Superman on Television
Supergirl: Episode Reviews
Season 3 - Episode 12: "For Good"Reviewed by: Christopher Hart
Originally Aired: January 29, 2018
WRITTEN BY: Cindy Lichtman and Alix Sternberg
DIRECTED BY: Tawnia McKiernan
Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers/Supergirl)
Chyler Leigh (Alex Danvers)
Mehcad Brooks (James Olsen)
David Harewood (Hank Henshaw/J'onn J'onzz)
Jeremy Jordan (Winslow "Winn" Schott)
Odette Annable (Samantha Arias/Reign)
Chris Wood (Mon-El)
Adrian Pasdar (Morgan Edge)
Brenda Strong (Lillian Luthor)
Krys Marshall (Julia Freeman)
Rating - 2 (out of 5): "This world is a crazy place right now... people acting, reacting, escalating behaviours... sniping at each other, going round and round in circles, not doing any good." - J'onn J'onzz
Even a strong season can produce a duff episode. In Season 2, I found 'Ace Reporter' to be a truly sub-par effort. This week's episode was Season 3's equivalent of 'Ace Reporter'. It lacked any real punch or weight, it was littered with poor CGI, and it really doesn't hold its ground when viewed alongside the rest of this season.
In an escalating, underhand bout between Lena Luthor and Morgan Edge, the writers presented assassination attempt after assassination attempt, each time implying that the other might be behind it. It meant we got everything from a reductive 'escape from the out of control car' scene to an old school, Borgia-style poisoning.
As our team made efforts to intervene and protect Lena, Lillian Luthor came back into play. She returns because of her strong (though skewed) maternal instincts - she wants to save her daughter and to kill the man who's gunning for her child. Mothers and daughters are a strong theme this season - from Samantha and Ruby, to Alex's maternal desires (she'll probably end up adopting Ruby), to Lena's attempts to be better than her mother, mummy issues are everywhere.
As Lillian made her very public attempt on Morgan's life, she suddenly brought out something very unexpected - the Lexo suit (the Lex Luthor armor that's a staple of Superman lore). Shining green (with better CGI that much of the rest of the episode) and pulling on the nostalgia strings of Lex-fans, it showed that Lillian (an older woman) is just as capable of flying around and fighting our heroes as anyone else.
Equally Morgan Edge, despite his age, showed himself capable of hurling himself from a moving car, to save his own life, while leaving himself intact enough to march into CatCo angry and accusatory. It's just a shame that the exploding car CGI looked terrible. I felt the same about the show's opening dream sequence, too - while it allowed us a nice look at all of the Worldkillers (with Pestilence conveniently hazed over, to retain a little of her mystery), the visual of them floating over a fiery landscape looked silly.
Guardian showing up - however noble James' intentions - is never good thing. In the transition to Season 3, the writers thankfully brushed Guardian into a dark corner, knowing that he's not a fan favorite. He's always been one of the poorer heroes in the show and if he's given any kind of screen time at all, you know it's a sign that this is intended as a filler episode.
J'onn mentioned that the back and forth sniping reminded him of Mars before the Civil War. This isn't the first time that he's made a comment like this and these little pieces of insight are great, as they show that even a seemingly good and noble race like the green martians are imperfect and that all societies have their flaws and their villains. J'onn also mentions that our world itself suffers from similar sniping, which is no doubt a reference to the current political climate, and how politicians similarly "go round and round in circles, not doing any good."
Another superb reference was Mon-El's casual line about a prior foe of the Legion. He mentions that Brainiac-5 also used drones against Computo once. Computo is an enemy of the Legion of Superheroes, in the comics. He's a robot created by Brainiac-5 who malfunctions and turns homicidal. It's a similar reference to the Starro name-drop by Wally West in The Flash a while back - one that warms the blood of DC fans, while also being a little bittersweet, as you know these are villains so bizarre that we'll never get to see them on screen.
Kara's "don't grab women, sweetheart," seemed more than a little intentionally placed, given the landscape in Hollywood and in television at the moment. And given what The CW's cast went through with Andrew Kriesberg, before he was fired from the network. It's a small, empowered line, but when viewed in the light of recent events, it becomes all the more important and powerful.
Lena's logic this week was baffling - forcing a man into a confession won't get you anywhere. A confession while under duress wouldn't be admissible in court and her recording, while open to some sneaky editing, even holds evidence of her saying "that drone's programmed to kill you" and commanding Morgan to confess.
With Morgan being such a great character and Adrian portraying him so well, it's baffling why this episode didn't have more of an impact than it did. It shows that hampered writing can reduce the overall quality of an episode, no matter how strong the delivery. Just like the eggs benedict (according to Morgan's tastes), this episode was mediocre and, unfortunately, it fits right in with some of the show's weakest efforts.
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