Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Supergirl: Wake Up

“So which of you two is deciding my best interests?”

Mon-El is back, but he’s got a secret or two now. And we finally get some answers to why Sam didn’t notice a bullet hitting her.

In “Wake Up” we finally find Mon-El again, but the course of true love does not run smooth.

They find him trapped in a strange alien ship wedged into ancient strata, which sounds like he may have traveled to the past, but that does not seem to be the case either.

Although Kara and her pals are really happy to see him, and Mon-El gives Kara a hug when he sees her, Mon-El seems distant. He has an easier time talking to Winn than to Kara. Later we find out why. For Mon-El the time that has passed is seven years, not seven months, and he was far in the future instead of the past. Whatever his time zone actually was, he felt like he had to move on with his life. So he did, and we meet his wife – who of course Kara saves by crushing through the stasis chamber lid made of white dwarf star. So, the love of Kara’s life has married someone else. A reason for our girl to be unhappy, and that might give the writers a little to work with – but only a very little. They have been working with even less, and the episodes are suffering as a result.

Sam Arias, logically freaked out when she realized she was struck by a bullet and that the bullet suffered more damage than she did, goes on a quest to learn more about who she is. She goes to visit her mother, who we learn is her estranged adoptive mother – both estranged and adoptive, combining two literary tropes – and we learn that she’s another Kryptonian with a baby ship stashed in the barn. The development of her powers were delayed by her teenage pregnancy (at least there’s a reasonable explanation for this). Anyway, Sam has a green glowing crystal that she puts into the desert (instead of the snow) and it turns into a brown Fortress of Sanctuary. When she goes inside to get her instructions she discovers that it’s her fate to mete out justice and that she’s known as “Worldkiller.”

Not good news, to find out she’s “Worldkiller,” and Sam objects. The mentor tells Sam that she’s got no choice, that she’ll soon forget who she was before. The title seems a pretty major hint that Sam is going to be the Big Bad for the season, which would be a relief. But I’m wondering if the pregnancy Sam went through, and the fact that she is now a mother, will somehow change her chemistry or make her strong enough to resist the worldkiller fate.

And now, my complaints. Kara/Supergirl is not being given enough to do. She does not have any particular goals. Her most emotional, important scene was when she was upset with Mon-El, declaring how much she missed him, how she dreamed about him – and that scene had to be improved by (admittedly rather good) music. When the music has to cover for weak dialogue or plot, you know something’s lacking.

Many of the episode’s best lines belonged to Winn, not because the episode was about him that much (although it was great to see more of him) but because his character got to be funny.

The best scenes altogether were whenever M’yrnn J’onzz was on screen, from his asking Winn if he could use the bathroom (the poor guy has been holding it for 3 weeks and 4 days, no wonder he’s so happy to receive permission) to his comments on c’off’ee and his observations about who his son is these days.

Title musings: The episode title, “Wake Up,” made me hope for some music from my favorite Bach cantata, “Sleepers Awake.” As far as I can tell, no such luck. Instead we have Mon-El and Imra literally waking up out of stasis. Other characters are waking up in a more figurative manner. Kara is forced to see that she can’t go on mourning Mon-El, and J’onn J’onnz discovers that he needs to wake up from work.

Bits and pieces

So, Mon-El is back. Now we know why Chris Wood has been in the credits all season.

Interesting that Samantha Arias, apparently Kryptonian, could produce a child. Was the father human? Alien but with human form? Or did she reproduce by parthenogenesis? It would explain why Ruby looks so much like her, but you’d think that Sam would notice, even if she were a teenager, if she reproduced without having sex.

How could Patricia Arias hope to hide a spaceship with nothing more sophisticated than a drop cloth? Hasn’t anyone picked it up over the years?

I wonder why the Kryptonians kept sending infants and children to Earth and never adults. And were they only capable of making ships for one person? Maybe we’ll learn that someone duplicated the “secret” technology and a whole bunch of rocket ships for babies were constructed. And I think I’ll start lifting the edges of drop cloths myself, just to see what's underneath.


Winn: Whatever metal it’s made out of is not on the periodic table.

J’onn: There’s a way of doing this without destroying public property.

Patricia: You know that the moment you become pregnant you’re not a kid anymore.

Samantha: I got shot and I didn’t feel it. How could I not feel it?

Winn: Just leave us in charge. And by us, I mean Alex, since I should not be in charge of anything.

Winn: That’s not just any alien ship, is it?

Supergirl/Kara: The truth never hurts as much as secrets.

Overall Rating

This, I hope, was a transition episode. We may finally have the Big Bad, and it’s interesting in that this Big Bad may not want to be a Big Bad. The season, alas, is suffering from the fact that the writers have not given Supergirl enough to do. Maybe the writers will wake up and bring it together. I hope so. In the meantime, two out of four Kryptonian baby rocket ships.

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


  1. "Artificial ways to keep our main couple apart R Us," huh? Sigh.

  2. Kara is heavily featured in the upcoming crossover..By now you should have noticed that Oliver, Sara and Barry have all had scaled down roles on their respective shows so far this season with minimal suiting up and personal storylines. Legends, Flash and Arrow just have better ensemble casts so its harder to notice.
    But its a fair criticism and highlights what i have always thought was a weakness in Superman/Supergirls characters. The fact is they are already perfect which means they get literally no character development and there innate goodness can be boring..
    What is Kara meant to do, she has everything she wants except Mon el, and as Supergirl she is taking names...I think Season 1 did a good job of showing a newbie Kara being Supergirl that particularly growth has been good but that was the only 'flaw' she had that we have seen develop. Its why the Red K episode in season 1 still remains one of my favourite Supergirl episodes..We got to see Kara be a bitch to Alex and downright nasty and murderous.
    I really didn't like how they did Doomsday on Snallville and they seem to be going the same way with Samantha..Hopefully your right and Ruby's presence makes the Reign transition far more complex.

  3. Agreed, Anonymous, it is hard to find conflict and good story lines for those who are perfect. Kara does not have to struggle to do the right thing. She may suffer when she does it, but there's no question as to which choice she'll make. And you're probably right that the lack of Kara so far (except for young Kara) is probably due to the crossover episodes. Which puts a lot of weight on these episodes, and is going to be a real challenge, because I am not fond of crossover episodes.

  4. I know everybody always talks about how Superman (Supergirl) is so hard to write and they're so boring because they're too powerful and perfect. While I can agree with the too powerful part (I appreciate the earlier Superman who could only leap tall buildings in a single bound and not fly) I don't agree with the too perfect part.
    I feel lost in a world without heroes - our current state of affairs in real life is depressing. I enjoy having actual heroes (as in days gone by) who we could always count on to do the right thing. I loved how they wrote the show in season 1 and still feel something is lacking since its journey to the CW. Basically, heroes don't have to be boring. Writers can do better.

  5. It's fitting that the Fortress of Eviltude is in a dasert and made of obsiadian and lava on the inside. I guess the daughter will be the key to bring Reign down in the end. I hope they'll suprise me though with the resolution.

  6. This episode had one of my biggest pet peeves in tv/movie storytelling: contrived conflict between two parties because one or both of them is keeping secrets for no good reason. It didn't help that in this case the one keeping needless secrets was Mon-El, a character I never really warmed to.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.