Same Geek Channel: Supergirl 1.4 Livewire: Mothers & Daughters

Thanksgiving came early to National City this year. To avoid portraying bombs going off in National City so close to the attacks in Paris, the Thanksgiving episode aired on November 16th.

Spoilers ahead friends! 

We find ourselves at the DEO watching an alien prisoner transport gone wrong. While nothing important happens here, there is a fight scene between Supergirl and said alien that looks to be well choreographed, but it’s hard to say that for sure as the camera never settles for long.

Supergirl subdues the alien, takes the rest of the day off, and flies home to find Alex freaking out about the pending arrival of their Mom, Eliza Danvers. Mama Danvers is none other than Helen Slater, who is visiting for Thanksgiving, and says she approves of Kara’s “coming out” as Supergirl. Not sure I believe her but let’s move on and meet the villain of the week.

Leslie Willis, CatCo’s own shock jock, disapproves of Supergirl and denounces everything from her “adorkable thing” to her wardrobe and her sex life. Leslie’s rant is yet another way the producers bash us over the head, but this time they vocalize a lot of our concerns about the Girl of Steel. So, they’ve got my attention. And Cat’s. She is not happy with Leslie’s “going after a young girl, insulting her body, how she dresses, her sexuality.”

And yes, that was Cat Grant seemingly standing up for Supergirl. Leslie counters that Cat is just as hard on Supergirl as she is, so what makes Supergirl special?  “Supergirl is changing the conversation of National City.” Cat tells her. “People don’t want your brand of negativity anymore Leslie. They want optimism, hope, positivity.”  Leslie calls Cat, rightly, a hypocrite, and Cat demotes Leslie to traffic reporter.

To the CatCopter! (Seriously, that’s what it’s called.) 

It’s a dark and stormy night, Leslie is in the air giving her first traffic report. The copter gets struck by lightning, and Supergirl flies in to save the day. Once the pilot, who fell out of the CatCopter, is safe on the ground, Supergirl flies back up to save Leslie. While trying to get Leslie out of the CatCopter, Supergirl is struck by lightning that passes through her and hits Leslie, leaving her in a coma, and creating Livewire.

Cat and Kara visit Leslie at the hospital. Cat wants to leave and Kara laments how bad Supergirl must feel. They head out the door. Before leaving Cat, seeming to care and actually be concerned for Leslie hisses, “Get off your ass Willis. Both of us know you are tougher than lightning.”

And suddenly, maybe there is more to Cat Grant then the bitch we’ve seen. Character development? Who knew? Eventually, Leslie does just that and finds she’s all electric (boogie oogie oogie) and kills some creep in an alley, who just sounds rapey.

Back on the home front, Mama Danvers is actually not happy that Kara has put herself in danger by being Supergirl, and of course blames Alex. Rather than deal with the issue, Alex storms off leaving Mama Danvers to reminisce about the girls through a flashback with Dean Cain, where we see Kara and Alex fly off into the night sky for fun.

Since it is Thanksgiving, we have to have a tension-filled family dinner.

Alex is drunk. Winn is trying to make polite conversation, and Kara just wants everyone to be happy. Alex spills the beans that she works for the DEO. Mama Danvers is not happy that Alex lied, among other things we learn later. Alex storms out, Winn politely escapes, and as Kara starts to defend Alex, she’s called to CatCo for an emergency.

Before Kara gets to the office, we are treated to the continuation of the flashback where the girls are back at the house and in trouble for flying without permission. Before we get too far into the lecture, someone is at the door.  The girls are sent to their room and Papa Danvers is freaked by the appearance of Hank Henshaw at his door.

Cat is working on Thanksgiving, to no one’s surprise. None of her electronics are working, because Leslie 2.0, a.k.a Livewire is wreaking havoc on CatCo.

Hi! I got a new hair do. Image by CBS
Hi! I got a new hair do. Image by CBS

As she chases Kara and Cat through the office, Cat sends Kara to security 20 floors down, giving her a chance to slip into something a bit more super, and Livewire says things like “here kitty kitty kitty.”

