TV Review: Supergirl – Season 2, Episode 8 – “Medusa”

Last Updated on October 5, 2021


SYNOPSIS: Eliza (guest star Helen Slater) comes to town to celebrate Thanksgiving with her daughters. Alex (Chyler Leigh) decides it’s 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 – Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath).


You want to know what really grinds my gears? When I’m sitting down with my family and friends to a nice Thanksgiving meal, and a portal to another dimension rips a hole in the space time continuum just above the basket of cornbread! What? That’s never happened to you? Well then, perhaps I’ll just go ahead and have a chat with Kara and her crew if it’s sympathy I’m looking for. After all, an intrusive wormhole is precisely what will serve as the catalyst for The CW’s four-night “Invasion” crossover event. However, viewers who’re looking for a wealth of stylish slo-mo battle sequences featuring the characters of  SUPERGIRL, THE FLASH, ARROW, and the LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, each fighting side-by-side against a common alien threat, will have to wait just a bit longer.

But Steve, my body was so ready for this, why would you say such a thing? Well, it’s quite simple really. Currently, SUPERGIRL has got quite the number of sub-plot irons in the fire, and the vast majority of tonight’s episode was dedicated toward cooling a few of them off before entering the show’s mid-season hiatus. Honestly, I can appreciate how those who do not make it a habit of watching SUPERGIRL might feel a bit burned by the lack of event-related material of tonight’s adventure. That being said, the cast and crew have stated in a series of interviews leading up to the event, that it would essentially be three-episodes-long; with SUPERGIRL acting as a soft lead-in. In short, it might have taken Barry and Cisco an entire episode to make their appearance, but from here on out, the limit to the super-powered hijinks is anyone’s guess.

As I’d mentioned earlier, there was a lot to unpack regarding tonight’s episode. For example, things finally seem to be heating up between Kara and Mon-El. I’m of two minds about this development. While I do think that Mon-El’s feelings toward Kara are genuine, I’m not certain of how enthusiastic I am about Supergirl becoming romantically involved with our Daxamite friend. For those of you keeping score at home, Mon-El is the fourth suave haircut and a smile to fawn after Kara in just a season and a half. While I’m not opposed to superheroes being entangled by matters of the heart, I am concerned that making air time for a courtship will distract from what I’m truly there for – watching Supergirl learn and grow as a protector of the planet Earth. All in all, if there’s ever going be a successful portrayal of a super-powered union, I think the writers of SUPERGIRL have the best chance of making it work.

And speaking of hearts going pitter pat, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve put a nice (albeit sappy) bow on Alex’s journey toward coming out to her loved ones. If you’ve been following my reviews, you’re already aware that not only have I enjoyed Alex’s arc this season, but that I also feel it was well executed on nearly every front. I say nearly because woof, Helen Slater certainly knows how to pour it on thick. I appreciate that she was the original Supergirl, but hot damn, that is a hot mess. While I’m sure that Ms. Slater is a very nice person, perhaps she needs a new day job, yeah? At any rate, I’ll be curious to see how Agents Sawyer and Danvers (or Sanvers) move forward in their courtship, now that they’re an item.

Lurking in the darkness of tonight’s adventure was Lillian Luthor, and her nefarious plan to use a Kryptonian-engineered virus by the name of Medusa to rid the world of the alien plague forever. It’s a tall order to be sure, but when you’ve got a Cyborg Superman as your errand boy, and a military-grade rocket launcher stashed under a tarp at the local docks, I’d say your chances of success are pretty high. That is, of course, unless your adoptive daughter, Lena, has anything to say about it. Teasing aside, Lena foiling her mother’s plans was by far one of my favorite aspects of tonight’s episode. In truth, I think we’re all of us waiting for the moment in which Lena enters the darkest of timelines. Feeling this, I was pleased to learn that her worm has not yet turned, and that it will likely be a more egregious event that sends her careening off the rails.

Additionally, it felt good to see Lena really stick it to Lillian. For me, Lillian is a tad boring as a “Big Bad”. While I fully grasp the concept of her need to appear cold and calculated, I’ve found that her grandiose monologuing offers little in terms of substance. Truthfully, I find this to be a common problem in a lot of superhero-related dramas. Parading around and reveling in your own villainy is fine, but I prefer for there to be more to an antagonist than chest puffery and a well-earned merit badge in resting bitch/douche face. With that in mind, I was content to see that Lena is still interested in being a good person, and that we can count on her to do the right thing for the time being. Because really, it would have been pretty lame if Kara’s accusation about Lillian was enough to set Lena down a dark path. Thankfully, Lena did her research, and thereby resolved the situation with cunning. That’s the Lena Luthor I know, and the one that I hope sticks around for quite some time.

Looking back. I’d say there was some decent superhero fisticuff action happening tonight. In my opinion, Hank Henshaw’s Cyborg Superman is one of this show’s best villains to date. That dude is frightening in his rage and desire to inflict damage on a world (and the people) that betrayed him. Cyborg Superman’s involvement in the show has also lent to J’onn achieving some significant personal growth. As a character who has been at war within himself for some time, it felt rather satisfying to see J’onn embrace the White Martian blood coursing within his veins, and use it to unleash a new hybrid form to defeat his cybernetic doppelganger.

You know, I grouse about the idea of Mon-El and Supergirl becoming an item, but really, the moments in which these two characters were connecting with one another were my favorite of this episode. That bit where Kara and Mon-El start smooching struck me as an earned and tender moment amidst so many other plot threads. That’s kind of the thing about SUPERGIRL though, isn’t it? This show has an ability to slow things down for a few moments and really connect you to the quieter, more emotional elements. Of course, I think much of that is due to Melissa Benoist’s unrelenting charm. Some might accuse me of being a broken record in this regard, but I stand firm on my opinion that Benoist’s smile, unwavering desire to do good, and adorable jokes are the heart and soul of this program.

Happy hiatus, everyone! I’ll see you again in just a few weeks when SUPERGIRL returns after a brief holiday-inspired sabbatical.


STINGER: There is no information as to the details of Supergirl “Episode 9” at this time. The show is going on a brief holiday break and is expected to return toward the end of January 2017.




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About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.