“Truth, Justice, and the American Way.” – aired 2/22/2016 – ***** stars
Story by Michael Grassi
Teleplay by Yhalin Chang and Caitlin Parrish
Directed by Lexi Alexander
*Spoilers are contained within.
It’s been two weeks since the thirteenth episode, “For The Girl Who Has Everything”, of CBS’ Supergirl. Monday has become a highlight of the week as we get a DC Comics based show reminiscent of the Richard Donner Superman: The Movie that is exciting, fun, and original. With FOX’s Gotham on hiatus, it’s allowed fans, new and old, to rediscover Melissa Benoist’s Kara Danvers and ask the Joe Kelly question – what’s so funny about truth, justice, and the American way?
“Truth, Justice, and the American Way” features a story by the standard Supergirl team and while they always do a remarkable job each week, the real highlight of this episode is the direction by Lexi Alexander. Alexander, a stunt woman who went on to direct Green Street, Punisher: War Zone, and an episode of this season’s Arrow, which I spoke about in length here, did a fantastic job at maintaining a balance between well choreographed action and pathos. Featuring the villain Master Jailer (Jeff Branson) and an introduction to Siobhan Smythe (Italia Ricci), “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” is an important episode as it not only furthers the conflict between Kara and Non (Chris Vance), but it also furthers the fallout of Astra’s (Laura Benanti) death in “For The Girl Who Has Everything.”
Supergirl has become a more confident show in a dramatically fast way since the pilot episode. 12 minutes into “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” and the title card flashes on screen. Bringing to mind the ABC series Alias, the Jennifer Garner one, not the Krysten Ritter Netflix series, Supergirl is impressive in how much fun and interesting they have with the story and characters and of just how much viewers are ready to accept Supergirl, whereas her Kryptonian cousin has had more trouble on the bigger screen.
Possibly the most interesting aspect of the Yahlin Chang and Caitlin Parrish teleplay is that the story mirrors many ideas that are present within Chris Terrio’s Batman v Superman screenplay. After the death of Kara’s aunt, we see her angrier than we normally do, but also faced with the questions of power and value. James (Mehcad Brooks) brings up the idea that Maxwell Lord, despite everything he does, may actually be terrified of her and aliens, especially of what they can do. While CBS’ Supergirl hasn’t become nearly as mature as the DC Films series, it is important that the writers have sought heavier themes for a show that could primarily be more akin to that of a live-action Saturday morning cartoon.
The cast of Supergirl is consistently great and even smaller characters like Brit Morgan as Livewire and Jenna Dewan Tatum as Lucy Lane have brought out the world that Kara occupies. Italia Ricci is an amazing addition to the cast of Siobhan Smythe aka Silver Banshee and it’s exciting to know that she’ll be paired with Livewire in the March 28th episode, featuring Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen/The Flash.
Melissa Benoist leads the cast of Supergirl with a cast that also includes Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen, Laura Benanti as Alura Zor-El, Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant, Chyler Leigh as Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, Jeremy Jordan as Winslow “Winn” Schott, Jenna Dewan Tatum as Lucy Lane, David Harewood as Hank Henshaw, Peter Facinelli as Maxwell Lord, with Dean Cain and Helen Slater.
Supergirl airs on CBS, Monday nights at 8 PM ET. Check your local listings.