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Supergirl Recap: “Bizarro”

"The skirt was surprisingly comfortable, but no." -Hank

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This week’s episode pits Supergirl against her worst enemy. Herself? That’s right, we’ve finally gotten our Bizarrogirl episode! Welcome to “Bizarro,” season one, episode 12 of CBS’ Supergirl!


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S1, Episode 12 – The Basics

  • “Three months ago” we see Maxwell Lord pumping some icky black goop into a young Jane Doe. She springs to life, her eyes wide black saucers. He goes all Dr. Frankenstein and be like “She’s alive! She’s alive!” I’m surprised there wasn’t thunder and lightning. Then “Yesterday,” we see Lord talking to the Jane Doe from behind, having taken some gauze off her face. When we come around the chair where she’s seated, we see that she has Kara’s face!
  • At the DEO, Hank, Kara, and Alex are trying to figure out an explanation for the second Supergirl on the news who, apparently, threw a truck into a mountain. Alex asks Hank if there’s anything he’s not telling her, but he insists it’s not him, despite the fact that the last time he played Supergirl, the skirt was “surprisingly comfortable.” Kara suspects Lord, but Hank is skeptical, only because the girl he saw held captive there was deeply comatose and Lord “might have a God Complex, but he’s not a God.”
  • At CatCo, Cat is being waaaay nicer to Kara than usual, probably because her son is taking Kara out on a date. She even gets Kara coffee! Meanwhile, Kara and Winn are talking again, because he can’t resist talking Supergirl. Cat holds a staff meeting about this breaking Supergirl story, and she asks her team for angles and headlines. Under her breath, Kara brings up the fact that it might not be Supergirl at all. Cat loves it, and sends everyone off to work the angle, “Supergirl?”
  • Later, Team Supergirl goes to their super-secret CatCo HQ to figure out their own plan for figuring out this second Supergirl. Kara receives a text from Adam, which makes her giddy and blush. When she reveals that she has a date with Cat’s son, James acts way too weird about it, overcompensating by insisting how happy he is for her. Winn seems to enjoy James feeling the slight for once.
  • Back at Lord Technologies, “Supergirl” is watching videos of the real Supergirl in action when Lord comes in to check on her. Lord is basically creating his own Supergirl to take Supergirl out. Because Supergirl “bad” and Bizarrogirl kill bad people.

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  • Kara and Adam are on their date and have lots of chemistry. Too bad she has to bail on the date mid-way to save a tram full of people. Pffft.
  • Supergirl arrives at the tram, but before she can save anyone, Bizarrogirl arrives to take her out. They fight mid-air, which causes the tram to separate from its cable. As it plummets to the water below, Supergirl leaves Bizarrogirl and races after it, saving them. Bizarrogirl watches, looking puzzled.
  • At the DEO, Supergirl tells Hank and Alex about her encounter with Bizarrogirl. Hank posits that it could be an android, but Kara insists that, after having looked into her eyes, she knows this girl has a soul. Alex mentions that, if Bizarrogirl is an identical genetic match, then she likely has the same weaknesses, and they can use a non-lethal dose of kryptonite to stop her.
  • At CatCo, Adam arrives with Cat, talking about his too-short date with Kara. He wonders if he might have done something wrong, but Cat insists he didn’t, and says that Kara is “skittish like a horse.” Cat wonders if having had dinner with her instead last night was a huge letdown, but Adam says no. He’s been enjoying spending more time with his mom. Kara arrives and apologizes to Adam for bailing. He reminds her that she now owes him a rain check, and they agree to get together that night. When he leaves – really awkwardly, and without a kiss – Cat marvels that they haven’t had a first kiss yet, and says Kara’s like “a character in a Jane Austen novel.” When the news begins reporting the Supergirl on Supergirl action from the previous night, Cat reveals that she’s given this new Supergirl a name: Bizarro. (minus the “girl”)
  • Team Supergirl gets together to pore over information Winn has found. He’s discovered that not only has Lord gotten access to a Jane Doe through his subsidiary company, Prometheus Genetics, but that he’s gone through seven girls to finally arrive at a perfect doppelganger for Supergirl.
  • At Lord Technologies, Bizarro expresses “Supergirl not bad. Supergirl help people.” But Lord, in SUPER-CREEPY FASHION, convinces Bizarro that sometimes things that look “good” are actually really “bad.” (He’s right about that, Bizarro, RUN!)
  • Later, Alex confronts Lord with the information about the seven girls. He says she has no proof (um, then how does she know about the seven girls and why was he using them? And furthermore, with seven leads, it’s likely that you could prove that one of them didn’t consent to being used in any way by Prometheus, etc, etc), and that he was giving them a second chance at life. He then vaguely threatens Alex, calls Bizarro “humanity’s guardian,” and says “May the best girl win!” He’s gone off the Deep End’s deep end.

