[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Director: Rob Greenlea
Writers: Caitlin Parrish & Jess Kardos
Stars: Melissa Benoist, Chyler Leigh & David Harewood
In a flashback to their teenage years, Kara and Alex investigate the murder of a friend from school.
Izabela Vidovic and Olivia Nikkanen play the young versions of Kara and Alex, respectively. They’re both solid choices. The two look just like Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh and they nail the mannerisms of the older actresses. They legitimately feel like younger versions of the characters. Additionally, they have to carry the episode. Benoist and Leigh are used as a framing device; most of the episode is on Vidovic and Nikkanen and they do a great job.
I enjoyed the scenes with Kara’s childhood friend. They were sweet scenes and it was genuinely sad when he died. I also liked the scenes between Kara and Alex when they were being nice to each other.
Young Alex feels a lot like the character did in season one, which is not a good thing in my opinion. Her attitude towards Kara was very irritating to me. She blamed Kara for everything she didn’t like about her life without a shred of sympathy for Kara even though she literally watched her planet blow up. She got over that over the course of the season but this episode brings it back but in the form of a bratty teenager. It’s hard to feel sympathetic for Alex in these scenes because she is so obnoxious and mean-spirited. It wouldn’t be so bad if she was just like this as a teen but I know she acts like that as an adult; this element reminded me of an early part of the show I really disliked and was not happy to see back.
This is an episode of Smallville. I don’t dislike that show but I did not need to see that formula applied to this show. It’s a murder mystery with high school versions of comic book characters that act like detectives. The only thing missing is a kryptofreak. They even mention Chloe which was cool at first. The name drop was fun but they feel the need to give a full description of her and bring up the wall of weird. The episode just stops to scream Smallville at us. It’s unnecessary.
This is an okay episode. There are a lot of good scenes between the sisters, both versions, that work. The allusions and similarities to Smallville make the episode feel a little tired and formulaic and I don’t like young Alex’s characterization but it doesn’t ruin the episode. The two young actresses are great and make the episode fun to watch.