The Darkest Place suggests for better or worse Supergirl is going to be a pretty packed superhero show going forward. While it’s doubtful that approach is sustainable at least for one episode it made for a pretty entertaining outing.
Three storylines vied for attention this week, which was an interesting choice since each probably should have been the focus of their own episode.
Supergirl’s suffered the most from the format. Hank Henshaw’s return was a great surprise although it made no sense why he calls himself Cyborg Superman and not wear Superman’s outfit. I’ve always been partial to Cyborg Superman’s look so hopefully that gets adapted at some point on the show.
At least the show gave Supergirl an opponent she couldn’t beat in one episode. But once again, Supergirl went for a surprisingly vicious move in turning her heat vision onto Hank before knowing he wasn’t fully human. That easily could have killed him. That’s forgiven thanks to some great perspectives and intensity in the fight.
I was hoping Cadmus captured Mon-El for a larger purpose besides luring Supergirl to a trap. That seemed a waste of the effort to kidnap him when Alex would have made more effective bait. The reference to Thanagarian Nth Metal was interesting as it opened up the possibility for better interpretations of Hawkman and Hawkgirl.
Lillian Luthor revealing herself to Supergirl played out oddly. Instead of really being concerned about the alien menace, she just came across like she’s taking out the nasty Super people who put her son in prison. And with all the resources at their disposal why wouldn’t Lillian just break Lex out? Or get revenge on Superman instead of targeting Supergirl.
I’m hoping Lillian capturing Supergirl’s solar flare was about more than giving Hank her blood. It was weird that he knew the location of the Fortress of Solitude though. Kara’s potential last words for Mon-El to Alex about living her life on her own terms was silly. With all her great love for J’onn, James, Winn, Clark and even Cat, Kara wanted to make sure Alex knew it was OK for her to be gay?
Maybe someday the CW shows will stop with the major spoiler guest cameos in the credits. Jeremiah Danvers’ return would have been a great surprise if they didn’t have to credit Dean Cain before he showed up. This was an odd time for him to resurface and then mysteriously vanish with the rest of Cadmus. Is he working undercover or hiding under Cadmus’ nose?
The Guardian subplot was pretty basic as James and Winn tracked down a copycat who used a machine gun instead of a shield to take down bad guys. I’m a big fan of giving James and Winn something proactive instead of cheering on Supergirl. Only problem with this subplot was it came on the heels of the far superior debut of Vigilante on Arrow.
With Guardian’s costume lacking any color, the fight was tough to visually comprehend beyond the Iron Grenadier mask of faux Guardian. I’m curious if Alex keeps James and Winn’s secret from Kara since they have this newfound openness.
Of the three, the Martian Manhunter subplot was most effective. It didn’t take long for J’onn to experience side effects from Megan’s blood transfusion. I’m still puzzled why Kara didn’t need a transfusion from Superman to recover like J’onn. The visions of his wife and children and hallucinations of White Martians on the loose was really well done.
Watching Martian Manhunter actually taking it to a White Martian was as much fun as it was jarring to see J’onn so angry. I wasn’t a huge fan of the twist that J’onn is changing into a White Martian. That just seems a built-in excuse to keep him powered down for most of the season.
It’s interesting that the coffee shop has been ditched for the alien bar. Seems like that’s the absolute worst meeting spot if Alex wants to avoid Maggie. The back and forth nature of this inevitable romance has grown tiresome. Superhero shows really don’t need to devote this much attention to any of the supporting characters’ love life.
It was a drag with Tommy & Laurel, Diggle & Carly, Thea & Chase on Arrow and Cisco & Kendra and Iris & Scott on The Flash. The supporting characters’ love life need to be simple and as uncomplicated as possible since the show doesn’t live or die based on how their relationships are going.
Darkest Place had some nice Easter Eggs like Kara casually mentioning the gadget-using vigilante Clark teamed up with that was full of demons. The other was a subtle nod to The Newsboy Legion on a storefront referencing the group of street kids The Guardian would frequently aid in the comic.
Darkest Place wasn’t the best episode this season, but it featured some really strong action sequences and rarely had a dull moment. Keeping that pace will be tricky especially if the writers keep trying to divert so much attention to the romances. I’ve got less interest in the Kara/Mon-El pairing than I do Alex/Maggie.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW