“Supergirl” Episode Review – S05E08 “The Wrath of Rama Khan”

Superman Homepage writer Michael Bailey reviews episodes from the “Supergirl” TV series, airing on The CW.

Check out his review of the 8th episode of Season 5 in which Supergirl’s (Melissa Benoist) struggle against Leviathan reaches a boiling point as she faces off against Rama Khan (guest star Mitch Pileggi). Meanwhile, as Lena (Katie McGrath) and Hope (Andrea Brooks) work to launch Project Non Nocere, Hope proves to be an invaluable asset to Lena.

Originally Aired: December 1, 2019
WRITTEN BY: Lindsay Sturman and Jessica Kardos
DIRECTED BY: Marcus Stokes

REGULAR CAST:
Melissa Benoist (Kara/Supergirl)
Chyler Leigh (Alex Danvers)
Jesse Rath (Brainiac 5)
Katie McGrath (Lena Luthor)
Nicole Maines (Nia Nal/Dreamer)

GUEST STARS:
Andrea Brooks (Hope)
Phil LaMarr (Malefic Jones)
Mitch Pileggi (Rama Khan)
Julie Gonzalo (Andrea Rojas/Acrarta)

3Rating – 3 (out of 5): This episode was another mixed bag. It was definitely a mid-season finale with the bulk of the storylines either wrapping up or concluding their first act but, to be honest, only one of those worked for me.

The biggest problem I had with this episode is the problem that has been building all season; Lena. This is nothing against Katie McGrath, who I think in an incredible performer that has a huge range. This is all the fault of the writers and it manifests in two forms. The first form is Supergirl not calling Lena on her…crud. For the past few weeks there has been this nagging thought in the back of my head. A problem I couldn’t put a finger on. I couldn’t find the words to describe what my issue is, and it took Alex to really solidify why I have such a problem with Lena.

Lena is being a giant hypocrite.

Lena has, as Alex pointed out, lied to everyone or kept something hidden or synthesized the element that can kill Supergirl or, you know, experimented on someone and they died, on numerous occasions over the past few years. She was just as duplicitous as Kara, and yet the perspective we have been given, with the exception of Alex pointing some of this out, is that Lena is this tragic figure that has been lied to her whole life and now Kara lied to her to and everyone is terrible and she’s only trying to help people.

And that’s really unfair to the title character.

The writers have fallen into the same trap that Geoff Johns did when he wrote Superman and Lex scenes in Action Comics. More often than not, Lex got the upper hand in their verbal exchanges and Superman rarely told him to shut up and demand that he accepts responsibility for his own actions instead of blaming Superman for everything. Kara needs to do the same thing with Lena. It may happen. The season isn’t over. But it’s starting to get on my nerves.

This piggybacks on to my second problem and that instead of Kara realizing that Lena is trying to impose her will on the entire planet and pointing out how wrong this is, Lena’s perspective is taking prominence. To Lena’s mind she is only trying to control the minds of everyone on Earth to help them and to prove that she’s the hero and therein lies the problem. Never mind the fact that mind control is evil on its face, Lena isn’t trying to be a hero. She’s trying to prove that she’s a hero by any means necessary out of a narcissistic and borderline sociopathic need to be accepted. It’s isn’t altruism. It’s self-aggrandizement and I’m hoping Kara gloms on this and does something about instead of blaming herself. It’s nice that Kara wants to use her words, but this isn’t one of the times she needs to.

And Eve taking the fall was weak. What a contrived way to bring this end of that storyline to a close.

There were two things I liked about this episode. The first being that the episode felt tighter because it focused on the main cast and the villain of the week. I like Kelly. I like Dreamer. I liked Jimmy but having to deal with them and give them something to do meant that other elements were getting short shrift. Also, the resolution between J’onn and Malefic was genuinely touching and the actors looked like they were genuinely having a good time.

The Crisis teasers were great. We’re less than a week from the event. No matter how up and down the season has been I am so looking forward to seeing how all that plays out.

Oh…props to whoever named this episode. The riff on THE WRATH OF KHAN was subtle.

Check out the “Supergirl – Episode Reviews” Contents page.

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redcapeMichaelBaileySuperman2878andramus Recent comment authors
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andramus
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andramus

Michael,
In my comment on your review of last week’s episode I put forward that I didn’t think Rama Khan/Leviathan were solely motivated by the issue of climate change.
>
I was curious if this week’s episode led you to reconsider your interpretation of Leviathan’s motives/agenda or reinforced it.

MichaelBailey
Member

It reinforced it, but only on a sub-textual level. It wasn’t as in your face as most of the other social commentary because they were focused mainly on Lena for the emotional heart of the episode. I don’t think it was as heavy handed, but some of Khan’s dialogue made me think that, at the very least, the idea of humans causing climate change was in the back of their minds.

andramus
Member
andramus

According to Rama Khan he has been around for millions of years and over that time has exterminated millions of humans on numerous occasions.

It seems to me that he has an underlying antagonism towards humanity that predates climate change. If climate change is an issue it’s only the latest one. At least that’s how it comes across to me.

andramus
Member
andramus

I won’t deny that Lena is being a tad hypocritical but I do think there are different kinds of lies and deception. Keeping personal secrets is one thing. Such as not revealing that you are gay or an alien.

It’s another thing altogether to pretend you are two different people and carry on a two separate relationships with someone.

Every time Lena confided in Kara something that she would not have told Supergirl her trust was automatically breached because what Kara knew Supergirl also knew and Lena did not know that.

Superman2878
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Superman2878

What I’ve been wondering these past couple of weeks is, is Lena angry with Kara for not telling her about her secret identity sooner, or is it that she found out about it from Lex who she believes she killed? I just don’t understand why she’s so mad at Kara for keeping this secret from her when the secrets that she has kept from Kara at far worse. I wouldn’t even call the secret that Kara kept bad at all. She has a secret identity. It’s meant to protect herself and those she cares about most. So in a way,… Read more »

Superman2878
Member
Superman2878

I meant that Lena killed Lex because she was trying to protect Kara from Lex, but after Lex told her of Kara’s secret shortly before his death, Lena now feels that she killed Lex for Kara, and she hates her for it.

MichaelBailey
Member

I get what you’re saying, though, and it’s an interesting perspective. I think I sometimes get caught up in siding with the main character so much that I can be a little “blind” to another way of thinking, but at the same time because I know Kara’s motivations for keeping her double life a secret I know there is a good reason. If I was going to fully agree with you that Kara’s actions were bad I would counter that Lena’s actions rise above personal secrets. I think there is a difference between personal secrets and experimenting on someone, which… Read more »

Superman2878
Member
Superman2878

True. I can see your point.

andramus
Member
andramus

I never thought Lena was entirely in the right and to be honest she has gone a bit off the deep end. I’ve got mixed thoughts on the morality of Lena’s human experimentation. In the real world medical research companies test experimental drugs on humans and occasionally some humans die from unforeseen interactions. Yet for the most part as long as it is done legally society views this as an acceptable practice because of the overall benefits that come with developing new and better medicines. The experiments Lena was doing with the harunel weren’t just to give people superpowers. When… Read more »

redcape
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redcape

Look at that shot above with her standing next to Jon holding that gun type weapon. Does she look like Supergirl in that costume??

Superman2878
Member
Superman2878

True. She does need to change the suit.