Supergirl season 3 returned this week with an episode that showed Kara Danvers trapped in her own mind. I often enjoy this premise. But, this episode refused to do anything creative with it. There was no visual imagination, despite the endless possibilities with an episode that takes place in someone’s mind. More importantly, the episode didn’t even attempt a deep dive into Kara’s psychology. There was a fun story about Kara’s childhood cat Streaky. But, other than that most of Kara’s scenes didn’t even attempt to give us more information about her character.
This episode introduced Brainiac 5. I’m a big fan of Kara’s relationship with Brainiac 5 on Justice League Unlimited. But, I’m not crazy about the direction Supergirl went with Brainiac 5’s hair and makeup. I’m guessing he’s not intended as a love interest. Jesse Rath (Defiance) gave a fantastic, charismatic performance. But, it was hard to ignore that he looked like the Ice King from Adventure Time.
In the end, Kara learned… she just needs to be Kara Danvers? This vague message seems to be the major theme of Supergirl season 3. The idea of Kara getting in touch with her “humanity” has potential, but the season refuses to do anything specific with it. Does she need to be more sensitive to what it’s like to be helpless? Does she need to become comfortable with her own limits to refrain from pushing herself to the brink? Does she need to cultivate meaningful relationships in which she relies on other people? There are plenty of interesting avenues to explore, but over and over again Alex Danvers tells her to just “be Kara” and the show acts as though a lesson has been learned.
The most fun scene in the episode featured J’onn J’onzz pretending to be Kara so that Lena Luthor wouldn’t realize she was Supergirl. It was enjoyable watching Melissa Benoist capture J’onn’s mannerisms and speech patterns, but it rang a little false. The scene relied on the premise that J’onn is bad at pretending to be other people, despite this being a major skill of his.