Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Supergirl - Damage

Kevin Smith returns to direct another episode of Supergirl. While the episode's final B-story finally deals with the long-teased break-up of Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Maggie (Floriana Lima), in a very grown-up manner, the episode's B-story feels a bit more like a comic book as Moran Edge (Adrian Pasdar) returns to take some revenge. While the show eventually dumped plans for Maxwell Lord to play a larger role as a Lex Luthor stand-in, with "Damages" the show's writers go all-in on Edge as he uses the media to paint Lena Luther (Katie McGrath) as a dangerous industrialist responsible for the lead poisoning causing health issues in several of National City's children.

The framework of the main plot reminded me quite a bit of "The Man of Steel Bars" from the First Season of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in which Lex Luthor uses the media to frame Superman's heroics as the cause of a heatwave to undermine the city's accpetance of their new hero. While pulling on plot threads of previous episodes, "Damages" crystallizes Edge as a major villain while also showing us a deadlier side of Lena than we've seen before. It's no big surprise that the Luthor tech Lena used to save National City isn't what is causing the sickness, but Edge's willingness to cause life-threatening illness in a city's child population just to feed petty revenge tells us, and our heroine, all we need to know about just how far he's willing to go to get what he wants.

The show's biggest emotional moments come from the Alex/Maggie subplot as the pair finally part ways. It's here the show leads with its heart and provides both actresses freedom to run the gamut of emotions while saying goodbye to the one you love. The Lena/Kara/Samantha (Odette Annable) moments almost get lost with everything else happening this week, but the show continues to build on these relationships while teasing a larger role for Samantha this season. While Edge's evil machinations are likely to cause trouble for Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and friends over the remainder of the season, Alex's broken heart has more immediate effects as next week will take the Danvers girls back home providing flashbacks to teenage versions of Alex and Kara long before either of the pair signed-up to save the world.

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