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TV Review: Supergirl - Season 2, Episode 7 - "The Darkest Place"

11.22.2016
100%

EPISODE 7: THE DARKEST PLACE

SYNOPSIS:†Guardian must clear his name after being accused of a murder committed by another vigilante; at the same time, Supergirl comes face to face with Cyborg Superman while on a solo mission to rescue Mon-El, who has been captured by Cadmus.

REVIEW:

Wow! What a difference a few months off can make, huh? One of the things Iíve noticed about this season of SUPERGIRL - and particularly about tonightís episode - is how balanced the show feels. Iíll admit that perhaps tonightís adventure †was rather Guardian-centric, though I canít help but feel like weíve made a decent amount of headway in other areas as well. For one, letís talk for a moment about how this was the very first episode in which Mon-El wasnít an insufferable and irresponsible drag on Kara and her team. I think what we have here is a case where being abducted by Cadmus has served to humble Mon-El , while simultaneously bringing him and Supergirl together. They say that living through dangerous situations can help bring people closer together, and that certainly looks to be the case as itís clear that, by the end of the episode, Mon-El is clearly falling for Kara.

Surprisingly, Iím cool with this. When Mon-El first appeared on the scene, I was quite underwhelmed by his contribution to the show. Now, after having learned several lessons the hard way, Mon-Elís slow-burn transformation from zero to hero strikes me as genuine and earned. Itís that classic switcheroo, right? The writers take an unlikable character, and through careful planning and a series of life-affirming events, steadily transforms them into someone the audience can feel good about rooting for. Personally, I think those moments inside the Cadmus cage did Mon-El a heap of good. Not only was he able to prove his mettle to Supergirl, he did it selflessly and with a sarcastic dignity, if you will. Granted, Iím not about to give the guy a gold medal for bravery or anything, but heís certainly earned my optimism and Iím looking forward to seeing how he becomes a real asset to the team as the season continues.

Moving right along, letís talk about James Olsen for a minutes, and his wondrous combat skills that he appears to have honed in only a matter of days. Okay, so, while I appreciate James and Winn teaming up to fight the good fight, these two have got to get their act together if theyíre going to keep at it. First of all, did Winn really splash all of those prisoner files on Jamesí monitor wall? Winn, buddy, what the hell were you thinking? While I understand that, as an audience, weíre supposed to accept that bystanders are never really paying too much attention to whatís going on around them, even this was a stretch. Jamesí office is a wide-open space, and plastering intel all over the walls is not going to help you keep your secret, guys. Iím just saying, maybe knock it off with that nasty little habit?

You think Iím nitpicking, donít you? Perhaps, but címon, tell me this stuff doesnít get under your skin just a bit when youíre watching these shows? I fully support Jamesí transition from media mogul to super vigilante - I just wish that we could slow it down a little. So far, the only explanation we have for Jamesí performance as an enforcer is that heís got a black belt in karate. I donít know about you, but I kind of want there to be more to it †than that. I understand that Winn is feeding him intel as James dishes out his own brand of high-tech justice, but it wouldnít hurt to see a training montage or two. Iím just saying, itís a lot to swallow in such a short period of time. I canít believe Iím going to say this, but I think the gradual nature of Mon-Elís journey feels more organic than Jimmyís. With any luck, the Guardianís identity will be revealed to Kara in due time, and after sheís done being angry about having been lied to, she can teach James a thing or several about how best to serve the team.

Another interesting element of tonightís episode was the breakdown of Jíonn and Mígannís trust for one another. Hankís character has always struck me as being a might unhinged - like at any moment heís going to transform into his green martian form and commit an act of violence that he wonít be able to come back from. To be fair, Jíonn did just find out this episode that the blood of his enemy now courses through his veins. Not only that, but that nasty stuff is doing something rather funky to his perception of the world around him. If you stop and think about it, Jíonn has had it pretty rough since the show began back in October of 2015. Heís without a doubt the character that strikes me as the most emotionally complex. Tortured by harsh memories of his late family, Jíonn has wanted nothing more than to not feel alone since the moment he assumed Hank Henshawís identity.

Then, he found comfort in Mígann - only to have that sensation of trust and friendship ripped away from him at the discovery of Mígannís white martian heritage. Even if I do find David Harewoodís over-the-top delivery to be a tad laughable at times, it doesnít stop me from enjoying his performance. Needless to say, Iím interested to see how the blood infection changes Jíonn, and whether or not he and Mígann can find a way to place their differences aside - if only for the sake of salvaging the comfort they once found in each others company.

Letís talk about tonightís big reveals, shall we? I have this habit of not looking too far ahead when in regards to the spoilers and surprises that this show has to offer. When I write these reviews, I want my viewing experience to be fresh, and as unbiased as possible. For example, I was totally confused when the original Hank Henshaw rolled up into Cadmus and started putting the hurt on Supergirl. At first, I was like, ďOkay, so Cadmus managed to salvage what was left of Hank and then used him as a guinea pig for their evil experiments.Ē It turns out that I was right, but only in-part. In truth, the original Hank Henshaw has been fully converted into a killing machine by the name of Cyborg Superman. For me, diversity has always been a staple of SUPERGIRL, and Iím happy to continue being surprised by the new and exciting roles that they apply to existing characters.

