Oct 2, 2019
Supergirl: Bizarro Love Triangle (S1 E12 RECAP)
Previously on Supergirl: Kara and James had a… thing going on. Kara lured Cat Grant’s son Adam to National City with a fake letter, and he ended up sticking around and asking her out. Maxwell Lord found out that Alex and Supergirl are sisters, and then Alex and Kara watched with some dismay as the TV was showing them live footage of Supergirl (not Supergirl).
We get a rather pointless “three months ago” cold open where Maxwell Lord enters his top secret Room 52, and then injects his Jane Doe with a mysterious black fluid. She convulses, and her eyes turn a solid black, and he looks tense as a random number on a computer screen, um, gets higher, and then Max declares, “She’s alive!”
Then we get a second cold open that happened “Yesterday”, per the caption, as Maxwell Lord removes the gauze from Jane Doe’s face and while reciting lines from Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound (not to be confused with his wife’s The Modern Prometheus, which this whole thing is lamely trying to reference).
And it turns out Max’s Jane Doe now looks exactly like Supergirl. She seems to be completely under his sway and refers to him as “My lord,” no pun intended.
Over at the DEO, they’re watching footage of the Supergirl duplicate, and Alex semi-jokingly wonders if maybe that was really Henshaw doing his shape-shifting Supergirl imitation again. Hank replies with the funny, “The skirt was surprisingly comfortable, but no.”
Supergirl narrows in pretty quickly on the possibility that this is the work of Maxwell Lord, and the Supergirl duplicate might be the Jane Doe that Henshaw saw when he previously broke into Lord Technologies. But Henshaw insists that the woman he saw was brain-dead and there’s no way Max could have revived her. He says Lord “does have a god complex, but he’s not an actual god!” Didn’t he see Max keeping a woman alive with an IV drip of hydrochloric acid? That to me seems at least as miraculous as bringing someone back from being brain-dead.
Kara heads to work at CatCo, where she tells Winn that the Supergirl seen on TV wasn’t her, and Winn wants to know the whole story, and it would appear they’re now talking again and things are back to normal. Then Cat shows up, and she’s being extra-nice to Kara, and she even brought her a latte. Kara quickly figures out that this is because she has a date with her son Adam.
Cat gets all her reporters together to brainstorm a headline about Supergirl turning evil, though it’s a bit hard to figure out what exactly the other Supergirl did that was so terrible. From the assorted background dialogue, it sounds like she picked up a truck and threw it into a mountain. I guess if someone were in the truck at the time, that would make her pretty evil, but it’s never made clear.
Kara mumbles to herself that maybe it wasn’t Supergirl at all, and that it was probably an impostor, and everyone turns and looks at her and Cat acts like this is the most brilliant revelation ever.
Down in the Supergirl-cave/abandoned office, Kara wants Winn to check local hospitals for any comatose patients who went missing recently, who are around Kara’s age and height and weight. And Winn says, “Yeah, yeah, I know all those.” Well, it’s good he can get back to being creepy this quickly. Of course, he pretends like he only knows all her vital stats because he helped make her costume.
Then Kara gets a text from Adam and starts blushing, and it would seem both James and Winn are equally jealous to learn she’s going out with Cat’s son. But James tries to act like this is great news, and he says Adam is a good guy, even though Winn points out he’s never actually met him.
And now the Supergirl clone is watching previous episodes of this show… I mean, news reports about Supergirl, while Max gives her electric shocks. She responds to his brainwashing, saying in her special monosyllabic way that Supergirl is “bad. Very bad,” and when it comes to bad people, “we… kill them.”
Kara and Adam are out on their date, having drinks at a bar. They’re hitting it off, and having a nice moment, but suddenly there’s a news report on TV about another emergency Supergirl has to handle, where passengers are stranded on the “National Island Tramway”. Alas, Kara has to bail on her date and fly to the rescue. Maybe next time, they should go to a restaurant that doesn’t have any TVs.
