[Review] Supergirl Episode 5×02: “Stranger Beside Me”

written by Cara Russell


We pick up where we left off, with J’onn’s mysterious brother causing mayhem due to an ancient Green Martian Cain/Abel-type curse, and Andrea Rojas dismantling CatCo into her own personal promotional machine to the detriment of Kara’s career. James reveals that he’s been offered a museum job and approached to run for Senate, which sounds fake for someone who is very publicly a vigilante, but I appreciate that things are looking up for him. They certainly aren’t for Eve Teschmacher, who is being held captive by an increasingly evil-acting Lena Luthor.

Trouble in paradise brews for Brainy and Nia, as once he gains her favor with breakfast in bed, Brainiac goes full throttle and showers Nia with more food than she can consume, even when combining forces with Kara’s voracious appetite. Attempts to communicate this to Brainy causes him to over-react in other directions, and Nia to reconsider the relationship that fit them both so perfectly an episode ago.

Alex finds out that Kelly is severely allergic to blueberries during a tense reveal of the famed Danvers Blueberry Pancakes. While it smacks of mishaps past, this one turns into a clever “gotcha” later in the episode when Kelly is impersonated by Ma’alefa’ak J’onzz, accepting blueberry pancakes without hesitation. Afterward, Kelly begins to share more personal details, but it feels one-sided as it’s more what Alex wants to hear to feel secure, and not Alex volunteering similar information.

Kara struggles under the new CatCo regime after being assigned to the fashion desk, and she struggles to meet her tense double deadlines on a new intra-office tablet submission system. It seems as though Kara is being set up to fail by Andrea, as veteran reporter William Day steals Kara’s fashion piece and instigates a rivalry. While this is fairly believable, we know Kara can use super-speed to complete her work, so I’m left wondering why it took having an assignment stolen for her to kick into gear and start going above and beyond. The plot thickens when William hires a private detective to follow Kara, and again when William later volunteers at a soup kitchen. I suppose this is supposed to make us feel like this isn’t a repeat of Mon-El, who was a jerk through and through, but I’m still certain this is a clumsy setup for a romance despite rumors of William being married.

Since J’onn is also suffering from the previously mentioned Ancient Martian Curse™ for attacking his brother, he is remitted to Kelly’s care for treatment with Q-waves. It turns out to be super effective, unlocking some suppressed memories and removing the pain. Unfortunately, it also lifts the curse from Ma’alefa’ak, who is currently fighting Supergirl along with Alex and Brainiac. Ma’alefa’ak and his White Martian buddy escape to cause further mayhem and impersonations without hindrance, until he gets beaten up by the Super Friends and runs away to try again another day.

Lena breaks her shiny VR lenses in an attempt to reverse-engineer them. Andrea is less than thrilled at the betrayal, but it creates a situation where Eve Teschmacher passes up a new opportunity to betray Lena, despite being her hostage. Lena stops interrogating her and upgrades her to human host for her pet artificial intelligence helper.

Yeah, you read that right.

Lena justified becoming what she hates about her family by invoking “the greater good.” She sees Hope – the AI she created – as unbiased, despite facilitating her every hurtful whim up to and including stealing someone’s body against their will. This won’t go poorly at all…

We’ll have to tune in same super-time, same super-channel next time to find out if Lena can shove genies back into bottles.


Supergirl airs Sunday nights at 9 Eastern/8 Central on the CW. Cara can be found on Twitter @virtualcara.

One thought on “[Review] Supergirl Episode 5×02: “Stranger Beside Me”

  1. Pingback: [Review] Supergirl Episode 5×03: “Blurred Lines” | Made of Fail Productions

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