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  • At the DEO, Alex tells Hank and Kara how Lord basically told her that he is indeed responsible for Bizarro. She and Hank talk about taking Bizarro down, but Kara reminds them that she’s the victim, and they should be going after Lord. Alex doesn’t agree, chiding Kara for talking about Bizarro “as if she were human,” and calling Bizarro “a science experiment.” Hank reminds Kara that it would be impossible for the DEO to arrest Lord (but would it though?) since they “don’t exist,” and Lord is a billionaire. (But seriously, would it though?)
  • When Hank leaves them, Alex also tells Kara that Lord seems to know that they’re sisters, but Kara is skeptical, saying that he’s likely just trying to get into her head. (Wait, ALEX HASN’T FOUND THAT BIG-ASS, REALLY OBVIOUS CAMERA IN HER PURSE YET? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?) Kara is about to bail on Adam again, because of everything going on, but Alex convinces Kara to keep her date with him. Because it’s never going to be a “good time,” and she may be Supergirl, but she’s Kara Danvers, too.
  • After-hours at CatCo, James and Winn “drown their sorrows” in whiskey. Winn knows what he’s drowning, but he questions James about what’s going on with him. James is less than forthcoming, so Winn calls him out on having feelings for Kara and not doing anything about them: 1) because James could get Kara if he really wanted to, and that’s just frustrating to watch, and 2) He’s stringing Lucy along, and “no one wants to be in a relationship with someone who wants to be with somebody else.” Winn called it, Brah.
  • Kara and Adam Date 2.0: They’re walking down the street together, and Kara ends up telling him that her parents are dead, and that she was adopted, saying that she’s never felt normal. Adam assures her that “no one ever feels normal.” They kiss! (huzzah!) And then Cockblocker Bizarro shows up out of nowhere and swoops down, snatching Kara up into the air.
  • At a different location, Bizarro has put Kara down. Kara tries to talk to her, but Bizarro busts out heat vision, forcing Kara to do the same.

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  • Supergirl and Bizarro fight, and many of Bizarro’s powers seem to be “opposite” Supergirl’s. She has fire breath instead of freeze breath. And when the DEO arrives and pumps Bizarro with kryptonite darts, they make her stronger, and she flies away, looking degraded (YAY! REAL BIZARRO!), but not weakened.
  • At the DEO, the team talks about how they need to reverse-engineer all of their anti-Supergirl tactics to make them work on Bizarro. Kara is frustrated, and knows that Lord must know that she and Alex are sisters, because Bizarro came after her in her civilian clothes. Now, no one in her life is safe, and she says that they need to stop Lord “once and for all.”
  • Later, at CatCo, Adam is panicking about Kara in Cat’s office, when Kara walks in. She asks to speak to Adam in private, and so Cat gives them the office. Best line reading of the night: “I guess I’ll just go roam the hallways of my building.” Kara ends things with Adam, though she doesn’t want to, not being able to tell him why. He’s hugely disappointed, but he goes.
  • At Lord Technologies, Lord talks to a degraded Bizarro, telling her that Supergirl “made her” a monster, and that should make her want to go after not only Supergirl, but everyone Supergirl loves.
  • On the balcony at CatCo, James tries to comfort Kara, but Kara’s all “leave me alone,” and James is shocked that she is immune to the sweet, comforting, dulcet tones of James “The Grown Man” Olsen.
  • Alex and two DEO agents go to arrest Lord. When he asks what the charges are, she says that she’s taking him in on behalf of an “extra-legal organization,” so he has no rights. (See? I knew they could do something like that) When he threatens to tell the world that Supergirl is her sister, she roughs him up, saying “Where you’re going, no one will be able to hear you.” BAD. ASS. (I mean, technically an abuse of power and awful, right? I totally get it. But this is Maxwell Lord, and he’s a dick.)
  • Back on the CatCo balcony, James is still moping about Kara when Bizarro shows up and snatches him away.

