Supergirl: In Search of Lost Time

The son becomes the father, and the father the son.

We get to experience the power of prayer. Green Martian prayer from a Green Martian high priest, that is, a Green Martian with psychic powers.

Well, that was better!

This episode uses a plot device that most of us have seen in other series: the sick psychic whose illness is affecting the moods and ‘tudes of people around them (an example is when the Betazoid, Lwaxana Troi, in Star Trek Deep Space Nine’s "Fascination," sets off some unlikely pairings). "In Search of Lost Time" goes further, because on this occasion at the episode’s end we don’t hit the reset button. M'yrrn has Martian dementia and there is no cure; his son J’onn J’onzz, has to take away the metaphorical car keys of his parent. This is an extremely hard thing to do, and is especially cruel because M'yrrn J’onzz has already spent 300 years in a White Martian prison and it’s terrible (but necessary) to have to curtail his freedom again. Fortunately some sort of magic bracelet seems to do the trick; we’re not going to have to put Carl Lumbly in a cell! Nevertheless the storyline is heartrending.

The other major storyline is the Lena and Sam/Reign interaction. Lena has figured out what is going on, but convincing Sam that she’s sharing her body with a Worldkiller called Reign is not easy. Fortunately James Olsen gives Lena some excellent advice about how to stage an intervention. Lena takes the advice and proves to Sam that she is Reign; Sam is horrified to discover that she, who cannot kill a spider, is sort of responsible for the deaths of a lot of people. I write “sort of responsible” because I don’t know what sort of laws apply when you’re truly possessed by someone or something else. Diminished responsibility? Innocent by reason of alien occupation?

Although Sam’s shock and horror – and her decision to stay away from her daughter – are moving, what truly got me was Lena’s behavior. Lena does not give up on her friend, even though that friend in her other form could easily kill her. Lena also does not yield to her friend, and will not let her go home to Ruby, because Reign is so dangerous. Sometimes Supergirl really inspires me, and this is one of those times I feel moved to make changes in my own life. I’ve got to be more patient with some of my family and friends, and sometimes I should be more insistent. Yeah, I know they’re fiction and I’m in real life, but I think a lot of people get inspired this way.

The third storyline, “Mon-El teaches Kara cape tricks,” was also decent, much better than expected. Some of it was just for cool moves and letting us see Mon-El’s new outfit, this is one of the first times since Mon-El returned that I was kind of rooting for the two. Yes, I know that he is married but Imra has conveniently been away for a few episodes, and this time I felt a bond between the Kara and Mon-El. And Kara did confront some of her feelings and resentments, stuff that needed to come up.

The episode offered us several genuine moments between various pairs. For example, James and Lena: she explains that she can’t tell him everything, and as he’s a man carrying other people’s secrets, he’s far more understanding than most boyfriends would be. J’onn and his father. Lena and Sam. And yes, Kara and Mon-El.

Title musings: “Lost time” is a theme that recurs repeatedly in this episode. Most literally, we have Sam who does not realize she is Reign but does know she has been having blackouts. We have M'yrnn J’onzz – his own forgetfulness – and then how his dementia is affecting others, making them lose time. M'yrnn also wants to make up for his other lost time – the 300 years he spent in prison. We have James coming to Lena and asking where she has been. And we have Kara and Mon-El, finally facing their own real lost time, and Kara finally voicing some of the resentment she was too sweet to mention in the earlier part of their relationship. In most of these situations, not only was time lost, but people want to understand and make up for it. The title works!

Bits and pieces

The beginning of the episode has some fun, albeit kitschy fun. I imagine it’s hard for a telepath/shapeshifter to play games. Then watching Supergirl unbutton instead of rip off her shirt ("What? I like that shirt"). Then the fight in the photo booth - so much easier to choreograph and then how adorable to have several poses show up when the photos print.

Brainy and Imra are conveniently away, again!

Some people want to make ribbon twirling, which is both demanding and beautiful, into an Olympic sport. If you’ve never seen any, look it up on YouTube.

I’ve been seeing different placements of the apostrophe for our Green Martian former high priest: is it M’yrrn or Myr’rn? It used to always be the former but suddenly I'm seeing a lot of the latter. Has there been a change? Or has he (after all, he has dementia) forgotten how to write his name in English?

Quotes

Lena: When you wake up, please be Sam.

M'yrnn J’onzz: Zook did it!

Alex: Astrology?
J’onn J’onzz: More like complex luminal and gravatic shifts that determine Kalanorian brain function. But sure, astrology.
(But it wasn’t astrology, and J’onn J’onzz knew it.)

Sam: Are you kidding? Lena, let me out!
Lena: I can’t. You asked me to help you.

Winn: I have done something amazing!
Supergirl: Did you find Pestilence?
Winn: I have done something okay.

James: No matter how bad you want to help somebody, sometimes all you can do is hold up a mirror.

Mon-El: The truth can be brutal. But it’s not news to me that I used to be a jerk.

Overall rating

I enjoyed the episode, smiling and laughing - and then it touched me. When an hour of TV gets me to examine my own behavior, it’s a good episode. Three and a half Smartcloth capes.

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

2 comments:

Phyllis Strickland said...

Excellent review! I loved this episode, especially the Lena and Sam/Reign arc. Lena handles the situation perfectly, with good advice from James. Please let Lena always be one of the "good guys" - she is such a grounded character.

Patryk said...

Lena handles the situation prefectly, but now that she has Reign DNA isolated is the time to tell the DEO not keep them in the dark. This will not end well for her.

I guess the title is taken from Marcel Proust.