Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Supergirl Episode 320: Dark Side Of The Moon

Supergirl episode 320, titled 'Dark Side of the Moon' aired this week and was one of those episodes I mulled over for some time when it ended.

There was so much to love about this episode. There were some fantastic Supergirl mythology in the episode which was impressive. I mean I got to see a live action Argo City. There was a subplot involving Alex that really showcased her character nicely. We got some Winn moments and some Lena moments that were solid. And there is a Mon-El moment that feels a little foreboding.

There were also some things that just difficult to completely roll with in my head, specifically the Argo plot. I had issues with timelines, goals, and decisions.

All that said, this continued to build up the threat of Reign. It pushed a little into my prediction that Lena will ultimately kill Reign, driving the last wedge between her and Supergirl. And there was a bit more about the overall arc of this season of Supergirl trying to reconcile her alien heritage, her role on Earth, and her humanity. If Krypton exists, even a slice of it, why does Kara Danvers need to exist? Can you go home again?

On to the show.

Last issue, Mon-El and Kara flew off in J'onn's ship to head to a 'meteorite' that has more of the black rock of Yuda Kal, a last ditch cure for Reign/Sam.

During the flight, Kara says with Mon-El she can finally be just herself and not have to pretend. The weight of her secret identity is pressing on her, specifically because of the friction with Lena. And here she seems to think that the Danvers part of her is nuisance. It was that thinking that got her in trouble earlier in the season. Remember it was Kara Danvers who opened the door of her mind to wake her up. It was her embracing a cold alien persona that led to her Reign beatdown.

Of course it isn't just a meteor. It's a city under a dome. The ship is dragged in with a tractor beam. But they have the ship shapeshift to seem like a meteorite. This way they can slip inside.

Meanwhile on Earth, Reign continues to grow stronger, shaking off the effects of Lena's Kryptonite. J'onn is more 'stoic and grave' than usual. All the stun guns, body boots, and red sun grenades won't be helpful to stop Reign. The DEO is evacuating LCorp. This is real.

And Alex and Ruby continue to grow together. During a fun day at an outdoor marketplace, Alex sees someone tailing her. This man tries to kill her with a grenade but Alex is able to catch the bomb and have it explode away from the crowd.

Still, someone is after her. And that means Ruby is in danger too.

I do like the chemistry that is slowly building between these two. We all guessed Alex would be an adoptive mom at the end of the season. Seems like we are heading that way.

In the DEO, Reign looks cool and calm in her cell, lounging in her chair while she needles Lena. Reign keeps pressing all of Lena's buttons saying Lena is filled with fear and anger, that Lena is relying on Supergirl. And, of course, the only way to win is for Lena to kill Sam/Reign and Reign doesn't think Lena has the guts.

It is interesting brinkmanship. Lena has been trying not to be a hard core Luthor. But poking the bear is never a good idea.

Landing on the planetoid, Kara and Mon-El slip into a bazaar, see the inhabitants are humanoid, steal some cloaks and follow a trail to the 'black rock'. Kara seems surprised there is a city under the dome ... didn't she see it on the way in?

In the city, didn't she recognize the architecture? The language being spoken?? How could she not see this Krypton immediately? She lived there for her first decade?

Cloaked, Kara again bemoans needing to hide who she is, even here.

The trail leads to a memorial with Kryptonian writing. And then the police arrive - a fleet of Kelex and ... Alura!!

So Alura looks remarkably well preserved for someone I think should have aged at least 30 years. She hasn't changed at all from the flashbacks when she put Kara in her pod. Does the dome keep people forever young?  This just kept nagging at me.

Meanwhile on Earth, Alex brings Ruby to the DEO (everyone is welcome!) to discuss the assassination attempt. Her, Winn, and J'onn bring up a list of her biggest enemies including the Hellgrammite from the first season (I thought she killed him) and Dick Malverne from season two (who was mindwiped). In the end, the most likely candidate is the sheriff from this season's Midvale episode who she got convicted of murder. He is recently paroled and living in National City.

On Argo, Alura says that Zor-El developed the shield but didn't think it would work. That is why they rocketed Kara away. Had they known it would work, they would have kept the family together. Alura assumed Kara died when she saw her pod enter the Phantom Zone.

Kara explains how they need the black rock to defeat a World Killer which followed her to Earth. As for the Yuda Kal rock, called Harun-El , it is used as a way to detoxify the atmosphere under the dome, another legacy of Zor-El. They need all the rock they have to keep the city liveable, the dome up, and their cloaking tech active.

