Supergirl: 3.16 Of Two Minds
After spiking my interest a little more last week, I feel like Supergirl is plodding along again. Yet another episode spent almost entirely in the DEO (or other small rooms) focuses on finding a cure to the Pestilence plague hinted at in last week's closing scene.
After the mayor’s office are all taken ill with a mysterious plague, apparently spread by direct contact alone, the team start searching for the final Worldkiller, believing it may have been one of the employees at the office. This leads to some conflict between Supergirl and Imra, the latter of which has basically travelled back in time to kill the Worldkiller before she becomes Blight.
Almost inevitably, Winn gets taken sick. Imra, Mon-El and co for the future have a cure for the disease… except they don’t. They have a cure for the disease created by Blight and realise that the cure doesn’t work on the disease as created by Pestilence. It means they have to find the Worldkiller and get some DNA in order to create a new cure. This is some sloppy storytelling and actually really irritated me. The fact that they could travel back and this have not been a consideration for them is ridiculous. Combined with the attempted comedic representation of Braniac which actually just comes across as a slightly dumb snob and the whole future league element can feel very superfluous in its effectiveness to actually help the DEO.
Eventually they track down the women they think is the Worldkiller but when Supergirl arrives she finds Imra standing over he woman’s body. But while Imra snuck off without telling Supergirl she didn’t actually kill the women, who has died from the same disease, proving she was just another innocent victim.
Considering Supergirl was ready to fight Imra over saving/killing the Worldkiller she didn’t seem very fussed about this one fatality of the plague; immediately this poor dead woman became nothing more than another clue. I feel like a super should react to the death of innocents, this woman was after all murdered by Pestilence, but Supergirl doesn’t seem particularly bothered at all. This show has tread the line a few times with death. I feel like Supergirl, Kara, doesn’t much care anymore because it’s all just part of the job. She is the government weapon her cousin fought so hard against becoming.
When Winn got ill and started talking about his hopes and dreams I did start to think that maybe the show was gonna go bold in its final stretch and kill off a beloved character. But as soon as Alex got sick it negated any sense of danger. There are ways to put your established characters in peril but Alex isn’t just gonna die like this and her being in danger removes the feeling of danger for the whole episode. It was also a little tension free as it was so obvious, to the audience, who the Worldkiller actually was. There was no mystery for us to get hooked into. Instead we just had to watch our characters frustratingly missing the obvious.
During this whole episode, we keep cutting to Sam and Lena, trying to work out how to free Sam of Reign. These scenes are a little repetitive but there are some nice moments between the two. The conceit that Sam physically travels to a parallel plane of existence while Reign is in control is a little over done (the Berlanti shows love people getting trapped in parallel planes of existence) but at least it seeds some ideas on how to save her, even if it is a bit Phantom Zone-Lite.
Of course Imra and Supergirl patch up their differences and then the Worldkiller emerges, finds Julia and releases Reign, meaning the trinity of villains are on the loose. Julia had a whole conflicted, split personality thing going on which her change and Sam of course is fighting Reign all the way. Pestilence seemed pretty easy. The human side relented apparently welcomed the evil and felt like there were some moral implications that never quite got addressed.
This episode was frustrating and while the narrative focus was really on Sam and how she could be saved, the plot of the week was predictable and un-engaging. I’ll keep saying it but in a world with Superman and other heroes, Supergirl needs to stop trading in 'End of the World' storylines and focus on more personal stories. Superman can help out with a domestic plane crash but doesn’t tag in when there are three evil Kryptonians on the loose? I just hope that in its next season, the show focuses on Supergirl, saving people alone