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  • The DEO has taken Lord in, much to Hank’s surprise. He reprimands Alex for jeopardizing the secrecy of the DEO, considering that people are going to notice that Maxwell Lord has gone missing. Alex insists they will never trace him to them. What’s more, she cares more about her family’s security than national security, and says that Hank of all people should understand that.
  • Meanwhile, Bizarro is holding James captive in a warehouse, hoping to lure Supergirl. She won’t look directly at him, because she thinks she looks ugly now. James tells her that everyone feels ugly sometimes, but that people (he) love Supergirl not because of what she looks like on the outside, but the person she is on the inside. He encourages Bizarro, telling her that she can still be like Supergirl. It’s actually a great, heartfelt speech that seems to calm Bizarro—until JIMMY WRECKS IT BY MAKING A MOVE FOR HIS SIGNAL WATCH ON THE FLOOR AFTER SHE TOLD HIM NOT TO MOVE. This, of course, makes her distrust everything he just said, and she keeps him from reaching for the watch with her fire breath. James is the worst. Damsel in distress. Ever.
  • I guess Bizarro’s fire breath set off the Signal Watch, because Supergirl gets a ping on James’ location. The DEO has formulated a sort of anti-kryptonite that they hope will work on Bizarro. Supergirl goes after her.
  • Supergirl arrives at the warehouse to confront Bizarro. They fight, and Bizarro soon gets the upper hand and begins choking Supergirl. Alex is up on a catwalk aiming her gun with the anti-kryptonite darts, but is worried that she doesn’t have a clean enough shot, and she doesn’t know what these will do to Kara. Supergirl tells her to take the shot, and she does. She takes Bizarro down.
  • Back at the DEO, Bizarro is awake and asking for Supergirl. When Supergirl arrives at her bedside, she apologizes in a really sweet scene. It’s clear that she was a victim in all this and deep in her heart doesn’t actually want to hurt anyone. Hank puts Bizarro back into a medically-induced coma the way she was before, to spare her the pain of going on as Bizarro. They hope to help her in the meantime while she’s out.
  • Supergirl goes to see Maxwell Lord in his cell, and he’s just as douchey as ever. He antagonizes her by mentioning Eliza Danvers’ name in a not-so-veiled threat. As Kara is about to heat vision this asshole, Alex stops her. He’s not worth it.
  • Back at CatCo, Kara goes into Cat’s office, and Cat tells her that Adam is going back to Opal City, because he now has no reason to stay in National City (though he intends to keep up his relationship with Cat). Kara attempts to explain why she broke it off with Adam, but Cat isn’t interested. Cat decides that perhaps they should put up boundaries and be very clear about being boss/employee so no one “gets hurt.” Ouch.
  • Kara leaves Cat’s office and bumps into James. She asks if he’d be interested in going to a happy hour with her, but he’s picking Lucy up at the airport (and he says it in a way that’s like I need to focus on my girlfriend now. See ya!). He, too, is putting up boundaries. Yowza. All of Kara’s friends are TRYING TO TELL HER SOMETHING AND MAYBE SHE SHOULD LISTEN.
  • Supergirl flies home, and is about to relax with a cold beverage when she notices a weird, green, sticky, cabbagey growth on the coffee table. As she examines it, she doesn’t hear or see the WEIRD TENTACLED PLANT THING ON HER CEILING THAT JUMPS HER AS WE …

Cut to black!

