With “TV-life-imitates-art” inspiration, the producers of SUPERGIRL deliver the inside joke of casting Joan Juliet Buck as Cat Grant’s mother, literary maven, Katherine Grant.
Buck, a former editor-in-chief of French Vogue, is a writer for W, Vanity Fair, Newsweek and The New York Times’s fashion magazine.
Playing the “mother from Hell,” Buck delivers a performance as a cold, distant parent whose belittling of her daughter’s accomplishments both drive and diminish Cat’s (Calista Flockhart) success.
Armed only with Cat’s emotional tools (and baggage), Flockhart demonstrated her character’s damaged inner-self briefly in the “Livewire” episode. For a moment, the actress showed that, deep inside, Cat Grant has emotions just like everyone else.
But Cat’s secret is out of the bag. The “Queen of all Media” tries to drive people to excel, especially Kara (Melissa Benoist). Unfortunately, she sometimes uses emotional tactics that border on spite, much like her mother.
In tonight’s episode, “Red Faced,” however, Kara loses her cool and blasts back at her often-cruel CatCo boss.
Her “other job” is affected, as well, when a stressed-out SUPERGIRL goes too far during a training exercise against Red Tornado, a military cyborg commissioned by Lucy Lane’s father, General Sam Lane (guest star, Glenn Morshower).
When General Lane, definitely not a fan of the DEO, shows up with an executive order compelling SUPERGIRL’s loan-out to Army Intelligence, Kara accepts over the objection of DEO boss, Hank Henshaw (David Harewood).
Accompanying General Lane is his legal attaché and daughter, Lucy (Jenna Dewan-Tatum), who already has suspicions that her boyfriend, James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), has a crush on SUPERGIRL.
According to the executive order, SUPERGIRL will be transferred to the General’s command to test an anti-insurgent anthropomorphic pseudo-entity with combat capabilities.
In other terms, the Girl of Steel will battle an super-strength android designed for the Army by scientist, Dr. T.O. Morrow (guest star, Iddo Goldberg, who plays both Morrow and cyborg, Red Tornado).
In an early character description, the android is described as “nefarious” and capable of destroying National City if SUPERGIRL cannot stop him.
What better way for Lucy to dispatch her romantic rival than to pit her against a possible killer?
Whether the series will give Red Tornado the heroic human-like qualities from his DC Comics adventures, or he becomes something more sinister remains to be seen, as do the motives behind Morrow’s actions.
SUPERGIRL also stars Chyler Leigh and Jeremy Jordan. Returning tonight, in addition to Dewan-Tatum, are Peter Facinelli as billionaire entrepreneur, Maxwell Lord, and Briana Venskus as Agent Vasquez. Guest star, Luke Macfarlane, appears as Agent Donovan.
“Red Faced” was written by Michael Grassi and Rachel Shukert and directed by Jesse Warn.
SUPERGIRL airs November 30 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.