On a very special episode of Supergirl…
While most of the promos focused on the appearance of classic supervillain, Parasite, tonight’s episode “Changing” was much more about the ongoing journeys that have been Alex coming out as gay and James becoming a superhero himself. With that said, this episode continued Supergirl’s streak of strong, real, human stories, but it also continued its streak of lackluster supervillain appearances.
For those who were excited for the appearance of one of DC’s favorite supervillains, disappointment was surely had. Rudy Jones, a environmental scientist/activist, is infected by a centuries old parasite that enables him to absorb the energy of everyone he touches.
Using his new powers, Jones tries to take down corporate executives connected to harming the environment. Supergirl tries to stop him, he drains her power. Supergirl and Martian Manhunter try and stop, and he drains both their powers turning into the red monster we know and love from the comics. Mon-El and James Olsen’s new superhero identity, Guardian, try and stop him, but nearly fail. Supergirl tries one more time and tricks Parasite into absorbing plutonium, overloading his system causing him to explode. R.I.P. Parasite, we literally hardly knew ye. For such a high-profile villain, we deserved better, but alas, this season has not been able to nail a decent supervillain appearance yet. I can’t knock them for trying to bring in viewers with buzz-worthy character appearances, but we at least deserve an actual story arc rather than just a jumble of events.
Luckily for those who appreciate this show outside of the tights and the fights, we were given a plethora of B-storylines that reminded us of why we like this show.
Mon-El continued to find his place on Earth, taking up a job as hired muscle for a bookie, much to Kara’s anger. As the episode ended with Mon-El’s capture by Cadmus, I look forward to seeing how their relationship will develop as she sets out to save him.
J’onn J’onnz received a blood transfusion from a willing, but hesitant M’Gann post his fight with Parasite. The transfusion is a success and J’onn and M’Gann grow closer, but all is not well as J’onn’s hands tremor from the White Martian blood in his veins.
James Olsen and Wynn are quickly becoming my favorite duo of the season (Superman and Supergirl be damned!) as the two continue their plan to turn James into a superhero. Along with actually getting to see Guardian in action (with Mechad Brooks falling into the action scenes effortlessly), this storyline also gave some time for Jeremy Jordan to shine as Wynn, taking charge when James is over eager to fight the good fight. While I wasn’t sure how these two’s roles would play out post Supergirl’s second season makeover, it is nice to see them falling into an interesting, new places.
Lastly, this episode dealt heavily with Alex coming to grips with coming out. At the advice of Maggie, Alex decides to come out to Kara. The scene that transpired after goes down as one of the most affecting moments in Supergirl thus far. The confusion, the awkwardness, the fear, the doubt: Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh convey it all as their characters deal with Alex’s revelation. It is a very understated scene that for a moment, had me forget that I was watching a show about a girl that can fly and shoot laser beams out of her eyes. No small feat, indeed. Over the course of the episode, Kara accepts and encourages Alex to pursue Maggie, and then is there for her sister when Maggie rejects Alex, breaking her heart.
Despite what the promos showed, this episode was about Alex Danvers and had it not been bogged down by some “meh” supervillain stuff, this episode would have been better. Alas, I still await an episode this season that finds the perfect balance between it all. Supergirl has done it before, and I hope that we can find that sweet spot sooner than later.
Episode Grade: B-
+ Alex coming out to Kara
+Wynn taking charge
+Parasite’s final form
–Guardian’s Batman voice
–Lackluster Parasite story
What do you want out of Supergirl? Better action? More heart? A supervillain that lasts more than an episode? Sound off in the comments or let us know on Twitter!