[Review] Supergirl Episode 3×20: “Dark Side of the Moon”

written by Cara Russell


Everything that happened in this episode was overshadowed by the guest appearance of Star Trek: Voyager alumnus Tim Russ as Argo High Council member Jul-Us. I’m not even sorry. Between the significance of Star Trek alumni being folded into Supergirl‘s rich tapestry of lore and stately cameos, and putting him on a freakin’ council of a planet that is usually depicted as entirely melanin-deficient, next to an actress of Indian descent and other unspeaking elders of color, is worth an essay or three.

That’s saying a lot, considering Kara and Mon-El’s road trip to recover a magic space rock lands them on Argo City, where Kara’s mother is still alive and well, albeit living on a bottle city on an asteroid next to a woman who created the Worldkillers on Earth. As it happens, the magic space rock needed to save Sam from Reign’s control is the substance keeping Argo City safe. It takes a meeting with the High Council and a tiebreaking vote from Selena (Anjali Jay/the Worldkiller creator) to allow Kara and Mon-El to get a sample. Of course, it’s not an altruistic move on her part, but we don’t get to see the motives for it this week.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Alex is still charged with taking care of Ruby when someone tries to assassinate Alex. With all the dramatics recently, it’s a nice change of pace to see a good old-fashioned crime. Alex quickly leaves Ruby to Winn’s care back at the DEO, who manages to fail magnificently at entertaining a twelve-year-old girl despite being a twelve-year-old himself. They do manage to bond over their evil parents, and Winn’s able to put any fears Ruby might have about fostering the same sort of evil as Reign to rest.

Alex puts together a lengthy list of people who want her dead, leading her and J’onn down a few rabbit holes and to a magnificent chase scene. They encounter a forgettable tossaway villain as a catalyst for some introspection. Once again, Alex is struggling with balancing career with the girlfriend and kids she doesn’t have, and how her disposition regarding heading towards – and dealing with – danger could be selfish to the people she loves…the ones who very specifically, aren’t currently in her life. Once again, her non-spouse and non-kids rank higher in her life choices than her very-alive mother and sister, and it never occurs to her that her career path is the exact one her father took before being presumed dead for fifteen years, which took a toll on all of them.

Alex also conveniently forgets that she has an extensive supportive family network beyond her blood relations while she is talking to one of them. I don’t know what the writers are trying to accomplish here (seriously they’ve been on this thread a lot), but I’d like it to be something else, or even just slightly more self-aware as they go about it.

Lena is tasked with the responsibility of keeping Reign under control while Supergirl and Mon-El are off in space, with the added tension that Reign is building a resistance to the manufactured Kryptonite. Lena struggles with the knowledge that her last resort will be a fatal dose if Reign breaks free, a decision which James supports without even trying to advocate an alternative (and hopefully, both knowing that it’d go over poorly even if it’d be in line with what Sam herself would want, to save Ruby). This comes into play again as Lena is forced to crank the dosage just before Supergirl and Mon-El return victorious, and Reign breaks out of her box and starts a fight. Reign tears off the Kryptonite delivery device without slowing down, and it’s unclear whether Lena’s action will have an effect as we wait for the smackdown to commence next week. In any event, we’ve got to settle in for a wait to see how the fallout hits.

Supergirl airs Monday nights at 8 Eastern/7 Central on the CW. Cara can be reached on Twitter @virtualcara.

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