Supergirl rushes to the scene, and the “tramway” turns out to be a gondola suspended above the river. She tells all the tourists inside that she’s going to save them, but then the duplicate Supergirl is suddenly there. Kara tries to talk to her, but all she says in response is, “We… kill Supergirl!” And the two start fighting on top of the gondola, which eventually sends it plummeting down to the river as all the tourists scream in terror. Naturally, Supergirl catches it in the nick of time, and then the scene just ends with no resolution to the fight between the two Supergirls.
At the DEO, Supergirl tells Henshaw and Alex that the other Supergirl is exactly like her, “except for the fact that she talks like Cookie Monster,” heh. Hank suggests she might be an android, but Supergirl says she looked into her eyes and saw a “soul”. Why didn’t she just look into her chest with her x-ray vision, and see a “heart”? Alex says that if she really is just like Supergirl, that means they can use Kryptonite on her.
At CatCo, Cat and Adam are talking about how Kara ran out on their date. Kara then shows up, and apologizes to Adam, and she agrees to make it up to him tonight. He then goes in for a hug and they have an awkward moment where they almost kiss.
Cat observes this and tells Kara she can’t believe she hasn’t kissed him yet, adding, “Bizarro!” Kara starts to say it’s not that weird, but Cat clarifies she’s actually talking about what she named the Supergirl duplicate. She’s calling her “Bizarro”, even though she doesn’t look at all bizarre. Her speech patterns might be bizarre, but so far Supergirl is the only one who’s heard her speak.
But okay, this character is Bizarro. And I guess that explains all the Frankenstein references; the original comic where Bizarrro made his first appearance was also chock full of Frankenstein references. And yes, there’s a Bizarro Supergirl in the comics, too. I suppose the Bizarro race is too well known for her to be a bottom-tier villain (compared to other villains we’ve gotten on this show, like Livewire and Reactron), but I don’t know who was crying out for a Bizarro appearance, especially since the character is usually played as a joke, and the last thing this show needs is more non-threatening villains.
In the Supergirl-cave, Winn has pulled up info on a Jane Doe who was transferred to a private facility called “Prometheus Genetics”, which is of course owned by Maxwell Lord. But not only that, Winn found records of six other brain-dead women who were transferred to Prometheus Genetics in recent months, meaning it took Maxwell Lord seven tries to get it right. And all I can think is, what the hell is going on in National City that they have this many women in their twenties ending up in comas?
Meanwhile, Max is using a wand to heal some of Bizarro Supergirl’s wounds. He asks why she didn’t kill Supergirl like he ordered. “You say Supergirl bad, but Supergirl help people! Supergirl not bad!” So, Supergirl not bad, like, say… fire?
So Max basically just reiterates a little more forcefully that, yes, Supergirl is bad.
Alex then shows up to confront Max about the seven Jane Does, and he basically admits to the whole thing right there on the spot. One of these days, the DEO is actually going to wise up and have Alex secretly record all her conversations with Max.
She wants to know how he got Supergirl’s DNA, and he says there were traces of it on that piece of the Red Tornado’s arm that Alex let him look at. He then drops a hint that he knows Alex and Supergirl are “more than just work buddies”. Also, he’s decided that Bizarro will become “humanity’s guardian”. Wait, wasn’t he against the whole idea of humanity depending on super-people in the first place? How is his “guardian” any better than the real Supergirl, other than not being an alien?
At the DEO, Alex mentions to Kara that Max was acting like he knows they’re related. Then Supergirl starts to cancel her date with Adam, because there’s too much craziness going on right now. But Alex convinces her to go through with it, because “it’s never gonna be good timing”, and Kara “deserves a life”.
Over at CatCo, James and Winn are sharing a bottle of whiskey. At Winn’s desk. Right out in the open. I’m liking the working environment over at CatCo.
