Despite succumbing to the liberal mindset that crude oil is the enemy of the planet at the beginning of episode 2 “Stronger Together,” CBS’ Supergirl offers an important lesson in teamwork.
Kara (Melissa Benoist) frets that her super powers are not coming as naturally to her as she expected, so Supergirl gets a little help from her friends.
As she trains to become a field operative with DEO, Supergirl is summoned to a dock fire threatening to set an oil tanker filled with one million barrels of crude oil ablaze. Supergirl pushes the tanker away from the dock but in doing so, the tanker begins to break and the crude oil rushes out.
An ecological disaster! Supergirl is an eco-terrorist! A Hollywood writer’s best shot at Big Oil.
Winn: It is bad.
Kara: All right. I'm on my way. Fire at the port. Gotta go.
Alex: Hey, you've been dodging missiles and pushing your endurance for the last two hours. Even you have your limits.
Kara: For the last twelve years I hid who I was. I don't have to anymore. And I don't want to waste a minute of it. Besides, this sounds like a job for Supergirl.
Supergirl: What can I do, Chief?
Chief: That ship's holding almost a million barrels of crude oil. If the fire reaches it, it's gonna go off like a two ton bomb. And the tugboat won't get here in time. What are you waiting for? Superman would've blown it out by now.
Supergirl: Right. Okay. Uh, you've got this.
Man: You're making it worse.
Supergirl: I'm going to try to move it.
Newscaster: Miracle or menace? That's what the citizens of National City are asking themselves after the latest attempt at heroics by Supergirl left the bay facing an ecological disaster.
An eco-Nazi’s worst fear comes true. There is crude oil in water. What will the surfers do?
Fortunately, the tone of the show takes a positive turn. ‘Stronger together’ weaves through the storyline, promoting the concept of teamwork.
Cat Grant pressures James (Mehcad Brooks) to get an exclusive interview arranged for her and Supergirl before the Daily Planet newspaper gets one. Kara’s not having it. She wants to concentrate on improving her sloppy super powers, so James gives her a little pep talk. The city needs a hero, he tells her.
C’mon, Kara. You can do it!
Kara: I am not doing that interview. No. I can't... I mean, I can't. Ms. Grant's not stupid. She'd recognize me in, like, one second.
James: She will look at Supergirl right in the face and she will not even see her assistant.
Kara: How can you be so sure?
James: Because she doesn't see you now. I watched it happen for years with your cousin. Why don't you think that people recognize him as Clark Kent?
Kara: Reading glasses and a good slouch?
James: No, he's able to hide because the world can't believe that there's really a hero in their midst.
Kara: Yeah, and I'm sure there's a good reason why my cousin keeps his job at The Daily Planet instead of flying around as Superman all the time, which would be so much easier.
James: Yeah well, one, he's able to pay his rent.
Kara: She's going to keep pressuring you about that interview.
James: Oh, I can handle Cat Grant.
Kara: I don't know... I don't know. I... I... Maybe I put the "S" on too soon.
James: Kara, look out the window. Tell me what you see.
Kara: Buildings. Billboards. There's that bar where that guy cards me all the time. He knows how old I am.
James: I see a city full of people who need help. Who need a hero.
Kara: (Sighs) You really think so?
James: If anyone can fill Superman's boots... It's you.
Kara: Thank you, James.
Kara continues to practice her super powers with the help of her friends, James and Winn (Jeremy Jordan). She rescues a fire truck stuck in traffic. She even rescues a pet snake named Fluffy. Soon her smaller scale good deeds begin to erase the image of an eco-terrorist living among the people of National City.
Kara: Okay, boys, what have you got for me?
Winn: Armed robbery at a pizza place on 5th and Siegel.
James: Remember, bulletproof means bullets bounce off of you. So, if you don't want anyone to get hurt, don't let the bad guys even get a shot off.
Winn: Oh, yeah, and also try not to damage the suit. I, uh, helped make that outfit. I got some mad sewing skills.
Robber: Get down! (Woman screaming) Now give me your money. Come on, let's go, let's go.
Winn: Ambulance caught in traffic on Donner Avenue carrying a heart attack victim. They're not gonna make it to National City General in time. Oh, and a fully-loaded ambulance is about 9,200 pounds, which would mean that you'd need to use a maximum of 44,498 newtons of force...
James: Kara, what he means is, gently this time.
Female newscaster: Supergirl rescued an ambulance stuck in traffic, saving the life of a man inside.
Male newscaster: Another super save for Supergirl. Looks like National City's hero is starting to live up to her name.
Winn: Oh! This one's the Fire Department. Ha! Kara, you're gonna love this one, it's a classic. Kitten up a tree.
Little girl: Fluffy!
Kara: Here you go. I thought you said it was a cat.
Winn: Who names her snake Fluffy?
Male newscaster: A dazzling display of heroics by the Girl of Steel now has a grateful National City asking, "What oil spill?" Watch out, Metropolis.
Kara: Looks like we're about to give you a run for your superhero money! I can't believe it. It's working. People are really starting to believe in her. In you. I couldn't have done it without you. Thank you. Both of you.
See, better together!
In the end, Kara decides to save James’ job and do the interview with Cat. She also drives home the better together message again by explaining what the ‘S’ means to her friend, James.
Kara: (Clears throat) Hey. Uh, Winn and I are gonna head back to my place, listen to the scanner and do a little super hero-ing if you wanna come?
James: I think I'm gonna take tonight off if you don't mind. Just got some things I should think about.
Kara: Look, I know I said I wouldn't do the interview, but I'll do it. I don't want you getting fired.
James: I guess I shouldn't be surprised. You know, it's been like this for a while. Back when I first started, I was this nervous kid with his camera, just trying to get noticed. And then one day, everybody knew my name. And not because of anything I did. Not really. It's because I was friends with somebody who was making a difference. I don't know, I just... I thought... I could escape all that when I moved here. Be my own man, you know.
Kara: Back on Krypton, no one was their own man. Growing up, I was taught that to accept help from people is not a shame, it's an honor.
James: Your cousin never talks about Krypton.
Kara: He was a baby when we left. But I remember it. All the time. Did he ever tell you what that "S" means?
James: The House of El.
Kara: Yes, but, it also stands for a Kryptonian phrase, our family motto. "El mayarah." It means, "Stronger together." You say people will see me the way they see Superman one day, but... I don't want to be a hero like him. My cousin, he's so used to going it alone, he doesn't know any other way. But I do. I see it now. You, Winn, my sister, Ms. Grant even, you've all showed me that. James, part of being your own man is knowing when to accept help.
James: You really want to do that interview?
Kara:First, I was scared, but I'm not anymore. I want to do it.
James: For me?
Kara: For what we're trying to do here together. For us. (Phone ringing) Sorry.
Supergirl, the girl with the heart of a hero, understands life is better together. Teamwork makes the world go ‘round.
And, eco-Nazis? Get over yourselves. Big Oil is not the enemy.