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TV Review: Supergirl - Season 1 Episode 7 "Human for a Day"

12.08.2015

EPISODE 7: "Human for a Day"

SYNOPSIS: Due to the events of last week, Kara is left powerless during a natural disaster. With Supergirl MIA, National City is in major panic-mode. Meanwhile, the earthquake has also caused problems with Alex and the DEO as they try to keep the villainous Jemm from escaping the facility. Will Kara get her powers back in time to save the city and can Alex put her distrust aside long enough to help Henshaw contain Jemm?

REVIEW:

It seems as if every superhero story has at least one episode that involves the hero losing his or her powers and having to live like us “normals”. Looks like it didn’t take long for SUPERGIRL to fall in line. In tonight’s action-packed episode, there were two main revelations. The first finally revealed what is going on with Hank Henshaw, or should I say J’onn J’onnz. The second, which took place at the end of the episode, showed General Astra finally coming back to National City to have it out with Kara. While the episode ended on a cliffhanger, it’s clear that next week’s mid-season finale is going to be a doozy.

I enjoyed tonight’s episode, partly because of the major reveals but also because of the theme – everyone can be a superhero. We saw that through the actions of three “normal” characters, James, Cat, and Alex. And throughout the episode Kara also proved that she didn’t need to have her powers in order to be a hero; her courageous, thoughtful heart will lead her to do good, no matter the situation.

Building off of the events last week, Kara used an exorbitant amount of Kryptonian energy defeating Red Tornado. And now she is powerless as she waits for her cells to reset by absorbing solar radiation. As it turns out, Superman also occasionally loses his powers when he expels a lot of energy during a fight. However, it usually comes back in 48 hours. Kara is already 48 hours in and is still a human, so what’s going on? Now she can get a cold and has to take a bus to work instead of flying over. The horror!

Meanwhile, another crimson villain is terrorizing National City. Well, not technically National City, but DEO headquarters. In a scene out of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, Hank Henshaw and Alex visit Jemm, an extremely dangerous Kryptonian alien that is in his own Hannibal Lecter-esque cell. With the help of Alura’s hologram, the DEO discovers Jemm is one of the most dangerous criminals ever exiled to The Phantom Zone. He has unparalleled psychic powers, such as mind control and telepathy. So when an earthquake hits, coincidentally just as Alex and other DEO agents are “cleaning his cage”, the power goes out at DEO HQ and before the generator can turn on, Jemm escapes.

The DEO quickly goes on lockdown, and with only three mental inhibitor headsets, which will render Jemm’s powers useless, Henshaw has to choose which agents will venture into the bowels of the facility to capture Jemm. Of course we know Alex doesn’t trust Henshaw. And it’s because of this distrust that she doesn’t take kindly to Henshaw asking her to stay in the safety of the command center instead of going out with the team.  He says he wants her to stay behind because he trusts her to lead in his absence; however, she doesn’t believe him.

While the DEO is having problems containing Jemm, Kara is struggling with not having her super powers during a natural disaster. When the earthquake hit, James and Kara were walking in the city and Kara almost gets hit by a renegade car! However, James pushes her out of the way and in the process, breaks her arm. But have no fear, James rips off his shirt faster than you can say “Kryptonite”, and makes Kara a sling… all while flexing his guns, of course!

If there was ever a time National City needed Supergirl, it’s now. And since she is MIA, Maxwell Lord doesn’t let this absence go unnoticed. He broadcasts himself on every major network, telling the entire world how disappointed he is in the “unreliable” Supergirl. However, Cat doesn’t want that to be the narrative of her “creation”. So with Wynn’s help, Cat broadcasts her own inspirational message to National City in support of our hero. She reinforces that even though Supergirl isn’t there, her spirit is. Supergirl will return to National City when she is most needed. In the meantime, anyone can be a superhero if you choose to be a good person.

Kara can’t handle the negative things Lord is saying about Supergirl on the news, so she and James go to his location for damage control. Unfortunately, there is no dissuading Lord from his opinion; he says Supergirl is dangerous because she causes the city to get lazy and complacent. Now that she is gone, the City is in panic-mode because there is no one there to rescue them instead of them helping themselves. He also claims to have studied Superman and somehow knows that Supergirl must have also lost her powers. He even knows it’s weird that she doesn’t have them back after 48 hours.

