Season Two, Episode Seven — “The Darkest Place” 

© 2016 The CW Network. All rights reserved.

© 2016 The CW Network. All rights reserved.

By Molly Jane Kremer. Seven episodes into the second season, and Supergirl is still charging full speed ahead, though at this point it might be better served in slowing down and letting the characters breathe a little. Though “The Darkest Place” was chock full of snappy, giggle-inducing one-liners, it felt even more overloaded than the weeks that preceded it. Previous episodes managed to finely balance the action, tension, and human drama within all these happenings, but here, four plot lines vied heavily for viewers’ attention, and when added to the in media res opening and the two separate flashbacks that followed it, the episode made for an often overwhelming and muddled hour of television.

A few characters were introduced or, well, reintroduced: Hank Henshaw (yeah, the real one) returned with half a metal face (appropriate, all things considered) to straight up tell Kara — and the world — that “[he’s] Cyborg Superman”; and Dean Cain returned as Jeremiah Danvers, with no visible new powers, and some real flimsy reasoning as to why he’s gotta remain at Cadmus. (Fifteen years at Cadmus and no robo-Supes powers? Jeremiah got a raw deal.) Ms. Luthor finally received a proper introduction after her identity was revealed to us two weeks ago (and a substantial villain monologue to go with it). As far as Momma-Luthor canon first names go, I’m glad they went with Lillian; Brenda Strong sure doesn’t look like an Arlene or a Letitia.

The least amount of effort was put into the Guardian plotline. Jimmy’s transformation into a vigilante hero could (and should) have been developed more fully and more gradually, and at this point, having the Guardian on the show just feels like the CW is checking off another character on its self-congratulatory “Look How Many Comic Book Characters We’ve Cast!” list. It doesn’t feel like Jimmy grew into this part, or like they’re giving him room to do so now; it feels like the writers threw him into it, not knowing what else to do with the character. And his storyline this week felt like a lesser, early-first season episode of, well, any of the CW superhero shows: Procedural freak-of-the-week with a middling, dull, and easily defeated villain.


Winn: “You know, for a place that caters to aliens, they have some pretty good chicken wings.” Kara: “How do you know that’s chicken?

My cousin worked with a vigilante once — tons of gadgets, lots of demons — I mean, vigilantes are nuts.” – Kara. (An oblique reference to a certain Caped Crusader?)

You know, I just learned that there’s a long standing mating ritual here where ‘if you like it, you shoulda put a ring on it.’ Clearly you’ve been successful in this arena.” – Mon-El.

Winn: “Alex said the oven’s taking too long, she needs your help heating up the… under the pizza.” Kara: “A superhero’s work is never done.

BEST MOMENT: Though I’ve found Mon-El less than endearing since his live-action introduction — bringing him in as a superpowered frat boy will do that — I enjoyed the scene between him and Kara in their adjoining Cadmus prison cells, watching both characters interact having grown past their prejudices for the other. I find Chris Wood’s Mon-El much more tolerable — maaaybe even likeable? — now that they’re not writing him like a cocky, apathetic shitbag, and his honest reflection on their situations as prisoners and as survivors went a long way in that. This feels like organic character growth, and I look forward to (hopefully… eventually) legitimately liking this character. (Hey, if they got me to like Winn this year, anything is possible.)

EPISODE’S MVP: David Harewood pulled double duty this week as both Cyborg Superman and as J’onn J’onzz, and though Cyborg Superman was written… pretty silly, J’onn had some great scenes hallucinating his lost family and the hated White Martians. His conversations with both Kara and M’gann were revealing in different ways, and when he decides to finally let loose on his fellow Martian, his rage feels tectonic. J’onn J’onzz is a character I love in every incarnation of him I’ve seen or experienced. David Harewood never ceases to perfectly embody the last son of Mars.

© 2016 The CW Network. All rights reserved.

© 2016 The CW Network. All rights reserved.


– It’s pretty cute how Winn is even insisting to his friends — hypothetically, of course — that the Guardian wouldn’t have a sidekick. (He’s a total sidekick. He should embrace it.)

– Snapper Carr was back for a blinked-and-you-missed-it scene this week, dryly lecturing Jimmy about confirmation bias. And all that did was remind me we haven’t seen Kara at her day job much at all, of late. Hope she’s at least been checking in at CatCo, maybe between scenes.

– Unbreakable Nth metal from Thanagar! Funny how an organization so against non-Earth people are totally down with non-Earth everything else.

– Hmm, they haven’t mentioned the solar flare power-loss thing for a while. Guess it was convenient to use, even if Kara seemed to get her powers back much more quickly than last season. Sort of a waste of the conceit, if you ask me.

– Phillip Karnowsky is a John Byrne creation, and is better known as Barrage in the comics. He originally has an arm-cannon (yup, like Hordak), hence that Deadshot-esque wrist-mounted gun, I guess.

– Ah, so the weakness to lead remains. At least something of Mon-El’s character is true to the comics. Le sigh

– The special effects in that green vs. white martian fight… did not look great.

– By the end of the episode it’s made clear that Mon-El is crushing on Kara, and while that’s a trope to “redeem him” I’d rather not see used, at least they’re letting the character grow into a different state of mind, and giving him the narrative room necessary to do so.

– However, the proprietary way Jimmy and Winn answer Mon-El’s questions about Kara’s relationship status is a little unnerving. Step off, boys. No policing necessary.

– So, Project Medusa, eh? Since it’s leading into this Invasion! crossover, there’s little likelihood it’s the Medusa organization from Batwoman, or referencing the Creature Commandos. (But that would be rad, wouldn’t it?) I guess we’ll find out next week.

8 out of 10

Next: “Medusa,” soon.

Before: “Changing,” here.