Things get a bit odd on Supergirl this week. “Wake Up” is the title for this episode, and they deal out a few big surprises. The first ones to get surprised are the crew of a small sub, who are checking on the damage under the waterfront after the big attack down there. They find a starship, which disables their sub.
At their home, Samantha is making dinner for her and Ruby. Ruby is worried about her mother, and with good cause. Samantha is thinking about the weird recent events around her, and then plunges her hand into the boiling water. Samantha suddenly runs off, sending Ruby to a friend’s and cancelling movie night.
M’Yrnn, J’Onn’s dad, is roaming the DEO, looking lost. Winn directs him to the bathroom, which he apparently hasn’t used in the few weeks he’s been there. Winn is worried about M’Yrnn, and tries to bring his concerns to J’Onn. Part of the concern is that M’Yrnn spent something like 300 years as a prisoner, and might not know how to behave now that he’s free. Winn suggests Hank take his father out into the non-DEO, real world. This is about when Supergirl flies in, and they brief her on the incident with the sub. The ship it found has been there 12,000 years, and the metal it’s made from isn’t on the periodic table.
Supergirl walks down the street with Winn and Hank, trying to find the ship. This is kind of dumb if Winn and Hank are supposed to be part of a top-secret government agency. Kind of ranks up there with when SHIELD was supposedly a secret but had its logo on everything. They figure out where the ship should be. Supergirl is about to do Superman’s human drill trick when Hank suggests another way that doesn’t do massive property damage. He brings them into an alley, out of sight, grabs hold of both of them and phases them down through the street. So I guess they haven’t completely forgotten J’Onn has powers, they’re just not using him for reasons that are unclear and foolish. They end up down in the ship, and someone shoots at them. To surprise all the way around, the figure steps out of the shadows and it’s a bearded Mon-El.
Alex is thrilled to see him when they get him back to the DEO, although everyone is puzzled about how he’s breathing in the lead aftermath. The language they briefly heard him speaking on the ship was Saturnian. Mon didn’t attack the sub, the ship’s automated defenses did that. He says the other pods they see on the ship have passengers like him. Mon’s memories are hazy about why he’s up and the others aboard aren’t. Kara shoos everyone out to let him rest, and he talks about trying to get a message to her. She says it was a rough seven months of not knowing what happened to him.
Samantha has gone on a road trip to get some answers. She goes to see her mother (because everyone lives near National City), and her mother comments she’s never met Ruby. They argue about her past, and Samantha asks about anything weird happening with her in the past. It comes out that Samantha was adopted, and then mom shows her an even bigger secret that shocks Samantha. It also gives her something to help find more clues.
Kara watches Mon sleep, which can look tender but always seems creepy to write. James is happy for her, although not sure about Mon’s beard. They both wonder about what he’s been through and what’s happened in his absence.
After what she found out earlier, Samantha takes a hurried trip, going home just long enough to grab a few things and reassure Ruby. As this goes on, Winn suggests J’Onn take his dad outside for a bit. They go, and J’Onn is still focused on work. After an amusing bit about M’Yrnn calling coffee “brown water,” J’Onn admits most of his life has been focused on the DEO. It’s an awkward scene that makes both of them feel bad.
At the DEO, Mon-El wakes up, looks around, and then sneaks off to the vault. He steals something, has a bad run in with some guards, and then gets past them only to be punched out by Supergirl. This time, he wakes up in a cell. He and Kara have a tearful talk when he won’t say what’s going on. She leaves, feeling even worse.
Samantha goes out to the desert and her car overheats. While she walks off, Winn takes his turn to go see Mon. Nice the writers remembered their friendship. They argue a lot about what’s going on. Mon yells things are different now. After a lot of going back and forth, Mon pleads for Winn’s help and says if he can’t get back to the ship, people will get hurt. It sounds more like desperation than a threat.
Supergirl goes back to the cell to try again, and finds it open and empty. Back on the ship, Mon and Winn are working together. Supporting a theory of mine, the markings on the ship appear to be Interlac, the language used in the Legion of Super Heroes’ time. Supergirl shows up, worried about Winn and mad at Mon-El. The argument goes on, and then Mon drops one big surprise: it’s been seven months for Supergirl and friends, fine. But it’s been seven years for Mon.
We see a flashback of him in the pod, and he tells them he’s been in the 31st Century. L Corp develops a cure for the lead issue about four hundred years in the future, which is why he’s ok (in the Legion stories, Brainiac 5 cured Mon-El). On the ship, the systems start crashing. Mon can’t punch through the glass, saying it’s white dwarf material (what powers Atom’s suit over on Legends of Tomorrow). Finally, one of the life support pods opens and a dark haired woman falls out.
In the desert, Samantha hurls the crystal she got away from her, and it makes a Fortress of Sand-itude, a bit like Clark’s in the Arctic. Does everyone get one of these but Kara? In DEO’s medbay, the woman from the pod is getting treated. Mon says she’s from Titan, and that she’s also from the future. Alex is surprised to hear this, as is everyone else.
J’Onn brings his dad to an apartment. He wants them to share it, and talks about how he buried himself in work. They both agree there’s a lot of beauty on this world. After some discussion, they agree to move in together. Does this sound like the set up for a bad sit-com to anyone else?
Mon-El and Kara talk on a balcony at the DEO. He kept the necklace she gave him, as a reminder of all the things she did for him, what she meant to him. They share a joke and break some tension, and he says it’s good to see her again. Then he finally drops the bombshell: the woman is Imra Ardeen, and they’re married. This derails two of the long-standing romances in the Legion. Mon-El has been with Shadow Lass through most of the team’s history. Imra Ardeen, AKA Saturn Girl, is one of the founding members of the team, and in their books, she and Garth “Lightning Lad” Ranzz eventually marry and have kids.
The final scene is of Samantha in her sand castle. The AI there tells her a lot of surprising things, and we finally see why she’s been such a big part of this season. She has a big future coming, and it’s going to be unpleasant for the Girl of Steel.
What I liked: I’m glad Mon came back, and we’re learning about his… past? Future? The scenes with J’Onn and M’Yrnn were nice. “Brown Water” was funny. It’s good to see another Legionnaire, even if it’s a very different version.
What I didn’t: I don’t get why they are using the Legion but changing so much. Mon has a love interest in that book/era. Why change it? In my experience, super hero movies/shows start going off the rails when they make random changes for no reason (look how hard Arrow is bending over trying to reconcile their four different Black Canaries, plus an evil one now). I thought it was weird they finally let J’Onn do something, but it was using a power in a way I’ve never seen in any show, cartoon, or comic book. We hear there are other people on the ship, but they never get names.
I thought it was an uneven episode, granting I have some biases about them playing weird game with the Legion. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5.