For those familiar with the concept of “Bizarro World” as it is used in DC Comics, you might’ve been expecting an episode full of backward talking doppelgangers. Instead, this episode plays out more like a version of the Galatea origin story which, itself, seemed like a play on an alternate version of the Power Girl story.
The girl that Maxwell Lord has been keeping hidden away has been awakened. Somehow, he’s turned her into a clone of Supergirl. He’s also trained her to want to kill Supergirl. After Bizarro (another Catco Trademark) shows up and wreaks a little havoc, there’s some public confusion about what’s going on. When a tram accident calls for Supergirl’s help, the two meet for the first and fight. Bizarro, who has the mind of a child, is confused when Supergirl stops fighting her in order to save people. Max had programmed her to think that Supergirl was bad, and that action doesn’t add up. The fight is caught on camera, revealing to the world that there is a Bizarro Supergirl. After a little more digging around, Supergirl and the DEO figure out that Maxwell Lord is responsible for creating Bizarro. Lord took Supergirl’s DNA off of the Red Tornado arm that Alex brought to him. He’s been running experiments on girls under the guise of his company, Prometheus Genetics. Apparently, this Bizarro is just one of seven girls taken by Prometheus Genetics over the years.
While tries to take her mind off of everything that’s going on, by going out with Kat’s son Adam. Their first date was interrupted by the tram accident, so they try again. However, Kara is abducted by Bizarro, who clearly knows who she really is. They square off again but, this time, the DEO intervenes. Alex fires on Bizarro with Supergirl artillery, hoping that it’ll have the same affect on her as Kara. It doesn’t, instead the kryptonite mutates Bizarro into the ghoulish, gray, cracked skinned version of Kara that resembles the comic book version. Lord tells Bizarro that she should be angry at Supergirl and take it out on those that Supergirl loves. Bizarro wastes no time taking that advice and abducts Jimmy Olsen. Supergirl and Alex arrive in time to save Jimmy and stop Bizarro with some reversed Kryptonite. Once she’s neutralized, Hank has her put back under sedation. Alex also arrests Maxwell Lord and locks him up inside the DEO. Admittedly, not the most well thought out decision, but she’s backed into a corner when Lord reveals that he knows who Supergirl is. Lord doesn’t seem to be terribly bothered by this as he taunts Supergirl from inside his cage. For the time being though, he seems to be firmly in the DEO’s hands.
These Bizarro interferences really took a toll on Kara’s personal life. First, Kara breaks things off with Adam because off everything going on and the fact that Lord knows who she really is. Bizarro also reveals to Jimmy that the reason he’s been abducted is that Supergirl loves him. Given that Jimmy and Winn’s primary contribution to this episode is drinking while pinning over Kara, that news is sure to complicate things. Winn’s also pretty much told Jimmy that he needs to break up with Lucy and go after Kara. By the end of the episode, Jimmy chooses to go see Lucy instead of hanging out with Kara, but it’s clear that the seed has been planted. Finally, Cat has also stepped back from Kara. Throughout the episode, she was being very nice and accommodating to Kara because she was dating Adam. However, when Kara broke things off with Adam, Cat was clearly disappointed and decided that she and Kara need to keep things purely professional. As Kara ends up at home alone, she finds a strange shell in her apartment. When she checks it out a tentacled entity drops from the ceiling. It will be revealed in the next episode, but it appears to be a Black Mercy.
- “Maxwell Lord may have a god complex, but he’s not a god.” – Hank Henshaw
Aside from being a clear underestimation of Lord’s abilities, this may have been a vague reference to the New Gods. These characters are denizens of the worlds of New Genesis and Apokolips, which are big deals in the Superman narrative. Their story was also briefly intertwined with Maxwell Lord’s in the comics.
- Cat is trying to make things with Adam and Kara work
I really do like Cat when she’s playing a more mothering role to Kara. Unfortunately, it looks like we won’t be seeing that for a while.
- The Black Mercy
This isn’t even really a big part of this episode, but I was excited to see it appear. The Black Mercy is the plot device used to drive the story, “For the Man Who Has Everything”, which was also adapted into a Justice League Unlimited episode. I loved the ending of that story and the way it caused Superman to rage out. I’m curious to see how Supergirl will adapt it for this show.
Overall, I really liked what this episode tried to do. However, there was one big pitfall in it for me: the romantic mess being created between Kara, Winn, Jimmy, Lucy and Adam. It’s just too much and too fast. Winn had a whole half an episode where he legitimately tried to go after Kara and, even then, it was under duress. Now, just like that, they’ve decided it’s Jimmy’s turn to take his shot. The show does this while completely acknowledging that it’s pretty much a bad thing for him to do because he’s in a relationship. However, they also make him look a like a bad person for staying in a relationship while being interested in Kara. It’s a lose, lose situation there. Then there’s the complete dismissal of Adam, who seemed like such a perfect choice that he could’ve been kept around just to make Kara’s life convenient. Well, that is if her life wasn’t currently being flipped upside down by Maxwell Lord. It just feels like there’s too much going on here. Too many guys for someone who’s not even really dating anyone.
That part aside, I thought this was an episode that did a really interesting version of combining several elements of different characters and using them to create something for the show. At the outset, I mentioned that this Bizarro seems to borrow elements from Galatea, who herself seems based on Power Girl. Both of these characters are “alternate” versions of Supergirl, although only Power Girl is even remotely related to Maxwell Lord. Not to mention tat Bizarro, is usually the name that refers to the Bizarro World version of Superman. In the end, they found a way to have circumstances converge in order to create a version of Bizarro that applied to Supergirl and not Superman and I thought it was actually pretty clever. I thought the best thing about this version was having her be a person that Lord abducted and experimented on. That really helped cement the idea that Lord is truly evil or, at least, that he doesn’t place a great value on human life.
I also liked how this episode kind of slung the show into some rough waters. Now that Alex has taken Maxwell Lord, they’ve kind of reached a point of no return with him. As Hank pointed out, they can’t really keep him locked up because of how high profile he is. So, what do you do with a prisoner that you can’t keep but is too dangerous to set free?