Of course, itís not a SUPERGIRL review if we donít talk about Alex and Maggieís ďitís complicatedĒ relationship status. For me, I really enjoyed the way Alex laid all of her thoughts and emotions out for Maggie to consider. I know that some viewers arenít enjoying Alexís transition into being a member of the LGBTQ community, but I sure am. As this sub-plot progresses, weíre being treated to what feels to me like a solid representation of what itís like to come out. Yes, itís dramatized, and yes, I do admit that there have been times when I thought that maybe Iíd accidentally switched over to the Lifetime channel. Though in my opinion, SUPERGIRL is executing this delicate character development with nothing short of class. I genuinely want Alex and Maggie to end up together ... for a few reasons.

As Iíve said in the past, I think Maggieís character has done wonders for Alexís personality and drive on the show. Additionally, I think Leigh and Limaís on-screen chemistry has without a doubt been a highlight of this season. That being said, I wonder what will happen to them when and if Kate Kane AKA Batwoman makes her way to National City? This might just be wishful thinking, but there have been rumblings of both Barbara Gordon and Kate Kane joining this stellar second season. If thatís the case, Kateís appearance could serve as a wedge between Alex and Maggie - considering that it is comic book cannon for Sawyer and Kane to end up married to one another. At this point, the last thing I want to see is †Alex and Maggie at odds with one another. That said, should the writers feel the need to create some relationship drama between the two characters, introducing Kate Kane is how you do it.

Ah, weíve reached the part of our review where I get to gush about the forever-adorable Melissa Benoist. What else is there to say other than that she continues to serve as a beacon of light in the CWís DC Universe? Benoist has this way about her, doesnít she? When sheís being sincere, you really feel it. When sheís confused and angry, youíre afraid for her. I really enjoy the way Supergirl is able to pause life for the people around her, and speak to them - from the heart - about whatís causing them pain. It wasnít long ago that we watched Alex come out to her sister, and after a bit of initial shock, Kara soothed the situation with encouraging words and understanding. Tonight, she got real with Jíonn about his feeling for Mígann, and comforted him when he needed it most. Itís moments like these that proves her character is about so much more than punching and taking down alien threats. Sheís an outsider who is steadily learning to be part-human, and in her spiritual journey, manages to affect the lives of those around her in mostly positive ways. Hey, itís not her fault if an alien threat wreaks havoc on National City every now and again. Trust me, sheíll be there to lend her unique talents to that situation as well. †

SCORE:

STINGER: Episode 8:†Medusa†-†Eliza (guest star Helen Slater) comes to town to celebrate Thanksgiving with her daughters. Alex (Chyler Leigh) decides itís time to come out to her mother; Kara (Melisa Benoist) is shocked when Eliza suggests Mon-El (Chris Wood) has feelings for her, and Winn (Jeremy Jordan) and James (Mehcad Brooks) consider telling Kara the truth about the Guardian. Meanwhile, CADMUS unleashes a virus that instantly kills any alien in the vicinity so Kara enlists an unexpected ally Ė Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath).

Extra Tidbit: Hey, is anyone else wondering what ever became of the whole "the President has glowing eyes" thing? I suppose Linda Carter has a rigorous schedule, but I'd like to see the writers return to that thread at some point in the near future. For now. it's just sort of hanging out there, right? Eh, comics.
Source: joblo.com

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-1
3:14AM on 11/23/2016

Sorry, you gave it a 7....

I'd give it a 6. That's neutral at best. The shit with Alex has passed Dawson's Creek level of ridiculous. We're getting more about her love life than Benoist's development as a hero. Then they try balancing that with the insanely quick transformation of Jimmy (not to mention Winn suddenly becoming the world's foremost electrical engineer), Cadmus creating a robot stronger than Supergirl, and Hank's situation and this episode felt frenetic on the border of being crap.

So now Legends
I'd give it a 6. That's neutral at best. The shit with Alex has passed Dawson's Creek level of ridiculous. We're getting more about her love life than Benoist's development as a hero. Then they try balancing that with the insanely quick transformation of Jimmy (not to mention Winn suddenly becoming the world's foremost electrical engineer), Cadmus creating a robot stronger than Supergirl, and Hank's situation and this episode felt frenetic on the border of being crap.

So now Legends has improved, Arrow is much better, and The Flash is back up to it's previous standard while this show continues to languish in multiple irrelevant plot lines combined with a muddled character arc for the only character that's supposed to matter. Other than Benoist (and Mon-El, who I think has potential to be cool) I don't see what's even appealing about this anymore.
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+2
6:10AM on 11/22/2016
James may have a black belt but he was up against a Former Navy Seal fer chissakes. Big difference between fighting in a dojo and facing off with a trained killer with real life combat experience. Did anyone else catch the line about "my cousin teamed up with a vigilante once" line?
James may have a black belt but he was up against a Former Navy Seal fer chissakes. Big difference between fighting in a dojo and facing off with a trained killer with real life combat experience. Did anyone else catch the line about "my cousin teamed up with a vigilante once" line?
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9:57AM on 11/22/2016
I did catch that line, thought I must admit that I'm not 100% sure what he meant by it. Thoughts?
I did catch that line, thought I must admit that I'm not 100% sure what he meant by it. Thoughts?
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