It would appear they’re both drowning their sorrows over Kara’s newfound romance, though James never admits as much. Winn tells him he should be with Kara, especially because he actually has a chance with her. James reminds him he’s with Lucy, but Winn replies that “nobody wants to be in a relationship with someone that wants to be with somebody else!” So… not only is Winn trying to stop Kara’s romance with Adam, but he’s also trying to break up Jimmy and Lucy at the same time. Maybe he is turning into a supervillain, after all. And the weird part is it doesn’t seem like they were trying to make him out to be a bad guy in this scene.
Cut to Adam and Kara on date number two, where Kara talks about how her parents died in “an accident” when she was young. Whoops, the planet blew up! She says she’s struggled to feel “normal” ever since, and Adam leans in close to tell her no one ever feels normal, and then they finally kiss. Weirdly, there’s some sexy dance music pumping in the background, like Kara and Adam are about to go grind at a nightclub after this.
Suddenly, Bizarro Supergirl comes swooping in, grabs Kara, and brings her up into the hills. I must admit, I did not see that one coming. Bizarro lets loose with her heat vision, and Kara fires back, and they’re doing that thing where somehow you can block heat vision with more heat vision. Actually, dialogue will later reveal that Bizarro is actually using “freeze vision”, which is one of Bizarro’s powers from the comics, though it would have helped immensely if we actually saw her freeze something.
And then they both stop with the eye-beams, and start punching each other, and Bizarro Supergirl turns out to have fire breath. This might seem pretty ridiculous, because, well, it is, but it’s also another Bizarro power from the comics. Other powers that Bizarro has in the comics? According to Wikipedia, there’s “vacuum breath” instead of super-breath, and “Bizarro telescopic vision” which allows him to see a “short distance behind his head”. Like I said, not the most intimidating member of Supes’ rogues gallery.
Supergirl counters the fire breath with her freezing breath, and then Alex and the DEO show up and hit Bizarro with lots of Kryptonite ammo. It doesn’t kill her, however. Instead, she has a reaction to the Kryptonite where her face morphs back into Jane Doe, and now she has the chalky-white skin we usually associate with Bizarro. She screams, “Hate you!” and flies off.
But this confirms to Supergirl that Maxwell Lord knows her secret identity, because Bizarro came after her when she was Kara. And now, “no one is safe anymore!” She and Alex meet with Henshaw, and explain that Bizarro’s powers are “directly oppositional” to Supergirl’s powers, and Kryptonite strengthens her instead of weakening her.
Henshaw says they’ll have to start “reverse engineering” their synthetic form of Kryptonite, specifically “reversing its ionic charge” to have “an oppositional effect!” Yeah, that’s not really what “reverse engineering” means, guys. If doubt the DEO needs to reverse engineer a synthetic form of Kryptonite that they themselves created.
At CatCo, Adam and Cat are worried about Kara’s sudden disappearance. Kara shows up, and strangely, she never bothers to explain why Bizarro Supergirl kidnapped her, other than saying it was “dumb luck”. And now that Max knows her secret identity, presumably Adam is no longer safe, because Kara breaks up with him even though they technically haven’t had one complete date yet.
Meanwhile, Max is angered to see that Supergirl has turned his creation into “a monster”. To get back at her, he orders Bizarro to kill someone that “Supergirl loves”. And it looks like along with her face, Bizarro’s Supergirl costume has also been altered; the colors are even more desaturated, and the S is now backwards. The Kryptonite did all that?
Cut to Alex storming into Max’s office and having him arrested. He threatens that if anything happens to him, he’ll tell the world that Kara is Supergirl. So she slams his head on the desk and says he’s not going to get the chance to talk to anyone.
At the DEO, Henshaw is outraged to find out Alex arrested Max. From the sound of things, it seems like she’s planning to keep him locked up permanently at the DEO to protect Kara’s secret identity. But Henshaw points out that people are going to be looking for him. Yeah, what the hell is Alex thinking, trying to Gitmo a famous billionaire?
Meanwhile, Bizarro has abducted James, and she has him tied up in a warehouse with duct tape, with his signal watch on the ground just out of reach. He asks why she kidnapped him, and Bizarro replies, “Supergirl loves you!” Which she knows because “Supergirl and me. Same.” But as far as we know, she’s just a genetic clone; it’s not like she was implanted with Supergirl’s memories or anything. Is her love for James genetic?