Alura feels it should be brought before the High Council for a vote. And while that emergency session is gathering, she and Kara can catch up more.

Alex finds the Sheriff who is hitting the sauce pretty early. He talks about paying his debt to society but not to himself. He still sees him killing Kenny, still sees the blood. He is damned. Killing Alex wouldn't do anything.

It is clear he is broken. He isn't the killer.

I like all the callbacks to Alex's history and this was a nice retread of that excellent episode.

Leaving the bar, Alex discovers her bike booby-trapped. She decides to go on the offensive.

This whole Alex plot was great.

You might remember that there have been  a lot of moments in prior seasons where Kara questioned her beliefs about her mother. She couldn't believe her mother would be in charge of Fort Rozz and the atrocities that happened there. She was angry at her mother for for sending her away. I wondered if those would be brought up.

Thankfully, the writers did.

Kara talks of the Danvers and Alex. She then retells the events of Season One. Fort Rozz crashing. Astra and Non's initial plot. Astra changing for good.

Alura calls Rozz her biggest shame. She did what she thought she needed to do but it was wrong. Hmmm Will this same idea be replayed in regards to Reign? Will Lena do what she thinks needs to be done??

Alura asks for Kara's forgiveness for everything. But I think both regret just assuming the other was dead and gone.

Meanwhile, Mon-El heads back to the marketplace where earlier he had seen a boy with a breathing device. The boy, named Val, suffers from Thallonite lung.

Mon takes off a Legion device which and gives it to Val. This will give Val a vaccine and boosters, curing him of this illness. Val can then pass it on.

It shows how magnanimous Mon has become. But I also wonder ... was this his lead poisoning cure?? Has he doomed himself?

And will this Val become Valor??

Back on Earth, Lena knows she could kill Reign right now by flooding her body with the remaining synthetic Kryptonite. This would, of course, also kill Reign. She and James debate what is the right thing to do. Lena knows Sam would want to be taken down to protect Ruby. James says that is the answer.

Hoo ... James basically told Lena this would be a just kill. I wonder what Kara would think. But this again strengthens my thoughts that Lena is going to kill Reign.

In another good subplot, while J'onn and Alex investigate her killer, Winn has been put in charge of Ruby. He is initially, and uncharacteristically, very cold ... almost cruel ... to her. He doesn't want to babysit (remembering his botched time watching Cat's youngest son from season one?).

Realizing he has been horrible, he apologizes. In a nice resonance, he says he can empathize. His father was the Toyman after all. He worried if he would turn evil. These two have a lot in common. I'd like to see more of this.

On Argo, again Supergirl says she isn't Kara Danvers and she isn't Supergirl. Here she is Kara Zor-El. It is another jab at the Danvers she was.

The high council meets and one of them is Selina, the Dark Priestess. When I saw her alive on the council, I heard Marv from Sin City in my head. Just like that, a big puzzle piece clicks into place. And naming her Selena is brilliant! That is a nice nod to the movie.

The members are split between those who feel Argo can't worry about others and need to survive. They cannot spare the Harun-El. Some think Krypton needs to atone for their sins and learn from their mistakes. The World Killer is their responsibility. They need to give the rock.

Selena casts the deciding vote saying they need to give the Harun-El to Kara.

Hmmm ... nothing suspicious about that! If only Kara knew what we know!

Alex's trap (J'onn pretending to Alex and jogging) is foiled when the killer spots the real Alex. What ensues is a great rooftop chase where Alex is leaping and jumping everywhere. She almost dies, barely making a long jump and hanging on by her fingertips.

Somehow, once the killer reveals himself as the brother of an alien Alex busted, she does a flip off the ledge and brings him down. That is a physically impossible stunt. So unless Winn's suit amps her strength, she shouldn't be able to do what she did. It was so impossible it took me out of the moment.

I like Alex being a 'normal' person showing what peak conditioning and guts can do. I hope more insane things like this don't happen again.

I also wonder why it took J'onn so long to get there and help. But that is a quibble.

There is also a nice voice over of Kara extolling the virtues of Earth to convince the council to give up the Harun-El as we see Alex chasing him down. That worked well, each one building on the other.

Selena gives Kara a hunk of purple rock which doesn't look like the Harun-El we have seen before. This is a trap. Maybe Selena is hoping Reign will raze Earth so the Argoans can move into the vacated home?

But this was another part that I mulled over too much. If you are on Argo, barely surviving, and you learn of a planet where you could become a god, wouldn't you want to go? Wouldn't Kara start shuttling them back to Earth  in the ship, starting with Alura. Wouldn't you gladly give up Harun-El if it meant getting to a new home?

