Spoilers ahead for “Medusa,” the latest episode of The CW’s Supergirl!
The short version: The big ol’ DC crossover doesn’t really start until the final minute, but Supergirl and Martian Manhunter slug it out with Cyborg Superman. Also, things really start looking up in Alex’s love life.
The good: The character moments, Lena Luthor, Alex
Trent: Though the action was fairly heavy, this episode also featured some excellent character moments that really speak to the vibe of this show. Having the whole gang together for Thanksgiving was crazy fun, from Kara cooking the turkey (with her heat vision) to Alex shutting down James and Winn so they didn’t steal her announcement thunder. Mon-El’s alien crushing is also pretty adorable, though it does beg the question: Didn’t Kara break things off with James so she could find herself? So that means a new love interest just a few episodes later? But, whatever, they actually do have some chemistry. There’s also Kara playing Monopoly in her Supergirl duds, which was a surreal visual but completely true to the character.
Lena Author also looped back into the narrative this week, as Kara uses a combination of reporting skills and general sneakiness to try and figure out how much she knows about Cadmus. But, being a Luthor, Lena is playing her own angle in all of this. We see her savvy and strength on display, as she plays dumb with Supergirl, but uses the intel to set up her mother and stop Cadmus’ plan. All season, Lena has typically been playing her own side, but every time she ends up doing what’s right. So, is Lena really breaking the old Luthor evil streak? At this point, I’m starting pull for her, anyway.
Dany: It's Sanvers vs. SuperCorp duking it out for the best lady love story on Supergirl! What's that? Mon-El kissed Kara Zor-Who-now? Eh. Anyway, gay ladies and queer-bait-but-i'll-take-it ladies are where it's at this episode! First you've got Maggie and Alex, which, to be fair, as a plot are a little shoe-horned in. Maggie's almost-death doesn't take up a lot of emotional space in the midst of all the action, but that's okay. What really matters is that Alex was there for rescues. Also, Alex has a much better coming out to her mother, thank goodness. After Kara kind of pulled an "it's all about me, this coming out," Dr. Danvers not only knew exactly what was happening, she also was quick to let Alex know how special she is and the pride she should feel in who she is. All of which led to Alex telling Maggie that, hey, Alex isn't just gay for Maggie -- she's gay for every lady. Despite the "well, I almost died, sooo..." reason Maggie gives before finally kissing Alex for real, the more obvious reason this coupledom could actually begin in earnest is because Alex is truly finding herself. The Sanvers: it's pretty great.
Meanwhile, Supercorp, is not really happening (I mean I don't think it's really happening), but any plot where Supergirl and Lena can have a fight because Momma Luthor is a bad guy (lady), Lena can seem to go full darkside, but ultimately have it turn out that Lena was siding with Supergirl all along is a reason to celebrate. And, lo, many fics were written on this day. Sanvers may have the heart, but Supercorp still got the hotness.
The bad: Cyborg Superman, wrapping everything up in a bow
Dany: "You may be an alien, but I'm Cyborg Superman!" Has there ever been a clunkier dud of a line on Supergirl? Dear reader, I would submit that there has not. And, really, while I know that Hank Henshaw is Cyborg Supes in the comic, I had a bad feeling that the transition to television simply wouldn't fare well. It hasn't. His snarling and mugging for the camera are absolutely the worst kind of non-character development on a show that's all about characters. His disappearence at the end of the episode is, I hope, long lasting. The writers really need to go back to the drawing board on that one.
J'onn, sadly, doesn't fare much better. His "Oh no, I'm a White Martian now" subplot gets wrapped up a little too easily, and without the help of M'gann. Makes me wonder what exactly is going on with the Martian storyline right now. Makes me double wonder if the writers know what's going on with the Martian storyline right now at all.
And also, while not bad exactly, pour one out for the cool, alien bar. I hope all the genocide won't keep the out-of-galaxy visitors from hanging out there.
Trent: Introducing Cyborg Superman to this world has a ton of potential, and I’m still interested to see how they play the contrast of introducing the real Hank Henshaw back into the mix (he vanished at the end of this episode, so he’s definitely still kicking around out there), but his look just keeps getting goofier. This week, he’s wearing a Phantom of the Opera-style metal mask and hoodie, which has him looking like a poor man’s Doctor Doom. The fights were solid, and Martian Manhunter vs. Cyborg Superman was epic. But, c’mon, make him a bit more intimidating.
This episode is also leading into the fall break, and it shows. They wrapped up a whole lot of stories heading into the big Flash, Arrow and Legends crossover. Cadmus’ leader is apparently heading to jail, Martian Manhunter has been cured, Mon-El is cured, Alex got the girl. Which, sure, it makes sense they’d wrap things up enough that Kara would be comfortable leaving her world. But still, it all happened a bit too quickly and cleanly.
That kiss! When he thinks he’s dying, Mon-El puts the moves on Kara with a kiss. It’s a sweet moment, but in the end, he claims not to remember it — and Kara doesn’t tell him. There certainly seemed to be a spark there, and though it’s a bit frustrating to see Kara jump from one guy to the next, it is the nature of these shows. So, curious to see where Mon-El’s story goes next. Speaking on Mon-El, what’s up with those aliens hunting him down? That’s not good.
Crossover, baby! Though the “Invasion!” crossover was billed as a four-night event, we didn’t get much alien action in this one. Barry and Cisco spend the episode causing semi-portals to open around Kara, and finally punch through to her universe in the final minute. Which was cool, sure, but we really wanted Cisco to meet Winn. Sigh.
Line of the night:
“The Luthors are pretty good actors. Or sociopaths.” - Winn
Up next: Do we need to say it again? Tune in to Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow all week for more Supergirl!