written by Cara Russell
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
“So is Lena evil now or what” is this week’s burning question…and I don’t have a concrete answer for you. Hope, now housed in Eve Teschmacher’s body, points Lena to Lex’s childhood journals as a potential source of information to help with her “make humanity good-er” project. Unfortunately, all of Lex’s junk is being stored in a secure government facility and out of reach for…anyone but Supergirl. Lena doesn’t hesitate to spin up a sob story to manipulate Kara into breaking and entering despite theft being a crime, and having just had the whole “all aliens are criminals” storyline last season.
Lex’s journals include research on the use and application of Q-waves in mind control, which dovetails nicely with Lena’s intent to use them to make people act better. This bodes well for absolutely no one, except perhaps Hope, who will likely be the controller behind Skynet and rewire Lena’s brain first.
All of this takes a backseat to J’onn’s plot thread. Nia Nal helps J’onn traverse his buried memories to figure out the puzzle behind Ma’alefa’ak’s origin. As it turns out, Ma’alefa’ak is the younger J’onnz brother, who had a psychic disability that prevented him from accessing the shared Martian consciousness. Instead, Ma’alefa’ak was able to mind-control others by force, a great taboo in Martian society. M’yrnn sent his younger child into juvenile detention to “help” him, where Ma’alefa’ak was recruited by White Martians into their war effort against Green Martians. With M’yrnn broken by his own guilt, a teenaged J’onn takes it upon himself to erase all memory of Ma’alefa’ak from the Green Martian consciousness and exile him to the Phantom Zone, where his powers would be useless. Back in the present day, J’onn admits this is as bad or worse as murder (although apparently allowable as far as Martian curses go) and swears Nia to secrecy.
Elsewhere, Ma’alefa’ak impersonates a patient to trick Kelly Olsen into treating him with Q-waves so he can regain the abilities the Phantom Zone suppressed. Once his mind-control powers are returned, he attempts to have Kelly kill herself, but is thwarted by J’onn’s timely arrival. A scuffle breaks out and Ma’alefa’ak tries to regroup, but Kelly’s new ability to see through his shapeshifting prevents him from causing more damage and forces him to flee. Unfortunately, the Scooby Gang determines that this makes Kelly a target for future attacks, and Alex convinces her to leave town on a bus with James while the rest of them work on capturing Ma’alefa’ak.
In the “we can’t have nice things” category, Nia comes clean with Brainiac 5 about his excessive displays of affection, which currently involve waxing poetical about her at every opportunity. Brainy doesn’t understand why Nia is asking that he tone down his overt displays, which also include trying to over-feed her. She had previously asked him to be himself, and he doesn’t know how to be himself without going 110% at all times in all things, so he sees it as a complete rejection and leaves. I wish someone would explain the concept of “diminishing returns” to him, as this would probably be the quickest way to work around his obsessive need to go above and beyond, and get him to realize that more isn’t always necessarily better. (And of course, get an adorkable couple back, now that Alex just put another girlfriend on a bus.)
The villain of the week is a woman with shadow-spider tattoos who is assassinating people for no apparent reason. As she was the trailer’s feature, I thought she’d play a larger part, but unfortunately she was fridged quickly to help set up some of what I suspect are the Monitor’s minions, and surely some foreshadowing for this year’s crossover event. She’s also used to help set up William Day as a shady character who is definitely a saboteur and/or undercover to gather intel. What exactly he’s trying to sabotage or gather intel on is still in the air, aside from it having something to do with Andrea Rojas’ business. We should find out more next week, as Kara investigates William’s activity further.
Supergirl airs Sunday nights at 9 Eastern/8 Central on the CW. Cara can be found on Twitter @virtualcara.