Instead, everyone seems happy with their lot in life. Kara says goodbye to Alura just for now. She knows she will see her mother again.

But I can't imagine the Argoans like their domed life of limited resources and dependence on a big rock to breathe.

Maybe I am thinking too hard.

I said it before, this Alex plot was my favorite of the episode and the last scene about it sealed the deal.

Alex talks about how she was lost, failing medical school and drunk, when she was found by J'onn and given purpose. She has become that person who jumps off buildings (she notes she's jumped off higher than the one from this episode), doggedly pursuing bad guys, and throwing herself in the line of fire. She can't change that (and I wouldn't want her to!).

Now she has to think about Ruby. She has to think about becoming a mom at some point. And can she be both. How can she be ...

But she will be.

I loved this. You can have it all. No one would ask a guy if he could be a top agent and a dad and husband.

And this really was a greatest hits parade for Alex.

We know what the tallest building she has jumped out of .. Catco from the end of last season!!

I loved this shot then and now!

Reing continues to needle Lena. She says Lena is as dark and as ruthless as she is. It is the right thing to get under Lena's skin. And it looks like Lena is about to take the bait, turning up the K only to have it not work! I think I'm right about this; Lena will kill Reign.

We end with a great ending shot. Reign punches down the force shield wall. Kara arrives with the rock and engages. It's the end of Rocky III over again, a freeze frame of two haymakers being thrown.

There is a lot to love here. Argo City. The name Selena and her being on the Council is brilliant. Alura and the discussions around the Alura/Kara issues. The first season callbacks. Alex's greatest hits. Alex's plot. Winn's empathy. Mon-El's possible sacrifice. Lena's temptation. These were all fantastic.

But taking a step back, the idea that Argo citizens wouldn't be pleading to be taken away didn't make sense. Kara not recognizing Argo was problematic. Alura not aging. And Alura not going with Kara herself to help rebuild that relationship. Alex's impossible leap. These were like pebbles in my shoes taking away from what was a good walk.

So what did you think?


Anonymous said...

Average episode, but I liked several bits: Live-action Argo City (I feared the showrunners would call it Kandor, Kryptonopolis or some made-up name), Zor-El building the dome and being a hero -for once-, Selena...

And Kara's kin stating she's become more human than Kryptonian. Where did we see this? Oh, yes, SG Vol 5 #38, written by Sterling Gates, where Kara states she doesn't fit among Kryptonians anymore after spending over one year adapting to Earth. Plus, SG Vol 7 #18 when the Evolutionist acknowledges Kara has been changed by Earth people.

"I also wonder why it took J'onn so long to get there and help. But that is a quibble."

Super-Heroes are notorious to forget their powers, abilities and training when the plot demands. I can't go through a Lego DCSHG movie without telling myself "Don't question why Supergirl or Wonder Woman don't use their powers" at least once.

So... We have a woman named Selena associated to an item whose existence Argo City's survival depends on.


I have the feeling the rumors regarding Mon-El leaving after this season are true and we've just seen the first hint. Now if we can have Brainy back...

Now we have seen Argo City and its survivors, I think S4 will adapt "New Krypton". Kara will try to help the Argonians to settle down, and there will be both humans and Kryptonians willing to blow the other side up while Supergirl try to prevent one or two genocides. Maybe we'll see Lucy Lane returning as Superwoman.

Sadly I'm afraid Lena will be one of the baddies. Reign will die and Lena will blame Kara or Kara will blame Lena and they'll break their friendship off. Do you remember how it was said prior to the Season's premiere we'd see the making of a villain and everybody assumed it'd be Reign? I think we were blinsdsided.

KET said...

A few replies:

"But taking a step back, the idea that Argo citizens wouldn't be pleading to be taken away didn't make sense."

Actually, it makes perfect sense, since the citizens of Argo didn't really know of Earth and how to get there until Kara showed up. The domed city has been cut off from communicating with the outside world (which I assume is a trick by Selena, since she had no trouble contacting Reign psychically after Kara and Mon-El flew off).

"On Argo, again Supergirl says she isn't Kara Danvers and she isn't Supergirl. Here she is Kara Zor-El. It is another jab at the Danvers she was."

Well, one could say it's sort of "The Last Temptation of Supergirl" being played out here. Kara is embarrassed by her human side in front of other Kryptonians, so she denies it...even though the entire purpose of her space mission is to save Earth's inhabitants from a old mystical threat from Krypton. There's lots of irony and hypocrisy on display in these scenes on Argo, some of which may be an unforeseen trap in itself.

