Supergirl Recap: Kara Finds Answers, and More Questions, in “The Darkest Place”
"Any courage I have, I learned it from you." -Mon-El
This week’s episode of The CW’s Supergirl is a pretty big deal, as Kara learns the whereabouts and identities of some pretty important characters. However, Kara’s not the only one uncovering big secrets. J’onn learns the nature of his shaky hand and worsening mental condition. Meanwhile, National City’s new hero, Guardian goes from zero to murderer in no time flat when a copycat vigilante tarnishes his good name. Welcome to Episode 7 of Season 2, “The Darkest Place.”
**THIS IS A RECAP – SPOILERS ARE PART OF THE TERRITORY.**
S2, EP. 7 – THE RECAP
- The episode opens with a fight between Supergirl and J’onn! Whaaaat….?
- Cut to “24 hours Earlier.” Kara, Alex, Winn, and James are at the alien dive bar hanging out and discussing Guardian. Kara and Alex are skeptical of the new hero, impressive though he might be, and Kara even brings up a vigilante with a changed voice that Superman works with sometimes (it’s Batman, right? Is it Batman??) as an example of what she doesn’t want to see in National City. Meanwhile, James and Winn bend over backwards to defend Guardian…but he’s totally not them, okay?! Meanwhile, Maggie shows up, and she and Alex have an awkward conversation. Maggie wants to make sure that they’re still friends, and Alex agrees. Begrudgingly. Afterward, Kara asks her if she’s okay, and she says yes. She then asks about Mon-El, since he’s not there and he practically lives at this bar. Kara assumes he’s with some alien woman or other. “What’s the word for a male floozy,” she asks. “A Daxamite,” Alex replies. They laugh. Slut-shaming and bigotry! A two-fer!
- Mon-El is actually imprisoned at Project Cadmus. He skillfully escapes and is about to jet out the door when the Cadmus scientist stops him. They have J’onn held as prisoner! And they will kill him unless Mon-El returns to his cell. He agrees, not wanting them to harm J’onn.
- At the DEO, M’gann brings J’onn an old Martian home remedy and asks how he’s healing up. Thanks to her transfusion, he says, he’s nearly back at 100% and is grateful. Suddenly, he sees his wife and daughters before his eyes and freaks out a little. When M’gann leaves, we see that his hand is still shaking the way it was in the previous episode.
- Guardian is out stopping a robber, whom he manages to tie from an overpass by his feet. He leaves him for law enforcement, after which a lookalike crime-fighter with a gun comes along and shoots the robber dead.
- The next day at CatCo, the big story is that Guardian murdered a man the night before. James tells Snapper that he doesn’t think that this was the work of Guardian, but Snapper accuses him of being a superhero super-fan and not being objective. (No, more like he IS a hero, so he’s not able to be objective) Having heard the news, Winn confronts James alone. James insists that he never killed anyone, and convinces a severely reluctant Winn to help him find the lookalike crime-fighter at a major drug shipment where he will likely come after Guardian.
- Supergirl finds J’onn doing what looks like tai chi alone at the DEO, which he says he learned from a Shaolin monk in the late 1800s. He then tells her that he’s been seeing his family everywhere. She commiserates, and suggests this might have to do with his relationship with M’gann. Supergirl tells the story of when she first got to Earth, and how she missed her parents so much she refused to talk to Eliza. But Eliza refused to back down, and Kara learned that just because she found love with her new family, didn’t mean she was forgetting her own. “Having M’gann in your life doesn’t mean losing your family,” she says. “It means feeling whole again.”
- Guardian arrives at the drug deal and, sure enough, the lookalike arrives too. After killing the guy buying the drugs, he tells Guardian that he was hoping they could be allies, but when Guardian says he doesn’t kill, lookalike be all “well maybe you should.” Maggie and the NCPD show up to take them down, but the lookalike escapes, as does Guardian.
- As Supergirl flies to attempt to catch “Guardian” (or, the lookalike everyone thinks is him), she is contacted telepathically by the scientist at Cadmus, who demands that Supergirl come to her alone, or Mon-El will die.
