What a special episode.
The Faithful is unlike any episode Supergirl has ever done. It’s doesn’t concern itself with a predictable villain of the week (I’m looking at you Triggers), or black & white storytelling. Through its exploration of religion and belief, it ends up crafting a thought-provoking story that elevates the show to a whole other level.
I knew this episode was going to be a good one after that remarkable teaser. The episode’s opening brilliantly showcases the pilot‘s infamous plane crash from a different perspective – that of a depressed passenger who has pretty much lost the will to live. Chad Lowe does an exceptional job as Thomas Coville, who finds his purpose after surviving the crash and dedicating his life to praying to Supergirl. Watching Kara discover the cult-ish meeting with all the people she’s saved is uber creepy, and yet strangely uplifting. That’s the greatest thing about this episode: although Coville undoubtedly goes too far in the end (and the episode devolves into some predictable action beats), it still manages to highlight the power of faith.
Quite excellently, The Faithful also does a spectacular job of integrating Samantha into its core cast. Watching all the ladies enjoy a girls night at Kara’s is ridiculously heartwarming, but there’s also a real sinister streak to it all with the knowledge that Samantha will become the season’s big bad (it’s just a pity that the CW has ruined the surprise with this). Nevertheless, I absolutely adore Odette Annable’s performance; she’s lovable, strong and everything in between. Moreover, she’s got a unique dynamic with Kara as well as Lena. Here’s hoping the show continues to explore each of these relationships with the same nuance and care.
And finally, how creepy was that final scene with Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah coming to a sudden stop as Samantha finds bizarre markings on her body, and a terrifying priestess appears in her bathroom and warns her that she will “soon reign”. Goosebumps! Thanks to all this buildup, I definitely feel this will be Supergirl’s strongest and most narratively cohesive season yet.
– So is it a coincidence that Samantha was given the flyer?
– History lesson: Krypton’s God is called Rao.
– I love how quickly Coville guesses that Kara is Supergirl.
– As far as I’m concerned, James telling Kara the story of Clark saving him is the single best scene the character has ever had. Finally he serves a purpose!
– It’s a quick gag, but during the sequence in which Supergirl saves the man from the fire, you can spot a sign that says “Days since the last accident.” First it says 100 and then it’s 0. Hilarious.
– More Alex motorcycle scenes please.
– So Kara bleeding is proof she’s not a God? That’s all it took?
– How does Coville know how to use the Krypton machine so well? Lots of inconsistencies in this scene but I’ll let em slide.
– Winn telling Hank that he won’t “make it in time” felt like a contrived way to inject more drama.
– Fascinating scene between an imprisoned Coville and Kara as he tells her that she’s “lost” but he still believes in her. So darn unsettling.
– Even more proof that I love Kara’s gal-gang: they all make it to Ruby’s recital. Awww.
– How cute are all the little girls in Supergirl garb on stage?
– As always, Chyler Leigh delivered a heartstopping performance as she sobbed in Kara’s arms about wanting kids. See ya Maggie.
– Loved watching Kara pray at the end with her mom’s hologram. There was a real sense of sadness to it.
– It’s a pity that we only see J’onn and his dad for a measly two seconds this week. They would fit with the whole prayer theme, but I guess the episode would have felt too overstuffed.
– Worth noting: the destruction of Corville’s Kryptonian apparatus awakened something in Samantha’s underwater pod. Was that the priestess’ hand reaching for the glass? Shudder.
Coville: Did you come here to test my faith? Supergirl? I looked into your eyes from my seat on that plane. When you look into the eyes of God, you do not forget.
Samantha: I mean, look at her, I just feel like the worst mother. Why are you smiling?
Lena: Because I actually had the worst mother, objectively speaking. So I find your self appraisal a little funny.
Samantha: I let my kid fall asleep on my couch in the office. It’s not great.
Lena: She fell asleep watching her mom work hard. She may not understand the ins and outs, but she knows what’s important and you’re the only one who can fix it. That’s how you raise a girl to be a badass.
James: In this life, prayer normally doesn’t work. Nobody shows up. But Clark did. And you do. Kara, you’re something that we can see, something that we can touch. How are you not a miracle?
Alex: I want to take my kid camping and I wanna show her the constellations. I want to teach her how to read, how to throw a punch, and how to make cheesy valentines. And I want to hold her when she has a bad dream, and I wanna tell her that the world’s a better place because she’s in it. I want all of it.
A surprisingly insightful and captivating hour of Supergirl. This one’s a keeper!