"And Kara's kin stating she's become more human than Kryptonian. Where did we see this?"

This psychological battle had been going on internally within Kara for much of this season. However, a more external version occurred earlier this season when M'yrrn accused J'onn of being more human than Martian shortly after their return to Earth.

"And naming her Selena is brilliant! That is a nice nod to the movie."

Indeed. It also reinforces the Wizard of Oz allusions, since Selena in both cases is a wicked witch. Guess who's playing Dorothy here? :)

"I said it before, this Alex plot was my favorite of the episode and the last scene about it sealed the deal."

This subplot parallels nicely with Kara's reunion with Alura, presenting possibly two red herrings, but only one actually revealed.


Anonymous said...

The main puzzler in this ep, is that assuming purely Einsteinian physics are in proper synch with Kryptonian super science, that Allura should be in her early to mid fifties....either Zor El's atmosphere gimmick retards aging or else Kryptonians live longer or retain vigor & youth longer than Earth Humans...or else the writing suddenly got theory favors Option Three. :)
Why weren't the Kryptonians clamoring to be repatriated to the Earth ? Perhaps because a minority of them are waiting for Reign to Unpopulate Sol Three and give them the "free reign" there they desire...
Assuming thats the case, then Kara's seemingly blithe return to the Family Embrace is fraught with dire consequences...whatever the plotline truly is, I kind of feel "Returning to Krypton" is the sort of storyline that requires much more build up to extract maximum dramatic value.
Something like this should not be crammed into the very end of a season...
But this is "Supergirl" and at this point we have to reconcile ourselves to clunkiness and an overfrantic pace.


Scrimmage said...

“Of all the asteroids, in all the Universe, SHE had to land on MINE...”

I agree with much of Anj's review in that this episode was something of a mixed bag, some good parts, some more head-scratchingly confusing than bad. I enjoyed the GCI rendition of Argo City, floating in deep space on an inverted mountain, with large veins of deadly Kryptonite glowing in the darkness. That was cool!

Clearly, once they were caught in the tractor beam, they'd already been identified as a spacecraft, so I saw no point in changing the ship's appearance to look like a smaller asteroid, only then to resume the ship's “normal” appearance on the ground. Wouldn't it have made more sense to leave the ship disguised? Perhaps that would've delayed the Argonian's surprising “shoot first” mentality. Even better, wouldn't it have been fun to see Mon-El and Kara driving into Argo City in J'onn's Chevy convertible spaceship?

I'm having a problem with Mon-El's increasingly versatile, and seemingly magical Flight Ring. Apparently, you can get all kinds of apps for it, like a psychic attack shield app, a communications app, and now a 3D, holographic GPS app. Oh, and you can FLY with it too! It seems to be able to do whatever the script calls for, but no more, like a handy WorldKiller Repellant app. In any case, I agree with Anj that Kara didn't immediately recognize her old home town, even though I'm sure it's changed a great deal in the thirty plus, real-time years she's been gone.

Alas, yet ANOTHER episode where Kara has no powers, other than her super-power of persuasion, which in itself is something that in my opinion has been overused this season, but there was no explanation for why she, and the other Kryptonians for that matter, were de-powered. Were they orbiting a red sun, like Rao? Did the Yuda Kal rock replicate the effects of a red sun as well as Krypton's atmosphere? Now THAT would've been rather convenient, but it would be preferable to what we we given, which was no explanation at all.

Perhaps that, and several other unanswered questions will be addressed in future episodes, but how could the writers POSSIBLY ignore the most glaring qustion of all....

Where is ZOR-EL???

Did I miss something? Is he dead? If so, it must've happened sometime AFTER he saved the city, so how did he die? The only time his name was mentioned was when Alura said that Zor-El invented the dome technology, but otherwise, his conspicuous absence went unaddressed. Kara didn't even ASK about her father. That was really strange.

Overall, I enjoyed the whole “Returns To Krypton,” sci-fi part of this episode, which seemed like a completely different show than the Alex-centric storyline, which provided most of the action and the angst. I'll post my thoughts on THAT half of the show later, but for now I'll say that I agree with Anj that there were some aspects of that subplot that completely took me out of the story.

KET said...

"that Allura should be in her early to mid fifties...."

Well, one could surmise that her more youthful appearance is due to the Silver Age Space Time Continuum, or that age is merely a number for mothers. :)

There's another possible explanation, but that's likely to be revealed in the next couple of episodes...