But Bizarro Supergirl doesn’t want him to look at her, because, “Ugly.” But James says that people don’t love Supergirl because of how she looks. “I love her,” he says, choking up, “because of who she is!” Oh great, so now this whole plot has become more grist for the will-they-or-won’t-they plotline between James and Kara.
Eventually, Bizarro lets her guard down, allowing him to hit his signal watch. Supergirl hears it at the DEO, and he turns out to have had perfect timing, because they’ve got their reverse-engineered Kryptonite ready to go. And in another nod to the comics, it’s blue, in a reference to how Bizarro’s fatal weakness in the comics is Blue Kryptonite.
Supergirl flies to the warehouse and there’s fire breath vs. freezing breath again as they slug it out for a while. The fight ends when Alex shows up and hits Bizarro with Blue Kryptonite, and they take her back to the DEO, where they’re going to “put her under”, presumably indefinitely. Supergirl holds her hand, and once again brings up her own history as a survivor of Krypton, telling Bizarro that she too was asleep for a long time, and when she wakes up, she won’t be alone.
Then Supergirl goes to confront Maxwell Lord, who’s in one of those glass cells that they put the evil alien in at the end of every episode. Max is his usual glib, smirky self, and Supergirl says he won’t be laughing once he’s been in this cell “for a few years”. Considering the cell has no visible plumbing, I don’t think it’ll take that long to get quite unpleasant in there.
Supergirl says he’ll never hurt anyone ever again, and he says, “Anyone like… Eliza Danvers?” He knows her adoptive parents’ names and all about the house she grew up in Midvale. Supergirl’s eyes glow, but before she can vaporize him, Alex enters and says he’s not worth it.
At CatCo that night, Kara tries to talk to Cat, to explain why she ended things with Adam, but Cat has no interest in hearing anything she has to say. All she knows is Kara “broke [her] son’s heart”, and now Cat says they should keep things “strictly professional” between them, so that “nobody gets hurt”.
Then Kara finds James, just casually wandering around the halls of CatCo, even though Bizarro almost flambéd him a couple of hours ago, and I love how characters on this show always run back to the office even after the most horrible things happen to them. She invites him out for happy hour, but he says he has to pick Lucy up at the airport. And then there are more meaningful looks as we get right back to the two of them pining for each other. I honestly thought we’d have a few episodes of Kara hooking up with Adam and forgetting about James, at least for a while, but no such luck.
Supergirl then flies home, only to find a strange Invasion of the Body Snatchers-style alien pod on her coffee table. The pod has opened, and there’s a strange creature with tentacles crawling across the ceiling. It lunges at her, and that’s the end. This is of course the cliffhanger for the next episode, which is going to be an adaptation of a classic Superman story from the ‘80s, but more on that next time.
So yeah, a third-tier comic book villain used to advance various romantic subplots? Sounds like an episode of Supergirl. I guess the big revelation is that Kara loves James, and James loves Kara, and… I don’t know, I just don’t see it. I could buy a mild crush, but true love? For one thing, he’s barely been around Kara for the past few episodes. For another, Lucy has never been presented as anything other than a great girlfriend. I really can’t see any reason for him to go for her, other than what Lucy said in a previous episode about Kara essentially being the female version of his best friend.
Admittedly, there was nothing interesting about Adam other than him not being James, though it was touching to see how much Cat had her heart set on Kara being his girlfriend. As for the Max plotline, they obviously can’t keep him locked up forever, so I’m pretty sure there’s a memory wipe courtesy of J’onn J’onnz in his future. Bizarro’s appearance was a bit underwhelming, but it does give me hope; if this goofy relic of the Silver Age can be featured on this show, maybe there’s a chance of seeing Streaky the Super-Cat or Beppo the Super-Monkey or Comet the Super-Horse. We can only hope!