Supergirl: Damage

“Finally I just – just did one thing that was good, and now I’m the monster that poisons children. You know, even Lex Luthor never did that.”

Some fall-out from the lead fall-out used at the end of the last season to banish the Daxamites who were planning to do terrible things to National City. Children in the area are becoming very sick, and it appears to be lead poisoning.

What do you do when an action of yours has unintended consequences, in fact terrible consequences? Because of the lead dust Lena Luthor sprinkled at the end of last season, the lead dust that seemed to be the only thing to ward off the Daxamites, children are falling ill. This allows a good use of Ruby, whose friend Luke collapses at school.

Morgan Edge wastes no time in accusing Lena of causing the problem (and his being so on top of things is a big clue). Lena is absolutely devastated by what happened. Kara tries to cheer her up, reminding her that Supergirl was the one who actually pushed the button, but Lena comes back with, “But I told Supergirl it was safe.”

Lena is so damaged by her sense of guilt that she can no longer function. In some cases she should not function, e.g. I’m glad that she’s taking a leave of absence from CatCo and L-corp while the matter is investigated. We get to see Kara do some real investigative work and James get some decent lines over at CatCo.

In the end, Lena is proved not to be responsible, but rather Morgan Edge (although that’s not exactly proved to everyone in National City, as he covers his tracks well). The story-line would be more interesting if Lena were responsible, except that this series is supposed to be about Supergirl, not Lena Luthor, so we cauterize this particular plot thread.

Why do bad guys try to kill off good guys in such peculiar ways? Morgan Edge is competent when he kills and frames his accomplice, so his awkward plan to use a plane to kill Lena is an odd choice. I guess you could argue that Morgan Edge is a sadist who likes to watch his victims suffer, and killing Lena is not something he wants to miss. If you can get over the lack of logic, the scene is enjoyable and gives Supergirl the chance to come to the rescue. We get reminded that even those who are depressed still need to help themselves, as Supergirl yells that she can’t save both and that Lena has to climb.

I’m not sure if Morgan Edge is supposed to be the Big Bad of the season, because he does not seem especially threatening. However, I liked the gist of his conversation with Supergirl. Supergirl, held back by her overwhelming sense of responsibility and her profound goodness, has serious trouble doing permanent damage to others. She stranded Edge on a cargo ship, a prank that cost him a couple of hours and forced him to go to the dry-cleaners.

I was disappointed that no one spoke up for Lena. Not to say that she wasn’t responsible for the lead poisoning, but that the lead poisoning might have been the only option given the danger that they were facing. Sometimes, as Supergirl said on the airplane, you can’t save both. I hope someone facing the choice of A “everyone dies or becomes enslaved” or B “some people get sick” chooses B. But that did not come up, at least not enough.

So, Alex and Maggie break up. I like Maggie, but I prefer Alex in sister mode to Kara much more. And although the break-up was a little too long, at least they were mature about it. That’s the weird but wonderful thing about this series, the people are so nice and responsible. It makes finding conflict a challenge, so I am curious as to how the writers will manage that.

Title musings: “Damage” is an interesting choice of title. Lena believes that she has damaged the people, especially the children, of National City. Both James Olsen and Samantha Arias have to go into damage control after the scandal breaks. Morgan Edge wants to damage Lena, and he crows over Supergirl because she cannot damage others. Alex and Maggie are both damaged by their break-up, but they also tell each other at the end how much the relationship helped them: Alex came out and Maggie confronted her past. “Damage” might be a more shocking title, but I think “Resilience” might have been more apt.

Bits and pieces

Am grateful that we did not have to watch the many previous rounds of Alex and Maggie, but I loved watching them dance together.

Glad for the reminder of Flint, Michigan, where I understand they still don’t have lead-free water.

The chant, “Lock her up!” brings back the 2016 election – and even more recent rallies.

Interesting exchange between Lena and James at the end – perhaps some chemistry there?

Liked the tag with the hole in Samantha’s shirt and blazer, and how the flattened bullet – that she did not even realize had struck her – falls out.

Chris Wood is still in the credits so I guess Mon-El is coming back.

Quotes

Maggie: You have to say it. You have to say it out loud.
Alex: We can’t be together.

Lena: I told Supergirl the device was safe.

James: I hope you realize by now that I see you as more than an extension of your brother.

Lena: Stop believing (in) me. I am not worth it.

Edge: You capes – you don’t have what it takes.

Alex: I didn’t know I had it in me to be happy.

Overall rating

Rating this is tough. I liked some of the themes a lot. But – I miss Kara-centric episodes. And although it’s a relief to have a series with so many women, I’d like to have a few cute guys on screen too. And the airplane scene was so illogical. Why would Morgan Edge want to contaminate the entire water supply? So – two and a half out of four flattened bullets. But a score of three flattened bullets is tempting.

Victoria Grossack loves math, Greek mythology, Jane Austen and great storytelling in many forms.

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