[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: Andi Armaganian
Writers: Katie Rose Rogers, Nicki Holmcomb & Eric Carrasco
Starring: Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks & Chyler Leigh
M’yrnn’s attempts to deal with his dementia cause psychic anomalies at the DEO while Mon-El trains Kara in a new way of fighting.
M’yrnn’s dementia is handled well. It’s a tough subject both for the audience and the characters within the universe. There’s a lot of maturity in the writing that gives the episode an emotional weight. And it’s great to see J’onn challenge in a way we haven’t seen yet on the show.
There’s a lot I like about the Mon-El subplot. The season continues to have the strongest dynamic between the hero and the big bad in terms of the CW superhero shows. I love that Kara and Mon-El are studying the first fight between Reign and Supergirl. They’re trying to find weak spots and come up with strategy as well as learning the technique of cape-fighting which is dope. The episode is moving Kara forward; we’re seeing her evolve and get better.
To add to that, she isn’t just getting better as a fighter. The episode is a strong character piece for Kara. I love the idea that Kara hasn’t been able to move on from Mon-El because she never faced the reality of the relationship. They weren’t a great couple; they were always fighting and always on the verge of breaking up. It’s the weakest element of the second season. I like seeing that acknowledged but they don’t just pay lip service to it in order to shut fans up. They made a compelling story out of it and it works.
Lena’s subplot involves her trying to convince Sam that the latter is Reign. These scenes are strong mostly thanks to Katie McGrath and Odette Annable. Not much is done with it this episode but Annable puts a lot of emotion into these scenes and it’s hard not to feel sympathy for Sam. Also, I am curious to see where this takes Lena. This could be the first real consequence of Kara not telling Lena she’s Supergirl. If Lena knew that, they would probably be working together on this. Lena is more than likely going to keep it to her herself and I’m excited to see where that goes.
I also really like James’ small part in the episode. Like last week, James still feels like a major part of the show and I appreciate that. While I don’t really care about the romance aspect between Lena and James, there is a friendship there that I think is working well. James is just being a really good friend to Lena and it’s sweet. I don’t really see the romance there and I wish they could hang out without it having to be sexual or romantic. These scenes play more on their connection as people and I liked that.
The episode uses the “son becomes the father and the father becomes the son” line from Richard Donner’s Superman as the main theme of the episode. Which is mostly fine; this show is obviously influenced by Donner more than anything. What I take issue with is how it’s brought up. Kara says it’s just something Jor-El always said. That seems weird to me. It feels like a profound thing a person would say once. Theodore Roosevelt didn’t constantly say the only thing to fear is fear itself. He said it once. On Krypton, was Jor-El really always saying that the son becomes the father and the father becomes the son to eight year old Kara? Jor-El sounds obnoxious in this universe.
This is a great episode. Like last week, it is more character driven than plot driven which is fine by me. I probably prefer it that way. The episode is incredibly well written and features some strong performances across the board. The cape fighting adds a really cool new element to the action scenes that is a lot of fun. The production break really seems to have done this team a lot of good; I love this episode.