This Supergirl review contains spoilers.
Supergirl Season 5 Episode 7
If you were hoping that Supergirl episode “Tremors” would involve Kara fighting off some giant, underground worms, then you would have been disappointed. Frankly, I think the story might have been better if it had gone in that direction. Up until this point, Leviathan has been a pretty intimidating villain—shadowy, omniscient, and very mysterious. But the more we learn about Leviathan, the less intimidating they become.
We learned a fair amount about Leviathan in tonight’s episode. Sadly, the Older Woman (played wonderfully by Patti Allan) is not the head honcho of the organization (a mistake, in my opinion!). That honor seems to belong to Rama Khan (hey, Mitch Pileggi!) and a Blonde Woman, who get an update on the Medaliian on Acrata (still in Lena’s possession) from the Older Woman (whose name, we learn, is Margot!) and then promptly dismiss her.
Turns out Rama Khan and the Blonde Woman have been around since circa the dinosaurs, when their ship crash landed on Earth from Krypton’s sister planet, taking out the aforementioned dinos. Things were all well and good for a while, until those pesky humans evolved into life and started destroying the planet. #ClimateChange The two ancient aliens get in a millennial dig (weirdly, seemingly in relation to not-millennial Margot), and set about getting the Medallion back themselves.
This isn’t Lena’s first rodeo, however, and she has a plan to keep the Medallion safely where it belongs. Yes, that plan is Supergirl. She has absolute trust that, when she calls, Kara will be there to literally catch her when she jumps off of a cliff as a way to escape Rama Khan. But Kara’s laser eyes aren’t really a permanent solution for taking out Rama Khan, so Kara does what any Krypton come to Earth would do: take their girlfriend on a date to the Fortress of Solitude.
This would obviously be a great date location choice (Lena totally nerds out) if this were an earnest get-together and not one actually a) dictated by the need to find a weapon that will work against Rama “Tremors” Khan and b) all a guise for Lena to get her hands on Myriad, the Kryptonian weapon that Astra used way back in Season 1 to turn the people of National City into compliant drones. Um… I’m sure Lena has a kind and thoughtful use for it?
This is the level of trust Kara has in Lena right now, basically giving Lena her own key to the Fortress. At this point, Lena could buy Kara Kryptonite earrings, and Kara would probably wear them just to make Lena happy. But Kara’s ignorance can’t last… apparently. Probably because we need to wrap this up in time for the crossover? The climax of their relationship’s current arc all feels rushed.
Using an attack on the Fortress by Rama Khan as a cover (Kara defeats him, but he gets away), Lena snags the Myriad, and also reveals to Kara just how pissed off she still is with her and how much she does not consider them best friends any longer. (I wish Lena had a friendship bracelet to cut off her wrist in this scene—you know Kara is the type to braid her one—but, sadly, she does not.)
Per the usual (and the season premiere), Katie McGrath and Melissa Benoist absolutely kill the scene, which gives us some very valid points from Lena, most especially Lena’s pain that Kara “treated her like a villain,” which is pretty much true. Kara trusted people she was much less close with with her secret, but kept Lena, someone she claims to trust completely, in the dark far longer than was necessary. The only difference? Lena is a Luthor.
Or at least this is what Lena sees, and Kara has not offered up any alternate explanation. Perhaps Kara’s side of the story is to come in next week’s episode, where it looks like the fractures in this relationship are really going to come to a head when Lena starts enacting her plan.
The Lena reveal was so emotional and well-acted, but suffered from a lack of build up within the context of the episode. There was no strategic reason for why Lena had to tell Kara the truth now (she could have been much sneakier about stealing the Myriad—she is a genius). The only reason I can think of for Lena choosing to tell Kara the truth now is that she was so angry, she couldn’t pretend any longer. This feels very in character, but we didn’t see any of the build up for that.
It didn’t help that elsewhere in the episode, J’onn was going through an even more poorly placed reconciliation with his brother. Basically, he spends the entire episode having a heart-to-heart with his late father’s spirit, trying to decide what to do about his brother. M’yrnn totally forgives J’onn for wiping his memory (which is… kind), and then tells J’onn he has two extreme options: send Malefic back to the Phantom Zone or let him mind meld with him, risking his life and potentially the lives of all of his loved ones in the process.
Really, M’yrnn. There’s no middle ground?
Anyway, J’onn being the standup, arguably foolish guy that he is, goes for the latter, and it all works out, Malefic sees the truth in J’onn’s deep regret and they embrace. Seriously. It’s a whiplash of a character turn for Malefic, and one that could have perhaps been mediated by J’onn spending more time chatting with Malefic in this episode, rather than dear old dad. (That’s not to say that Carl Lumbley doesn’t absolutely kill all of the material he is given, because he obviously does.) I would have loved to see these two estranged brothers have some honest chats, fanning the embers of their brotherly love and facing some harsh truths about themselves and one another in the process. Oh well.
Meanwhile, Brainy finds the location of the Leviathan headquarters. Surprise! It’s in National City. He and a concussed Alex go in with absolutely no plan and no backup (Supergirl is busy fighting Rama Khan at the Fortress, at this point), but somehow manage to get in and out. It’s a weird, dropped plot line in an episode with clunky transitions and unresolved questions all around. Another, for example: Has J’onn told anyone that Lena has been keeping his brother prisoner?
“Tremors” had a lot to do and not enough time to do it in, resulting in some sloppy character moments, dropped plot points, and an “escalation” of the Leviathan threat that served to make the Big Bad more tangible and less scary. With Lena set to put her nefarious plan in motion, there’s still plenty of superpowered angst to look forward to in coming weeks, but this episode could have been a lot better.
If it had giant worms.
Leviathan turns Rip Roar into a human bomb in this episode, which means he somehow miraculously survived the gunshot from last week’s ending. He seems dead for real this time, though. It’s strange they put work into his character’s relationships with Andrea and William, and then totally dropped that context for his death scene.
In the Rip Roar explosion, Alex is hurt, which causing Kelly to suddenly and intensely remember how having Alex on the front lines, so to speak, with her DEO work brings back the trauma of losing her former partner, who died on the front lines. Kelly tries to break up with Alex, but then Alex talks her out of it. It’s a really sweet speech about how Alex can help Kelly heal in the way that Kelly helped Alex heal, but it includes this line from Alex, “When I met you, I was half a person,” which is not true. Alex has always been 100% of a person. Also, if Kelly’s relationship with Alex really does trigger her to relive some painful trauma, then maybe this isn’t the healthiest relationship for her right now?
Kara ends the episode trapped in the Fortress intruder defense bubble by Lena, who turned the Fortess against the Kryptonian. This is maybe the worst thing anyone has ever done to her: broken her heart and then left her to stew, alone, in her feelings. Notably, however, Lena did not kill Kara, which Kara seemed to think was a real possibility. Is this because Lena doesn’t take life needlessly, because she still cares for Kara, or both?