- When Supergirl arrives at Cadmus, she is shocked to see J’onn there only to realize it’s not J’onn at all. It’s the real Hank Henshaw, who’s been hiding out with Cadmus ever since J’onn Jonzz took his identity and became director at the DEO. Cadmus brought him back to life and are carrying on his desired mission of ridding Earth of all aliens. He and Supergirl fight. In the midst of the fight, Supergirl shoots her heat vision at his face. She melts the skin around his left eye revealing a robotic eye. CYBORG SUPERMAN! He defeats Supergirl, knocking her unconscious.
- Winn can’t keep his big mouth shut, and after telling Alex to tell Maggie to stop pursuing Guardian, Alex threatens him into revealing that James is Guardian. Alex’s first impulse is to tell everyone at the DEO, including Kara, but Winn begs her not to. She agrees (for now).
- Supergirl wakes up in a cell next to Mon-El and says, “Now I know how bad guys feel when I pummel them.” When Supergirl tells Mon-El that she was lured there because of him and that J’onn isn’t captured, Mon-El apologizes for getting her into this, but Supergirl feels bad they captured him to get to her.
- Alex goes to Maggie and asks her to back off going after Guardian, but won’t explain why. When Maggie presses, saying that “they’re friends,” Alex tears into her, saying that they’re not friends, actually, explaining how Maggie hurt her. She then insists that Maggie back off Guardian and walks away angry.
- Back at the DEO, Alex is worried about Kara, as she hasn’t returned any of Alex’s calls and has seemingly gone radio silent. As she talks this over with J’onn, he sees a white Martian on the steps and grabs his gun to shoot it. Alex tells him to put his gun down, and when he snaps out of it, he sees that he has his gun pointed at a fellow DEO agent. J’onn now knows he has a serious problem and asks Alex to run tests on him.
- At Project Cadmus, the scientist reveals that she is Lillian Luthor, Lena and Lex’s mother. She basically wants revenge on all aliens for the way Superman “convinced” humanity that her “genius” son was a criminal and eventually got him locked away for life. She wants Supergirl to wear a special helmet into which she can solar flare, going full force with her powers which will drain her (the way it did with Red Tornado in Season One) and essentially make her as powerless as any human. As incentive, she shoots Mon-El in the leg, which not only hurts his leg, but puts lead into his system. He apparently has a bad lead allergy and could die from too much exposure. Supergirl agrees to don the helmet to save Mon-El, and she does. Once she is drained, Lillian has her men drag Supergirl away.
- She is dragged to an exam room where Lillian takes a sample of her blood.
- Winn goes to James at CatCo to fill him in on some information he’s dug up on the lookalike. His name is Phillip Karnowsky, and he seems to be specifically targeting people who were charged with crimes, but then got off on a technicality. Winn supplies a list of next possible targets.
- Alex runs blood tests on J’onn, and while she’s never seen what’s happening in his blood before, he has. He now knows the truth about M’gann.
- J’onn confronts M’gann, and she confesses that she’s a white Martian, but tells him that she is indeed the white Martian who broke ranks, because she couldn’t stand to see innocents getting killed. None of what she says makes a difference to J’onn who is furious. They show themselves in their true forms.
- A powerless Supergirl and Mon-El sit in their adjacent cells talking about how afraid they are. She asks Mon-El to, if she doesn’t make it out of there, tell Alex to keep living her life on her own terms and that Supergirl wasn’t scared. Meanwhile, Mon-El thinks that if he dies in there, he deserves it for having survived the fate of Daxam. Kara reminds him that his prince saved him because he thought he was worth it.
- Suddenly JEREMIAH SHOWS UP to save them both! He’s alive! Huzzah! Jeremiah removes the bullet from Mon-El’s leg and bandages it. When Supergirl apologizes for not coming to get him sooner, Jeremiah tells her that he’s proud of the woman she’s become, and understands that she’s been saving people. Jeremiah leads them to an exit, but says that he needs to stay behind to distract those that will surely follow. Though it kills Supergirl to leave him there, she does.
- J’onn and M’gann are fighting in the sky over the alien dive bar. J’onn wants to kill her to avenge his family and his people, and when she reverts back to her human form, he demands that she change back so that he can look into the face of his enemy, but she doesn’t, saying that this is who she wants to be, and if he wants to kill her, he needs to kill her like this.
