SUPERGIRL 5.01 Review “Event Horizon”
This post contains spoilers for Supergirl.
Last season of Supergirl was one of its best. Unfortunately, its finale tried to close out too many arcs at once. This resulted in lack of satisfactory endings basically across the board. The most important of those was Kara’s op-ed that ultimately led to the takedown of both the corrupt President and Lex Luthor. While that moment wasn’t given what it deserved, it seems the fallout will be a key focus in this season.
Our sweet, lovable, and sometimes very naïve Kara believed that her piece would help inspire people to take action. Instead, with the two biggest evils facing their country defeated, people have turned to the gadgets of Obsidian North to help take them out of reality. The general populace isn’t alone, either. After learning that Kara is Supergirl from a dying Lex, Lena has also turned to technology. All parties involved will most certainly be bitten in the ass over this decision before the season’s out.
The Lena we meet in “Event Horizon” has completely detached herself from any form of emotion. It appears to have only been a month since the incident, but killing Lex has clearly made something snap. Early on in the episode, a monotoned Lena insists that none of this is about killing Supergirl. Though her plans to destroy Kara and the rest of their friends seem to speak otherwise.
The first step in Lena’s master plan was selling CatCo. Andrea Rojas will now take over the company as Editor in Chief. The character we’re first introduced to is sugary sweet, but that quickly changes as the episode progresses. If you’re into the comics, you’ll recognize Rojas as the infamous Acrata. But she hasn’t revealed herself as Supergirl’s nemesis just yet. Instead, she’s keen on ruining CatCo’s name and the careers of everyone who works there.
While Rojas plays with everyone’s alter egos, Midnight’s brought in to wreak havoc on the super friends. We’ll be seeing her again later in the season, but for now she was merely a distraction. It seems J’onn’s evil twin, Ma'alefa'ak, will be playing a key role in the baddie hijinks this season. There’s a lot of villainy going around in the premiere, but Ma'alefa'ak is the only one who brought a dinosaur to the party. I checked the rule book. Bringing a dinosaur to a fight with Supergirl means that he wins.
There’s a story brewing this season that goes so much deeper than vengeance. That might be the motive driving Lena’s vendetta, but underneath all that is a conversation about complicity and inaction. Kara gives one of the most heartfelt and devastating apologies of the series (seriously, Melissa Benoist is unstoppable when it comes to these emotional scenes), but it’s not enough to change her best friend's heart. We find out later that part of Rojas’ deal with Lena was the news story to end all stories. It was Lena’s intent to out Kara as the Girl of Steel, but her best friend’s confession opens the door for more nefarious plans from the new Leading Luthor.
“Event Horizon” focuses on a Kara Danvers who finds herself floundering. While Supergirl only has to deal with a damaged cape sending her off-kilter, Kara is forced to watch her ability to affect change disappear right before her eyes. With Rojas’ decision to pivot to more “clickable” content, the entirety of CatCo finds their purpose at risk. A purpose that Rojas ensures them they will not be able to pursue elsewhere should they quit. Though Kara unfalteringly stands up for what she believes in when Rojas threatens to have an inept male colleague re-write her, there’s little she can do to stop it.
All of this CatCo drama leads to the departure of the beloved James Olson. Rojas promises that there’s a place for him in her new empire, but he knows that’s impossible. He quickly quits with little fanfare, giving no detail on what he’ll do next. This arc is a little forced, as Mehcad Brooks was cast in the upcoming Mortal Kombat film, but it’s likely we’ll get more detail on Olson’s future in the next couple of episodes. The showrunners have already made it clear that James Olson will always be there for Brooks should he decide to return after this role.
Overall, an incredibly solid first-showing for this season of Supergirl. The show maintains its focus on current events, while still throwing in plenty of laughs to lighten the mood. Brainy and Nia, and Alex and Kelly remain completely adorable, satisfying the show’s need for shippable couples for the time being. Rojas is as dastardly as they come, and the Ma'alefa'ak saga promises to give us more insight on our favorite Green Martian. We even get a little tease of future Teschmacher drama!
Reviews this year are going to work a little differently than they have in the past. I’m here for the gauntlet of Arrowverse premieres, you’ll see me again for Crisis on Infinite Earths, and then finally for the finales. If you had thoughts on Supergirl’s premiere, I want to hear ‘em in the comments!