After last week’s episode “Falling” – the greatest Supergirl episode yet – this week’s episode not only keep up the pace by showing all the repercussions of those events; but also by giving us a ton of both historical and character-driven backstories for J’Onn, Alex and Kara. This week was all about fitting in and standing out. And whereas the overwhelming fear and hatred towards aliens lately – and especially in this episode – might seem harsh; it’s all the more infuriating when you realize that things wouldn’t be so different here in the real world.
“Manhunter” dealt with some very real problems plaguing both the fictional National City as well as our own; but beyond that – as always – we also saw glimmers of hope and the resilience that lies within the best of people. So let’s begin our Closer Look at Supergirl “Manhunter”.
“Manhunter” – Man-hunt Or Witch-hunt:
With an episode name like “Manhunter”, we knew this episode was going to give us the missing pieces of J’Onn’s back-story – how he met Mr Davers and assumed the role of Hank Henshaw. We might have even foresaw all the ugly beliefs and thoughts towards aliens. We’ve seen some back ones before, but this episode took the cake. Although what we didn’t expect was how this episode also brought in powerful flashbacks for both Kara and Alex as well. The reason for all this was twofold – show how aliens have to fit in as well as people in general.
For the alien side, we of course see J’Onn and Kara having to deal with being different. Whether in flashbacks with the real Hank or the present with James Hartford, we find J’Onn having to deal with some overwhelmingly disgusting … planetism? This isn’t a ‘manhunt’ for a criminal or a fugitive, but rather a witchhunt just because J’Onn’s different. This is what brings us to Kara’s flashbacks, as she learns she has to suppress everything she is, everything that makes her special just to fit in and not be hunted. This is why the aliens have to lie, because when they ‘just are’, many people act out of fear of the unknown. They fail to see that even if they’re not HUMAN, aliens are still PEOPLE and there’s good and bad ones just like everyone else.
‘Fitting In’ – Finding Acceptance & Where You Belong:
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the Alex flashbacks as well as the next stage in the Lucy Lane story. And much like J’Onn and Kara, Alex and Lucy have quite a bit in common. Where as J’Onn and Kara has to suppress what made them special, Alex and Lucy had to grow up/currently exist in a world where they are the ‘less special one’. Alex’s situation is simple and we’ve heard hints at it before, but here we literally saw the proof of her throwing away her studies and life because she thought she couldn’t measure up to Kara – until she was saved by J’Onn and found new purpose. And once again, Alex has a new purpose by J’Onn’s side finding out the truth about her dad – which I’ll explore in the next section.
Similarly, Lucy also had to grow up in the shadow of her sister – Lois Lane. Lucy’s had to deal with being the ‘lesser Lane sister’ and even in her current life she is again outdone by someone special – Kara. It is because she lost James to an alien twice now – Superman and Supergirl – that Lucy is at first very apprehensive and judgmental; but she eventually realizes her folly and sees the trust Kara places in her. In doing so and helping Kara, she becomes the new head of the DEO and achieves something her sister never could.
Sadly though, not everyone in this episode can put the past behind them and find their new place. The antithesis for Alex and Lucy is of course Siobhan, who instead of moving forward continues with her underhanded plans and tries to get Kara fired. At one point, we might have felt sorry for her but after her constantly blaming of others for her problems, Siobhan ends up not too different from Hartford. Although instead of having her mind whipped, she instead discovers she has superpowers.
What Happened To Jeremiah Danvers – Reworking The Cyborg Superman Theory? (Part 2)
Faithful readers will recall the evolution of my Cyborg Superman Theory. While many originally suspected Hank Henshaw to maintain his Cyborg Superman name from the comics, I suspected a different identity for Cyborg Superman – Kara’s father, who in the New 52 comics is rebuilt by Braniac into Cyborg Superman. Between the writers love of this comic line as well as the intense emotional drama it’d cause, making Cyborg Superman Kara’s father would be a brilliant move. But this week’s episode threw us quite the interesting curveball: Jeremiah Danvers is alive and in CADMUS.
Could the story be changed so that Kara’s adopted father becomes Cyborg Superman rather than biological father? This would certainly be something tp bring the sisters back together. Then again, is it too late to have the real Hank Henshaw return rebuilt as a Cyborg. Between the manner of their (Hank and Jeremiah’s) deaths and the revelation of CADMUS, Supergirl just expanded their story potential even further as both of these occurrences could set up for huge Season 2 drama.
Was it just me, or did anyone else think Team Arrow made it to the show when Alex and J’Onn’s truck was under attack by two motorcyclists? Well that might have been a pipe dream; but someone from the Arrowverse will be coming to National City next week: The Flash! How will the Flash cross universes to get to National City and Supergirl? How did Siobhan get her powers? Was she always different and she was trying to find a normal life at Cat Co as well? Further more, how does her look change so drastically over the course of an episode?
All this and more in next week’s episode “World’s Finest” or should I say “The Justice Glee”… because both Grant Gustin (Flash) and Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) used to be on Glee … nevermind. I’ll see you next week lol