Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Supergirl Show 507: Tremors

Well Anj, you promised yourself you'd have caught up with Supergirl in time to live review Crisis on Infinite Earths ...

Best laid plans ...

So for the time being I am going to be continuing/finishing my 'better late than never' show reviews and that brings us to episode 507: Tremors. And boy oh boy, this was a doozy!

One thing I have been applauding about this season is that the writers have pushed many of the character's plots forward rapidly. This episode is no different. In fact, plots I thought for sure would be lingering for the entirety of the season seem to be wrapping up.

I wonder if this show post-Crisis is going to be so different that this will be sort of like 2 seasons in one. Leviathan is suddenly emerging as the main baddie. I suppose the Lena issue will be the one thread to course through both sides of the show.

Anyways, I know I am a month late but there is a scene at the end of this episode between Lena and Supergirl that is just such an emotional gut punch and so well acted that I feel it should be up on television yearly recap shows. Just brilliant. In particular, Katie McGrath nails all the emotions roiling inside Lena. Wonderful.

On to the show!

The show opens up with J'onn and Kara sparring. It is a good scene with a mix of phasing, wall standing, sliding kicks, and cape tricks.

With Leviathan being such an unknown and a threat, Russell being killed, and J'onn still dealing with and 'feeling' Malefic, both heroes have a lot on their mind.

I did like this line by Supergirl. It reminds me a little of Sterling Gates Kara who said she thought with her fists first a bit too often.

As for our villains, Lena stole the Shadow Medallion last episode and that belonged to Leviathan.

I do love how Leviathan does seem to be everywhere. Especially this older woman who appears in Lena's apartment prepared to kill off the Luthor. But Lena isn't one to be so easily topped. Her apartment has force fields a plenty. But just as magically as she appears, the Leviathan woman disappears.

I do like how the threat of Leviathan is such an unknown that they feel vast.

But Lena is concentrating on Project Non Nocere. And for that she needs access to tech in the Fortress. And since she can manipulate Kara so easily these days, she'll just talk her way in.

I think evil Lena is just delicious.

And then a peek behind the curtain of Leviathan.

There is a table of what I presume are the leaders of Leviathan. But we meet two members more intimately.

One is Rama Khan, an alien whose spaceship destroyed the dinosaurs. And since then he has secretly ruled the Earth, causing calamities to keep the humans in check. But now humanity is ravaging the planet more and more.

A woman named Gamemnae talks about helping Rama Khan protect Earth with her tech. But he seems confident in his abilities.

And we see those powers. he shows up at an event Lena is having to off her given how she thwarted Leviathan last week. In garb that kind of reminds me of Miracleman, he brings forth an earthquake and is able to throw rocks and other soil. He seems sort of like Geoforce in that respect.

Luckily Lena has her signal watch. Supergirl flies in to grab her friend and fend off Rama Khan.

But it clear, he's a bruiser.

And then a little research at the DEO.

This 'Earth Bender' has been a figure throughout history, often at times of great cataclysms like Pompeii or Noah's flood. And Leviathan as a term is seen 6x in the bible.

That sneaky Lena wonders if Lex's weapons in the Fortress might be effective against this guy. And just like that, she gets an invite to the Arctic. It is amazing how well Lena knows how to play Kara.

I did like when Lena is able to identify the disasters by city and year, Brainy is impressed. 'Good to have you back, Lena.' She has fooled them all.

While Kara and Lena head north, Alex and Brainy get a hit on Riproar's armor and tech.

They find it on a dock ... but rigged to explode.

Nice little stunt for our actors.

But a chunk temporarily breaks one of Brainy's light inputs.

I forget if there has ever been a good explanation for Brainy's consistent use of the human illusion.

Good to see that his real look hasn't been completely forgotten.

Meanwhile, Lena is impressed by the Fortress. Kara even calls it "Krypton on Earth'.

But her Luthor-ness is not welcome. The Fortress' defenses kick in and activate the L-Protocol, trapping Lena in ice and threatening lethal force.

Thankfully Kara can stop it. It is interesting that Superman was that on fire about Lex to have an L-Protocol.

A plot that I am watching closely is this Kelly/Alex relationship as both continue to feel each other out.

Kelly doesn't want to lose Alex and keeps trying to hold her back. Alex has a mild concussion and wants to head back out but is stopped by Kelly.

I hope at some point this gets answered. I wonder if both are overcompensating and maybe impinging on who the other person is.

Rama Khan can't feel Kara because she is not connected to the Earth and he knows of only one place that can be true. So he is off to the Fortress.

But again, Gamemnae continues to tout her tech as the next answer. Between Obsidian VR, Lena Q Waves, and now Leviathan 'tech', I wonder if reality and mind control and loss of identity is the real villain of the episode.

In the Fortress we continue to get some juicy Lena and Kara moments.

Lena jokes with Kara about how often Lena was fooled, even mentioning the aircraft crash in Kaznia last season. Kara again apologizes for the deception.

