Thursday, December 12, 2019

Supergirl Show 508: Wrath of Rama Khan

After a rocky start it looks like I will finally have caught up with the Supergirl show reviews today meaning I only have my look at the first three parts of Crisis on Infinite Earths left until I can take a deep breath. Thanks for bearing with me.

Supergirl episode 508 had the cute title of Wrath of Rama Khan and really did another great job of pushing forward the two main plots that have been building in recent episodes. One is Lena's turn to the dark side and her mission of mind control. The other is Leviathan and their ecological mission of tamping down humanity's destruction of the Earth.

As I have said, this season has impressed me with just how fast everything is moving. I feel like last season sort of tread water until Lex Luthor showed up. This season you better buckle up. In fact, one major subplot basically ended this episode, an impressive feat.

As usual, the acting here is on point. Many of the events needed to push the plot forward are forced or a little inane if you think about them too much. But otherwise, I really can't complain. This has been a very solid season of Supergirl, perhaps the best season start since we first met these characters way back in Season One.

Last episode ended with a tremendous cliffhanger. Lena revealed her ire towards Supergirl and trapped her in an ice/Kryptonite cell in the Fortress.

The tension is very short lived as within 5 seconds of the show starting, Alex and Brainy teleport into the Fortress and free Kara. They assume this was Rama Khan's doing. But Supergirl sets them straight. She tells them how Lena knew her secret identity and attacked her.

Myriad can be tracked to Mount Norquay, a known site of a Lex bunker and Supergirl speeds off to 'fix this' Lena problem.

At the Bunker, Lena thanks Hope/Eve for the move to the new site and Hope smiles. I am telling you, this basically omniscient AI is going to turn on Lena in the end, becoming to attached to her creator. This will, in essence, show Lena that everyone and anything is capable of 'betrayal'.

Kara floats in front of the mountain with her arms raised while Lex's defenses - first pulse cannons and then Kryptonite cannons - deploy.

But Lena shuts down the Green K weapons. She won't kill people. (Funny, she should ask Lex about that stance.)

In a weird move, Supergirl doesn't drill into the mountain to find the cloaked lair and confront Lena, she flies off saying 'I'm not going to give up on you [Lena]'.

Lena just put Kara in a cell and stole a mind control device. Isn't a little drilling warranted here?

Meanwhile, the beaten Rama Khan slinks back to the Leviathan headquarters.

I do like this mysterious table of elders who seem to be playing cards. A person identified with the pronoun 'she' is in charger and 'she' is sick of Rama Khan losing with weaker and weaker elemental attacks. Someone named Tezumak might be put in charge but Rama Khan thinks that person will burn the Earth.

Still, that table is intriguing. Who is seated there?

And then a bit of Deus Ex Machina. We learn that the planets will be in a special alignment that day. It is time to use The Staff of Shadows and the power of Acrata to do a Third Impact level event. After all, even Supergirl can't stop a super-volcano.

My favorite character this episode is Alex who seems to have some clarity in vision.

Supergirl continues to think that she can save Lena if she can only talk to her, bringing up how she didn't kill Kara in the Fortress or at Mount Norquay.

It is Alex who points out how Lena has been lying to them for months for devious purposes. Lena needs to be stopped.

J'onn arrives with Malefic. While Alex, again playing the part of DEO leader, doesn't fully trust Malefic, she is willing to hear what he has to say, especially when J'onn vouches for his now allied brother.

Malefic tells the crew about Lena's mind control experiments and goals. But he also says that Lena didn't kill him.

Kara reminds everyone that Lena is hurting. But she isn't hurting anyone. Lena wants to ease suffering. This seems a little Pollyanna by Kara but I get it. She feels guilty about Lena's current state.

A little more exposition is needed to explain Leviathan's attack.

The Staff of Shadows will boost Rama Khan's abilities but it needs to be powered by the Medallion of Acrata ... or rather the person wielding that power.

Khan makes an offer to Andrea Rojas she can't refuse. She will use her powers to help him as a last job for Leviathan. Then she and her father will be free and safe.

I do like how Khan backs up his offer with a little violence, pinning Rojas to the wall with Earth.

I have said how this season, the show has leaned into their continuity. Here Supergirl stands on the hologram platform her AI mother used to talk to her from. But she uses it as a transmitter to send a message to Lena's bunker.

The conversation is as energized as the last one between the two. Once again a crying Kara tells Lena that Lex wants Lena to become him. Lena shouldn't let Kara's mistake turn her into something she isn't.

But Lena won't hear it telling Supergirl to save her breath and spare her the drama. Supergirl did Lena a favor by showing her how deceitful the world is.

The emotional chemistry in these scenes is palpable. Even if it did look a little like Princess Leia sending word to Ben Kenobi.

I already said that Alex was my favorite character this episode.

Here is my favorite scene where Alex calls it like she sees it. Supergirl laments that again she lied to Lena after saying she would never hurt Lena.

But Alex won't have it.

She calls out all of Lena's recent sins.

