It’s mistaken identities galore on Supergirl!
With Guardian’s storyline finally holding its own and the return of some forgotten characters, “The Darkest Place” saw a welcome return to form for the series that had been flailing about for the past couple weeks.
Starting out with a tease of Supergirl fighting J’onn J’onnz, the episode jumps back 24 hours to the gang at a bar arguing about the rise of the vigilante, Guardian. James and Wynn are obviously on the pro-Guardian side, while Kara and Alex are still not sold on the masked vigilante.
However, James has bigger worries than whether his friends support his secret identity or not as another metal-masked vigilante is romping about the streets, killing his foes and leaving Guardian to take the blame.
While some may not be a fan of James’s Guardian plotline, I am partial to giving Mechad Brooks something interesting to do, as he always elevates the scenes he is in. Guardian’s storyline leads him to finding (with the help of Wynn) the twin vigilante (a disgruntled Navy Seal getting revenge on wrongly freed criminals in the wake of his wife’s death) and clearing his name. Guardian finally is recognized as a hero in National City, and James finally feels fulfilled with this day-to-day life.
Alongside James’ strong B-story, Kara’s main story provided even more excitement. Invited to Cadmus’ headquarters by the lead doctor herself (revealed officially by name to be Lillian Luthor), Kara finds herself to be attacked by what seems to be J’onn Jonzz taking us back to the opening teaser. Kara soon deduces that this is in fact the original Hank Henshaw, brought back to life and supercharged by Cadmus. Hank easily takes down Kara, and reveals his new moniker, Cyborg Superman (FINALLY).
Kara awakens in a jail cell next to Mon-El and meets face-to-face with Lillian Luthor. By shooting Mon-El (Daxamites are deathly allergic to lead), Kara is coerced into causing a solar flare (effectively taking away her powers for a day as we learned exactly a season ago). Powerless, Lillian takes a vial of Kara’s blood, her plans not revealed until later.
Still trapped in Cadmus, Kara and Mon-El share a moment of levity in their jail cells (with Mon-El about to reveal a big secret) before being rescued by JEREMIAH DANVERS (Dean Cain returning in a moment that made me yelp). Jeremiah removes the bullet from Mon-El and sends Kara and him on their way out of Cadmus, but stays behind himself to ensure their getaway. The cameo lasted all but 5 minutes, but Jeremiah was just the shot of energy this season needed to keep me excited. Upon escaping, Kara tells Alex the whereabouts of Cadmus and Jeremiah, but when the DEO goes to location to kick ass, they only find an empty warehouse in its place.
The episode even included a C-story about J’onn Jonzz and M’Gann. While not having nearly enough time to shine, David Harewood is bringing some excellent depth to the Martian Manhunter’s struggle with his revelation that M’Gann is a White Martian, and his continued mental deterioration post Martian blood tranfusion. After a heated battle between the two, J’onn imprisons M’Gann to “watch her rot,” but M’Gann gets the final blow as she reveals that her blood in his veins is slowly turning him into a White Martian.
After everything, Kara, James, Alex, Wynn, and Mon-El gathered at Kara’s for some well-deserved pot stickers. The episode seemed like it was going to close with some hopes for the love stories of Supergirl. Alex and Maggie hashed out their issues, with both admitting their true feelings for one another while still deciding to be friends, and Mon-El revealed that he may want to be Kara’s mate. It seemed the episode would end on an up note, but some groundwork had to be laid out for the rest of the season before next week’s super crossover. Before the credits rolled, the reason for taking Kara’s blood was revealed: Cyborg Superman infiltrates the Fortress of Solitude, asking the system about anything it knows about Project Medusa.
After dawdling about with trying to bring in big name super villains and half-written storylines, Supergirl brought things back to the glory of Season 1 and this season’s premiere by focusing on what is already great about this show: strong characters with strong relationships and how nothing can stop them if they stick together. It may sound cheesy, but in such crazy times in the real world, I need a little bit of cornball to get me through the day.
Episode grade: A
+Opening Guardian bar conversation
+The Return of Jeremiah Danvers
+Cyborg Superman (and also David Harewood showing his range)
+Mon-El’s admitting his feelings for Kara
-Underplayed Alex/Maggie storyline
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