written by Cara Russell
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
I keep coming back to “this was not worth the cost” in the most recent episodes of Supergirl. Even with such passionate character moments, we spent the majority of the season in a gridlock of fear with a villain group framed as one we should have empathy for. Pacing issues in the Arrowverse is well noted, but it’s still sad to see them applied to Supergirl, which stood out by being different from The Flash and Arrow.
On to the meat of the episode! After Lex’s machinations with Red Daughter destroy the White House and frame Supergirl as a public menace, the real Supergirl is declared Public Enemy Number One and the president declares martial law within the USA. Of course, no one who has interacted directly with Supergirl believes the accusation. This seems to be exactly what Ben Lockwood wanted, along with a repeal of the Alien Amnesty act. However, an abrupt vote switch by the leading senator and declaration of Supergirl’s criminality seems to have him doubting some of his convictions.
In investigating Eve’s involvement with Lex, Supergirl discovers Lena’s Harun-el experiments and verbally attacks Lena. They hash it out, and Supergirl admits that she has been irrational in her fears that she acts out when she feels threatened by the possibility of a stronger opponent that she can’t protect others from. This is a huge moment for Kara, and contained within her apology to Lena to boot. I hope it’s not forgotten in future episodes.
Their investigation also reveals the weapon used to shoot James several episodes ago, laying the blame at Eve’s feet instead of Manchester Black’s, tying it directly to Lex Luthor. James takes this poorly, and it seems to exacerbate the Lex-related PTSD he experiences when involved in a shoot-out later in the episode. He does eventually take it seriously and reaches out to his sister Kelly, who is also a psychologist, for support.
J’onn is forced to reckon with his own nature – that he is not, at heart, a peaceful man like his father. Carl Lumbly makes a return appearance as M’yrnn J’onzz, a mental projection J’onn creates to help him work through his breakdown and come to peace with the loss of his father, learning how to serve his legacy. J’onn comes to the conclusion that he cannot be the bearer of the Martian symbols of faith, and abruptly leaves Earth to take the symbols to Mars for someone worthy to discover them again. Of course, he does so without leaving a note for his “kids”, so they’re left to think he’s gone missing when Supergirl is impersonated.
We have a couple of weeks to go before we see how any of this plays out, and again I lament the pacing. We spend several months hoping the next episode brings us some sort of progress just to get into the endgame, and then all of the delays and hiatuses are starving us when things start coming together. I can’t help but wonder if this is the intent to generate interest. If so, it’s still a jerk move.
Supergirl airs Sunday nights at 8 Eastern/7 Central on the CW. Cara can be found on Twitter @virtualcara.