Supergirl: Crisis on Infinite Weeknights #1
Previously on Supergirl: A blood transfusion from M’gann was slowly turning Jonn into a White Martian. Supergirl met the real Hank Henshaw, who turned out to be a not very nice person who’s now calling himself the Cyborg Superman. Lillian Luthor (Lex and Lena’s mom) got a sample of Supergirl’s blood, and Cyborg Superman used it to break into the Fortress of Solitude to learn more about something called Project Medusa.
This week, Kara’s adoptive mom Eliza Danvers (ex-Supergirl Helen Slater) is back in town for a (belated) Thanksgiving Day dinner. And judging by last year’s Thanksgiving dinner, this is actually an annual event where arguments are had, too many secrets are revealed, and Alex kicks off the evening by downing an entire bottle of wine. This year’s dinner very nearly starts to rival last year’s in terms of uncomfortableness, with James Olsen wanting to confess that he’s the Guardian, Mon-El wanting to confess his feelings for Kara, and Alex wanting to come out to her mom, but it’s all interrupted by a mysterious glowing anomaly appearing above the dinner table and disappearing just as quickly.
This anomaly will look pretty familiar to anyone who watches The Flash, and this is obviously a prelude to the big CW crossover event based on DC’s Invasion!, but before we find out any of that, we have this episode’s weak-sauce A plot to get out of the way. Lillian Luthor and Project Cadmus are planning to unleash Medusa, which turns out to be a virus that can kill all aliens on Earth. In a curious move, she first has the Cyborg Superman release a small amount of the virus down in the alien singles bar, killing all the aliens inside, which of course accomplishes nothing but tipping off the DEO to the larger scheme and giving them a chance to stop it. Nice going, guys. And despite the name “Medusa”, the virus doesn’t do anything cool like turn anybody to stone; it just causes aliens to instantly drop dead.
Mon-El is at the bar when the virus gets released and becomes critically ill. They determine that the virus is Kryptonian in origin, so Kara ventures up to the Fortress of Solitude and gets the low-down from a hologram of her dead dad. And no, we haven’t seen the Zor-El hologram before now, and I’m pretty sure they’re only using him instead of Alura because Laura Benanti is too busy with her Broadway show (and impersonating Melania on Colbert).
The Zor-El hologram reveals he’s the one who created the virus to protect Krypton from alien threats. The virus apparently kills all aliens except for Kryptonians… and I guess humans as well, and since Mon-El is a Daxamite and genetically close to Kryptonians, that explains why he’s not dead yet.
But there’s another component to Cadmus’ plan: They need some sort of “isotope” to release the virus into the atmosphere, and the only place to get the isotope is at LexCorp, which is now L-Corp since Lena Luthor assumed control. Supergirl tries to warn Lena of Lillian’s plans, but Lena refuses to believe that her mother is evil or has anything to do with Project Cadmus. But then one scene later, Lena invites her mom down to L-Corp and happily hands over the isotope, so OMG Lena is really evil after all!
Lillian and Lena head down to the docks and launch a missile loaded up with the virus and the isotope. Supergirl tries and fails to stop the missile, and it explodes over National City. But to everyone’s surprise, no aliens immediately keel over dead. We learn that Lena pulled a switcheroo with the isotope and made the bomb useless, and she even called the cops to come arrest her mom, so OMG Lena is really a good guy after all!
And all throughout the episode, we continue to see those strange glowing anomalies forming near Kara. Eventually, one appears in Kara’s apartment and out step special guest stars Barry Allen and his crime-fighting partner Cisco Ramon. Barry reminds Kara of how they teamed up last season and he helped her fight a couple of (lame) villains, and he’s now here to call in a favor. Kara simply asks, “What are we up against?” and we end with a card telling us this story is to be continued Tuesday night on The Flash (and then the next two nights on Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow).
So that was the main plot, but the show still found time to develop a couple of romance plots this week. The first is between Kara and Mon-El, which contrary to what I expected is not being played for laughs. When Eliza meets Mon-El at Thanksgiving, she immediately picks up on his crush on Kara and tells her daughter about it. And when it looks like Mon-El might be dying from the Medusa virus, he calls Kara “beautiful” and kisses her, and it would seem Kara does not mind this kiss one bit. But at the end of the episode, after he’s been miraculously cured, he pretends like he was delirious and doesn’t remember anything. I’m not entirely onboard with a romance between Kara and Mon-El, since I thought he was going to be more of a Superman surrogate, but since it can’t possibly be worse than trying to force a relationship between her and James, I’m open to seeing where this goes.
Meanwhile, Alex’s coming out saga continues. At first, Alex struggles to tell her mom that she’s gay, but it turns out Eliza has already figured it out. Damn, she’s psychic this week. At the very least, they could have had her say something along the lines of, “I always suspected that about you,” but nevertheless, Eliza says she still loves Alex no matter what and they have a tearful hug that’s similar to their tearful hug from last Thanksgiving when Alex confessed to working for the DEO.
And then that brings us back to Maggie Sawyer. She’s injured during a battle between Supergirl and Cyborg Superman, and for some reason she has to go to the DEO to get her wounds tended to by Alex herself, leading to a rather sexy surgery scene. Did I really just write that sentence?
Maggie, having “almost died”, supposedly, has had a change of heart about Alex. Initially, she was scared that someone came out just because of her, but now, she realizes “life’s too short”, and so forth, and later on they make out. I still wish they could have let Alex play the field a little bit and date other women and not just go right back to Maggie, but I understand that’s not the way things go when a show like this tries to introduce a gay storyline. I mean, it’s not like this is Ellen and they’re suddenly going to introduce a cadre of lesbian characters to make Alex’s new life more believable.
And finally, there’s some time spent on J’onn beginning his slow transformation into a White Martian. And then it’s over as quickly as it started, because when Mon-El is cured, this also gives the DEO the tools they need to cure J’onn as well. And that’s the end of that subplot. I have no idea why they even bothered to introduce this “turning into a White Martian” storyline if they were just going to resolve it one episode later. I wasn’t exactly enamored of this plotline in the first place, but sheesh, at least give it time to build suspense.
Also this week, Kara gets yet another chance to be disillusioned about her parents when it turns out her father created a weapon of mass murder. This is after the revelation from last season when she learned her parents knew about Krypton’s impending destruction, but didn’t really do anything about it. She even starts to equate her own parents with the Luthors. Next week, I fully expect this show to reveal her parents were secret puppy murderers or something.
Oh, and in the final moments, this suddenly turns into a Babylon 5 episode as we see aliens cruising through space, determined to find “Mon-El of Daxam” at all costs.
This is Supergirl’s eighth episode of the season, and I’d say there’s probably only been one real clunker of an episode so far (that nonsense with Roulette and the alien fight club). If the show keeps this up, they’ll be doing way better than last year’s CBS season. There are still too many leaps of logic and people being psychic and figuring out things they couldn’t possibly know, and most of the A plots are pretty clichéd and disposable, but this show is still a lot more entertaining than last year, and dare I say, it’s even a better watch right now than The Flash, which has been kind of spinning its wheels since last season.
Next up: The show’s in repeats for a few weeks, so I guess that’s why so many plot threads got quickly tied up in this episode. In the meantime, we can look forward to the alien-fighting crossover unfolding over the next three nights as Supergirl finally meets the rest of the Berlanti-verse.