Review: Supergirl 3×05 – “Damage”

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Director: Kevin Smith

Writers: Eric Carrasco & Cindy Lichtman

Stars: Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks & Chyler Leigh

 

Summary

Morgan Edge blames Lena when children are afflicted with symptoms of lead poisoning.

 

Positives

I like that, again, Kara has a problem she can’t just punch. Edge isn’t someone she can fight without killing him so she has to use other skills to beat him. It was a lot of fun to watch Kara and Sam team up to do detective work. It’s a little weird that the actual detective character is absent from this element of the episode, but whatever.

I don’t like that Maggie is leaving the show, but I understand that Floriana Lima is unavailable. Considering the circumstances, the writers do a good job with the breakup between Alex and Maggie even if it isn’t necessarily something I wanted. It makes a lot of sense for Kevin Smith to direct this episode because these scenes play to his strengths as a director. He does a great job throughout the episode, but the moments between Alex and Maggie are especially well handled.

Negatives

The episode suggests that Lena’s lead bomb from the season two finale has had unintended consequences on people. This is a really interesting idea. Lena saved the world, just like Kara, but there are direct personal consequences. That would have been a great place to take Lena. But the episode squanders this potential by revealing that Edge framed Lena and her bomb didn’t affect humans at all. It’s a missed opportunity.

Whether Lena was responsible or not, I don’t like how people react, including Lena. It’s terrible that these kids are sick but it’s literally a handful of kids. And they’re sick with something that is easily cured by an antidote from L-Corp. That’s better than being blown to literal pieces by crazy aliens determined to rule the planet; Lena helped save the world and everyone is acting like it’s the worst thing anyone could ever do. Additionally, how are people so stupid that they believe Lena’s bomb is responsible? It’s been six or seven months since the bomb went off. Why would people just now show effects from the lead and why only a handful of kids? No one seems to think of this; it’s so obviously something else.

While I do like how the writers handled Alex and Maggie, Alex’s need for children did come completely out of nowhere. This has never been brought up before or even hinted at. Because they need conflict, Alex has new character traits which is weird. Hopefully, this idea sticks and the writers don’t drop it.

Is every episode going to end with a cliffhanger in which Sam discovers something weird about herself? I thought last episode’s ending was solid and we would move forward, but this episode has a way less severe and interesting cliffhanger for Sam. She finds out she’s bulletproof. She saw Kryptonian language tattooed on her face and a crazy person in a robe last week. At what point is she going to take the hint and stop denying everything? At some point, she’s going to have to face reality that she potentially has superpowers. This is starting to feel dragged out; we need a new plot point for Sam especially since the writers announced months ago that she’s the villain and have already shown a picture of her in costume. They’re rushing to promote her as the big bad really quickly, which makes the mystery aspect of her story right now tedious.

 

Verdict

This is a solid episode. There are a lot of great character moments for pretty much everyone. It’s fun to have a plot focused on Lena since she continues to be the most interesting character on the show. I also like that this plot forces Kara and Sam together. James gets several good scenes which has been consistent this season; he felt underused last year so I’m glad that James feels like part of the show again. The plot has a few contrivances which is unfortunate but they don’t kill the episode. It’s fun to watch and the emotional scenes are incredibly effective.

 

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Sean Blumenshine

I am currently a senior at Wichita State University studying communications. I started reading comics in 2013 because of how much I loved Man of Steel and season one of Arrow. My favorite hero is the Green Arrow and my favorite villain is the Joker.