Supergirl Review: “Midvale”

This week, our random DCWBTV review looks at Smallville Midvale Supergirl. The series took an entertaining and divergent road trip in which the main cast scarcely appear at all, young Alex and Kara play Nancy Drew, and Chloe Sullivan helps save the day.

Title: “Midvale”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Rob J. Greenlea
Written by Caitlin Parrish and Jessica Kardos

Izabela Vidovic as Teen Kara
Olivia Nikkanen as Teen Alex
Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers / Supergirl
Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers
Helen Slater as Eliza Danvers
David Harewood as J’onn J’onzz
Ivan Mok as Kenny Li
David Chisum as Sheriff Collins
Eliana Jones as Josie
Erica Durance as Agent Noel Neill
Gavin Langelo as Jake
Mik Byskov as Mr. Samuel Bernard
C. Douglas Quan as Lloyd Li
Winnie Hung as Amy Li

Premise

Kara and Alex take a road trip home to deal with their heartaches, and recall a formative event from their teen years.

High Point

The episode features an excellent concept. Unbelievably well-cast teen versions of Kara and Alex squabble, before bonding by playing teen detectives.

Low Point

I recognize the episode deals with the sisters bonding, but the mysteries might have been developed in a more logical and interesting fashion, and without raising so many Lingering Questions.

The Scores

Originality: 3/6 While the episode visited familiar territory, it felt very different for this show.

Effects: 5/6 The low-level special effects work very well.

Story: 4/6

Acting: 5/6 Kudos to our guest-star leads, most notably sixteen-year-old Izabela Vidovic. Some of the other characters acted like refugees from an overly angsty teen series. Is Riverdale missing anyone this week?

Emotional Response: 5/6 The episode gets points for being fun, despite some dark turns.

Production: 5/6

Overall: 4/6

In total, “Midvale” receives 31/42

Lingering Questions

How does getting the quarterback to admit in a private conversation, with another student, in a locker room, that he used marijuana, lead to his suspension from school?

Wouldn’t the large hole in the stadium basement wall raise one or two questions? Even more than Kara tossing around a larger teenage athlete?

Given that Alex has two years on Kara, why do they have two of the same classes?

How on earth did Kenny get so many incriminating photographs? Because I’m pretty sure being curious and owning a telescope wouldn’t let him do that, no matter how creepy determined he might be.

10 replies on “Supergirl Review: “Midvale””

  1. lost says:

    First, the lead teenage casting was spooky.

    I wondered about that class thing, too. If you squint at it the right way, it almost makes sense. Probably the grown up types wanted Alex to be there for Kara and the easiest way was to have her in the same classes. We also know that Kara’s education on Krypton was more advanced at a younger age so she probably tested into that grade level.

    For the first question, maybe someone tattled? Or a teacher happened to overhear? Or another investigation was coincidentally already underway? At least there’s a potentially plausible explanation if you squint at it right.

    The lack of questions for the hole in the wall/athlete tossing bit was probably down to J’onn’s intervention since we know he was around. And would anyone believe that Kara could toss the athlete around or punch through a wall?

    I put the Kenny pictures thing down to “magical television telescope”. After all, telescopes on TV always point at something incriminating somewhere. Or at least they seem to. At least it’s not entirely impossible to have obtained those pictures, just very highly improbable. I think it’s basically the “laser guided evesdropping” trope.

    Still, for the first three, a line of dialogue here or there could have closed up those points. After all, we were treated to a more objective view of events than a superficial view of things would suggest since we saw J’onn’s transformation.Still, everything else was from the girls’ point of view.

    Also, “They killed Kenny!”. With a side of lampshade, no less.

    • JD DeLuzio says:

      And would anyone believe that Kara could toss the athlete around or punch through a wall?

      Well, Superman’s real and very much a part of this reality, and they once hinted that Batman’s around, too. People might start to question a trail of clues that suggest Kara has superhuman powers.

    • pythor says:

      I thought about the class thing, too. Kara could have been a year ahead and Alex a year behind. Unfortunately, they decided to put them in the same History class, which they explicitly showed Alex was good at, and Kara was not. It would have made sense for them to be in the same Math class (Calculus according to the scene at home).

      • lost says:

        Dunno how it works in “Midvale” but in many places, especially small towns, the grade level of courses you get is the same across all subjects. If Kara tested well enough in enough other subjects, being lousy at history wouldn’t preclude being in the same class. And she may be *just* good enough at it to be getting a bare pass there. They didn’t say she was actually failing history, after all.

        Still, it is a plot hole that should have been addressed somehow.

  2. PuppetSocko says:

    While we’re picking at nits, they got the time-frame wrong. They said the events happened ten years ago, but Kara and Alex were 25 and 27 in Season One, so these events would have to have occurred twelve years ago for the girls to be 15 and 17,

    And Piggy was nearsighted, so his glasses couldn’t have been used to start a fire. Nodoby’s prefect.

  3. My wife and I were pleasantly surprised by this episode. I thought they did cast the younger version so well, they could easily spin off a live action Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade using them.

    Also, I totally missed the deep cut easter egg of the name Noel Neill, and I don’t want to roll past the Cloe Sullivan references. This make Supergirl in at least a very close universe to Smallville, (if you ignore the existing Supergirl from Smallvile.) Does that mean we can get a ten years older Chloe Sullivan?

    The other item that made my wife and I pause and question our lives was realizing that episode took place in 2007. That’s all, only ten years ago. That was the year we were married, which means that if it was “Sooooo long ago” that now, ten year later, we’re old.

    Lucifer, (almost another DC television show) was similarly focused on not-the-stars. It was also arguably the best episode of the series.

  4. Jethro says:

    I really didn’t enjoy this episode. I’m not sure why. There was a bit of “This isn’t what I signed up for” plus the fact that I’m sick, plus the fact that I watched Lucifer first, and that was a phenomenal episode this week. Bt the way, why aren’t we talking about Lucifer?

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