Recap: SUPERGIRL’s Latest Enemy is Not So Bizzare

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Episode 112 “Bizzaro”
Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Rachel Shukert
Directed by John Showalter

[Photos: Darren Michaels/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.]

Girl fight!

Plus: Maxwell Lord shows some of his cards and reveals just how much of a terrible person he is. And a lame villain. With lame one-dimensional motives. He’s kind of a one-trick pony at this point.

And Kara really has to work on her dating skills…

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This is the next moment we’ve been waiting for: the fight between Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and Bizarro Girl (Hope Lauren), the Jane Doe pumped full of Kara’s DNA and some Red Tornado tech soup to alter her genetics so she’s a “copy” of the Maid of Might.

For the last three months, Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli) has been training his “replacement” for Supergirl, with the intention of destroying the original and putting his own in place. He wants to eliminate the alien and have a heroine he can control. For … reasons. Why he’s so dead set against Supergirl when she’s demonstrated time and again that she’s here to protect the people of Earth… well, it just smacks of “because” elements.

What motivates Lord to act the way he does? Why does he not trust aliens? Have they done him wrong? Does he not trust their control over their own powers and abilities? Does he feel jealousy toward these beings who are above mere mortals, even though some are humble and self-effacing?

Well… yes. All of this. But we’ve only scratched the surface of it, and so far Lord comes across as one-note. We did get a little layering when he beat Jimmy Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), but other than that, he’s just a smug rich boy playing with cool gadgets, and he doesn’t want the pretty alien to steal his spotlight.

If Maxwell Lord is to be the true villain of the piece, then give him some more depth. Let’s get into his father’s suicide that led to an almost paranoid belief that big corporations had conspired against the Lord family. Let’s explore his mistrust of authority figures caused by his upbringing. Let’s consider the possibility that he could be connected with Checkmate. And if you really want to get crazy, go ahead and give him the mind control powers at some point.

But Pretty Boy Lord is getting old.

Even the way he treats Jane Doe, his one success of seven (and what happened to those other girls he “acquired” through Prometheus Genetics?), is one-dimensional mustache-twirling. He’s got her brainwashed, sure, but even she realizes that Supergirl isn’t the bad guy in the piece. And when she asks Lord about it, all he’s got is “Sometimes bad people look like they do good things” or some gobbledegook like that.

That’s the one quibble/complaint I have about this episode. Other than that, it was a pretty fun bit to see Bizarro Girl go against Kara in a one-on-one smackdown worthy of George Perez cover art.

Is she a clone? An android? A shapeshifter? (Monty Brinton/CBS)
Is she a clone? An android? A shapeshifter? (Monty Brinton/CBS)

As Hank Henshaw (David Harewood) and Alex (Chyler Leigh) try to help Kara figure out who this Supergirl impostor is, Kara’s dealing with the hassles — yes, hassles — of dating the son of Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), who is acting wildly out of character because she’s happy to see Kara following a different path from her own with regard to a relationship. Kara’s first date with Adam (Blake Jenner) gets interrupted when Bizarro Girl attacks a tram, and then the second date gets interrupted when Bizarro Girl kidnaps Kara for a girl fight in those Hollywood hills.

No diamonds and thrills here…

Kara figures out that not only does this reveal that Bizarro Girl knows Kara is Supergirl, but by extension it also means Lord knows her identity. And she has a little “What do we do now?” moment with Alex after taking her to task for shooting Bizarro Girl full of kryptonite — which did nothing but start a breakdown of her DNA and turned her pasty, like we expect Bizarro to look.

Even when Bizarro captures Jimmy and uses him as bait, she’s having second thoughts about this whole hero/villain thing, because Kara still doesn’t act like a villain. And whatever is left of Jane Doe probably understands the fundamental difference between right and wrong. So this Bizarro — while taking a page from the Lex Luthor clone variety — isn’t quite a carbon copy of the other Bizarro characters we’ve seen in the comics. Which is always nice when the storytellers do something new with an old concept.

The defeat of Bizarro comes as no surprise, but it’s not the usual “toss them in the cooler” moment that follows, but the DEO puts Jane back into a coma to figure out how to reverse what Lord did to her.

Meantime, Alex takes a couple of agents from the clandestine agency that doesn’t exist and arrests Lord, taking him to one of the transparent aluminum containers they keep at the DEO, where he threatens Alex and Kara’s mother. Is he bluffing? Does he have ways of getting to the Danvers family? Can he still be a credible threat despite being locked up?

Jimmy and Winn don’t have much to do this week, really. Jimmy tells Bizarro why he loves Supergirl, but he couches it in hero admiration; she’s one of the “good guys” that everyone loves. And Winn? He gives Jimmy relationship advice? Over whiskey? Granted, there are way too many suitors for Kara as it is, so it’s nice to see Winn essentially removing himself from the playing field at this point. And when Jimmy chooses to do the same, it shows he’s mature enough to realize he’s already in a relationship with Lucy, and it’s not fair to be pining away for someone else. Fish or cut bait, yo.

Husband and wife play lovebirds? Might be a stretch... (Monty Brinton/CBS)
Husband and wife play lovebirds? Might be a stretch… (Monty Brinton/CBS)

Which is what Kara does with Adam. To be honest, I’ve felt from the beginning that Blake Jenner was brought in as a casting stunt, since he’s actually married to the star of the show. I didn’t figure he’d be around that long. And from the online reaction to a third potential love interest for awkward, giggly Kara — well, it was just too much.

"Kiera, I'm so disappointed." (Monty Brinton/CBS)
“Kiera, I’m so disappointed.” (Monty Brinton/CBS)

Of course, the fallout is the break in the relationship between Kara and Cat, who sees her protégé choosing work over relationships, the same mistake Cat made over and over again, to her detriment.

So, we are left with a miserable Kara Danvers returning home to find a strange goopy plant-like thing on her dining room table, just before the xenomorph Black Mercy grabs her.

 

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on CBS.

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Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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