As I continue to move forward from the news of Sterling Gates leaving the Supergirl book, I figured it was about time to review last week's episode of Smallville, an episode titled Supergirl and marking the return of Laura Vandervoort to the role of Kara Zor-El.
As a Supergirl fan there was a some stuff to like about this episode. But in the end, it left a very uneasy feeling in my stomach, something I will talk about later.
As this is the last season of Smallville, much of the overarching plot involves Clark embracing his role as Earth's champion and finally figuring out that he need to be in the open, showing his face as a hero, but protecting his time as Clark. One thing that I like about his dealing with these issues is that on the show Lois has figured out that Clark is the 'Blur' but hasn't let on that she knows. As a result, she is able to help him figure things out without him getting overwhelmingly nervous or skittish (which he often does on the show).
As the end of the show's run must be a true shot of Superman, costume and all, Clark is faced with many different foils all of whom help him build who he will eventually be. Hey, it has only taken him 10 years to realize he needs to be a champion!
In this episode, it's Supergirl. Kara is everything that Clark is not. She is very visible, in primary colors, acting the part of the public hero. She is doing this at a time when Metropolis is unsure of its feelings with around super-powered vigilantes. The city has been whipped into an anti-hero frenzy by talk radio personality (and current host of the Darkseid spirit) Glorious Gordon Godfrey. Here we see Kara save a crowd at a Godfrey rally from a collapsing billboard.
It seems that Kara searched deep space for Alura and never found her. Then Jor-El, who has finally given up on Kal-El to become a champion, called Kara back to Earth. Jor-El knows that 'a darkness' has arrived on Earth. Darkseid, that dark threat, is able to prey on people's fears and uncertainties, feeding on them, and even possessing them if he wishes. That is how he possessed the neurotic Godfrey. (In a nice visual, Darkseid possesses someone by swarming around them as a murder of spectral crows.)
To combat this evil, Kara has been told by Jor-El to out in the open as a very visual hero, someone the people can look up to, someone that can inspire them and reduce their fear. I don't know if I agree with her methods, but here Kara is on a photo shoot so her pictures will be everywhere.
Kara says that Jor-El thinks that only she, equipped with all her powers and confident, can face this darkness. She asks Clark to stand back and let her complete her mission. He isn't so ready to let someone else do what he thinks is his job. For once, he actually seems like he is ready for action.
Swayed by his powerful words, Kara decides to help him. As family, they should have each other's back. She even tries to help him learn how to fly. Unfortunately, Clark still can't head up,up, and away.
After a talk in the Smallville barn, they realize just how Darkseid slipped into this reality.
Somehow during the ritual last year which cast Zod and his cronies into another dimension, Darkseid snuck in. Knowing that Kara's bracelet has opened portals in the past, they wonder if they could use it to shove Darkseid back where he came from.
Deciding they need to work together to face this threat, the cousins head to the Watchtower. They realize that Darkseid would take a position of power that would let him spread his distrust. It becomes clear that the person is Godfrey. And the Watchtower cameras have found him at an S&M club.
Godfrey isn't alone there. Lois has tailed him and dressed in latex is able to get some unsavory pictures of him as a way to discredit him. Lois wants him taken down for any number of reasons including the fact that Godfrey is anti-Blur as well as threatening to reveal that Oliver Queen is Green Arrow.
Manifesting his Darkseid powers, Godfrey tries to possess Lois but is unable to because she is 'pure of heart'. Instead, he trusses her up to use as bait.
The cousins arrive to the club and face off against the dark Godfrey. In a classic Smallville scene, Godfrey berates Clark telling him all of his short-comings: he has wanted to kill in the past, he doesn't know if he is up for the job of champion, he isn't ready to come out publicly, he doesn't have access to all his powers.
Broken down by Darkseid's verbal assault, Clark nearly gets possessed by Darkseid! Only Kara's timely intervention with her bracelet stops that from happening. The portal didn't banish Darkseid, only repel him. Nice save for Supergirl.
Even though Godfrey is discredited by Lois' photos, the anti-hero sentiment in the city seems to be building.
Clark runs into a very Linda-looking Kara. She has learned that sometimes it is tough to get where you need to be when you are the 'center of attention'. She once again tells Clark to leave the Dark threat to her. Darkseid would be unstoppable if he possessed someone with Clark's powers. And he was unable to possess Kara because she, like Lois, is pure of heart.
The bottom line is Kara isn't going anywhere and is sticking to Jor-El's mission.
So why am I worried? Well, throughout the episode it is reiterated that the biggest threat would be if Darkseid possessed a super-human, especially someone with Clark's abilities. It therefore figures to play out that the ultimate conflict for this season will be Clark facing off against a Darkseid-possessed superhero. In this final conversation, Kara says she doesn't feel 'pure of heart'. And this episode ends with the idea that Kara is staying on Earth. I can read these road signs.
I can already picture it in my mind. The end of the season has Clark facing off against a Darkseid-possessed Kara!! That is the threat they have been warning us about. That is why she is sticking around and feeling not pure of heart. They are building the story of her fall. Can't you imagine Vandervoort in a 'Dark Supergirl' style black and silver outfit facing off against Clark? They are going to make Supergirl the villain!
I suppose it ends with Kara being exorcised and not killed so that, in theory, a Supergirl spin-off would remain viable. But still, I won't be happy if Kara ends up the vessel of a Dark god ... again!
Otherwise, there were some nice nods to the DCU despite the fact that the word Supergirl is never uttered. We hear her called 'the Maiden of Might', Power Girl, and even Ubergirl. And, at least in this issue, Supergirl is shown to be strong, confident, and caring. I guess I should be happy with that.