I love evil twin episodes, and this was a good one. Not great, but come on -- not every show can pull off something like "Doppelgangland."
Bizarro is a Superboy/Superman character going back to 1958, and he's a popular character for a reason. Much like the version in this episode, the Bizarro character is powerful and dangerous but usually comes across as unfortunate and somewhat pathetic. Poor Jane Doe was just lying there in a coma, hurting no one, until Maxwell Lord took her away and made her into a brainwashed mirror image of Kara.
Here, Max was all about the god trip and the Frankenstein parallels, to the point of quoting Prometheus Unbound and making poor Bizarro refer to him as her lord. Actually, this is the episode where I had to admit to myself that Maxwell Lord does absolutely nothing for me. This is no small thing, since I spent years doing a half-assed job of reviewing Smallville because of my love for Michael Rosenbaum's complicated and nuanced interpretation of Lex Luthor. (I'm not kidding. He was fabulous.)
Although if I have to talk about Smallville versus Supergirl, there's no comparison when it comes to lead actors: Melissa Benoist could drop-kick Tom Welling into a wall of acting trophies. Kara sees herself as abnormal, so she couldn't help but feel a great deal of sympathy for body-napped, transformed Bizarro. I really liked the action pieces with their powers canceling each other out, and Kara fighting Bizarro in her office sweater set instead of her figure-skating togs. The Bizarro make-up in the second half was also excellent, and worked for the character.
Where this episode fell down was by continuing to focus too heavily on the love triangle and Kara's non-relationship with Cat's son Adam. Because Kara had to keep canceling dates with Adam in order to go save lives, she took it as the universe's way of telling her she couldn't date. Duh, Kara. The answer is obvious. You should be dating someone who already knows who you are.
And that would be James. Winn has taken himself out of the competition for Kara's favor and was unselfish enough to tell James to go for it, clearly forgetting that Lucy Lane still exists (probably because she wasn't in the episode). In turn, after he was kidnapped, James decided to tell Bizarro the truth about his feelings for Kara instead of telling Kara herself, because that would make sense. I did like that James told Bizarro that we all feel ugly sometimes, and that he doesn't love Kara because she's pretty, but because she's brave and kind and does the right thing. Is James holding back because Lucy just moved to National City to be with him? Sigh.
Let's see, what else? Cat was a lot of fun in this episode. The Invasion of the Body Snatchers reference when Cat was doing nice things for Kara in order to suck up to Adam made me laugh. So did "I guess I'll go roam the hallways of my building." But Kara, seriously, it's a good thing Adam went back to Opal City. You do not want Cat Grant as your mother-in-law. Not even a little bit.
The other plot point I haven't addressed yet was Alex arresting Maxwell Lord and tossing him in a DEO cell without due process. Why didn't Hank stop her? I've noticed that I don't usually have much to say about Alex, even I do like the character and I particularly like the fact that Kara has a sister who is such a big part of her work and home life. I wonder if maybe they just haven't done enough with Alex, at least so far? And her flirtation with Max never worked for me at all. If it had, this latest development might have had some oomph.
-- It took months for Max to create Bizarro, which was more realistic than doing it practically overnight. Note that she was his seventh attempt, and of course, she's still alive in DEO custody. Does that mean there are seven potential Bizarros out there waiting for a good plotline to come along?
-- Blake Jenner (Adam) is Melissa Benoist's husband. Maybe everyone else knew this, but I didn't until I started reviewing this episode.
-- What happened to Cat's teenage son Carter, who was in "How Does She Do It?" You'd think that Adam and Carter becoming acquainted as brothers for the first time would at least warrant a mention.
-- Out of the millions of people in National City, Kara picked up on James in distress without him activating his Superman watch. How? (Note from later: actually, he did manage to hit his watch with the heel of his shoe. Never mind.)
-- Okay, I know we're supposed to suspend belief, but there are no bathrooms in those DEO cells. Come to think of it, that's the case with the cells on The Flash, too.
Alex: "No signs of extraterrestrial activity, so we can probably rule out an alien shapeshifter. Unless there's something you're not telling us?"
Hank: "The skirt was surprisingly comfortable, but no."
Funny, but come on. Skirts are not comfortable.
Kara: "It's hard to enjoy anything when there's a body double of me flying around the city making me look bad."
Winn: "I have been stuck in the friend zone so long that I'm just thinking about buying some investment property here."
Cat: "Kira, we have been worried sick about you. I ordered an Amber alert."
Max: "So this is the DEO. A little more stalagmite-chic than I pictured."
The action sequences were great, and I liked the Bizarro bits and how it highlighted what a good person Kara is, but Maxwell Lord and the dating follies left me cold. Two out of four spiced pumpkin lattes with extra foam and a little cinnamon sprinkle on top,
Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.
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