Changing found Supergirl stumbling this week buckling under the weight of too much time on the sidekicks. That came at the expense of a foe that should have been one of Supergirl’s toughest opponents. Instead, we get an easily handled one-off villain.
Changing saw Parasite make his debut re-envisioned as an Eco-terrorist gunning after climate deniers. Not even having William Mapother (Lost) playing the pre-Parasite Rudy Jones could make this twist interesting.
The CGI for the show’s aliens has been lacking this season. Parasite looked more like the proto-Serpentor Sgt. Slaughter fought in Arise Serpentor Arise than Superman’s foe. Despite Parasite’s more complex origin, he was far less interesting than the powered-up thug who gave Superman fits in Superman: The Animated Series.
It’d be nice for Martian Manhunter to be remotely competent in combat. I know this show isn’t called Martian Manhunter, but I’d appreciate him being more effective instead of immediately getting taken out in pretty much every fight. At least this opens the door for some side effects from his blood transfusion from Megan.
I hated how much of the first season found Kara so dependent on an ‘atta girl!’ from Cat to make Supergirl a better hero. This season’s focus on the supporting cast has made for a crowded heroic scene. Kara pushing Mon-El to be a hero is an interesting direction since she’s practically forcing him to be a hero.
After a pep talk from Alex, Mon-El was ready to try his luck at being a hero in battling Parasite. In a nice nod to the show that got the CW/DC alliance rolling, Mon-El was dressed like Smallville’s Clark Kent. Since a super-powered Daxamite wouldn’t be enough to take him down, it was up to National City’s newest hero to help. Supergirl’s writers have gone to tremendous strides to validate James’ purpose on the show, but so far the Guardian arc isn’t working.
Part of what’s kept The Flash so enjoyable is that Barry Allen is largely the only hero running around (no pun intended). Cramming too many heroes weighed Arrow’s fourth season down and it seems Supergirl is making the mistake of making everyone around her special.
In this regard, Smallville actually had it right. Besides Green Arrow, Clark wasn’t surrounded by a ton of heroes popping up every other episode. And with Supergirl being portrayed so powerful it makes even less sense to have an armored guy with a pop-up shield showing up.
James’s transformation to Guardian could have been a real moment for the character if it was built up appropriately. This is the kind of arc that needed a season to develop. Guardian debuting in Season 3 would have felt well earned instead of tacked. At least this has given more screen time to the fun buddy dynamic of Winn and James.
And how did James go from getting beat down by a trio of regular dudes to being able to go toe to toe with a super powered alien? Not that it ultimately mattered as Supergirl nabbed some plutonium and seemed surprisingly OK with killing him. James opting to keep his identity secret from Kara seemed to just be a way to create some unnecessary future drama.
Despite the classic villain cameo and two new heroes debuting, the main focus of Changing was Alex finally coming out to Kara. Naturally, Kara has to be 100 percent supportive because Supergirl can’t be put in a remotely negative light. I found it interesting that in the same episode Kara is completely understanding and accepting of Alex she’s trying to force her agenda on Mon-El.
Chyler Leigh and Melissa Benoist will always shine whenever Alex and Kara have heartfelt moments, but it seemed a missed opportunity for a more enlightened story. Kara could have gradually learned those differences with Alex and Mon-El don’t have to affect her relationships with them and she doesn’t have to change them to be more like her.
The writers did a mild fake out by having Maggie reject Alex’s advances. That seemed like an about face from last week when Maggie called Alex out on her interest and seemed to be fine with that idea. Either way, I still don’t care about this relationship. In fairness, Supergirl has yet to actually handle any romantic subplot correctly besides Winn and Siobhan.
It’s odd how the Superman episodes put more focus on Supergirl than the episodes in his absence. Changing again mostly keeps the main hero sidelined while other characters get the attention. But as drunk Kara reminded us, there’s nobody more deserving of Supergirl’s spotlight than its title character.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW