Warning: this review contains spoilers. You can find all of my Supergirl episode reviews here.
“World’s Finest” brought together the two most likable superheroes in live action to spectacular results. It was an incredibly fun if cheesy episode that lived up to its promise and more.
Grant Gustin brought his trademark charm to Supergirl, that same quality that made The Flash such a success. And the usually endearing Melissa Benoist was downright adorable in all of her scenes. Not only that, but Gustin and Benoist’s chemistry was through the roof. Both Supergirl and The Flash have taken a similar lighthearted approach to their storytelling, which made them the perfect match for this crossover episode. From the epic moment the Flash burst onto this Earth, his theme music blazing along with him (thanks, Blake Neely!), I knew we were in for a treat.
The scenes between Barry and Kara made “World’s Finest” truly shine. There’s just something inherently fun about watching two superheroes discover each other for the first time, comparing and showing off powers, especially when you factor in that they’re from different universes. From Barry using his speed to bring Kara and her friends ice cream (look at Melissa’s face!) to him posing for a photo with a spaceship, this episode was filled with moments that ensured it was nothing if not utterly charming.
That’s not to mention the heavy amount of cheeky, self-aware humour, mostly thanks to Cat Grant. “You look like the attractive yet nonthreatening racially diverse cast of a CW show.” Loved it.
A duo of heroes need a pair of villains, and “World’s Finest” did a decent job providing Kara and Barry with two worthy foes. “Livewire” was the first Supergirl episode that I thought was genuinely great and had a strong villain, so I was glad to see Leslie Willis finally back. Meanwhile, Siobhan’s development had been well established these past few weeks, so her rather rushed transformation into Silver Banshee (thanks to a random but convenient exposition-delivering aunt and some not-so-great makeup) was a bit of a letdown. Still, Livewire and Silver Banshee were more than an adequate threat to justify Barry and Kara teaming up, and they had a logical reason to work together as well. What does it say about Cat Grant that two of her employees ended up being villains—and one of them a superhero?
My only worry about “World’s Finest” was that it would be too much of a standalone, a distraction from the main story arc of the season, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. The consequences of the Red Kryptonite were the main focus of the plot, which centered around Kara’s quest to earn back the public’s trust. Barry’s presence did not take away from that—in fact, one of the episode’s strongest scenes was Barry giving Kara advice about these issues (in a very Barry-like way, I might add). The ending of the episode may have been heavy on the cheese, but it ultimately worked because it was a moment that was earned. We’d seen how National City had trusted Kara, which made “Falling” such a heartbreaking episode, and made this redemption all the more powerful.
I posted a comic about this yesterday, but “World’s Finest” was even more of a breath of fresh air when juxtaposed with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, released just a few days ago. It, too, featured a superhero team-up and tackled the idea of a hero trying to win back a disillusioned public, but World’s Finest did it so much better, cheese and all. No, it wasn’t a super thoughtful piece on superheroism and the relationship between gods and mortals, but it knew exactly what it needed to be and delivered an incredibly fun hour of television. I hope this isn’t the last we see of those two together.
With the recent series of great Supergirl episodes, I’d mentioned that I was worried about the season returning to its main storyline, i.e. the less exciting conflict with Non and the Kryptonians. That being said, this episode’s ending succeeded in being pretty eerie and definitely piqued my interest. In a season full of ups and downs, it looks like Supergirl might just stick the landing after all.
Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)
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