‘Supergirl’ 2.18 Recap: “What Am I Supposed to Do?”

‘Supergirl’ produced 20 episodes in its first season, which already seemed like a stretch of material. This year, the show is cranking out 22, and things really seem to have no focus. This week’s episode is pure filler, and not even entertaining filler at that.

As things get underway, Supergirl flies into DEO headquarters all ready to spend a day fighting crime. However, J’onn tells her there’s nothing out there to fight . All is well in National City – meaning that the recently-fired Kara needs to return to her apartment in the hopes of finding something to keep her busy.

That opportunity comes when Lena Luthor stops over and asks Kara to accompany her to a presentation of a new technology by Spherical Industries. The man giving the presentation is Jack Spheer (got to love these original names, heh?), Lena’s former boyfriend. At the presentation, Jack intentionally cuts his hand open and a swarm of nanobots instantly heal the injury. Kara, who’s still attempting to be a writer through her blog, asks a question that sparks the interest of a former Spherical employee. He asks her for a meeting in his car, where he tells her that before being fired, he could find no evidence of human trials for the nanobot technology in the Spherical computers. At this point, his car is attacked by a swarm of the nanobots, causing it to explode. The man is killed, but Kara (obviously) survives.

Now suspicious of Jack Spheer, Kara teams up with Mon-El to investigate him. Learning that Lena and Jack are having dinner together, she takes Mon-El to the restaurant and pretends the encounter is just happenstance. After dinner, Mon-El gives Jack a big, friendly hug – at which point he steals Jack’s security badge. Kara and Mon-El then sneak into Jack’s office and check out his personal computer. They discover that the reason human trials never took place is that Jack injected himself with the nanobots. He’s the swarm that has been going around killing people – including a second contact that Snapper Carr met with. (Supergirl gets there in time to save Snapper, but not the contact.)

Kara takes the evidence to Lena, but she doesn’t believe Kara until she sees the video of Jack. Lena promises Kara that she won’t make any more contact with him, but every viewer watching this episode should know that’s a lie. Kara meets with Snapper back at CatCo and learns that the CEO of Spherical, Beth Breen, is heavily invested in the nanobots’ success. Sure enough, when Lena tells Jack that she knows what he’s done, Beth reveals herself and says she’s been behind all the murders – using Jack as a pawn. He doesn’t have any memory or knowledge of the killings he’s participated in.

Supergirl swoops in to rescue Lena, but is soon taken out of the fight by a swarm of the nanobots. Jack tells Lena that she can stop them by logging into the mainframe computer. However, Beth claims that Jack will die if she does so. Lena makes the hard choice, shutting down the system and disabling the nanobots, but also causing the death of her former lover in the process.

The next day, a grieving Lena tells Kara that Jack’s death has made her feel “cold and calm” and that she worries about what type of person she’s turning into. Does this mean that Lena may be on the path to becoming villainous? That’s certainly the hint we get here, enhanced by the fact that Queen Rhea (Mon-El’s mom, in case you forgot) shows up at Lena’s office at the end of this episode and tells Lena that she has a business proposition for her.

The only other thing going on this week is a subplot involving Winn’s girlfriend Lyra (yes, she’s back, even though I thought we’d seen the last of her character) helping Guardian fight crime. She gets a little over-aggressive with a young kid who robbed a liquor store, which causes Jimmy to kick her out of their group. Later on, he relents and invites her back, despite the fact that she showed a pretty violent temper throughout the episode. Great, this is exactly what ‘Supergirl’ needs right now – yet another supporting character to keep track of.

Oh, and Snapper gives Kara her job back. Like we didn’t see that one coming. Why is every personal crisis on this series resolved in the very next episode?

Episode Verdict

Unless you’re a big fan of Lena Luthor or the actress who plays her, this episode is a huge waste of time with essentially nothing important going on. Even J’onn and Alex get the short end of the stick this week. They show up for a few seconds in the first scene and are never seen again. Jimmy has a ton more screen time than he’s had in a while, but – again – he’s given absolutely zero to do. (If I were actor Mehcad Brooks’ agent, I’d be looking for a way to get my client off this series.) Sadly, this week’s story seems like something writers would come up with in the later years of a show’s run, not the second season where fresh ideas should still be plentiful.

Am I wrong? Am I being too hard on this episode?

4 comments

  1. I personally loved 2×18. But, I like Lena Luthor and getting some insight into her background was very nice. Not to mention seeing the writers focus on Kara’s “human” side. After all, Kara herself said in s1 she needed the normalcy of a regular job to keep her grounded and to keep her connected to humans. So seeing Kara actually flexing her reporter muscles was nice. She went from being an insecure blogger to showing some real integrity and growth. She put aside her pride and did what was best. Even if it meant someone else would get the credit for breaking the Biomax story.

    In fact, I’d love to see an ep dedicated to each of the regular characters just to get a bit more insight. I wonder if you’ll be this dismissive when it comes to 2×20 since it’s rumoured to be James-centric since you seems to have a soft spot for James. Just because the writers put emphasis in a character you’re not fond of, it doesn’t make an episode a waste of time.

    Have you thought to consider that Kara and Lena’s friendship is something so very rare precious? When Lucy was introduced last season, she was there only to be part of the clichéd love triangle. Once that was done with, no more Lucy, and we never got to see the tentative friendship Lucy & Kara were working on. For a show about female power and female empowerment, it’s nice to see two unrelated females be friends and not fight and squabble over the same men.

  2. Shannon Nutt
    Author

    Kara and Lena will be enemies soon. If not this season, then certainly by next…it seems to be their destiny (much in the same way Clark and Lex stared out as friends on Smallville and eventually became enemies).

  3. Bryan

    I find it hard to dislike any episode of Supergirl. I just enjoy Melissa Benoist too much in the role. So, I guess it’s hard to be objective about it. However, I’m really hoping that (while they’re certainly going to tease it) they *don’t* make Lena go bad. It’s just too obvious a choice, and too closely parallels the Clark/Lex paradigm.

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