While this week’s episode of ‘Supergirl’ focuses on the return of a familiar villain, the real heart of the story has to do with J’onn J’onzz and whether he’ll finally be able to accept M’gann as an ally and a friend. Sadly, the show treats the best parts as a side-plot, leaving viewers with a lot of silliness reminiscent of early Season 1.
Things get underway with Supergirl training Mon-El to be a superhero. He destroys an orb he’s been practicing against, but in doing so accidentally blows the head off a cardboard cutout of a little girl. Supergirl gives him some grief over that and explains that he has to always be aware of civilians around him when he’s fighting bad guys. Across town, Guardian busts a pair of drug dealers, but gets grazed with a bullet in the process. Winn is pretty upset about this, and insists that Jimmy finally tell Kara about his superhero alter ego, which Jimmy agrees to do.
Still being held prisoner at the DEO, M’gann has oppressive hallucinations that cause her to shatter the protective barrier of her holding cell. She’s taken to the infirmary, where J’onn learns that her brain activity is failing and she could die soon if he doesn’t mind-meld with her. The Martian Manhunter refuses.
The villainous Livewire (real name: Leslie Willis) is interviewed in her prison cell when a security guard and another inmate arrive to break her out. To the rest of the world (including Alex, Maggie and Kara, who arrive at the prison shortly afterwards to investigate), this looks like Livewire has staged an escape – but viewers will soon learn that something else has happened.
Jimmy calls Kara in for a meeting at his CatCo office, planning to tell her about being Guardian. However, he changes his mind when she goes on and on about Mon-El. Suddenly, a news report on one of the monitors behind Jimmy shows what appears to be Livewire attacking police in a parking garage. Kara races off to the rescue, and Jimmy isn’t far behind.
When Supergirl arrives on the scene, she discovers that it isn’t Livewire after all, but the other female that escaped the prison, along with the security guard. Both of them have Livewire-like powers. Mon-El and Guardian then show up to join the fight. Even though Supergirl insists that Mon-El protect the police, he tries to help her and causes a deflected blast to hit Guardian. The impact knocks Guardian out, allowing Supergirl to remove his mask and reveal that he’s Jimmy.
At this point in the episode, viewers learn that Livewire didn’t escape the prison. She was taken by the guard and the female inmate, and is currently prisoner of a scientist (played by Steve Valentine) who’s harnessing her powers with the intent of building his own army of super soldiers. Both Guardian and Mon-El find out where Livewire is being held before Kara does, but when they try to stop the scientist, they both get zapped (he has Livewire’s powers as well) and are taken prisoner. Winn gets the news to Supergirl. Kara flies in to rescue them and talks Livewire into helping out by promising that, instead of sending her back to prison, she’ll give her a head start before she comes after her again. (Does that seem very smart?)
While the above is going on, J’onn finally agrees to mind-meld with M’gann. Joining her inside a vision of her last days on Mars, he sees how she betrayed her own people to save some Green Martians. M’gann tells the story of what happened and relays her fears about being alone. J’onn tells her that she’s not alone and forgives her for her past transgressions. This results in M’gann being able to recover. However, she awakens with news for J’onn: her hallucinations were caused by other White Martians getting inside her head. They know where she is, and are on the way.
Returning to the DEO, Supergirl talks with Jimmy and Winn. They want to join her in the fight against evil, working together side by side, but she’s too concerned with Jimmy’s safety and refuses. For now, it seems, Supergirl will not support Guardian. Kara returns to her apartment to find Mon-El waiting for her, and he finally confesses that the reason he wanted to become a superhero is because he’s attracted to her. Kara is completely stunned by the news, and although the two agree to work just as friends, it’s obvious as Mon-El leaves that Kara has feelings for him as well.
In a nice change of pace, this ‘Supergirl’ episode ends things right there, without a cliffhanger for next week. That said, I found the Livewire stuff to be mostly a distraction. The best part of the story is between J’onn and M’gann. Series regular David Harewood gives a great performance this week. It’s a shame this isn’t the primary storyline. It may be enough to save the episode from being altogether pointless, but this will be one of my least-favorite entries for Season 2.
Finally, let’s talk about Supergirl’s decision to just let Livewire go. How stupid is that? If Livewire goes off and kills someone now, those deaths are on Supergirl’s head. Will the writers go there in a future episode (it could make for some really interesting angst for the character), or will this plot point be totally forgotten the next time we see Livewire? Honestly, I’m a little surprised that Kara’s friends are OK with her letting Livewire go free. At the very least, you’d think J’onn would chew her out over it.