SUPERGIRL REVIEW: “OF TWO MINDS”
BY CYNTHIA VINNEY
When we last saw Supergirl, dead birds were falling from the sky, signaling that Pestilence—the Worldkiller we’ve all been waiting for—had arrived. As this episode begins, Kara and the team at the DEO are studying one of the dead birds.
Trouble is Alex, can’t find any sign of disease on it, which means whatever the bird had wasn’t contagious, so it had to have come into contact with Pestilence herself. Imra cautions that if Pestilence gets stronger she can create a contagion—specifically the Blight that killed off millions in the future.
Fortunately, Mon-El and Imra have a cure coded in their DNA. Imra wants to weaponize the cure to kill Pestilence. Supergirl is shocked by Imra’s plan. After all, there’s a human side to Pestilence too, and anyway murder isn’t Supergirl’s jam. Imra says it isn’t hers either but these are extreme circumstances. Their debate is interrupted by the arrival of a strange man. Turns out it’s Brainy wearing a personal image inducer that makes his normal blue form look human. He’s just trying to blend in. (“I had to purchase some apple cider vinegar and I nearly caused a riot at the Piggly Wiggly.”) Weirdly, Winn immediately recognizes Brainy, before announcing that Pestilence has started infecting people at City Hall.
Meanwhile, Lena is still trying to figure out what causes Sam to turn into Reign. Lena’s determined there’s something in Sam’s body that triggers the change. If she can isolate it she can get rid of it. But Lena has to bring Reign out in Sam, and the only way to do that is to electrocute her. Sam agrees to this because, well, time is of the essence.
When she becomes Reign, Sam goes to a “Dark Valley” where Reign confronts her. Lena realizes Sam’s mind is going to a parallel dimension when she becomes Reign.
At City Hall, the DEO gang discover that all the people who are sick have scratches, which confirms that the disease isn’t contagious. The doctor there lifts the quarantine on the building in order to transfer the patients to the hospital. Before that can happen, Imra arrives and places a forcefield around City Hall. Supergirl convinces Imra to take it down, but Imra’s still skeptical that Supergirl can get the job done.
At the DEO, Mon-El sides with Supergirl on the not-killing-Pestilence thing. After all, they founded the Legion based on Supergirl’s philosophy. Despite this, Imra’s goal is success by any means. Winn thinks he found Pestilence, but when Supergirl goes to get her, she finds Imra standing over the woman’s dead body. Imra didn’t kill her though, she was a victim of Pestilence. Even worse, Winn is now sick, but receives the Legion’s cure and is feeling confident that he’ll be fine.
Brainy believes that as “a slightly smarter than average human” Winn should remember who scratched him. Winn starts describing someone. Someone that everyone else recognizes as Freddy Krueger, not the “promising lead” Brainy thinks it is. Brainy: “Facetiousness, it’s my greatest weakness.” So… still no clue who Pestilence is. Supergirl confronts Imra. Imra says that while she shares Supergirl’s ideals, she’s from the future and knows what happens. Which means that whatever Supergirl does now, she fails.
Back in the Dark Valley, Reign gives Sam a rousing speech about how she should surrender to her. It’ll let Sam escape her sad life. Sam seems almost convinced.
At the DEO, Winn has gotten much sicker. And Alex is now sick too. The cure isn’t working. Brainy deduces that because the cure is for the Blight from the future and not Pestilence’s initial strain of it, they need to mix the cure with Pestilence’s DNA in order for it to work. I’m no doctor, so I have no idea if that makes sense (I have my doubts), but it turns the team’s need to find Pestilence up to 11.
In a touching performance by Jeremy Jordan, Winn reflects on his life to James. He says he now realizes how much baggage he had because he was abandoned by his mom. But he’s made some amazing friends that have been the best thing in his life. And now he believes he could really achieve something great. Bill Gates or Elon Musk-level great. But he’s sick and probably dying so he may never get the chance. The speech strikes a very different tone from Winn’s usual jokey demeanor and for a minute it makes it seem like Winn won’t actually make it (noooo!!!).
James calls Lena out of concern for his friends, and she tells him he’s working on the Worldkiller issue already, but won’t reveal more. In the Dark Valley, Sam confronts Reign, who threatens Sam’s daughter, saying she’ll kill her in the worst ways. Sam wants to go to Supergirl for more help since Lena still hasn’t found the Reign-trigger, but Lena refuses claiming she’s the only one who can help Sam.
Brainy’s tries everything to track down Pestilence, except social media, a “short-lived trend” that they apparently don’t have in the future. Kara quickly uses it to figure out that the doctor at City Hall is Pestilence. They believe since she heals people for a living, Supergirl will be able to get through to her humanity. But when they find Pestilence, she scoffs at Supergirl’s speech. Instead, she says she doesn’t want to stop what she’s doing. Pestilence is the best thing that’s happened to her.
In the ensuing fight, Pestilence scratches Supergirl. Imra puts a forcefield around Pestilence and tries to kill her. But the Worldkiller Purity shows up and saves her. Fortunately, Pestilence left behind her DNA, enough to manufacture a cure.
With everyone now healed, Supergirl confronts Imra again. She confesses that Imra was right, she failed. Imra tells Supergirl she has a sister who died in the Blight in the future, and Supergirl and Imra make up.
Winn and Brainy have created a tracker for Purity which lead Supergirl and the gang to Lena’s lab just in time to see Pestilence and Purity picking up Reign, who seems to have finally beaten Sam. The Worldkiller trio fly off together, no doubt to wreak more havoc next week.
This was a thoughtful episode, featuring a lot of philosophical discussion. J’onn comes out against Yoda’s famous “there is no try” philosophy. He tells Kara that sometimes trying is all we can do.
Also, the doctor who turns out to be Pestilence is angry at the medical system and seems to like having power over life and death. She doesn’t want to heal, she wants to punish—and take out any enemies in her way. When Supergirl finds her, she says she’s learned that being good isn’t as valuable as she was led to believe when she was a child. While Pestilence is certainly drunk with power, she does have a point about the system not always working out for “good” people.
And of course, Supergirl and Imra’s philosophical argument about whether to kill Pestilence runs throughout the episode. I hate to say it, but Imra has a point. She wants to put the lives of the many over the life of an individual. Given what she knows about the future and how awful the Blight becomes, she seems to fear Pestilence more viscerally than anyone else. And her fear seems well-founded if the Blight really does wipe out as many people as she claims. Ending Pestilence would end the threat. Given the Worldkillers’ power, it’s hard to say if Supergirl’s way would yield the same results. We have several episodes left in the season to find out.
This episode got us back into full Worldkiller battle mode, and the sight of the three Worldkillers uniting and flying off together was definitely foreboding. So far, the Worldkillers have proven to be more than a match for Supergirl. It’ll be interesting to see how things unfold in the weeks to come.
Till next time Super-fans!