She knew Lex was out of prison and said nothing. (Remember she worked with Lex.)
She kept Sam in LexCorp even when she knew Sam was Reign.
She knows how to make Kryptonite.

When Kara says Alex is talking about Lena like a Luthor she retorts, I think appropriately, because she is one!

I love it!

And then Alex reveals her plan. When Kara sent the hologram, Alex embedded a virus that will shut down Myriad and the Luthor defenses. And a Claymore satellite (a remnant from last season) is pointing down at Mt. Norquay.

It's time to treat this like a real threat.

That's the no nonsense, kickass Agent Danvers I remember.

Lena learns of the virus and realizes that the dishes to contact the Myriad satellite will need to be put back on line. Eve offers to manually move the dishes but Lena says she won't risk that.

In the DEO, J'onn thinks Alex's countermeasure makes sense even if it isn't 'right'.

But then another option pops up. Malefic could use his incept to block the Myriad frequency.

I love how this is a redemption arc for both J'onn and Malefic. Malefic pleads to let him make amends for all the mistakes he has made.

Meanwhile, Rama Khan goes to the National City tar pits where an extinct super-volcano resides beneath.

Knowing he needs the power of Acrata for the staff, he pins her to a mound of tar with the staff and begins his power up.

Pretty brutal.

Susing some calculations Brainy realizes the supervolcano will be 10000x as powerful as Vesuvius at Pompeii.

It is time to split up JLA style.

Supergirl and J'onn will take on Rama Khan at the now growing volcano site.

Meanwhile the DEO will try to stop Lena. Alex hears of the Malefic solution but can't get over that Malefic was a villain just a few days earlier, invading her mind and wanting to kill J'onn. How can she trust him.

I guess it makes sense that Kara has to head to the more super-hero style threat.. But I would have liked to see her confront Lena again.

And then Alex gets another great speech.

She is doing the job the way she was taught to do it ... by him. How can she trust Malefic. And shouldn't she just end this Lena threat.

Perhaps speaking from his own recent history, J'onn counters that people make mistakes and we have to let them do better. Interesting. He has grown. Can Alex.

With the time for the Claymore approaching, Lena finally let's Eve head out to manually redirect the satellite arrays. Interestingly, despite some subtle emotional responses, Eve goes cold here saying she isn't Lena's friend ... just a device made

There is a fight at the tar pit. During that, Supergirl spies Acrata with her xray vision and send J'onn there to rescue her. The fight between Supergirl and Rama Khan is a little one sided, tipped his way. Boy, one day we'll get a pure Supergirl win.

At the DEO, Brainy says the Claymore will 98% stop Myriad but will certainly kill Lena. The Malefic answer has an 86% chance of success but Lena will always survive.

Meanwhile Eve and Lena deduce Lex's pass phrase, a quote from Paradise Lost. With that the satellite is on line and a count down starts.

Malefic initially stops the Myriad wave but he isn't strong enough. The DEO mental dampeners are holding him back.

In a brave move, Alex tells the workers to turn off their psychic inhibitors even if it means Malefic could gain control of them. Suddenly unrestrained, Malefic wipes out the Myriad signal.

I like Brainy's passion here to Alex to go with the more humane answer. But I do wonder ifhe was

At the tar pit, Supergirl is basically being trounced.

When he brings up the ecological nightmare that Earth is and as such humans must die, Supergirl reminds him that people can change.

Thankfully, J'onn pulls the staff. The volcano dissipates. And Supergirl is able to thrash him.

Despite their differences, Acrata swoops in and delivers them both to the Leviathan hangout.

Amd now the wrap-up.

Leviathan makes Rama Khan step down.

Gamemnae is now in charge.

Back at LexCorp, Lena makes Eve/Hope pretend that she has been in charge all along.

Nice acting by Andrea Brooks here. And Katie McGrath sort of campily sells it.

On the balcony, Alex admits that if Malefic can change, maybe Lena can. No one is buying Eve Tessmacher forcing Lena to do anything.  But that fight for Lena's soul can be for another day.

And Malefic decides to leave Earth and head back to Mars to help M'Gann with recruitment.
Malefic to M’gann and mars.

But then we slip into Crisis hints.

J'onn had to face Malefic as a test. He didn't need J'onn to be plagued by his past.

And then we see that the Monitor has brought back Lex Luthor!

All right.

The Malefic plot is basically done.
The mind control or Myriad plot looks to be done.
And we still have more Lena and Leviathan to tidy up.

But first ... the Crisis!


Anonymous said...

Man who knew a founding member of the "House of El" could be this emotionally dependent on a Luthor?
There is one thing I love about the Berlantiverse its how the most outrageous klunky jobbery is accepted sans demure, in this case "The heretofore missing presumed dead Eve Teschmacher Did It!!!" Its like Mister Burns blaming Smithers for the Reactor's Umpteenth Meltdown.
But I digress, clunkiness and all, McGrath v. Benoist has become my must-see TV I can see why the producers love them so, they can redeem mediocre material and on this show, thats no small ability.


Martin Gray said...

I do wish they wouldn’t announce the surprise villain returns in the opening credits!