Supergirl and friends have some rough choices facing them as they deal with “In Search Of Lost Time.” It starts with Sam in her hospital bed with Lena trying to take care of her. Lena lapses into techno-babble a lot, but the gist of it is Lena seems sure she can help Sam. Sam’s been out cold in all this, and as Lena ends the sedation, she hopes Sam is going to be the one who wakes up. That’s a fair concern. I’d rather not be up close and personal with Reign, either.
For the rest of the crew, it’s game night at Kara’s again. M’yrnnn is inadvertently cheating at Charades, commenting that humans have so many rules in their games. Winn tries out a few nicknames for M’Rryn, the winner of which has to be the Martian Man-Father. Now that they’ve had their big tense secret scene last episode, everyone knows about M’yrnn’s illness, and Kara commiserates with J’Onn. The flow of embarrassing stories about J’Onn’s childhood gets interrupted by a report of a fight down at the nameless bar, which leads to the best costume change I think I’ve ever seen on any hero show.
The fight itself is short, with a small comedy bit involving a photo booth. With passing references to Roadhouse and astrology, the team meets up back at the DEO, with no leads on what happened to the previously peaceful bar-fighter or the missing World Killers. Mon-El is really worried about Pestilence, who should be the easiest to see coming, attended by Biblical-style plagues and such. They do have one slim possible lead, which we learn Brainiac 5 and Saturn Girl are off trying to run down, conveniently getting them out of the episode. Supergirl pushes Mon for some of the training he mentioned last episode, and he agrees.
At Lena’s private lab (it’s never good when a Luthor has one of those, even Lena, who seems pretty damn cool), Sam wakes up, looking rough and ragged. Lena shares her theory with Sam, who recoils from it in horrified denial. Lena is taking her promise to help Sam to extreme levels, and is going to some extremes to do it. Sam isn’t happy about this.
In another nice change from many hero shows, the training isn’t just two characters fighting or hitting some variation of a punching bag. Mon has three dimensional reconstructions of some of Reign and Supergirl’s fights, and is running through them with her, studying Reign’s weaknesses. It’s nice to see some brains applied to fighting, especially at the level Mon and Supergirl are at. Winn comes in at the end of this with some news about one small victory for the team.
Back at the J’Onnz’s apartment, M’yrnn is playing some kind of traditional Martian game that he believes is helping his condition. We also see that M’yrnn’s sense of humor is wickedly intact. J’Onn has some worries about the earlier outburst in the bar, but doesn’t really pursue it much here.
Lena spends more time trying to explain things to Sam. Sam is still in denial about Reign, and says some harsh things to her friend and boss. Lena gets called away when James Olsen shows up, paying a surprise visit after Lena kept ducking his calls, as we saw last week. It’s actually a good scene, showing both of them in a really good light, individually and as a couple. He offers her an example of something he went through at one point, but doesn’t push her to tell him what’s going on. The more I think about this, the more I think this was my favorite scene of the episode.
We finally see Mon-El in costume, not the weird black jumpsuit he’s been wearing since his return. It’s a nice visual for comic book fans, especially those of us that like the Legion of Super Heroes, as this costume is a damn near perfect recreation of that one. He starts showing Supergirl some fighting tricks, which is an interesting reversal of their earlier relationship.
J’Onn brings his father to the DEO. The Man-Father (yep, I love that name) declines a trip to the medbay so he can go pray. This proves to be a mistake as his problems spread through the DEO, changing minor aggravations to full-blown rage. This goes badly for Supergirl and Mon’s training, as well as Winn having a confrontation with an agent. This spasm passes, and, while J’Onn clearly has his suspicions, he doesn’t share them. They do at least draw on past experience, getting some gear they used when they were fighting Psi. Supergirl and Alex talk about their experiences during the strange episode as they go check on the various prisoners. The alien from the bar earlier is having a seizure and babbling in Martian, which is a big clue, and a nice distraction so Supergirl doesn’t have to face her conflicting feelings about Mon-El.
Lena does have some of the Luthor ruthlessness, but she tempers it with compassion and channels it into good causes. Lena uses this to push Sam into accepting what’s happening. Sam denies it, tempers flare (without M’yrrn’s help) and Lena finally gets the result she was no doubt going for. It’s a good thing she had her lab reinforced.
J’Onn talks to Supergirl and Alex about what’s happening with his father. The technique M’yrrn is using to battle his illness is causing “psychic bleeds” which is what is causing the contagious rage. As an aside, this is a great example of the weird callousness/blindspot most of the CW shows have. We now know the alien from the bar was a victim of M’yrrn’s condition, and they’re holding her captive over something that’s not her fault, and that’s never acknowledged. It really does seem to be that, on these shows, the majority of the characters’ concern is for people they know. The comparison between the Martian disease and Alzheimer’s get stretched a bit further here with a story from Alex about her grandmother.
Sam recovers from her episode, shaken and confused. Lena, after a bit more harshness, is reassuring, telling her friend that they learned something and knowledge is power. Mon and Supergirl go back to training, and we learn why he wasn’t affected by the rage-wave earlier. Supergirl still isn’t facing up to her feelings as she pushes to just focus on fighting.
J’Onn finally, reluctantly, tries to do the responsible thing with M’yrnn, bringing him to a room at the DEO to dampen M’yrnn’s power. A difficult aspect of Alzheimer’s to deal with is the patient’s fits of rage, and that kicks in here. The rage spreads out again, kicking off a riot in the building, and leading Supergirl to say some vicious things to Mon-El. Alex manages to get a damper on Supergirl, who suddenly looks sick at what she just did. One of the most amusing bits of the riot is Pam from HR coming after Winn for some reason or other we never learn. The prisoners ger loose, and J’Onn finally cuts loose in his full powered form, taking out a captive White Martian. It was bad CGI but some great fight moves. Supergirl manages to talk M’yrnn down, and he agrees to the damper, which looks a lot like the meta-cuffs they use over on Flash.
Sam checks in with Ruby on the phone, and Sam and Lena make plans to deal with Sam’s condition. The DEO cleans up after the big riot, and M’yrnn apologizes to everyone. Lena and James get another good scene, with James doing a very no-pressure, “Just came by to check in on you” visit. Kara apologizes to Mon and they both agree they have some past baggage, and to move on from it. Supergirl and Mon-El fly off in costume with what could be a nice ending to the episode, but something happens that speaks of bad things to come in their last few moments on screen.
What I liked: I know it’s Supergirl’s show, but I always like it when they let J’Onn cut loose. He’s an amazingly powerful character and one of my favorites from DC. While it was a little soap operatically over done, I think the scene with Kara and Mon was something that needed to be addressed. I really enjoyed the two James/Lena scenes. It was great seeing Mon in costume. I like that they went back to the things they used with Psi to help with the psychic issues. I thought Lena as both driven and compassionate was a nice blend. The first part of the training scene was a rare use of brains applied to combat.
What I didn’t: The general not caring about people who get hurt along the way is a recurring issue on a lot of the CW shows that’s really starting to bug me (anyone remember the reverend getting incinerated at the big wedding?). When did Winn start carrying a gun, especially inside the DEO headquarters?
It was a bit uneven of an episode, but overall pretty good. I’ll give it a high 3.5 out of 5. We’ll see what happens with the World-Killers in the near future, I expect.