TV Review: Supergirl – “Bizarro”

Supergirl - "Bizarro"
Warning: this review contains spoilers. You can find my review of the previous episode of Supergirl here.
Supergirl had been gaining momentum for the past two weeks, and I had hoped that streak would remain unbroken in an episode with the promising title of “Bizarro”. And while “Bizarro” certainly had its fair share of strengths, it was a step down from the last two episodes.
Bizarro herself was handled very well. Melissa Benoist demonstrated even more range than she already had by playing this confused doppelgänger lacking all of Kara’s warmth yet retaining just enough for the audience to sympathize with her. It was a familiar Frankenstein’s monster story, and that worked to its advantage. I hope we see more of Bizarro in the future.
Almost everything else about this episode fell flat, though. For one, Kara’s brief romance with Adam Foster would have been charming had it not been so short or felt so inconsequential. With Bizarro on the loose, how are we to invest in Kara’s lighthearted love life? I keep raising this concern because Supergirl has not yet managed to balance Kara’s civilian and superhero life in a way that respects the high stakes of the latter while also making the former feel more than a diversion. Granted, it’s a difficult task to pull off, but it’s a problem that keeps affecting this show.
Kara and Adam FosterWorse, Kara and Adam were barely together an episode before being broken up. I don’t know how the show expected us to be upset with the way their relationship ended when it didn’t give us any time to invest in it to begin with. And don’t get me started on the nonchalant way Adam and Cat reacted to Kara being kidnapped by Bizarro. The only good thing that came out of this plot was Cat being super nice to Kara while she dated Adam. That bit was cute and suitably humourous.
When the show first started I thought we were heading in a direction that saw Winn turn into a bad guy thanks to his unrequited feelings for Kara, but he’s actually been handling it refreshingly well. The scene in which he and James shared a drink and bonded over their feelings for Kara was actually sweet.
James, on the other hand, has not been handled well on this show. This week was the first time he made his feelings for Kara explicit (though not to her) and rather than being touching, it just made him come off as a jerk. As he himself stated: he’s in a relationship with Lucy. Why on earth is he still with her when he clearly has feelings for someone else? It feels like he’s stringing her along and toying with her emotions and that is not something one of our protagonists should be doing, let alone the main love interest. Heck, why did the show bother introducing Lucy in the first place? She’s not a well-developed character, she hasn’t served the plot in any way, and her relationship with James isn’t resonating with the audience. Her existence only makes us dislike James and root against him.
Also, I was a bit annoyed that James was the one Bizarro kidnapped. Yeah, it’s a nice reversal of the damsel in distress trope. But Bizarro has no way of knowing Kara and James have unspoken feelings for each other. Why not kidnap Adam, whom she actually saw Kara on a date with, thus making that subplot relevant at least? Or why not Alex, thus capitalizing on Max Lord’s discovery that she’s Kara’s sister? Nope, it had to be James, because he’s the love interest and we have to contrive a way for him to dramatically reveal his emotions.
I’m griping a fair bit but to be honest, the Bizarro-related elements really worked and kept the episode afloat. As a result, I’m giving it 3/5.

Rating: 3/5 (Passable)

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