A Look Back on Supergirl Season 1 Episode 18: World’s Finest

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Cat Grant: All four of you standing there doing nothing. You look like the attractive yet non-threatening, racially diverse cast of a CW show.

Beware: Spoilers may follow.

In March of 2016 we had the long awaited but ultimately disappointing Batman v. Superman movie. A few days later on the silver screen, we got a crossover between Supergirl and the Flash. This was the framing device for making Supergirl’s show a part of the Arrowverse. It also foreshadowed Supergirl moving to CW as when it started the show aired on CBS. While there is a plot in this Supergirl episode, the episode’s greatest strength lies in the camaraderie between the two heroes.

The story is that Kara Danvers a.k.a. Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) finds herself up against Leslie Willis a.k.a Livewire (Brit Morgan) and her vengeful co-worker Siobhan Smythe now known as Silver Banshee (Italia Ricci). Meanwhile Barry Allen a.k.a the Flash (Grant Gustin) in testing out his speed inadvertently blasts himself onto Kara’s earth. The two are quickly fascinated with each other’s origins and become good friends. Barry explains to Kara and her friends about the multiverse, how he ended up on her Earth, and his difficulty in returning home. Thus the two band together to help Barry return home while also taking on Supergirl’s foes.

Gustin and Benoist have outstanding chemistry together in this episode. Their shared fascination in learning about each other gives a joyous feel. Barry is amazed at meeting an alien and Kara is excited to encounter a fellow superhero. The way they compare pop culture references, Barry using his powers to buy her ice cream, and even the footrace at the end established such a precedent of charm between these two that would continue in their future meetings.

Jeremy Jordan as Winn is great this episode. In many ways Winn is pretty much the Cisco of team Supergirl. Seeing him nerd out with Barry upon learning of the multiverse (and of the latter’s powers) was fun and it’s a shame that there weren’t any more scenes between the two.

One of more clever nods to the Flash was to use the same sonic earplugs Barry used in his battle against the Pied Piper.

Both Morgan and Ricci bring theatrical performances as the villains of this episode. However the episode spends too much time trying to establish them. Seeing Livewire and Siobhan meet was fine but the scene where Siobhan’s aunt explains to her about her banshee powers originating from a curse felt unnecessary. The episode is far more driven on Barry and Kara’s interactions and could be more driven in Supergirl trying to regain National City’s trust after her rampage under the influence of Red Kryptonite. While it was nice to see the people stand behind Kara after she risks her life to save a helicopter from Livewire’s wrath, it felt a tad rushed.

The ending finally results in James (Mechad Brooks) Olsen and Kara finally sharing a kiss after teasing their relationship throughout the season. This relationship is one that has not been easy to get invested in at all. And thankfully the creators knew that as they ended that relationship almost three episodes later.

World’s finest doesn’t work as a whole Supergirl episode but the framed friendship and alliance between Barry and Kara is dialed up to eleven. This makes it a particularly engaging and makes Supergirl a welcome addition to the Arrowverse.

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