CBS’ Supergirl has earned a substantial fan following and an increasingly positive reception for its positive storytelling, superheroic action, and clever use of DC Comics mythology. With all that buzz, plus an upcoming Multiverse-jumping crossover with DC’s other surprise TV smash, The Flash, the series seems poised to become a potent ongoing force in the primetime schedule.
But for now, Kara has plenty on her own plate. In fact, her next adventure brings a violent encounter with The Master Jailer and the arrival of Silver Banshee.
The February 22 episode, titled ‘Truth, Justice and The American Way‘, finds Kara struggling against a mystertious new enemy in the form of The Master Jailer, a moderately-obscure Superboy/Superman villain from the comics reimagined as a threatening armored enforcer doling out vigilante punishment to the escapees of Fort Razz — the Kryptonian Phantom Zone space prison that crashed on Earth (releasing its incarcerated payload) in the same event that initially brought Kara to our world. A near-match for Supergirl in physical strength and equipped with a variety of high-tech traps, snares and offensive weapons, Master Jailer promises to be one of the young heroine’s most dangerous opponents yet.
In addition, the episode will feature the first appearance of Italia Ricci as Siobhan Smythe, better known as Silver Banshee — a superhuman teleporter with sonic-scream powers and (traditionally) a supernatural/dark-magic origin story. While Silver Banshee’s powers and origin for the series are unknown, this version of Smythe is a new assistant hired by Kara’s employer Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) who immediately attempts to outshine her at work. While the character’s overall role in the series is also unknown, Ricci has been spotted in Silver Banshee makeup in behind-the-scenes photos of the upcoming Supergirl/Flash crossover, suggesting that her story will continue over several episodes.
The episode was directed by action filmmaker Lexi Alexander, best known for Green Street Hooligans and the ultra-violent Punisher: Warzone. An outspoken critic of sexist hiring practices in Hollywood, she made news by publicly refusing to consider directing Wonder Woman despite heavy fan support (Warner Bros. is not reported to have offered her the job), but later earned raves for directing a well-received episode of The CW’s Arrow. A prominent figure in the world of social media, Alexander’s presence as director is expected to draw potential new viewers to the series, which has occasionally been met with criticism from fans unhappy with its lighter tone and focus on workplace and relationship drama compared to the darker renderings of Arrow or Gotham.
The fight sequences between Supergirl and Master Jailer have already been praised by the cast and crew, with some suggesting that Alexander (whose skillfully choreographed action scenes are a directorial trademark) has redefined the way Kara’s fighting style will be presented in future episodes. Given their overwhelming strength, elaborate hand-to-hand combat isn’t typically part of how Kryptonian heroes are depicted in live-action DC properties, but in the comics its been long established that Superman, Supergirl and others train themselves in styles of martial-arts native tom Krypton — most notably Torquasm-Rao and Torquasm-Vo — though it’s unclear whether this detail of DC mythology influence Alexander’s fight-sequences.
The Supergirl episode ‘Truth, Justice and The American Way’ airs Monday, February 22 on CBS.