[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Director: Kevin Smith
Writers: Eric Carrasco & Jessica Kardos
Stars: Melissa Benoist, Mechad Brooks & Chyler Leigh
While investigating a missing persons case, Kara and Mon-El end up trapped on another planet without their powers.
I want to give major props to Kevin Smith, the special and visual effects team and the production designers. The episode looks incredible; the production value is great. Smith has more talent behind the camera than he gives himself credit for and this episode shows that. There are practical aliens with some really neat makeup work as well as impressive CGI. The entire team put an insane amount of effort into making this episode look good and that work pays off tremendously.
Mon-El steals the show for me. Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood have developed a wonderful chemistry that is so much fun to watch on screen. Mon-El also has a lot of really great lines that make the character endearing. I especially like how he is inspired by Kara to be a hero. Her selflessness even without her powers is a stand out moment and I like that Mon-El recognizes that.
Jeremy Jordan gets a nice little story as Winn. I really enjoyed seeing this character deal with his limitations in the field. Earlier in the season, he took pride in being behind the computer because he knows that’s his strength. However, a serious threat to his life could easily affect his worldview. Suddenly, this game of playing vigilante becomes much more real for Winn. I don’t know how much I buy the conclusion but it is a sweet scene between Winn and James.
Is the alien that spares Mon-El supposed to be an Annihilator? It looked a lot like the Annihilators and Kara seemed to recognize them. If I’m right, that’s a nice bit of continuity.
Kara is an idiot in this episode. I like how determined Kara is to save these people even without her powers; that’s admirable. But she’s insanely reckless. She never once even thinks to come up with a plan or strategy. She just gives herself up with no real idea on how to get the prisoners out. She’s lecturing Mon-El but at least he is trying to use his brain. This would all be fine if it was acknowledged as a fault. Kara’s need for a challenging fight and her determination to find the missing both come across as being more about Kara’s ego. But the episode takes her side and frames it in a way in which she is right because everything just happened to work out in the end. Is it too much for her to be a little more strategic?
The “drama” between Alex and Maggie Sawyer was fairly hard to sit through. These CW shows can’t just have two people in a relationship. There always has to be contrived fights and ten minute breakups only for a way too quick resolution. Alex dumps Maggie for a second for absolutely no reason. She thinks the universe is punishing her for being happy which is insane. Thankfully, Alex apologizes and Maggie unbelievably takes her back even though Alex clearly has serious issues. The episode implies that this relationship is going to implode because Alex can’t handle it and I don’t know if I buy that. It’s also not interesting. Alex and Maggie having problems doesn’t have any weight because they just started dating. If they waited a few episodes and allowed us to get more invested in the two as an actual couple, this idea might work more.
I don’t really like Roulette. Dichen Lachman is fun in the role but the character is dull. She just wants money and will do anything to get it. She’s fine as a one off villain but she’s a recurring character now. There’s nothing about the character that warrants a reappearance.
This is an okay episode. The production value is great; the team has really stepped it up a notch and it’s all incredibly impressive. However, the writing is a bit hit and miss. Some of the material is fun and interesting but just as much of the material is nonsensical. The aspects of the script that I take issue with really brought the episode down for me. I want to love it because I can tell how hard they worked but the story and characters fall flat for me.