Supergirl: The Missing Link

Lena: “You’re a monster. But that doesn’t mean I have to be one too.”

Supergirl and the team go head-to-head against Rama Khan and Leviathan; Lena and Lex must join forces when Project Non Nocere fails, leaving the two siblings in serious danger.

The episode has a nice open at the prison where Prisoner Steve is leading yoga sessions. What a way of letting you know that the atmosphere at the prison has improved! Of course, that doesn’t last.

A good part of the episode is spent with Lex and Lena, especially in the prison. Lena is still working on turning the prisoners into good people. However, one prisoner gets trapped in an elevator (thanks to a power failure caused by the suneater in the previous episode) and his claustrophobia kicks in. He goes back to being bad, and Lena and Lex come to investigate. This allows for some great bits in the prison, with Lex actually having the chance to appear heroic for a moment, when he goes back to help his sister. Most of Lex’s fighting is done with tricks and mirrors – well, teleportation – but at one point Jon Cryer gets to throw a few punches!

Prisoner Steve talks about how wonderful it had been to have friends in the prison. You can see the pain that the mention of friendship causes Lena. Lena misses Kara something terrible. However, Kara is now ready to blame Lena as well as Lex for Leviathan. (What a lot of Ls!)

Brainy has a bit more screen time in this episode than he has in prior episodes. That’s always good because his dialogue is so wonderful. It seems that his fear of being dropped by all his friends was well founded. He has disappointed them to the point of their deciding they may need to drop him.

This episode has a lot of running, or rather, flying around. William and Kelly are still trying to find out what’s wrong with the Obsidian lenses. The Leviathans are making trouble, too, so much so that the heroes fly off to save the day. Apparently Rama Khan wanted to be captured, so he can get lots of kryptonite. Dreamer comes to the rescue as do the Martians.

Much of the episode seems to show that things are not turning out well for our heroes. The DEO is in rubble (you know, I always had the impression it was not in the middle of the city, but I guess I was wrong, and it collapsed in a manner reminiscent of 9-11). Kelly and William have revealed too much to Andrea. Brainy is told off by Nia, who makes it clear he has chosen the wrong side. Kara does not like the fact that Leviathan has gathered so much kryptonite.

Despite its being mentioned a lot this season, I still feel as if we haven’t thoroughly explored the morality of virtual reality. Is it good? Is it bad? The bad seems to have been mostly due to interference on the part of Lex Luthor, so I guess the jury’s still out.

On the other hand, Non Nocere, Lena’s project to turn everyone good (or at least, stop them from harming each other) seems to reach the end of its arc. Virtual reality and Non Nocere are difficult ideas to portray in a series, so in most episodes I felt a bit unsatisfied, but Non Nocere finally did lead somewhere – to Lex’s declaration that humanity can’t be fixed, that it needs to be controlled. And not by an alien, but by him. He’s offering himself as the savior of humanity.

Forunately, Lena sees through him immediately. She doesn’t turn to evil, even though so many of Lex’s recent actions were designed to compel her to make that choice.

A problem with Supergirl is that it often follows too many characters. Of course, they want to give each actor some screen time in most episodes, but that ends with many of the episodes feeling scattered. I like most of the characters, and I don’t want them to die, and there are even some I hope come back, like J’onn’s father, my favorite Martian. However, the scatter-shot problem continues in this episode. I mean, did the scenes with Alex and Pete Andrews (played by Sean Astin) really add anything to the plot? And they seemed to be setting up William as Kara’s love interest, but that has gone nowhere.

However, at the end, the episode shifts, when Lena comes to Kara and begs for forgiveness. And that moved us back to the core of Supergirl, which is about Kara Danvers, who is so full of love that she not only spends most of her energy protecting aliens, but who can even be friends with a Luthor. The end was wonderful.

Title musings. The title of the episode is “The Missing Link,” which many people will recognize as a reference to evolution, a term scientists have often used when trying to figure out gaps in our ancestry or in the ancestry of any species. And in fact the episode makes a reference to evolution, when Lena realizes Non Nocere is bound to fail because people have evolved to fight in certain situations; they need to fight to survive. “The Missing Link” is also a general term for trying to figure out what’s going on, such as when you’re trying to solve a mystery – for example how the Leviathan symbol keeps turning up at the times of historical catastrophes. We even get to see non-metaphorical links when our heroes have chained up Rama Khan.

But the main missing link has been Lena. She and Kara have been missing their friendship all this time. The title is spot on.

Bits and pieces

Prison has to be a really awful place if you’re claustrophobic.

Always a treat to have Sean Astin make an appearance, even if he didn't feel necessary. And this time he’s not evil.

The prisoner being treated by Lex and Lena – with the thingies on his forehead and the way he moves – reminded me a lot of Frankenstein.

We are setting up a romance between the two Martians! Nice to bond with someone from your own planet, I suppose.

I liked the Nia Nal dream sequence – how Brainy turned green (any significance?) – and how cute she was when she was asleep and doing the dreaming.

So is Alex Danvers going to get a vigilante suit?

Quotes

Brainy: I’m a twelfth-level intellect. Did you really think I wouldn’t connect the dots?

Lex: What do you think this is, Mr. Smith goes to Leviathan? Sometimes to get what you want, you have to play a little dirty.

Kara/Supergirl: Where there is smoke, there is a Luthor.

Rama Khan: You are a bolt of power and fear and yet you insist on wearing this ridiculous human shell.

Nia Nal/Dreamer: You can’t play the game from both sides, Brainy. … If you can’t pick a side, I’ll choose one for you.

Lena Luthor: Pain is a necessary part of being human, of life. And I was delusional to think I could save people, or fix it.

Lex: Even the loss of the DEO is a tax write-off. (Which reminds me that in this ‘verse, Lex owns the DEO.)

Lena: Please. I want to help stop Lex and Leviathan.

Overall Rating

When I discover that I have written a lot, that’s a very good sign. Three and half out of four links.

Victoria Grossack has written many other things. Check out her newest novel, Hunters of the Feather, on Amazon.

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