Kara returns as Supergirl to fight Livewire and try and talk her into getting some help.  Cat attempts to escape via her private elevator, which Livewire sends plummeting. As Supergirl saves Cat, Livewire escapes.

In the aftermath of Livewire’s attack, Henshaw poses as an FBI agent who’s processing the scene. Once he leaves, Cat and Kara have what seems to be a heart to heart. Kara tells Cat that her parents died “in a fire” and she has a foster mother. Cat seems genuinely sorry for Kara. She then confesses, in some more character development, that her constant pushing and demand for excellence is because of her very own Mommy issues, having never been good enough for her own mother. Her monologue ends with her belief that she created the monster that is Livewire.

Later, when Alex comes home, she and Eliza finally have a heart to heart where Alex asks why she wasn’t enough. Because Kara had gone through so much in her short life, Eliza was easier on Kara then she was in Alex. She just wanted Alex to do better than her, Alex was always her Supergirl. (And may I say, Bravo Chyler Leigh, Bravo.)

Back at CatCo, Cat wants to work with Supergirl to catch Livewire. They hatch a plan and Cat goes on the air to call Livewire out, inviting her to meet “where it all started.”

So they meet at the rundown radio station, where Cat discovered Leslie, to have a chat. Livewire blasts Cat, who is trying to reason with her. Supergirl arrives and attempts to use the Ghostbusters trap that the DEO has given her. She fails and seems to have been bested by Livewire when she remembers that water and electricity don’t mix. Supergirl douses Livewire with a conveniently placed hose. She’s melted the wicked witch and all is well.

The next morning at CatCo, Kara arrives with leftovers for Winn. Winn then admits his father is in prison (nice reference for those of us playing at home) and he is thankful for having been included in her holiday at all. Just as he plants a kiss on her cheek, James and Lucy arrive and are all coupley holding all of Kara’s attention and reminding Winn that he remains forever in the Friend Zone.

But there is work to be done! Kara heads into Cat’s office with salacious paparazzi photos so she can pick which of them to publish. Seeming to have a change of character, Cat decides to go with a photo essay about people who volunteer at soup kitchens. As Kara heads off to set that in motion, Cat declares she wants to know more about Kara than how her parents died and that she has a foster mom.

In our final installment of “things that happened in the Danvers’ family past,” we see Papa Danvers agreeing to work with Henshaw and the DEO if they leave Kara alone. Henshaw agrees.

Back in the present, Eliza tells the girls that their father died working for Henshaw and the DEO. A bit later at the DEO, after being praised by Henshaw for how she dealt with Livewire, the girls agree that they need to find out what happened to their dad.

Overall, I enjoyed this episode. It was entertaining. I feel like maybe they are heading in the right direction. This episode can be summed up in three words “Mothers and Daughters”. It focuses on what Greg Berlanti and friends do so well, portraying and exploring the intricacies of family. The mother/daughter relationship, be it Mama Danvers and her girls, Cat and Supergirl, Cat and Leslie, Cat and her own mother is highlighted throughout this episode. Cat was given some personality thanks to her Mommy issues and we get some insight as to why Alex is so over protective. We also see just how defining the relationship the mother/daughter relationship is to all involved.

I have some bigger picture thoughts, but I’ll share those after my recap of the next episode “How Does She Do It?” Stay tuned friends, there’s more coming!

By day, Lisa is a writer and TV producer. Passionate about children’s media, she has had the privilege to work on shows such as The Electric Company, Sesame Street, Johnny and the Sprites, Between the Lions, and Monica’s Mixing Bowl. She believes everything, both on TV and in life, is better with puppets! By night, she spends time with her husband wading through the ever growing list of shows in their TiVo; feeding their mutual addiction as scripted TV junkies. In her spare time, she teaches her daughter all about Doctor Who, Superheroes, Star Wars, Disney movies and to never ask an owl how many licks it takes to get to Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.