Season 6, Episode 5, “Prom Night!”

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

Photo: The CW

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Sprock yeah! It turns out all it took to kick this year into higher equipment was a time travel excursion back to 2009. “Prom Evening!” is an absolute satisfaction to watch—an hour that provides all the zippy, massive-scale, open-air enjoyable this much more dour, claustrophobic year has been lacking. And it’s also an episode that genuinely benefits long-time Supergirl enthusiasts. Specifically individuals with a lengthy memory of the show’s many dangling plot threads. Brainy getting off his persona inhibitors in year 5? Nia’s fractured relatives drama from year four? Kenny Li’s deeply upsetting dying from the season three Midvale flashback episode? It all will get addressed right here, and all for the superior.

In advance of tonight’s time-hopping journey, I revisited Supergirl’s first teenage flashback episode, “Midvale,” and it is extraordinary just how considerably “Prom Evening!” enhances on the formula. Whilst “Midvale” felt like effectively-forged, effectively-intentioned filler (Alex and Kara returned residence and reflected on a formative teenager sleuthing knowledge while processing their respective Maggie/Mon-El breakups), “Prom Night!” performs a much additional meaningful part in this season’s storytelling. Aspect of that is because Brainy and Nia are there to tie the earlier-established story to the main time throughline. But it’s also due to the fact “Prom Night time!” prioritizes character-centric storytelling about episodic villain-of-the-week plotting. That’s been an general power of Supergirl’s last time. And it’s a enormous asset to the relaxed but centered pacing of the very first section of this two-part journey.

“Prom Evening!” locks into the genuinely pleasurable concept that Brainy and Nia are basically the teens of the Tremendous Friends loved ones. So, naturally, higher university is the fantastic area for them to process their respective psychological arcs. However frustrated by her inability to interpret her dreams, Nia longs for her mom’s direction whilst bonding with teenager Kara over their exclusive encounters as young superpowered females who’ve suffered wonderful losses. Brainy, meanwhile, realizes that his new inhibitor-free identity is kind of like becoming a hormonal teen. And like a lot of an anxious, around-reaching higher 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 a great deal sitcom-y humor in “Prom Night!” that could drop flat on its face if Jesse Rath and Nicole Maines weren’t so good at providing it. Supergirl provides an trustworthy to joke “wassup” joke in the yr of our lord 2021, and it genuinely manufactured me chortle! Rath and Maines deftly deal with 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 in a position to carry authentic spectacular bodyweight to Brainy and Nia’s respective arcs also. The assurance of this episode stems directly from their terrific central performances. And if this doesn’t encourage The CW to give them their personal spinoff collection, I hope they at minimum get to turn into players on Legends Of Tomorrow soon after Supergirl is finished.

The visitor cast is similarly great way too. Eliza Helm does an uncanny Calista Flockhart impression as a younger Cat—aka “CJ”—Grant, who arrives on the hunch that a solution superhero is creating Midvale “the luckiest city in The usa.” And while I’m not certain that Cat’s age or vocation trajectory make significantly perception below (the pilot normally takes location only six decades just after this episode is established), it feels right that Supergirl really should rejoice the haughty, dogged spirit of a single of its most formative characters, even without the need of Flockhart there to do it herself. Moreover you can generally handwave absent any of the timeline weirdness as element of the Disaster reset.

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

Photo: The CW

In truth, that is particularly what Supergirl does in one particular of its smartest, most unanticipated storytelling selections. Though the 1st “Midvale” episode centered on Alex and Kara solving Kenny Li’s murder at the hands of a corrupt regional sheriff, in the publish-Disaster timeline, Kenny lived and went on to become Kara’s large college boyfriend. It’s a intelligent retcon of a storyline that normally felt just a tiny also dim for Supergirl’s sunny planet. And it is really extraordinary that in just a one episode, humble, clever, supportive Kenny (Peter Sudarso) manages to arise as the greatest adore desire the clearly show has ever supplied Kara. When teenage Kara presumably won’t accept his offer you to continue to be in Midvale and do their superheroing out of a home made Barn of Solitude, if Supergirl finally settles on a current-working day Kara/Kenny endgame, I wouldn’t be mad about it.

Rightfully so, nevertheless, the teenager romantic relationship at the heart of this episode is the one particular amongst Kara and Alex. Like the last “Midvale” episode, “Prom Night time!” digs into the central conflict of their near sisterly bond. When the Danvers took Kara in, their entire relatives composition shifted about her. Jeremiah misplaced his daily life guarding his new daughter’s solution identification, while Eliza inspired Alex to make Kara her greatest precedence. Alex resents currently being suddenly thrust into the pressures of more mature sibling obligation, even though Kara resents staying guilt-tripped over anything she never ever questioned for—especially when her Earth loved ones tends to downplay her galactic perspective and literal superpowers in favor of managing her like a minimal kid who will need defending.

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

Photo: The CW

It is a great, nuanced conflict beautifully portrayed by Olivia Nikkanen and Izabela Vidovic. Supergirl is good to enable the two youthful women have legitimate details of perspective as they argue in the way that only sisters can. Although there’s some robust results work and motion all over this episode—including a really enjoyment truck rescue sequence—the most explosive scene is Alex and Kara’s combat about which one of them is more experienced. As with a lot of points in “Prom Evening!”, it’s mostly just established-up for next week’s climatic conclusion. But, even so, zeroing in on Kara and Alex’s tense teenage years will help will make their existing-working day bond feel even a lot more acquired.

All all over, “Prom Night time!” employs this season’s abnormal output limits as a springboard for creative imagination. Following many episodes filled with needlessly complicated Phantom exposition, it’s a reduction to see Supergirl strike a lighter, jazzier tone this week. Guardians Of The Galaxy-esque alien hunters Mitch (Matt Baram) and Professor Naxim Tork (Chris William Martin) are reduced-vital antagonists who can give both equally motion and comedy with out pulling much too a lot aim from the much more powerful character-centric things. The episode’s only downside is that it’s really just 50 percent a tale. But regardless of whether or not following week’s resolution sticks the landing, “Prom Evening!” gives me a good deal of hope that Supergirl can continue to supply surprises in its remaining year. And that is “wassup.”


Stray observations

  • So, are Nia and Brainy nonetheless dating? It is bizarre how uncertain I am about. Hopefully subsequent week’s prom-themed episode clears things up!
  • I wasn’t positive how to truly feel about Nia singing “9 To 5” at very first, but in the finish, Nicole Maines’ earnestness (and wonderful voice!) thoroughly offered me on it.
  • In the same way, the scene of Nia and Kara excitedly exhibiting off their powers through a sleepover was pure, unfiltered Supergirl pleasure.
  • At a person level teen Alex states some thing along the traces of “we will need assistance and we need to have weapons,” and that’s some good character continuity.
  • It is a nice, if to some degree inexplicable, contact that Alex has a “Midvale” license plate while Cat has a “Metropolis” a single. I guess cars are certified by metropolitan areas, alternatively than states, on Earth Prime.
  • “There’s absolutely nothing females appreciate more than physics perfectly used.”