The Arrowverse – Supergirl 3×05 “Damage” review

Damage

In the premiere episode of the season new antagonist Morgan Edge was used in such a cliche real estate villain trying to take over way, mirroring some of Lex Luthor’s plans from a couple of the Superman films, that he didn’t come off as a villain more than just a caricature. That definitely changed this week when he proved that he is not only a petty person seeking revenge but a petty revenge seeking monstrous villain willing to stoop to any level to destroy those that are against him, aiming his focus towards Lena Luthor.

Those hoping for a lighter episode, something in short supply this season, this episode is definitely not that. From the children said to be poisoned by Lena Luthor’s lead device from last season to assassination attempts to references to both Flint, Michigan and the chants of “Lock her up,” this episode is very heavy. That is not necessarily a bad thing as a big part of superheroes both in comic book and other media forms is that they don’t always take on problems that can be punched. Sometimes they are confronted with social or other issues that they have to find other ways to help with to save the day outside of their powers. It was very interesting to see Kara teaming up with Samantha, the soon to be villainous Reign, to use their brains in order to figure out what was happening and to try and save Lena and her reputation.

Not even the subplot of this week’s episode gives any bit of levity or relief for those seeking it.

Damage

After basically screaming from the top of the cliffs to telegraph that it was coming for four episodes, the series finally actively did what we all knew was coming: they ended the Maggie/Alex relationship. While their reasons for breaking up, Alex wants kids and Maggie doesn’t, is understandable and a real reason couples break up all the time it just comes off hollow. Mainly because the series spent more time showing that the relationship was going to fail than how it was going to work. Though I suppose they should be given credit for just doing it right off the bat instead of dragging the actual breakup decision across the episode. In fact they even skipped ahead some because right away it’s mentioned that the talk of kids and a break up had been something the two had discussed for days before the episode began. Writers were so gung-ho to end the relationship, granted it had to happen because Floriana Lima could no longer be a series regular, they handled most of it off-screen just to speed it up.

While these superhero series are on The CW, for a younger audience at times and drama is going to reign (no relation to the upcoming villain) there, the constant bashing of relationships over such huge drama reasons does become a bit tiresome. Hopefully the Barry/Iris and Oliver/Felicity relationships on the fellow shows will be healthier and longer lasting than the relationships of Alex and Kara. Not that this was not a healthy relationship. It was stretched out across the episode that the two still loved one another and were having a hard time calling it quits, but even after they have a moment where they almost rekindle things it still comes to an end. Kara and Alex taking a trip home and exploring how they became so close should be a very interesting followup episode.

The most successful subplot that the series has going right now is the slow burn that is the growth of Reign. Unlike most times where the big bad is just revealed and does evil things off the bat, there is so much more being put forward here with Samantha’s slow realization that she is something more than human. How this loving single-mother and L-Corp executive that is friends with Lena & Kara will become a villain is a big question that I truly cannot wait to see how they answer. Most likely it has to do with the religious shadow cult introduced during the last episode and the secret ship that was uncovered far below the surface. Only time will tell.

Final Thoughts:

Like most of the Arrowverse, Supergirl started off it’s season roughly but has quickly turned things around. This episode was deep and full of a lot of hefty topics but it moved the narrative forward and still felt hopeful and right for the series. Not every episode has to have a cackling powered villain of the week in order to challenge the hero & her associates. In a strange way Morgan Edge is filling the antagonist Luthor role that Lena’s brother fills for Superman, which is nice because it allows Lena to continue to be on the side of good alongside Kara. A bit of Luthor did peek out in this episode making it clear that Lena as a hero or ally might not be something that lasts forever, as that streak of Luthor vengeance and ruthlessness does exist somewhere deep within. While the end of Alex/Maggie is a shame, I’m glad that it’s finally over and the series can stop beating us over the head that the end is coming as they have done for weeks.

Score: 9 out of 10

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