Supergirl Review: “How Does She Do It?”

The show gets grounded this week by its own Silver Age silliness, but we do learn more about Maxwell Lord, Hank Henshaw, and Cat Grant.

Director: Thor Freudenthal
Writers: Yahlin Chang, Ted Sullivan, Derek Simon

Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers
Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen
David Harewood as Director Hank Henshaw
Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant
Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers
Peter Facinelli as Maxwell Lord
Jeremy Jordan as Winn Schott
Jenna Dewan Tatum as Lucy Lane
Levi Miller as Carter Grant
Scott Michael Campbell as Ethan Knox


A terrorist targets National City, and Kara experiences difficulties balancing superheroing, toadying, and babysitting. Meanwhile, Maxwell Lord emerges as Supergirl’s Lex Luthor, and Lucy and James play out a relationship drama about which we’ve been given no reason to care.

High Points

The episode gives Supergirl real decisions to face, in the end; the show’s tone requires they resolve as well and as easily as they do.

Calista Flockhart gets to show us a more human and empathetic side of Cat.

Low Point

Silver Age conventions, but all means, but this week brings us an Idiot Plot: a plot that only works if everyone acts like an idiot. Kara offers to do too many things, even though any idiot knows that won’t work—she can barely manage her dual identity. Maxwell Lord has super-lax security and no way to stop the train (okay—that was part of his plan, but he would have had to sell that idea to the rest of the staff, the city administrators, and whoever overseas the safety protocols of new forms of transportation through heavily-populated areas). Supergirl doesn’t think to fly straight up with the bomb….

The Scores:

Originality: 1/6

Effects: 4/6 The effects varied quite a bit this week. Some of the shots with the train looked really CGI.

Acting: 5/6 The acting remains fairly strong, and a few of the characters have to stretch a little this week…

Emotional Response: 3/6 …Unfortunately, the script puts limits on how much we as an audience can become emotionally invested in their dilemmas.

Story: 3/6 The story shows potential, but the developments have been shortchanged.

Production: 5/6

Overall: 4/6

In total, “How Does She Do It?” receives 24/42

Lingering Question

Does anyone believe that a conspicuously attractive young woman with an appealing, if nerdy, personality would have absolutely no experience with relationships, unless she chose to have no experience with relationships?

One reply

  1. Yeah the plot this week had a few holes — the “just fly UP!” thing was the most obvious, plus the stupid lack of safety controls on the train. At least she was willing to delegate the airport bomb and it looked like they did manage to evacuate everyone (to my surprise, apparently not everyone was an idiot)

    I was not familiar with Hank Henshaw and I looked him up after seeing him use powers this week. I have to wonder if they’re sticking with what he was in the comics or something else. I don’t know why but both my wife and I got more of a Martian Manhunter vibe off him.

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