Year 6, Episode 5, “Prom Evening!”

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

Image: The CW

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Sprock yeah! It turns out all it took to kick this time into significant gear was a time journey excursion back again to 2009. “Prom Night!” is an absolute satisfaction to watch—an hour that delivers all the zippy, big-scale, open-air entertaining this far more dour, claustrophobic season has been missing. And it’s also an episode that genuinely benefits long-time Supergirl followers. Significantly these with a prolonged memory of the show’s a lot of dangling plot threads. Brainy getting off his individuality inhibitors in time 5? Nia’s fractured loved ones drama from period four? Kenny Li’s deeply upsetting loss of life from the season a few Midvale flashback episode? It all gets addressed below, and all for the superior.

Forward of tonight’s time-hopping journey, I revisited Supergirl’s initially teenage flashback episode, “Midvale,” and it’s remarkable just how a great deal “Prom Evening!” improves on the method. Though “Midvale” felt like perfectly-cast, well-intentioned filler (Alex and Kara returned home and mirrored on a formative teen sleuthing working experience though processing their respective Maggie/Mon-El breakups), “Prom Night!” performs a significantly more meaningful job in this season’s storytelling. Element of that is simply because Brainy and Nia are there to tie the earlier-set story to the major period throughline. But it’s also because “Prom Night time!” prioritizes character-centric storytelling more than episodic villain-of-the-7 days plotting. That is been an total power of Supergirl’s ultimate time. And it is a huge asset to the calm but concentrated pacing of the initial component of this two-element adventure.

“Prom Night!” locks into the genuinely fun notion that Brainy and Nia are fundamentally the teens of the Tremendous Close friends household. So, in a natural way, significant faculty is the excellent location for them to procedure their respective emotional arcs. Still pissed off by her incapability to interpret her desires, Nia longs for her mom’s direction though bonding with teenager Kara above their special experiences as youthful superpowered females who’ve experienced good losses. Brainy, in the meantime, realizes that his new inhibitor-totally free individuality is kind of like currently being a hormonal teen. And like lots of an anxious, more than-acquiring significant schooler, he buries himself in extracurriculars to cope.

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

Photograph: The CW

There’s so substantially sitcom-y humor in “Prom Night!” that could tumble flat on its encounter if Jesse Rath and Nicole Maines weren’t so fantastic at selling it. Supergirl provides an straightforward to joke “wassup” joke in the yr of our lord 2021, and it truly manufactured me chortle! Rath and Maines deftly tackle 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 are also capable to carry real dramatic excess weight to Brainy and Nia’s respective arcs far too. The self esteem of this episode stems right from their fantastic central performances. And if this does not encourage The CW to give them their have spinoff collection, I hope they at least get to develop into gamers on Legends Of Tomorrow following Supergirl is finished.

The visitor cast is equally good also. Eliza Helm does an uncanny Calista Flockhart impact as a young Cat—aka “CJ”—Grant, who comes on the hunch that a secret superhero is producing Midvale “the luckiest town in The united states.” And while I’m not sure that Cat’s age or vocation trajectory make much perception right here (the pilot can take put only six several years just after this episode is established), it feels right that Supergirl ought to rejoice the haughty, dogged spirit of a single of its most formative characters, even without the need of Flockhart there to do it herself. Additionally you can normally handwave absent any of the timeline weirdness as section of the Crisis reset.

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

Image: The CW

In simple fact, that’s particularly what Supergirl does in one of its smartest, most unanticipated storytelling choices. Whilst the very first “Midvale” episode centered on Alex and Kara fixing Kenny Li’s murder at the palms of a corrupt neighborhood sheriff, in the post-Crisis timeline, Kenny lived and went on to become Kara’s substantial school boyfriend. It’s a intelligent retcon of a storyline that always felt just a minimal much too dark for Supergirl’s sunny world. And it’s rather remarkable that in just a single episode, humble, smart, supportive Kenny (Peter Sudarso) manages to arise as the best like curiosity the clearly show has ever offered Kara. When teenage Kara presumably will not acknowledge his present to continue to be in Midvale and do their superheroing out of a home made Barn of Solitude, if Supergirl finally settles on a existing-working day Kara/Kenny endgame, I would not be mad about it.

Rightfully so, having said that, the teenager connection at the heart of this episode is the a person in between Kara and Alex. Like the final “Midvale” episode, “Prom Night time!” digs into the central conflict of their shut sisterly bond. When the Danvers took Kara in, their full loved ones framework shifted all over her. Jeremiah shed his life safeguarding his new daughter’s secret id, even though Eliza encouraged Alex to make Kara her most important precedence. Alex resents getting suddenly thrust into the pressures of older sibling obligation, whilst Kara resents currently being guilt-tripped over something she by no means asked for—especially when her Earth household tends to downplay her galactic point of view and literal superpowers in favor of treating her like a minimal child who need to have defending.

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

Picture: The CW

It’s a excellent, nuanced conflict beautifully portrayed by Olivia Nikkanen and Izabela Vidovic. Supergirl is good to enable equally young women have valid points of watch as they argue in the way that only sisters can. Although there’s some powerful results get the job done and motion in the course of this episode—including a really entertaining truck rescue sequence—the most explosive scene is Alex and Kara’s struggle about which a single of them is a lot more experienced. As with a whole lot of things in “Prom Evening!”, it is mainly just set-up for following week’s climatic summary. But, even so, zeroing in on Kara and Alex’s tense teenage yrs will help makes their present-working day bond experience even a lot more attained.

All all around, “Prom Night time!” employs this season’s uncommon creation limitations as a springboard for creativity. Following various episodes filled with needlessly complicated Phantom exposition, it is a reduction to see Supergirl strike a lighter, jazzier tone this 7 days. Guardians Of The Galaxy-esque alien hunters Mitch (Matt Baram) and Professor Naxim Tork (Chris William Martin) are low-vital antagonists who can present each motion and comedy without pulling also considerably concentration from the extra compelling character-centric things. The episode’s only downside is that it is definitely just fifty percent a story. But whether or not or not upcoming week’s resolution sticks the landing, “Prom Night!” gives me a good deal of hope that Supergirl can nevertheless deliver surprises in its ultimate year. And that is “wassup.”

Stray observations

  • So, are Nia and Brainy however courting? It’s strange how unsure I am about. With any luck , subsequent week’s promenade-themed episode clears things up!
  • I wasn’t sure how to experience about Nia singing “9 To 5” at initial, but in the finish, Nicole Maines’ earnestness (and lovely voice!) absolutely sold me on it.
  • Similarly, the scene of Nia and Kara excitedly showing off their powers throughout a sleepover was pure, unfiltered Supergirl pleasure.
  • At one particular position teenager Alex claims a little something together the lines of “we will need help and we will need weapons,” and that’s some wonderful character continuity.
  • It’s a awesome, if relatively inexplicable, touch that Alex has a “Midvale” license plate even though Cat has a “Metropolis” one particular. I guess autos are certified by cities, alternatively than states, on Earth Key.
  • “There’s nothing girls love a lot more than physics very well applied.”