Supergirl’s very uneven season continues as the various problems get worse for almost everyone. A major surprise gets dropped, someone goes through a change that I suspect is more serious than it looks, and another subplot ends as there’s an additional discovery about someone’s lies. All this and a new villain shows up to give everyone a hard time in “Tremors.”
To start things off, Supergirl and J’Onn are sparring in one of the empty rooms at the DEO. Both aren’t at the top of their game, and have different reasons for that. Their discussion about what’s bothering them gets cut off by an unexpected development. While that gets dealt with, Lena gets a visitor she was clearly prepared for, and shows why you really shouldn’t underestimate a Luthor. After Lena handles that, she talks about the next step in her plans with H-Eve. The assistant/AI worries about an upcoming public appearance, but Lena isn’t remotely concerned.
There’s a lot of concern about the earlier issue, and J’Onn, Supergirl, and Alex talk through it. It sounds as if the problem has its roots in memories, guilt, and family complications, but that’s something like half the show’s major plots. After some discussion, they split up to look into things their own ways. While this goes on, the mysterious woman from Leviathan gets some screen time, a name, and shows us some of the inner workings of that mysterious group. One of the leaders is Rama Khan, played by Mitch Pileggi, best known as Assistant Director Skinner from the X-Files. There’s some dissension in the ranks, especially between Rama Khan and Gamemnae, another leader. Determined to do things his way, Rama crashes one of Lena’s public events, requiring a last-minute rescue from Supergirl.
Returning to the DEO, Brainy gives a presentation of some of Rama Khan’s greatest hits throughout history. The guy gets around. Lena, Alex, and Supergirl are impressed, and Lena uses this and some follow up ideas as a way to wrangle an invitation to the Fortress of Solitude. Personally, I might check with the owner of the place before bringing the sister of his greatest enemy there, but that’s me. J’Onn prays and invokes his father’s spirit for guidance. Death is apparently very different for Martians. J’Onn goes over his worries and goal with his father, and then gets a very big surprise. Brainy and Alex follow up on a lead and get a big surprise. The aftermath shows them both hurt, and Brainy like we haven’t seen him in some time.
Lena and Supergirl get to the Fortress, which looks a lot different than previous visits. The Fortress AI, which seems to have taken the place of the robot Kel-Ex, takes exception to Lena’s presence, and Supergirl has to do some fast work to prevent the Fortress from taking out her friend. Supergirl is a bit surprised by the extent of her cousin’s defenses, and Lena keeps playing her part and defends Superman’s choices. M’yrrn gives J’Onn some advice and lays out a stark choice he’s going to have to make. Alex, slower to recover than Brainy, comes to in the DEO medbay with a very worried Kelly by her side.
Back at the Fortress, Lena’s control is slipping and she gets in a few barbs about Supergirl’s rescues and al the secret’s she’s kept. Gamemnae and Rama Khan argue more, but the disagreement helps him figure something out. Lena is impressed with the technology at the Fortress, and drools a bit while Kara searches the database for any info on Rama Khan. This unearths, of course, a connection to Krypton, because doesn’t everything? The computer goes over an inventory of Lex’s gadgets and weapons that have been stored here for safekeeping, and they get some ideas about what to look for. Supergirl wants to update Brainy, but Lena offers to do it, and the Girl of Steel doesn’t seem to think it’s at all odd that Lena knows how to operate Kryptonian tech. J’Onn and M’yrnn discuss their options some more, and J’Onn isn’t happy about what he’s finding out. On another enigmatic note, M’yrnn goes back to wherever he is when he’s not haunting J’Onn.
Kara and Lena go through an impressive armory, and Lena asks about a nasty gadget from the show’s past. Kara mentions she’d like to destroy that one, but never explains what’s stopping her. They come up with something that might stop Rama, at least long enough to see if a DEO power damper will work on him. Brainy has some odd aftereffects from his earlier incident, and somehow or other deduces that Leviathan is based in National City. Why wouldn’t it be? Alex and Kelly play cards (I guess Kelly manages to not be at work as much as Kara and Nia do) and then we get a long emotional outburst from Kelly about her past. Their tender moment gets interrupted when Brainy bursts in and demands Alex come with him to find Leviathan’s base.
The pair of them go check things out, because if you’re going to the base of a powerful and dangerous group, why would you bring backup, especially of the superpowered variety? Brainy shows he (or the writers) failed basic architecture during his lecture, and then they go in and do various dumb things. Alex comes to her senses enough to call for help, but that’s when Rama shows up at the Fortress. The fight goes back and forth, but then Supergirl starts fighting smarter and Lena helps out, and they drive Rama off. It’d be a cool, triumphant moment, except that’s when Lena finally reveals what she’s up to. It’s a nasty speech from Ms. Luthor, full of hurt and bad feeling, and Supergirl is shocked and upset. Her mood doesn’t get any better when Lena shows how far she’s ready to go by stealing something and trapping Supergirl in the Fortress’ defenses which she’s somehow managed to hack. Lena once again proclaims she’s not a villain, but A) if you have to keep saying that so often, you’re probably wrong, and B) she’s hacking, lying, stealing, and kidnapping. Those ain’t the actions of a hero.
J’Onn, of course, makes the heroic choice, and takes a big risk by going to his brother. Malefic is ready to kill J’Onn, and there’s a lot of talking, but a mind-link finally reveals the truth. There’s a bit here that doesn’t make any sense about the way Malefic’s being held captive. Kelly and Alex have a long talk about what Kelly’s going through, and the episode ends with a trapped Supergirl crying over the betrayal of her friend, although I have no doubt she’ll blame herself all through next episode.
What I liked: I’m glad Lena’s telling the truth. I’m intrigued by the change in Brainy, and wonder how long until that proves to be very, very bad. It was nice seeing M’yrnn again. Rama Khan is a powerful foe, and I’m glad we got to see more of Leviathan.
What I didn’t: What happened to Kel-Ex? Why does the Fortress have some kind of AI now, and how does Lena know enough to hack it? There was a part of the scene with J’Onn and Malefic that made no sense at all, like Brainy’s building screw up. The Fortress looks completely different than on past visits. Did Kara redecorate when Kal left the planet?
Some good, and more bad. I’m giving this a low 2.5 out of 5.