This week’s episode of Supergirl had a lot of ground to cover. Not only was it the mid-season finale, but ‘Medusa’ was also the beginning of the ‘four-night crossover’ we have been hearing so much about. While not a lot of time was devoted to setting up Kara with The Flash and the gang, the episode did manage to bring a satisfying end to the first half of the show’s second season. It is essential to understand that even though The CW has been heavily advertising ‘the four-night crossover’ rather aggressively, it is basically three nights, with Supergirl just serving as the platform for the jump.
This is exactly what we got to see in Medusa. It was good to see that the episode dedicated some time to the buildup of Barry and Cisco’s arrival rather than just springing it up on Kara without any warning. Nonetheless, the appearance was as brief as expected, which could have been a disappointment to some viewers who don’t regularly watch Supergirl, but might have tuned in for the crossover. As far as the remaining episode is concerned, it succeeded in putting a great bow on some of the ongoing conflicts in the season. Kara handled the growing romantic tension between Mon-El and her.
National City was exposed to an anti-alien virus due to the deliberate actions of Cadmus. Lena Luthor, as well as Kara, had to deal with some uncomfortable information they found on their parents. J’onn couldn’t deny the inevitable any longer; he is a White Martian. All in all, the episode was pretty busy and had much to deal with. This doesn’t even include the minor setups like Winn and James handling their Guardian secret or Alex’s confrontation with her sexuality. It certainly didn’t hurt that The Guardian matter had taken a backseat this week.
Introducing James’ superhero phase is nothing but downright ridiculous and has been the reason why the show has suffered in the past couple of weeks. Downplaying it this time gave other storylines more room, which are much more interesting. This episode delivered on all ends; whether it was just simple and good character drama or the superhero spectacle. The strongest element this week was the interaction between Mon-El and Kara. The show hasn’t done well in exploring Supergirl’s love life so far. It could be due to bad writing or because of a lack of chemistry between the actors.
The same issue doesn’t exist between Mon-El and Kara or Chris Wood and Melissa Benoist. They have a very organic and easy dynamic, which makes it fun to watch each and every single scene they have together. Mon-El’s confession about his attraction to Kara was satisfying after the buildup we saw in the last two episodes. It is likely that Winn and James are going to ruin the fun due to their mutual jealousy, but that’s a bit far away right now. The Cadmus storyline this week was another satisfying element, even though some of the Luthor family drama was a bit strange.
Brenda Strong’s performance as Lillian Luthor hasn’t been up to expectations so far and she is so deliberate that you don’t think of her as a person. Every time she opens her mouth, it is like she is revealing her evil masterplan to someone she is about to feed to a vat of hungry sharks. Even her interactions with her adopted daughter don’t do much in making her appear as a conflicted and three-dimensional character. But, the episode did help Lena in blossoming into a strong and relatable character. It hadn’t seemed right when she got mad at Supergirl’s accusations and decided to join her mother so it was nice to see her come to her senses at last.
It was revealed that Lena was using the Luthor guile to actually outsmart her mother and expose her acts to the world. This shows that Lena is a well-meaning and noble character, which makes her different from her entire family. The bond between Kara and Lena strengthened as they both realized that they have to deal with family legacies, albeit in different ways. But, it remains to be seen if Lena is going to follow the path of good or follow her brother’s footsteps due to tragedies. If that does happen, hopefully, the show will do well at showing her descent into the villain world.
The episode also did an excellent job in meeting the action requirements as there were multiple fights between Hank Henshaw and Kara. Hank is referring to himself as Cyborg Superman, which really didn’t make sense. Nonetheless, he comes off as a great villain, no matter what he calls himself. He is an intimidating character, but it is easy to understand why it is so. It was quite satisfying to see him confront the alien who stole his identity and life. There was also a great moment for J’onn where he embraced his inner monster and revealed his new hybrid state of White Martian/Green Martian.
Now that Lillian is arrested, it will be interesting to see what Hank does. Will another mad scientist step in to take her place or will Hank be a rogue agent and take control of Cadmus? It is unlikely that Lillian will stay out of the picture for long, but it would be nice to see someone else in her place for a while. Another notable moment of the episode was the return of Dr. Eliza Danvers. She solved J’onn and Mon-El’s medical problems in one go and also played a vital role in some family drama scenes.
Her heart-to-heart conversation with Alex was definitely worth nothing, but it seems strange that the Jeremiah situation didn’t get any acknowledgment whatsoever. It would have made for a fun Thanksgiving dinner discussion, if nothing else. In a nutshell, Supergirl managed to wrap up the first half of Season 2 on solid footing and also launched the crossover event that connects four shows of the CW. There was plenty to enjoy in this episode and lots to look forward to.