Good old-fashioned disaster strikes on this week's "Supergirl" when an earthquake hits National City. This may be the worst timing ever (so inconsiderate, earthquake!) given that Kara (Melissa Benoist) still hasn't recovered her powers after having burnt them out defeating Red Tornado.
What follows is a not-so-original, yet still therapeutic musing on what really makes a hero. Sure, superpowers help, but, sometimes, you have to try your best to do whatever is in your power to help the people around you. Sometimes, that has to be enough. It certainly is for a certain shapeshifting alien who revealed his true identity in tonight's ep...
Here are the seven biggest moments from "Human For a Day."
Kara is kind of the worst at being human.CBS
To be fair, it would be really scary to go from having superhuman powers of invincibility to, you know, being one of us lowly humans, but Kara seems to be particularly accident prone. First, she cut her hand on Cat's broken glass last week. This week, she gets a cold within two days of being "human," and proceeds to break her arm when James tackles her out of the way of a crashing car mid-earthquake. Let's hope Kara never loses her powers again because Supergirl is a total klutz.
Maxwell Lord hates on Supergirl some more.CBS
Ever the opportunist, Maxwell Lord uses Supergirl's absence in the wake of the National City disaster to cast aspersions on our girl. He sees Supergirl's lack of reliability as just another example of why the city needs to learn how to take care of itself — even going so far as to call Supergirl "like heroine for the welfare state" to Kara.
To be fair, Lord has a point. The city should be able to take care of itself without Supergirl. But a quick-fix superhero-type isn't serving the same function of institutions like the courts or the city council. (Just saying.) And why should National City have to choose? Why can't it have both a city that functions and is (mostly) able to take care of itself and a flying cinnamon roll badass who regularly saves snakes from trees?
James and Cat inspire Kara to work with what she's got.
Though Kara may not have her powers, she hasn't lost her desire to help others — aka the thing that makes her a hero. Desperate and feeling helpless after watching a man bleed out from injuries sustained in the earthquake, James and Cat are there to inspire. James tells her that she is the same person she was without her powers, while Cat broadcasts a message to counter Maxwell Lord's. She argues that Supergirl is not only necessary as a super-powered fix-it, but as an example of the selflessness and heroism we all have inside of us. And Kara believes it. She throws on her uniform when she sees an armed robbery in progress. Even though she is no longer bulletproof and can do nothing physical to stop the man.
But it turns out Kara doesn't need her superhuman strength, speed, and TK. She is already a symbol and she inspires the man to hand over his gun. James catches the moment on camera. Which leads to...
Kara and James are still falling for one another. (Sometimes literally.)
Guys, this is starting to get pretty intense. James opens up to Kara about losing his father. Kara goes in for the hug (which is actually more like a vertical cuddle). Winn walks in and later shames Kara for it in a totally not-cool way, even though his criticisms have some validity given the fact that James has a girlfriend.
It all comes to a head, however, when Kara angsts her superpowers back into place to save James life. (Because she loves him so much.) #Karolsen for the win. [Side note, how did Kara have time to change into her Supergirl uniform before saving James from falling down an elevator shaft?!]
Alex doesn't need superpowers to take on the world.
OK, so she technically did need Henshaw's help to take down Jemm, but she was doing pretty well on her own considering she is just a lowly human. I'm not sure if I agree with her decision to confront Henshaw about her father's death in the middle of a D.E.O crisis with a telepathic alien on the loose, but Alex is a badass who earns every move she makes, so...
Though Jemm was a cool addition to this episode, I couldn't help but think his appearance was wasted in an episode that had so much else going on. Hopefully, we will see him again in the future — particularly in relation to Henshaw's ever-evolving storyline...
The D.E.O. just got way more interesting.
As necessary as the D.E.O. storyline may be on "Supergirl," it didn't really hit any solid emotional notes until tonight's ep, with Hank Henshaw's reveal that he's not really Hank Henshaw at all. In fact, he's not even human. Henshaw is actually a shapeshifting alien names J'onn J'onzz, known in the DC comics world as Martian Manhunter.
In the "Supergirl" world, J'onzz was the alien the real Hank Henshaw and Alex's father, Jeremiah Danvers, were after on the trip that would end in both of their deaths. When Henshaw ordered J'onzz exterminated, Jeremiah sacrificed his life for him, and made J'onzz promise that he'd look after his daughter. This is why J'onzz, who went on to impersonate Henshaw, recruited Alex for the D.E.O.
Sure, it's all a bit expository, but it is a twist that makes the D.E.O. stuff a heck of a lot more interesting. "Hank" and Alex already had a potentially fascinating father/daughter relationship, but this ups the ante. It also creates a source of tension between Alex and Kara, and J'onzz made Alex swear she wouldn't tell anyone his true identity — not even Kara.
Astra is back.
Of course, Kara doesn't even have a chance to catch her breath and enjoy her newly-returned superpowers before she is rugby-tackled out of the sky by one of her evil aunt's minions. That's right: General Astra is back and I don't think it's to wish Kara a Merry Christmas. (And not just because they don't have Christmas on Krypton.)