Season One, Episode Twelve – “Bizarro”
By Molly Jane Kremer. Goodbye! MJ not watch Supergirl‘s twelfth episode because it am her least favorite show. (Boy, it sure is weird to write like that. How did you do it so often, Sterling?) We finally get to see what Max Lord has kept stashed away in the subbasement of his boutique laboratory. (Bunsen Burners By Express?) If you’ve ever read a Superman comic (or a Supergirl comic!), you likely know how the rest of this plays out. It am worst hour of television forever! Hello!
WHAT WORKED: Melissa Benoist and Blake Jenner have excellent chemistry (who’d have thunk it, eh?). Wasn’t sure Kara could be any more adorable, but her glowing face after she gets to kiss a cute boy? Yup, even more endearing. And again, Kara shows compassion for her enemies after, and yes even as, they’re trying to hurt her – which is just as important a part of her particular brand of heroism as her colossal strength and that silly freezebreath.
I think this might have been the creepiest episode so far, and it was all because of Maxwell Lord and his terrifying treatment of Bizarro. In so doing, he and Supergirl finally have a different (and more gendered) dynamic than the Luthor/Superman angle we’ve been given all season. We watch at the beginning of the episode as he pumps an anonymous young woman with black goo; he calls her his “most perfect creation”, before kissing her hand. We see her next—now looking exactly like Kara, wearing the Supergirl costume—as she watches news footage of Supergirl, getting electrically shocked whenever Kara gets a closeup. She calls him “my Lord”, and he plays with her hair, touches her arm; later he asks her “Who do you love, Supergirl or me?” He makes sure she thinks not being pretty in his eyes is a fate worse than death. (I think Maxwell Lord is the patriarchy.) When we find out that she’s the seventh comatose Jane Doe he’s experimented on, and that he’s thoughtlessly victimized these women—who he made to look just like Kara—only to defeat Supergirl, I alllllmost hoped that maybe this Girl of Steel might take after her big-screen, neck-snapping cousin after all. Well, not really. Just… don’t ever let him touch your hair like that, Kara.
WHAT DIDN’T: Although much of this episode celebrated being different, just like The Flash and Arrow before her, Supergirl believes she can’t share her superheroing life with a special someone. (At least it took her less than an episode to realize it though, unlike those silly CW boys.) Most of the fight sequences were the typically thrilling stuff, but having two similarly built girls in the same costume with nearly identical hair (or wigs, no judgement) fighting each other can’t help but get confusing at points. It helps once Bizarro starts to look more grey and crackly, but shots from afar make it difficult to discern who we should be rooting for. (Or maybe that was the point?)
BEST LINE(s): Alex: “No signs of extraterrestrial activity, so we can probably rule out an alien shapeshifter. Unless there’s something you’re not telling us?” J’onn: “The skirt was surprisingly comfortable, but no.”
“Except for the fact that she talks like Cookie Monster, she is exactly like me.” – Kara.
Max: “You take me in and I tell the whole world she’s Supergirl. What do you think about that?” *Alex slams him into desk* Alex: “Where you’re going, there won’t be anyone to hear you.”
“So this is the DEO… A little more stalagmite chic than I imagined.” – Max. Ummm I think you mean stalactite, Max, which are the ones that grow downward from cave ceilings and not up from cave floors. Maybe if you were actually smart and/or had read your Magic School Bus books back in the day, you’d know the difference. Jerk.
“I’d say you’re different from your cousin when it comes to ‘Truth, Justice and the American Way’ but holding people indefinitely against their will? Can’t get much more American than that.” – Max. Shut up, Lord, or we’ll call Wonder Woman in here for a little spinal realignment.
BEST MOMENT: After shooting her with blue kryptonite and having no idea what to do with her, the DEO decides to re-induce Bizarro’s coma. Kara is with her as they do, and Bizarro apologizes to her in one of the most moving scenes on the show, and tells her that she’s scared. Kara holds her hand, telling her that she had to go to sleep for a while once too, but that when she woke up, she wasn’t alone, and that she’d never be alone. (No I’m not crying. It’s…dusty or something.) The empathy of this character defies all cynicism, and is everything a character wearing that big ol’ “S” should be.
EPISODE’S MVP: Mehcad Brooks as Mr. James Olsen did a good job of kinda-sorta-not-really hiding his feelings for Kara this week, and though he was stuck in a few weirdly melodramatic scenes (trying to congratulate Kara on her date as best he could, listening to Winn be an objectifying loser and telling him to go after Kara), he lent every scene a moment or two of thoughtful depth. It was while held captive by Bizarro that he really got a chance to shine however, in an incredibly moving speech assuring the confused and angry Bizarro that “we all feel ugly sometimes”, going on to tell her that the reason he loves Supergirl is because of who she is, not what she looks like. (Yup, he totally said the L word.)
– When Adam tells Kara she’s amazing, she gets all bashful and says that she’s not. *sigh* I wish the writers would make her just a tad more self-confident in times like these, and rely a little less on the nerdgirl trope. Little girls don’t need more role models encouraging imposter syndrome, or self-deprecation. You can throw around tanks, girl! Own that shit!
– The face Cat makes when Kara and Adam bumblingly don’t kiss, instead sorta mushing their faces together while they hug, is priceless.
– And Cat is the one who names her Bizarro. (Which must mean there hasn’t yet been a Bizarro for Superman in this world. Interesting.)
– Alex tells Kara to go on her date with Adam despite all the Bizarro-craziness going on. Alex… gives bad dating advice.
– STOP. TALKING. ABOUT THE FRIENDZONE, WINN. JUST STOP. You dig yourself deeper with every ding-dang word. In fact, don’t talk about Kara any more at all. You’ve ruined everything.
– Then, THEN, Winn tells Jimmy he should be with Kara instead of Lucy. (Despite being in a committed, thousands-of-miles-traveled-to-be-together relationship with said megahot lady. I mean, I ‘ship Kara/Jimmy like crazy too, but stop, Winn! Kara isn’t an object to be possessed by either of you.)
– Since this is Supergirl, we get more crappy pop music, of course during each cute Kara/Adam scene. Benoist is still the cutest though.
– When, in Bizarro’s clutches—ruh-roh, look who got damseled again—Jimmy gives that ridiculously heartfelt speech that could have been titled “Why I Love Supergirl,” he emphatically shouts why he loves Kara. Guess that ol’ superhearing must have been on the fritz. (Again.)
– Oh no icky icky what is that creepy ass thing on the ceiliaaaaAAAHHHH—IS THAT THE BLACK MERCY?? (I, uh, didn’t know the title of next week’s episode as I watched that outro scene, but I do now and I am so. Damn. Excited.)
9 out of 10
Next: “For The Girl Who Has Everything”, soon.
Before: “Strange Visitor From Another Planet”, here.