Supergirl: The Darkest Place Review
The CW’s Supergirl Season 2, Episode 7: ‘The Darkest Place’ has started increasing the pace of the second season as the pieces start coming together in the Cadmus arc. It was certainly a great buildup of things to come as Kara (Melissa Benoist) and the DEO begin to close in on Lillian Luthor (Brenda Strong) and Cadmus Labs. However, it all soon drags down a bit in the Guardian storyline with James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks). It seems like not every character is at their strongest this week as far as development goes.
Things came to a head this week as Kara came face-to-face with Lillian and the return of the real Hank Henshaw (David Harewood). What was interesting is that Henshaw has already turned into Cyborg Superman and may become more of a recurring enemy this season. His background into how he became Cyborg Superman doesn’t necessarily follow the comics, only because it needed to fit into the plot of the show. That’s all fine, but people may start questioning why Henshaw is associating himself with Superman, the one person he despises. It would’ve made sense if he were called by his real name instead of just his comic book counterpart to fit into the nature of the show. Perhaps the writers just wanted to reference the comics throughout the show without readjusting it.
Despite that, Cyborg Superman is already turning into a compelling villain for the show after so many poorly written baddies. David Harewood manages to play a different version of his character so well. Hank comes off as someone who has so much hatred against aliens on Earth and Harewood plays off that mindset so effortlessly. Hank turned out to be one powerful foe for Kara during their battle in the hallway. Harewood has a undeniable appeal that works really well in this role. Hopefully we get to see him play both characters fighting each other some day during the second season.
We get a bit of history of the Luthor family as Lillian tells Kara her personal reasons why she hates Kara and Superman so much. Lillian, however, still isn’t quite up to her mark as a standard villain. It’s good that the show is trying so hard to flesh out her character and tie her into her son Lex’s agendas. These kind of shows need to make the villains believe that they are on the right side of things. But Supergirl continues to exaggerate a bit with Lillian in terms of writing and Brenda Strong’s acting. Lillian comes off as too much of a power-hungry villain and moves away from where she thinks she’s doing this to save humanity.
Cadmus has become a force to be reckoned with this season. These guys have a way to frighten both Kara and Mon-El (Chris Wood), making them scared for their lives, something that season 1 never got to do. It was overwhelming to see Kara helpless as her enemies stay one step ahead of her. Kara comes off as uneasy and unfitted to deal against this group as they use her heroic instincts against her. Even their escape from Cadmus’ hands seemed a bit too easy for them. What are the chances that Jeremiah Danvers (Dean Cain) comes out of nowhere to save them? He has been working with Cadmus all this time in order to protect his daughters, but what if he has another agenda? It will be interesting to see where the writers take him this season since there’s still so much we don’t know about what happened to him.
James has become a constant struggle on this show in terms of character development. The episode didn’t do anything to fix the disappointing plotline with Guardian or even validate James’ direction into becoming a vigilante. Even having James get accused of murdering criminals did no favors whatsoever. This dilemma never forced James to think of the risks he’s taking by becoming a hero or the consequences it will have. All we get is a classic storyline of a hero getting framed by a copycat that’s been done numerous times and ends on a good note. Even seeing James and Winn (Jeremy Jordan) sharing some scenes seemed like something that a show like Arrow would pull off. This would’ve worked more if Supergirl was involved. James didn’t take a diplomatic approach to villain Barrage who only wanted justice for those who have wronged him and his family. Instead, he just knocks him out for the police to take him away.
The other Hank Henshaw had a great subplot in this episode as he began to experience side effects from the blood transfusion M’gann (Sharon Leal) gave him. The fight between J’onn and M’gann was really well put together in terms of action and the fact that J’onn felt betrayed. Even though Harewood played two different characters, both his portrayals didn’t seem so different. Both of these men were fueled by rage and vengeance against aliens (or just an alien race to be specific). It’s pretty clear that J’onn will start feeling the aftereffects of his ‘bond’ with M’gann as he soon starts changing into a White Martian.
Even though Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Maggie’s (Floriana Lima) romance doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon, Kara and Mon-El’s own bond is already starting to grow into something more after what we saw this week. Mon-El seems to be developing some feelings for Kara after being in captivity with her. The show is really going for it as they start to take some big steps into making these two become a thing. It’s definitely going in the right pace as Kara may start to find love after her short stint with James.
Supergirl this week has already started setting things up for what looks like a promising mid-season finale. Things are already accelerating with the Cadmus plotline and bringing back Hank Henshaw helped do that. The only concern is that Guardian is already dragging down some parts of the show. Seeing James trying to play hero took a big chunk of the episode and didn’t deliver or match with the compelling Cadmus storyline. Hopefully the show will refocus more in the main plot before we go into hiatus.
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