- Guardian shows up to find Karnowsky holding a guy at gunpoint. They fight. Just as it looks like James will lose, Maggie and Alex rush in with other cops and agents to save the day.
- Back at the DEO, Alex rushes into the medical facility when she hears what happened to Supergirl, and she’s ashamed that she didn’t go after her. Supergirl tells her that Jeremiah is alive, which fills Alex with all the feels. Supergirl, Alex, and a DEO team go to retrieve Jeremiah, but by the time they get to where Project Cadmus was, the entire facility has been cleared out. They’re gone.
- J’onn ended up not killing M’gann after all, but is planning on forcing her to live out her remaining years in a DEO cell. As J’onn is about to leave her in the cell to rot, she tells him that the reason why his hands are shaking and he’s seeing odd things is that thanks to her blood in his veins, he’s turning into a white Martian…and there’s nothing he can do about it. This was another way the white Martians figured out how to destroy the green Martians. Because why kill them, if you can have them transform into more of you? J’onn is horrified.
- Kara and Co. gather at her apartment for snacks. Kara and Mon-El sit on the couch and talk about their recent experience. Kara tells him he was braver than he thought, and he tells her, “Any courage I have, I learned it from you.” When she gets up and talks to Alex, Mon-El asks James and Winn if she’s “mated to anyone,” presumably because he’s totally crushing on her now. Meanwhile, Maggie shows up — still on the “friends” tip, but she makes it clear that she cares about Alex very much, and that “I don’t want to imagine my life without you in it.” Alex agrees they can be friends. Alex and Kara then talk about Cadmus and getting Jeremiah back, and both of them wonder why Cadmus wanted Kara’s blood.
- Turns out, it’s so Cyborg Superman can get into the Fortress of Solitude. (But seriously, though, there’s no voice authentication? No cameras? No way to verify someone’s identity other than blood? Some security system, Superman.) Once he gets the system going, he asks about something called Medusa.
S2, EP. 7 – THE REVIEW
Something weird is starting to happen with Supergirl as of last week’s episode, and no, I’m not talking about whining. It feels like the plots are getting much too simple. Not simple as in streamlined and clear, but simple as in lacking substance. There was a lot that happened on Supergirl this week, and we got some big fun reveals, but none of the plot points in the episode seemed to have any depth or go anywhere.
The plot with Guardian bored me to tears. To be honest, I don’t really care how National City responds to him as a hero, as any plot that happens in this direction seems like a rehash of what the show has already explored with Supergirl herself in Season One. Yawn. While I was still rooting for Alex during this episode, my patience is starting to wear thin with her. I get being hurt, but this thing with Maggie became all-consuming for her this episode, and I’m like “Dude. Y’all didn’t even actually date.” I really hope this is the last we see of her lashing out at Maggie like this. After all, she’s a newbie at being an out queer woman, not at being an adult.
Even the two storylines that were slightly more emotionally resonant — Supergirl powerless at Cadmus and J’onn discovering M’gann’s secret — lacked substance in their execution. It was basically just this plot point-leads to that plot point-leads to that thing we need to happen… Really the only thing that saved J’onn’s one-note storyline were David Harewood’s wonderful performances as both J’onn and Hank Henshaw.
This episode was okay, but it wasn’t great, and I generally expect better than this from Supergirl at this point. Don’t get me wrong: I’m thrilled we’ve found Jeremiah (even though we’ve lost him again), I’m thrilled that so many long held secrets are finally open (J’onn’s blood transfusion, etc), I just want the show to continue down the path of not being a paint-by-numbers story. I understood why it felt more like a generic procedural over at CBS. That’s what they do over there. Now that it’s at The CW, I expect better.
However, the truly exciting thing is that next week’s episode, appropriately titled “Medusa,” is the kick-off to the “Invasion!” crossover event that begins on The Flash S3, Ep 8, continues on Arrow S5, Ep8 and concludes on Legends of Tomorrow S2, Ep 7. Can’t wait for that!
Well, that’s enough of my blathering! What did you think of Supergirl this week? Let’s chat about it in the comments below!
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8PM ET/PT on The CW.
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