Supergirl: 2.07 The Darkest Place
Oh dear. This is what I’ve been dreading… a Jimmy episode.
We start okay, with Kara fighting J’onn before a quick 24 hours earlier caption brings us to the gang discussing the new vigilante on the scene, Guardian. Obviously Jimmy and Winn are standing up for the Guardian but Kara is less convinced, saying vigilantes are trouble and telling them her cousin teamed up with a vigilante once and he was all gadgets and daemons. At this point in the show every superhero fan watching gave out a little shriek of “BATMAN!!!” and none of us know quite what happened immediately next.
We have four plotlines running this week, Alex taking back some dignity in her relationship with Maggie, J'onn dealing with an illness, Kara saving poor old Mon-El from Cadmus and… urgh… Jimmy running round in hockey gear.
This really is a mixed bag of an episode for me. A little like the Alien Fight Club story a couple of episodes back, The Darkest Place is a rather well worn path for shows such as this. The whole "one of the heroes' friends decides to become a superhero” shtick is pretty old hat these days. Add to that the very weird place the character of Jimmy is in and this episode really rather left me cold. The Alex and Maggie stuff is very good, as it always is, with Alex actually getting annoyed at Maggie for drawing our her feelings only to dismiss her so coldly. This bubbles along nicely throughout the episode and I still hold out hope for the sweetest romance on TV.
The Jaaaames plot thread revolves around Guardian building traction in the press as a successful and fairly popular grass roots hero. The ep has a lot of cringy moments of people calling Guardian out and Jimmy awkwardly saying how cool he think the Guardian is in a way so obvious that it should sign post to any half decent investigative journalist that Jimmy is Guardian. After a few successful criminal busts (which genuinely seem to be mostly down to Winn helping from a covert van) Guardian leaves someone hanging, tied up, upside down in an alleyway only for another masked vigilante to turn up and shoot the criminal dead. This leads to Maggie going on the hunt for Guardian, who everyone now assumes is the killer.
Kara’s plot revolves around her trying to save Mon-El from Cadmus. This never quite grabs me, especially with Kara being so ineffectual at the hands of Cadmus. She feels far to easily subdued just for the sake of the narrative.
J’onn has been having hallucinations of his dead family, due to unknowingly being given a white Martian blood transfusion. These moments of hallucination are truly haunting and strangely, emotionally evocative. I also rather like that J’onn told his colleagues he was unwell and sought medical help early on, no long drawn out secrets and lies to create false drama.
Where this episode does grab my attention is near the end - not the obvious resolution of Jimmy’s plot: he and Winn clear his name after they confide in Alex and find the real murderer, an ex marine taking revenge for his dead wife by killing criminals who have been released on technicalities and Jimmy then beats him up in a warehouse – but with two awesome character reveals; Hank Henshaw is back! And he’s actively calling himself Cyborg Superman! This explains the earlier Kara/J’onn fight. The other great reveal comes after Kara has been subdued and had some blood stolen by Cadmus, she and Mon-El escape thanks to everyone’s third favourite Superman, DEAN CAIN! In these few scenes I’m reminded that, despite being a pretty mediocre Superman and mostly starring in Hallmark Christmas movies these days, Dean Cain is actually a really good actor when he puts his mind to it and I was genuinely excited to see him and the return of the character (who stays behind so Kara and Mon-El can escape). It seems the entire kidnapping of Mon-El was done to lure Supergirl to Cadmus, blackmail her into relinquishing her powers long enough for them to steal some of her blood which Hank then uses in the final scene to access the Fortress of Solitude computer for information. I’m not convinced Kryptonian technology would be as easy to trick as it seems in Supergirl or Batman V Superman or Superman Returns… wow, maybe Kryptonian technology IS really easy to trick?
There was some nice Martian stuff and Alex/Maggie scenes but over all this was a bit of a wet fish of an episode for me. Kara’s story felt secondary and I’m while I’m more than happy to see Supergirl take an occasional back seat so her friends and family can shine, I’m less keen when its for this dead end Jimmy storyline. Please Supergirl, stop trying to make Jimmy happen!