"Where is ZOR-EL???

Did I miss something? Is he dead?"

Yeah, he's gone. Alura mentioned that he had sacrificed himself when creating the protective dome that keeps the Argo citizens safe.

"there was no explanation for why she, and the other Kryptonians for that matter, were de-powered."

Normal atmospheric conditions for Kryptonians would not give them any it's a logical assumption for them to still not have any.


Anonymous said...

"Where is ZOR-EL???"

Dead. Allura mentioned that he gave his life to construct the shield that protects Argo. Though there are no details given I would assume he had to venture out into the toxic environment to build it.

I think they made a mistake to rush the Argo City part as JF mentioned. On the other hand they have had troubles with writing a compelling main arc this season and this was the first episode in a long while that actually somewhat revolves around the protagonist. Kara needed this episode even if they completely underused its potential. And I really missed Melissa's fabulous emotional acting when finding her mother. It was stolen to rush their dialog in a too crammed episode. They shouldn't have wasted time on Alex story as it was kinda pointless.

Overall thanks to the Argo part it was an episode I really enjoyed. Mon-El was also well used.

Despite some wasted potential I put this as one of the strongest episodes of the season.

I will try to forget that they turned Alex into a poor fx magical ninja.

Scrimmage said...

Supergirl's ongoing “identity crisis” secret or otherwise, seems out of character for her. By now, she should be comfortable in her own super-skin, confident in her abilities, and certain of her place as Earth's protector. Kara's whining about how “hard” it is to maintain a secret identity is laughable, considering the fact that she hasn't materially participated in Kara's life all season, beyond a few unfortunate “KARAoke” outings. The misguided “mild-mannered reporter” plot device has been all but forgotten, and should probably be dropped in favor of “Kara Danvers DEO Agent.” I'd LOVE to see Kara working undercover, and having to hide the use of her superpowers to protect her identity, in true “Superman” fashion.


Argo City looks like a nice place for Supergirl to visit, but I wouldn't want her to live there, especially since it's sitting on a mountain of Kryptonite!

“Alura mentioned that (Zor-El) gave his life to construct the shield that protects Argo.”

Hmm... I thought she said he “dedicated” his life, but I might've misunderstood based on Kara's almost total lack of reaction to the confirmation that her father didn't survive along with her mother. I'll have to go back and re-watch that scene.

There's always been a question in my mind if Kryptonians under a red sun were susceptible to the effects of Kryptonite. I guess I have the same question about this new Krypton rock that seems to have the opposite effect, BOOSTING Supergirl's powers to an uncontrollable level. There was never any doubt that Kara and Alura would convince the Council to part with some of the Yuda Kal rock, but I'm afraid that its effects – much like Mon-El's ring – will be anything the writers need it to be.

I'm also hoping that the poorly named Selena, the Council Member who moonlights as a Kryptonian witch, isn't able to communicate with Reign through some black magic mumbo-jumbo that can penetrate Argo's shields, when nothing else can. That would ALSO be just a little TOO contrived for my tastes. I always thought that Reign was interacting with a holographic representation of the Witch, much like Supergirl often “talks” to an AI version of Alura at the DEO.

I miss Mon-El's clueless misuse of Earth idioms, his good natured frat boy persona, and his social awkwardness, but I have to say, he's matured quite a bit since his first appearance. Of course, he was probably on his best behavior meeting his girlfriend's mom for the first time. I'm not sure what the consequences will be for Mon-El for helping young Val, and the other kids in Argo who are also ill for the same reason, but that seems like a seed that will bear fruit next season.

By the way, Alura hasn't changed much since the last time Kara saw her because, as Superman once explained to Winn, Kryptonians age at a much slower rate than humans. Lucky Kryptonians!

Anonymous said...

"And naming her Selena is brilliant! That is a nice nod to the movie."

Indeed. It also reinforces the Wizard of Oz allusions, since Selena in both cases is a wicked witch. Guess who's playing Dorothy here? :)

AHA! KET I see where you are going with this. That was in the back of my head for some reason, knowing that Kara's all time fave film is The Wizard of Oz. Next week's "Not Kansas" is a deviation from Judy Garland's "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

And yes, Mon-El has indeed matured even though he still gets a lot of hate from the stupid shippers online who take characters and this show and ruins it for those who watch it

Scrimmage said...

Alex said to Ruby...

"She's called SUPERGIRL for a reason."