And then we learn that Rama Khan is from the planet Jarhanpur, a sister of Krypton which was riddled with civil wars. No wonder Khan wants to save Earth. Given that information, Lena thinks a sonic cannon of Lex's will work.

And then in the weapon room we see Myriad, the mind control device from the end of season one. It is interesting to see Kara describe that as the one weapon she would destroy if she could. She cannot abide my mind controlling people.

Of course, this is the real reason Lena wanted in. Because this is just what she needs.

OOOhhhh ... I'll say it again. Conniving Lena is just soooo wonderful.

I think that the show is trying to come up with different ways that Jesse Rath can just ad lib and go off the rails.

Here the broken piece seems to glitch and suddenly the he is uninhibited. He begins to rattle of words that don't seem connected while getting almost spiritual with his sudden ability to see widely.

Rath is a gem.

And that revelation is that Leviathan would most likely hide in plain sight as well as be near a place of ancient Earth power. And this seemingly abandoned house near the tar pits of National City makes perfect sense!

But even here he is talking about seeing out of the corner of infinite eyes. It is enough for Alex to tell him to reel it in.

I love it.

In the Fortress, Rama Khan breaks through the floor in dirt form and reconstitutes into a man and begins his attack.

I love how he is able to draw the dirt into a rock and fire it at Supergirl like a fireball. Nice effects here.

Meanwhile, Alex and Brainy are flummoxed when they discover a secret elevator that seems to open up to an abandoned cave in the basement. This isn't a headquarters, certainly not the plush wood paneled one we saw before.

It turns out it is a defense system. Gamemnae, looking through some magical portal mocks our heroes for not being able to figure things out.

But back to the battle in the Fortress, Kara realizes that Khan is tied to the Earth. She freezes the floor beneath Khan, in essence trapping him in this 'Krypton on Earth'. Now he is on her home turf.

I love the sass.

"Welcome to Krypton, old man!'

And trapped like this, albeit briefly, Khan is hurt by the dual attack of sonic cannon and super-breath.

It is only when he smashes the floor that he is able to escape into the soil of Earth with his power.

How fun to see Lena and Kara fighting side by side, although it also is brief.

Because Lena tries to leave with Myriad and finally admits that she has been using Supergirl for the last few weeks.

And then we get into it.

First Lena is a little cold, calmly starting by saying that Supergirl heard Lena talk about all the betrayal she has had in her life and how Supergirl listened and exploited it. How betrayal was Lena's Achilles heel.

And then we get to the guilt she is feeling.

She admits to killing Lex to protect her perfect friends only to then learn that her friends lied to her all along.

The guilt she feels for murdering Lex must be overwhelming. And the anguish McGrath brings is intense.

When Kara apologizes again, and then hopes Lena won't do something evil because of Kara's acts, Lena again chastises her 'friend'.

No, Kara doesn't get to tell Lena who to be anymore.

In a surprise that was hinted at earlier, we see that Lena has reprogrammed the L-Protocol to trap Kara in ice and green K. When Kara worries that she will be murdered, Lena says no. Lena won't kill. She isn't a villain, even if she was treated like one.

I don't know Lena, trapping your friend and stealing a world mind control device? That seems villainous.

But again, it is the emotion that both Lena and Kara bring to this scene that makes it so powerful. Just freaking incredible.

So that Lena plot has chugged forward.

The Leviathan plot has moved forward.

Throughout the show, we see that J'onn spirit talks to M'yrnn who says the only way for J'onn and Malefic to heal is for J'onn to open his mind to his brother. It is dangerous. He would be vulnerable. Malefic could kill him.

But to heal, J'onn does just that. And in this mind-meld, Malefic realizes just how much J'onn regrets his acts.

The brothers end up embracing.

I suppose it is a nice contrast to Lena/Kara where Lena cannot move past the affront.

And it is another plot that seemingly seems to be done or close to being done. Amazing!

And lastly, back to Alex who says she wants to heal Kelly as much as Kelly healed her.

But the big parts of this episode were the new knowledge of Leviathan and the Lena/Kara scene in the Fortress.

Seriously, that Fortress scene should be on the reel for Emmy nominations. Just brutal and powerful.

What did you all think last month?


Anonymous said...

Katie McGrath versus Melissa Benoist, thats the defining face off of the season...these kids make the magic happen every time. I'd watch them bickering over the recipe for a crock pot of soup. If the show's endemic clunky writing, breakneck pace and ceaseless subplots are a hopeless nuisance, then please recall they got the central conflict (and the casting that buttresses that conflict) ineffably right.
I do concede though, Lena's pivot to perfidy seems pretty hard to rectify, on the other hand this is Berlanti, quick last minute plot changes are a specialty. I'll bet Lena will botch the power up on her nice-ness machine and zap the envy pain and wrongness out of her own brain...I'll bet thats the ticket.


Martin Gray said...

I’m a little more behind than you, Anj! Top review. Thanks so much for pointing out the Miracleman in that villain costume, it was driving me mad, I was thinking it was something from John Forte-era Legion.