Supergirl: 3.15 In Search of Lost Time
This has been my favourite episode of Supergirl for a while. It’s not without its flaws but they’ve dealt with a couple of plot strands that I’ve felt needed addressing for a while.
This whole episode pretty much takes place in the DEO or similar small room, standing sets. Its hard to tell if this is maybe a cost saving device or genuinely the story just called for it but it rather hammers home the ‘Supergirl works for the DEO’ narrative which I’ve disliked throughout this season. Less Supergirl working at the DEO and more Kara working at CatCo, please!
The main plot this week revolves around J’onn’s father and his deteriorating mental health. During some of the earlier scenes it started to strike me how much the martians, since the introduction of J’onn’s theologian father, have become rather Vulcan like and this weeks story is not dissimilar to the Star Trek: Next Generation episode Sarek. Myr'nn is having mental breaks that start effecting the emotions of those around him. While he’s aware of the issue neither he or J’onn realise how bad it is, however, until he has a full breakdown while in the DEO.
Mon-El agrees to teach Kara some of his fighting techniques learned in the future, including his cape tricks, seen last week. Having been grumbling about the drab, uninspired support character costumes I was over the moon to see Mon-El turn up in his red and blue costume (with plenty of nice touches that mirror this universe’s Superman outfit). Its during this fight training that one of Myr'nn’s breakdowns effect the DEO and Kara ends up getting angry and hitting Mon-El. This then leads to a much needed conversation between Kara and Mon-El, in which Kara gets annoyed at him because he's just turned up in her life again but as a better, more mature person. Her issue being, when they were together she made constant excuses for the fact he was a terrible person and treated her really badly.
I feel like this was an aspect that needed addressing in show. Mon-El was a kind of lovable douche in his first season. Kara’s head over heels, unrelenting love for him was tainted by the fact he did treat her really badly. I was starting to really enjoy the new dynamic of Mon-El now being the more mature, more experienced hero thanks to spending a few years maturing in the future but I needed to see him face up to what he used to be like this. Now, if only the series could address the Jaaaames issue…
The side plot this week is Lena trying to help Sam unlock/cure herself of Reign. This basically consists of locking Sam in a little hospital room and running tests. This provides us with some good scenes between the two, though feels like padding to keep the Sam storyline running.
Clingy Jimmy just can’t stop calling Lena this week. As his phone calls gets more and more persistent, they become increasingly passive aggressive. I feel like I need to start putting more (or equal) blame on Mehcad Brooks for the Jimmy problems. His overtly confident, macho performance so often comes across as smug or irritated with the situation he's in. Perhaps if he could play the role with a little more humility, Jimbo might not seem so awful. Unfortunately, this week he seems almost creepily overbearing, despite some obvious attempts to make his actions seem ‘cute’.
I enjoyed this episode more than the past few because it focuses mostly on character work even if the over all story is a little flat and rather ordinary. It does open with one of the now obligatory 'the gang having fun' scenes - this time at Kara's flat - but that at least gives us some insight into Myr'nn's story. There are some good comedy moments and Winn getting in a fight with some random DEO guy then Alex was fun. Eventually J’onn helps his father by taking on the burden of his mental health with a kind of mind-meld and everyone gets to move on having shared a few home truths.
The show as a whole is still dragging its baggage; this was a good opportunity to shed a little but it has still got a lot of work to do to get back to the highs of previous seasons – less time at the DEO and simply being more fun would be a good start…