The writers would do well to remember that the same thing applies to the show. It's called "SUPERGIRL" for a reason, namely because she's SUPPOSED to be the star of the show.

While the storyline with Alex being targeted by an old, forgotten enemy out for revenge seemed more like filler than anything, it was an interesting, albeit brief walk down memory lane, in a kind of "Alex's Greatest Hits" review of some of her past arrests. I wish they had spent just a little more time reviewing Alex's personal Rogue Gallery. As it was, her encounter with the murderous corrupt cop from the flashback episode blended nicely with Kara's own blast from the past, but that should've been the focus of that story, rather than the bad guy turning out to be some never-before mentioned brother of someone Alex barely remembered sending up the river.

The contrived attempts on Alex's life were laughable! What use is a grenade that gives the intended target time to dispose of it? And I've never seen a handy-dandy "Hot Coal Disposal" pit in the middle of a boardwalk-like area in my life! You'd think something like that would be closer to campgrounds, or picnic areas, where people are grilling, or building bonfires, not on a sidewalk next to sales kiosks.

I also thought the attacks were in the wrong order. First of all, the LAST thing Ruby needs is more ice cream. That girl's been fed enough comfort food to placate an ARMY! It would be more in character for Alex - a soldier - to take Ruby out for a jog, where the first attack could've taken place. Later, after Alex tracked down the former sheriff, I was JUST thinking "Nice Bike!" and then they blew it up, but again, not without giving Alex plenty of warning so she could get away unharmed. Stupid delayed explosion!

In the final attack, it's ridiculous to think that J'onn wouldn't have been able to psychically "sense" the presence of the would-be assassin, especially if we're to believe that the guy could SMELL the Manhunter, but the fact that the depiction of J'onn's powers have been woefully inconsistent on this show is nothing new, especially this season. Even if he couldn't "read" that alien (one line saying that would've been nice), his super-speed should've allowed him to easily overtake this guy LONG before Alex caught up to him after an unlikely rooftop chase. Just as an aside, I think it would've been more entertaining if J'onn had impersonated Ruby instead of Alex, especially if we got to see "Ruby" toss a car at the guy, or something.

And then there was "The Move." As Anj said, it's a physical impossibility for a human being to flip themselves from the position Alex was in the way she did. If that's supposed to be part of her new catsuit's strength enhancing capabilities, again, it would've been nice if someone had bothered to mention it.

Afterward, Alex's conversation with J'onn offered us some further insight into Alex's fluid self-image - also echoing Kara's identity crisis - but what was the point? Is Alex considering resigning from the DEO if Sam dies, and she ends up with Ruby? How would THAT be true to who Alex is - a kick ass alien hunter? One thing's for sure, Alex is no more suited to be a full-time mother than Winn is qualified to run a day-care center, although that was his primary "assignment" in this episode. Surely there were less critical personnel at the DEO who could've looked after Ruby besides Winn. He didn't seem to be anymore interested in watching Ruby that I am!

Scrimmage said...

There was little of interest in the Sam/Reign subplot, except for the fact that Annabelle Odette is tearing it up as Reign. She's the Sexiest..... Supervillain..... EVER! I would Kneel Before Her anytime!

I thought Reign's use of the phrase "Hail Mary" to describe Kara's mission was a bit jarring. First of all, I wouldn't expect an ancient Kryptonian demigodess to be so familiar with Christian references, and even if she possesses all of Sam's knowledge of modern Earth culture, it's even MORE surprising that Reign would properly use a phrase commonly used in the NFL, that refers to a desperate, last resort kind of play that has little chance of success. Maybe Sam's a football fan. Who knew?

Anj said...

Thanks for comments and glad I wasn’t the only one sort of conflicted.

I guess you could chalk Alura’s looks up to Kryptonian aging, although I thought Supes implied it was the yellow sun that kept them powered and vital.

As for Alex’s story? Back when Alex told Supergirl to be ‘alien’ in her fight with Reign I said that would come back. I guessed we would see the reverse with Alex saying ‘be human’. I bet this story of Alex understanding herself completely will be the gateway to that scene. Alex saying ‘I have grown and know myself. You need to accept yourself and your humanity.’

Anonymous said...

Alittle better episode than the last one, but still suffers from clunky writing, which we'll just have
to roll with. I do agree the reference to "Argo City" and "selena" from the SUPERGIRL mythos was a nice
touch to things. And I did like the mother-daughter moments between Erica D and Melissa B -- "I was
hoping to get to know my daughter" brought a tear to my eye, I'll admit -- it did kind of remind me of
the loss of Laura Benanti, but this wasn't a showstopper. I also had a bit of a grin on my face realizing
that was Tim Russ as the councillor opposing giving Kara the rock she needed.

