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J’onn and Lena Help Myr’nn and Sam Go “In Search of Lost Time” on This Week’s Supergirl

Supergirl -- "In Search of Lost Time" -- Pictured (L-R): Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl and David Harewood as Hank/J'onn -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Last night’s Supergirl, “In Search of Lost Time,” was front-loaded with humor and lightness to offset some pretty stressful and emotionally draining stuff. While Lena is helping Sam come to terms with the fact that she just might somehow be a Worldkiller, J’onn struggles with his father’s dementia, as well as his pride. This episode demonstrates that in certain instances, the only way to help or save someone is to be willing to upset them.

Here’s The CW’s synopsis, to catch you up for my analysis below:

J’ONN HAS TO FACE THE TRUTH ABOUT HIS FATHER — When Myr’nn (guest star Carl Lumbly) inadvertently causes psychic disturbances at the DEO, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) must work with J’onn (David Harewood) to contain the resulting chaos. Meanwhile, Mon-El (Chris Wood) begins training Kara in fighting techniques he’s learned in the future for battling Worldkillers.

The episode struck a really interesting parallel between J’onn’s relationship with his father and Lena’s relationship with Sam as both Myr’nn and Sam are dealing with some pretty life-altering stuff happening to their minds.

Supergirl -- "In Search of Lost Time" -- Pictured: David Harewood as Hank/ J'onn -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

image: Robert Falconer/The CW

Myr’nn’s dementia is getting progressively worse, and he is determined to hold onto as much of his independence as possible for as long as he can. So, he’s taken to engaging in some Martian meditation techniques designed to keep his mind sharp. The problem? He overestimates how much control he has over his psychic abilities. As it turns out, whenever he does this meditation, there are psychic leaks, which cause his own fear and anger about his condition to manifest and heighten the fear and anger in those around him.

It starts with one alien rampaging at the alien dive bar, and ends with everyone at the DEO kicking the crap out of each other, revealing feelings about each other that are honest, if angry. We’ll get to that later.

J’onn is then put in the position of having to take on the parental role in their relationship. It’s as Kara’s uncle Jor-El said, “The son becomes the father, and the father becomes the son.”

J’onn strongly encourages his father to accept help and use one of the DEOs dampeners that they used on Psi to block his psychic powers. At first, Myr’nn resents J’onn’s efforts, feeling humiliated that his son has to care for him in this way, but once J’onn convinces him to look around at the destruction he’s causing, Myr’nn becomes willing to wear the dampeners and accept J’onn’s care. He even apologizes to the DEO for allowing his own pride to keep him from accepting the help he needed and causing so much harm.

Supergirl -- "In Search of Lost Time" -- Pictured (L-R): Chyler Leigh as Alex and Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

In a similar sub-plot, Lena is holding Sam in an L Corp medical facility after Sam asked for her help in determining the cause of her blackouts. Lena discovers through various tests that Sam’s DNA is being re-written on a cellular level, and that every time she blacks out, she evolves. Lena being a smart cookie, she creates a timeline of Sam’s blackouts, and realizes that each blackout corresponds with a Reign attack.

She figures out that Sam is Reign … but that doesn’t mean Sam is ready to hear it. At first, Sam refuses to believe it, because she knows that she (as Sam) would never hurt all the people that Reign has hurt. Lena tries to get her to understand that it’s not about Sam as a person, but that Reign is taking over, pushing Sam further and further away each time. Then Sam gets defensive, saying that the only reason Lena thinks this about her is because she’s a Luthor, and a Luthor will always see a “supervillain” in other people.

Finally, Lena sets Sam off on purpose, pushing every emotional button (especially when it comes to Ruby) to provoke the Reign inside Sam. Lena records the whole exchange so that, when Sam is back to being Sam, she can see for herself. Sam is devastated, but having really faced what she’s capable of, she very willingly accepts help to not only keep from hurting anyone else, but to keep Ruby safe.

Like Myr’nn, she needed someone who cared about her to be tough with her and force her to look at the truth in order to find a willingness to receive help.

Supergirl -- "In Search of Lost Time" -- (L-R): Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl and Chris Wood as Mon-El -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

And then there’s Kara and Mon-El, who’ve finally joined forces as fellow Legionnaires. As Mon-El trains Kara in futuristic fighting styles to prepare her for taking on Pestilence before she turns into Blight, Kara comes to terms with some unresolved feelingsnot of love, or loss, but of resentment and anger.

Myr’nn’s illness causes Kara to get hostile with Mon-El during training … at least, that’s the excuse she goes with. In reality, she genuinely resents the fact that Mon-El was actually not that great a boyfriend, and an even less-good hero. She resents that during all the time she tried to help him be better, he slacked-off, drank, and generally didn’t give a shit. Now, he’s a member of the Legion of Superheroes and training her. She resents that he’s never actually apologized to her for the way he used to be.

He does now, recognizing that you don’t get to truly move on from pain until you set things right with the people you’ve hurt.

Supergirl shows us that genuinely caring about someone sometimes means telling them things they don’t want to hear for their own good. It means calling out our loved ones’ BS. It means supporting them when they fall, not coddling them.

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8:00PM ET on The CW.

(all images: Jack Rowand/The CW, except where indicated)

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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.