SUPERGIRL Recap: “The Fanatical”
BY The Screen Spy Team
Published 5 years ago
SUPERGIRL RECAP: “THE FANATICAL”
BY CYNTHIA VINNEY
In this week’s episode of Supergirl, Kara, James, Lena, and Mon-El share the main storyline, while Alex, Ruby, J’onn, and M’yrnn are isolated in a B story line.
In the B-story, Alex is trying to reach Ruby and J’onn is trying to reach his father, but neither of them knows how. They decide to take their charges to the arcade—Alex to bring Ruby out of her shell and J’onn because he has read studies that say that playing 3D video games can reverse memory decline. But at the arcade, Ruby refuses to participate and M’yrnn gets confused and thinks the game he’s playing is real.
When Alex and J’onn leave Ruby and M’yrnn together. M’yrnn mentions he’s from Mars, fascinating Ruby. He tells her about the Martian war and losing his family. Ruby asks him how he coped with his losses and he tells her he had faith and was strong. They make a connection. Ruby teaches M’yrnn how to play foosball and both of them start to feel better (M’yrnn: “I love the foosball.”).
At Alex’s apartment, Ruby apologizes for being rude to Alex. And then confesses she’s worried that what happened to her mom could happen to her. Alex tells Ruby she can’t guarantee it won’t happen, but she can guarantee everyone is trying to help Ruby and Sam.
Now onto the meat of this week’s episode. When the episode begins, we’re in Lena’s lab. Lena thinks she’s figured out a way to overwrite Reign’s DNA with Sam’s—but it doesn’t work. Reign taunts Lena and the rest of the team for their failure and Lena puts up a wall to silence her. Even Supergirl’s x-ray vision can’t see through the wall. Supergirl is upset that Lena has another tool that could be used against her, but Lena points out that the wall isn’t intended to be a weapon and she isn’t always thinking about Supergirl when she comes up with new inventions.
Put in her place by Lena once again, Kara confronts James at CatCo. Why did he tell Lena that she asked him to check out her vault? Kara’s invested in her relationship with Lena both as Kara and as Supergirl, and she’s upset that Lena trusts Kara but not Supergirl. At the same time, though, Kara believes she has to keep the secret of her alter-ego from Lena in order to protect her.
James and Kara’s conversation is interrupted when the young woman we saw stealing Thomas Coville’s journal from the Cult of Rao at the end of last week’s episode bursts in. She asks James to get the book to Supergirl. Tanya believes the cult is using it to make a bomb. Originally, she was one of Coville’s followers, and helped Coville learn to read Kryptonian. But then Coville was jailed, Reign came, and the cult started worshipping her instead of Supergirl.
Supergirl and Mon-el check out the place Tanya escaped from. The cult followers are gone, but they find a splatter on the wall and ashes on the floor—the remains of a person they believe was killed with some kind of bomb.
The cult attacks CatCo and takes Tanya. James puts on his Guardian outfit and chases after them. He confronts them in a garage where one of them shoots his Guardian helmet off. As he fights them, the police arrive. They order James to put his hands up as the cult members escape, leaving Tanya behind. James uses a smoke bomb to escape with Tanya.
Tanya is stoked to discover James is Guardian. And bummed to learn even when you’re a superhero, if you’re black, the police still think you’re at fault no matter what’s happening.
Supergirl and Mon-el bring the ashes from the cult to Winn. When Lena walks in, Supergirl tries to make up with her again, but Lena’s not having it. She tells Supergirl that they’re not friends. Lena works with her because they have a mission to complete and she won’t let anything get in the way. Trying again, Supergirl says she wants to rebuild their trust, but Lena doesn’t understand why it’s important to Supergirl that they’re friends. Lena says she already has friends who don’t lie to her—since Kara is one of those friends, that declaration is pretty awkward.
At CatCo, James gets a text from the cult. They have a picture of him unmasked as Guardian. They threaten to publicize Guardian’s identity if he doesn’t give Tanya up to them.
Meanwhile, Lena and Winn have discovered that it wasn’t a bomb that killed the cult follower Supergirl and Mon-El found, but an alien heavy metal. It’s the Rock of Yuda Kal, the substance used to make Worldkillers. The cult wants to make another Worldkiller with it, but Winn and Lena conclude that the Rock could also cure Sam.
James tells the team he’s decided to announce he’s Guardian to take away the cult’s power to blackmail him. But he’s worried about how people will react when they learn the man behind Guardian is black. He tells Lena that putting on the Guardian mask was liberating. It was the first time he as judged by his actions and his heart and not his skin color.
Before James can reveal his secret, though, Tanya decides she wants to give herself up instead. When the cult come to get Tanya, Mon-el also gets in their van posing as a confused human named Mike who’s looking for his Lyft. He pretends to be scared when he realizes he’s in the cult’s clutches.
At their headquarters, the cult does the ritual to make the new Worldkiller. The DEO team tracks the Rock of Yuda Kal to find them. Just as they finish up the ceremony, Supergirl and Guardian burst in and they, along with Mon-el, fight the cult members. Supergirl takes on the cult leader, Olivia, who is using the Rock to become the new Worldkiller.
Olivia was one of the cult members who was there when Supergirl prevented Coville from blowing up a stadium earlier in the season. She was disenchanted after learning Supergirl is fallible but then embraces the worship of Reign.
Supergirl attempts to take the Rock of Yuda Kal from Olivia’s hand, but she can’t. It weakens her substantially. As Olivia starts to approach her, Supergirl tries to reason with her and finally gets through to her. However, when Olivia tries to drop the rock she finds it’s fused to her hand. Mon-El can’t pull it off either, so Supergirl uses her x-ray vision to remove it. Olivia apologizes to Supergirl.
At Lena’s lab, the team learns the rock the cult used is now drained of its power. They’ll need more to cure Sam, which they’ve found in space. So, Mon-El and Supergirl take off in J’onn’s spaceship to go get it. Before they go, the team learns that time is of the essence because Reign is becoming immune to the Kryptonite that’s been keeping her in check.
As the episode ends, Thomas Coville, who the cult believed martyred himself for Reign’s cause, reappears at cult headquarters. Uh oh…
This episode did a nice job of calling back events from earlier in the season and opens up some fascinating possibilities with Coville moving forward. Coville wasn’t so much a bad guy as a fanatical believer. It’ll be interesting to see what his return means for Supergirl and the DEO team now that his belief has shifted.
However, the B storyline with Alex, Ruby, J’onn, and M’yrnn initially lacked momentum. That said, Ruby and M’yrnn bonding over foosball was genuinely touching.
Mehcad Brooks was fantastic as James Olson this week. James has been marginalized a lot this season, so it was nice to see him get a chance to shine in this episode. He was brave and heroic as Guardian and equally so in his decisions as James. And Brooks’ monologue about the first-time cops handcuffed him at 7-years-old was sad and moving. The show managed to bring up a real-world issue in the middle of all the superheroics without being too heavy handed or preachy.
Also, Chris Wood’s work as “Mike,” the persona he adopts to infiltrate the cult, was silly and fun. We don’t get to see Mon-el in many situations where he has to act like a human, so it was nice to see Chris Wood get to do something a little different and be funny at the same time.
Next week will bring us Mon-El and Kara’s adventures in space, and perhaps we’ll find out what Coville’s planning. Until then!