As for Alex going full on Mama Bear / kicka** mode? EXCELLENT!! though the old canard about "having the
full resources of a secret Government Organization backing you, but foiled by deux ex machina"
kinda broke my Suspension Of Disbelief meter.

I'd also single out the "selfless Mon-El" moment on Argo, as well as the Reign goading Lena to use the
killswitch as some of my favorite moments in this episode. Longer term though :

a) what will be the future of Argo City and its inhabitants, exactly? Never mind the sciency bits like
no power, no water, no star, deadly kryptonite all around... The possibility of a "World Of New Krypton"
as a future storyline does intrigue me, though!

b) what is up with Selena? That has me wondering! Can't wait to see how this plays out!

c) I still remain in the "Lena on Team Supergirl" side of things :) Just sayin'

d) trailer for next week implies Supergirl is leaving the DEO and earth to be on Argo City when all hell
breaks loose... or is that just what they WANT us to think?

> Alex said to Ruby...
> "She's called SUPERGIRL for a reason."

+9000. I'm hoping for a good smackdown between Supergirl and Reign next ep... this time with Supergirl
and the DEO fighting ALOT smarter than they have before. 'Sides, I think Supergirl still owes Reign for
that pre-midseason finale.


Red Forever said...

Val...imagine Mon-el doing a Ralph Dibny from CW and thinking "you know what, that Val kid was pretty brave...valorous...I'll be called Valor from now on" I can almost see it.

Kryptonian plot aging is something I apprvoe of, we've been through so many rererererererevisions of Krypton and their physiology already, that one hardly makes me flinch. It does serve its purpose greatly though but I'll call bullhockey on dead dad-El, that was a cheap move from the show. Though maybe it's better that way and we don't see him horrifically dying at the hands of Reactron and Alura going full moustache on Earth.

Kara's identity crisis here is contrived, stupid and just reeks off "Oh damn, I forgot how to write the character for the third time in her own show...quick, throw in some sure fire drama about internal conflict, that'll fix it." If anything, Kara's entire conflit upon realizing this is a Kryptonian colony and what it means for her and Superman should have been whether or not she will just take only her mother with her, leave without her but risk never seeing her again since the universe is as cruel as nature and accidents happen or if she and Superman have the maturity and even authority to decide about the Argonians living on Earth or even if they have any sort of right from Earth itself. Her constantly thinking solutions to the problem should be the real drama, like having an idea of taking the Argonian who want to live on Earth along and those who like Argo to stay there but relocate Argo somewhere safer etc.

It just seems way too wasted of an opportunity, especially for a season so tied to Krypton, like the first one. And I dunno, maybe wanting to see Firebird and Nightwing as Supergirl side characters is too much at this point.

The comment about showrunners remembering who the show is named after is thoroughly apt at this point, it feels like "DEO Adventures" rather than "Supergirl" and it didn't begin that way. Alex's and J'onn's plots are veering a little to much from their ties with the main story, though J'onn's is nowhere near as intrusive as Alex's but him being completely forgetful of his powers when needed is frustrating. The dude was caught with his pants down when his disguised failed and instead of going full Martian and chasing the guy with Alex he turned back as Henshaw in plain sight. Come on. Underusing an already very depowered Martian is a crime at this point.

This was like every other average Supergirl episode : loads of missed opportunities. It's one thing to use plot contrivence when you don't have money at times but simple write-ups for logical plot progression / character interractions that have been straightened at this point for two seasons shouldn't exactly be happening. And people shouldn't shy completely from existing material. Not all can be used but what can be used and has been alluded in the version the writters are using, is best to be brought up and used. It can only benefit the series.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate reading all the comments written from the perspective of Supergirl fans, of which I am one. I viewed this as a show of TV, and as a show of TV it was not good. I had problems with the myriad of awkward (at best) to ridiculous plot contrivances, too numerous to repeat here. Non-comic book reviewers, like at, were pretty tough on this episode, and the commenters there utterly eviscerated the episode - shredding it from top to top because, well, as a scripted television drama, it was really, really bad.

It's the kind of episode where, if I were not highly invested in some element (like Supergirl, as a good example), I would abandon the show. These days it's hard to find 60 minutes to devote to something, even the pleasures of hate-watching bad TV. If showrunners agree to air something this weak, they deserve to lose my trust.