All of a sudden, a woman rushes over and says her dad is in medical distress and needs assistance. Of course, Lord has been to medical school and is able to diagnose the problem right away. There is a problem with one of the man’s veins. However, they won’t be able to fix the problem without an x-ray. SURPRISE, SURPRISE. Since Kara doesn’t have her powers, she isn’t able to help, and the man dies leaving Kara devastated. However, this is all for the better. If Kara had her powers, she would have had to reveal her alter ego to Lord.

James consoles Kara and tells her even without her powers, she is still a hero. No hero can save everyone, but a real hero doesn’t stop trying. Kara takes the advice to heart – maybe a little too much so. She sees armed looters using the earthquake to their advantage. Ignoring James, Kara dons her Supergirl outfit and walks into the store to deal with the looters. But instead of her normal confident self, this time Kara is shaking; after all, she is completely susceptible to bullets. Kara quickly disarms the bad guys using her words instead of powers, proving to herself that she is a hero with or without her powers.


Back at DEO HQ, Alex is watching an ALIEN: ISOLATION-esque video feed, showing a first-person view of Henshaw and the other agents as they look for Jemm. Jemm easily destroys the agents but Henshaw is nowhere to be found. When he is finally found, Henshaw tells more lies to Alex, which encourages her to join the effort to capture Jemm. Part of her plan is to also figure out what is going on with her boss.

As Alex is going through the facility, the other agent with her is compromised. At that same moment, Henshaw grabs Alex and takes her into a room. Alex uses this alone time to finally call her boss out on his deception. She tells him she knows about her father and wants to know what really happened. But first, she has to disable Jemm. So, Alex has Henshaw handcuff himself to a pipe in the room and sets off to fight Jemm alone. No surprise, her battle with Jemm doesn’t go well. Even after knocking the gem off of his forehead, she is still no match for him. But just as she is about to die, Henshaw saves the day and kills Jemm. He isn’t the enemy after all…

During all of this drama at the DEO, an aftershock rips through the city, blowing up a gas line in the CatCo building and creating a fire. People are trapped on a higher floor, and because Kara doesn’t have powers, James steps up to save the day. He uses the elevator shaft as an access point to begin freeing people on top floors. But just when it looks like everyone will be saved, James loses his balance and ends up dangling from the elevator wires. When those break, James starts plummeting to his death and it is up to Kara to save him. As it turns out, a boost of adrenaline is what Kara needed to restart her Kryptonian powers. Apparently throwing yourself into an elevator shaft to save your crush is just what the doctor ordered. Her powers are reinstated and Kara brings James to safety. Now she is able to rush around the city, putting out fires (literally) and saving as many people as possible.

Now comes the big reveal. Hank finally tells Alex who he is. He is not Hank Henshaw, but is a shape shifter known as J'onn J'onzz. The DEO (including the real Henshaw and Jeremiah Danvers) went to Peru to capture him. However, when Danvers found out the DEO was going to hurt J’onnz, a peaceful alien refugee, he gave his life to save him. In return, J’onnz promised to protect Danvers’ daughter, Alex. So, he returned to the DEO in Henshaw’s form and recruited Alex.

The second major shocker of the night happens in the very last minute. As Kara is flying blissfully through the city, she is hit out of the sky by fellow Kryptonians. They hold Kara down, as she is once again face-to-face with her aunt, General Astra. I have been complaining that Kara and co. haven’t been properly preparing for Astra’s return and here you have it. I can’t wait to see where we go from here.

 

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS

  • Another day, another forgettable villain. For being such a ruthless killer on Krypton, Jemm was beaten fairly easily. But I can almost forgive this issue thanks to the resurgence of Astra. 
  • Since when do X-rays show veins? Perhaps with contrast dye, but anyway… I am getting too specific.
  • I know it’s part of her character, but it’s getting a little old that Cat can’t remember Wynn’s name. Hey, at least she seems to finally have “Kara” down pat.
  • Interesting that Wynn felt comfortable enough to call Kara out for her "inappropriate" hug with James. He walked in on the two sharing an intimate hug, and reminded Kara that James has a girlfriend. Of course, he also had some other nasty things to say about superheroes never getting the relationship they want. Since when?!
  • Interesting that the adrenaline during the armed robbery scene wasn’t enough to kick Kara's super powers into gear. But hey, using that as a way to save James was a lot better.
  • I love the relationship developing between Supergirl and Cat. Cat seemed really appreciative that Supergirl came to thank her for the supportive broadcast and for being a hero in her own right. I look forward to seeing this relationship move forward.

 

FINAL VERDICT:

Source: JoBlo.com

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