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The Review Bit, Wherein I Express OPINIONS:

This was an engaging episode, but it was a rare instance in that the “villain” of the episode felt more nuanced and well-crafted than the character moments from our main cast. There were several character things that bugged me throughout the episode:

Maxwell Lord – WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THIS GUY?! When the show first started, he seemed like a normal, if misguided guy who genuinely seemed to care about people and about helping the world, who simply thought that Supergirl would do more harm than good. I get that motivation. But in the past few episodes, culminating in this one, it feels like they’ve taken Lord all the way to Crazytown, do not pass go, do not collect $200. In twelve episodes, he’s gone from zero to obsessed, and the writing of his arc feels rushed. They’re trying to make him obsessed like Ahab at the end of Moby Dick, but Lord has only been pursuing his “white whale” for, like, five minutes. In the beginning, they seemed to be creating a character that was in some way relatable. Now, we’re supposed to believe he’s totally cool with using Jane Does for science experiments. What?!

Alex – A lot about her seemed weird this episode, too. I didn’t buy that she would consider Bizarro a mere “science experiment” and not a person, and I was surprised that she didn’t see eye to eye with Kara on that. It seemed like a false note. Also, in relation to Hank … Hank is supposed to be in charge, her boss at the DEO, but ever since he “came out” as Martian Manhunter, it’s like he’s forgotten how to lead, and Alex is making all sorts of big decisions without him while she’s telling him how to use his powers. Why is J’onn J’onzz being such a pansy?! Don’t get me wrong, I generally love Alex, and am all for her being an excellent DEO agent, but I think that ever since J’onn revealed himself, they’ve been taking away from him and giving to Alex in a weird way. If anyone should’ve made the decision to go after Lord, it’s Hank.

Cat – What I worried would happen has finally come to pass, and rather than have Cat and Kara’s relationship grow this season, it has simply collapsed like a souflee in a cupboard. We’re back to square one for absolutely no good reason, and it’s annoying the living bejeezus out of me. You were giving me something great there for a while, Supergirl. Way to yuck my yum.

James and Winn – that entire scene was just awkward as hell, and completely unnecessary. I know they’ve been becoming friends lately, and that’s great … but they’re not nearly close enough to earn their drinking scene. That was some late-night-at-the-slumber-party conversation that they would not have been having at work. They are writing James Olsen so badly, and it’s frustrating to me. None of the choices he makes ever feel definite, and so you never get a sense of what’s actually important to him, or what he actually cares about. His feelings for Kara are wishy-washy, his feelings about his job are wishy-washy, his feelings about Lucy are wishy-washy. He’s an amorphous blob of a character, which is a shame, because I love Mehcad Brooks. He deserves better.

While I didn’t think that the “Lord being capable of going through seven anonymous coma patients to get to his perfect doppelganger” thing was earned, I liked the plot point itself. I’m glad they didn’t go the route of there being a Bizarro planet and all that. Even better, I loved Bizarro herself, and I’m so glad that they were eventually able to have her look the way she does in the comic. That character should always be a bit of a wounded puppy who needs training and a little extra love to get by, and they nailed it here. Hope Lauren’s performance was ferocious and sweet and perfect, and I hope they find a way to bring her back and have her be on Team Supergirl—or at least have Kara act as a surrogate big sister to her and show her the ways of the world. Bizarro, as well as Melissa Benoist in her scenes with Bizarro, were pretty much the things I held onto and loved most this episode while all the other characters were acting a fool.

Oh, and the date thing. It was sweet, and adorable, and Benoist got to work with her husband again for a few days, but we all knew that wasn’t going to last, right?

What say you, Supergirl fans? What did you think of this week’s episode? Tell me in the comments below!

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8PM ET/PT on CBS. For more Supergirl fun, check out The House of El—January’s video is available for viewing now!—and subscribe to my podcast, Supergirl Radio!

(images via Monty Brinton/CBS)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.