Well that was a doozy of a revelation amidst an overall pretty good episode! The concept this week, of course, was that Kara would be powerless for a few days due to overexerting herself during her battle against Red Tornado last week. Teased at the end of that episode, with Kara cutting herself on broken glass, our hero doesn’t take to well to the idea that she may not get her powers back. After all, even when this happens to Superman, it clears up quicker!
The supervillain antics this week were confined solely to the DEO and the heroics of Director Hank Henshaw and Alex Danvers. Kara was instead tasked with trying to figure out a way to reignite her abilities against the backdrop of a city cast into turmoil in the wake of some earthquakes. I’ve seen some imply that they might have been manmade, especially due to Maxwell Lord being present throughout to chastise Supergirl for not helping people. This is made more suspicious by the fact that he seems to be aware of her temporary lack of abilities? Is he behind these attacks? If so, he doesn’t let on this week.
Naturally Kara eventually does regain them, but it’s fun watching her squirm a bit in the interim. She gets a wonderful moment in a convenience store at one point that is probably the best scene Benoist has had in the costume thus far. It’s a simple sequence, but a great one.
As for the twist? Alex and Kara have suspected for awhile now that Hank Henshaw was responsible for the death of Dr. Jeremiah Danvers (Alex’s father). It turns out that they are right, but the man before them is not who he claims. It seems Henshaw and Jeremiah fired off down to Peru a long time ago to track down a marooned alien. Henshaw wanted to destroy him, whereas Jeremiah didn’t. In the ensuing chaos, both Henshaw and Jeremiah were killed. That alien, J’onn J’onzz, took the form of Henshaw and…at the urging of a dying Jeremiah…vowed to keep Alex safe.
That’s right, folks! Hank Henshaw is really Martian Manhunter. This was actually a really sly move on the part of the showrunners; fooling not only regular viewers, but fans as well. In the comics, Hank Henshaw is actually Cyborg Superman, a half-robot being created to mimic the powers of the Man of Steel. What we had seen from Henshaw in terms of his hidden abilities thus far perfectly fit into that thinking. The glowing red eyes and the superhuman strength both fit the bill when it came to Cyborg Superman. They also fit Martian Manhunter, but we wouldn’t have even thought to question it. By having us focused on the obvious, we missed what was really going on and remained surprised when the shoe dropped. Bravo, people! Bravo!
Next week brings the mid-season finale. It appears Kara is about to get herself into a knockdown, drag out fight with her evil aunt Astra and her equally mad Kryptonian criminal cohorts. How will the stakes be raised beyond the usual threats? I don’t know. Given that I was blindsided by this week’s reveal, I trust that they have something up their sleeves to keep things interesting.
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