Saturday, January 13, 2018

The First Supergirl Crossover: "Worlds Finest" Is Blandly Entertaining.

The Good: Good use of humor, Decent on-screen chemistry between Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist
The Bad: Little character continuity, Generic villains, Simplistic plot
The Basics: The Flash ends up on Supergirl in "Worlds Finest," which is fun, but not much more than that.

The crossover events on the DC Television Universe shows have become an annual tradition. Ever since Arrow first appeared on The Flash, even being in different universes could not stop the crossover phenomenon. The first Supergirl crossover episode was "Worlds Finest." "Worlds Finest" is more or less a standalone episode whose sole purpose is to bring The Flash to Supergirl and give the two heroes two villains to stop in a fun, team-up kind of way.

"Worlds Finest" comes after "Manhunter" (reviewed here!) put J'onn J'onzz and Alex Danvers on the run together. And Siobhan Smythe, having nearly fallen to her death, saved herself using a superhuman scream, which revealed to fans in the know (who already figured it out by her very name) that she was the Silver Banshee. "Worlds Finest" is set up to have Supergirl squaring off against two of her most popular and powerful villains and The Flash arriving to help her save National City.

Siobhan Smythe is taken to the DEO where she is examined by doctors there while Kara tries to win back the trust of the citizens of National City. Schott, Danvers and the DEO doctors are baffled by what Smythe might be, when she appears human. Meanwhile, Lucy Lane gets familiar with her new role at the DEO, Smythe sees her interact with Livewire and realizes that they share people they want revenge upon. While Kara gets romantic advice from Cat Grant, Smythe begins to suffer the effects of her physical transformation into a possessed woman with super powers. When Smythe goes to the CatCo offices, she tries to kill Kara and when Kara is thrown out the window and before she can be killed from the fall, she is rescued by The Flash.

After Barry Allen gives her a proper introduction, Kara returns to CatCo to introduce him to Olsen and Schott. Grant tries to name the new superhero in National City, while Smythe visits her aunt to learn the history of the Silver Banshee. Silver Banshee breaks Livewire out of the DEO prison and the two team up to take on Supergirl. When Barry and Kara fight Livewire and Silver Banshee to a stalemate, the two have to withdraw to build the technology that will allow them so survive an attack from the Silver Banshee. The villains capture Cat Grant and force a showdown.

"Worlds Finest" is fun in the relationship between Kara Danvers and Barry Allen. Allen and Danvers have great on-screen chemistry, but in order to sell the fun aspect of the episode, Melissa Benoist has to play Kara and Supergirl with a bubbly quality that almost completely redefines the character. Benoist and Grant Gustin worked on Glee together and it seems like they are enjoying the reunion on Supergirl in a way that makes both of their characters seem uncharacteristically happy.

Peppered throughout "Worlds Finest" is the "will they or won't they" character tension between Danvers and Olsen. Danvers is given trite advice from Cat Grant on how to win over James Olsen and it involves trickery and techniques, as opposed to being honest and genuine. That sense that Grant would endorse ridiculous games in winning over a love interest undermines Cat Grant's character and Supergirl. Supergirl viewers deserve better advice about forming adult relationships than "withold until he notices you."

"Worlds Finest" has Alex and J'onn J'onzz on the run the entire episode, but Kara is so bubbly about the appearance of The Flash and teasing James Olsen that she does not truly suffer any emotional consequences to her sister's absence.

In a similar way, the first appearance of the Silver Banshee is muted some by a dilution of her essential character traits. Smythe's aunt tells her that she can purge the spirit of revenge by killing the person who has wronged her. That is fine, albeit basic. But in teaming up with Livewire, Silver Banshee loses all focus on her desire to get revenge upon Kara. The result is something of a generic adversary who just showed up.

And that is how much of "Worlds Finest" goes: it is fun, without much reason, the villains are opposition without much sensibility or fury and the episode serves only to bring Supergirl to the attention of viewers of (at the time) the CW DC Television Universe shows.

For other Supergirl crossover episodes, please visit my reviews of:
"Duet" - The Flash
"Crisis On Earth-X, Part 1"


For other movie and television reviews, please visit my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2018 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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