Lord. The bombings being a series of "tests" to study Supergirl’s strengths and weaknesses was a welcome twist. Peter Facinelli’s performance is a bit hammy, but unless I’m mistaken we might have another major nemesis on our hands.
Speaking of potential nemeses, the Henshaw mystery continues to be intriguing. We know he has powers, but we don’t know what they are. We’ve been told he’s not to be trusted, yet he (secretly) saved the day. The show’s pacing has been awkward—Astra’s story being put on hold, for example—but the Henshaw subplot is being teased just right.
Finally, the weakest element of the show is the love triangle. To be fair, I expected it to be worse. I liked the mini-arc she went through, embracing her role as the "friendzoned" one, which was another instance of the show’s feminist tendencies. It showed that both men and women can have unrequited love, and having Kara accept it without any of the bitterness or entitlement that is typical of most frienzoned men makes her a positive example. I also enjoyed Kara’s heart-to-heart scenes with both Lucy and James. I just didn’t enjoy James and Lucy’s scenes together. James has so far been the least developed side-character, and we weren’t given the chance to properly invest in him as a love interest either. So I find myself not caring if he gets back with Lucy or not (and not just because I knew he was going to thanks to the episodes airing out of order).

Rating: 3/5 (Passable)

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