This episode alone could explain the production delays. They barely had the outline of a script worth shooting here, and certainly not a finished camera-ready script. The weather didn't help - it's lucky no stunt doubles slipped and fell in all of the rain, and the rain also caused continuity problems as in some outdoor scenes it was present or absent depending on camera angle.

Oh I'm not going to chime in to repeat what others have observed here or there - you could take pretty much any scene and break it down into 10 or 15 absurd elements of dialog, action or logic.

Argo looked great from a distance, very quickly ruined by turning the ship into a meteor for virtually no meaningful reason. I mean, it's not like this didn't prevent them from being attacked quickly on the surface. (Why did that attack fail so easily?!) But then the planet surface - well, first you get what looks like parkland in Vancouver, not alien flora; then you come to the outskirts of town where people are dressed in the browns and whites of the typical Star Trek:TNG alien world. (Presumably a coincidence that Tuvok was a member of the high council, but who knows? Maybe as soon as the casting director saw the Star Trek village, they thought of casting someone from Star Trek.)

Overall this struck me as cheap - cheaply produced, cheaply costumed, cheap sets. I hope they have enough money left to limp to the end of the season!

I'll keep watching. Even though this season it's become more obvious than ever that this is a version of Supergirl I'm not sure I still like.

It's hard to remember how awestruck I often was, in the first season especially. The special effects were amazing. There was a budget. I could believe a girl could fly.

This could right itself. Probably not this year. I think they need a clean slate.

What are they going to do with Ruby? Don't want to see her suffer, but like many others, I don't want to see her again. I do wish them luck digging out of this hole. We are all going to need it.

Anonymous said...

I have read the avclub review for this season and honestly it's like the reviewer doesn't even pay attention to the episode because she accused the show of leaving out things which were in the episode itself! I used to look out for avclub's reviews in s1 and s2 but it's like the reviewer herself hate watches the show, she gave the freaking Midvale ep a C! What bullshit.

As for the commentators, there are people just out there looking to eviscerate the show for small stuff. If you have trouble with the cheap costumes and set, I suggest you go for the movies with 100 million budgets, cause considering that this was a tvbudget, they did splendidly with everything.

The only criticism I will agree on for the show is the continual sidelining of Kara as a lead, there was barely any need to have that Alex plot in this ep and neither was there any need to focus on Mon el. All that lost time could have gone to developing Kara and alura's reunion more. But here we are where it seems like the star of the show is literally everyone except Supergirl.

Anonymous said...

I can accept your criticism of the avclub and think what I wrote reads back overly harshly. But yes - I really do think they have had many episodes with better sets and costuming.

Mostly, I’m disappointed, because the show has done so much better in so many other episodes, and my hopes were high that an hour set on Argo could be among the greats. So I see it as a missed opportunity. But there will be more Argo this year, and I hope they are saving the best for last.

Anonymous said...

is anyone else out there tracking the superficial resemblances between this season of "Supergirl" and the Fifth Season of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"? Both have a malevolent goddess antagonist that the captioned heroine seemingly cannot defeat, said Goddess' only true weakness is her Jekyll & Hyde human counterpart while the parallels between "Dawn" & "Ruby" are obvious.
Glory verus I wrong or am I wrong?


Martin Gray said...

Count me as another non-fan of the Alex plotline; I like the character, I like the actress, but Alex gets far too much airtime and certainly this episode we needed more time with Kara. And I don’t get why Alex is so ‘Ruby is MY responsibility’ - maybe her dad might like a chance to get to know her? If he’s an ice cream man or a pizza guy, Ruby would be in there like a shot, bless.

What if the boy Val’s unseen father was Zod. Val-Zod is the Earth-2 Superman in the New 52 - OK, I don’t think he’s actually the son of a Zod, but still... I thought of Valor too, and Val Colby, Lena’s Silver Age son. Probably a writer just liked the name!

I think Selina is secretly lovely, it’s not like all English-accented people are evil.

All right, she’s totally evil, and that supposed Black Rock (deliberate Bronze Age reference?) reminded me of a portable Galactic Golem.

I’m also holding out hope that Lena doesn’t become predictably evil. I like her far too much.

All the angst around the ‘gift’ of the Argo City maguffin - couldn’t Kara just borrow the thing?

Anj said...

Thanks for cont8nued comments.

I agree that there is a lot of nonsense in this episode such that every scene could be picked apart. Sometimes you have to roll with it.

Nice Buffy analogy John.

And deep Val cuts Martin! Forgot about Lena’s kid!