Losing Faith in Humanity… or so to speak.
After the events of “Falling”, Supergirl returned last week with “Manhunter” to truly define the boundaries of what it means to be human.
Clearly a figurative phrase by the episode’s end, we meet the original Hank Henshaw is a flashback episode that marks the term Alien as anything but when it comes to the premise of being human.
As a forlorn Kara watches the news rescind the nation’s love of Supergirl. She’s at an overwhelming loss as to what she should do, as she is deemed a symbol of hope. Even the knowledge that she was under the influence of Red Kryptonite fails to regain that city’s trust. Failing to be a symbol of hope, she is cynically denounced as a symbol of invulnerability, in the news that like a human, she is both flawed and vulnerable.
At Catco, Cat is also annoyed with how long it’s taking to redeem Supergirl’s image. As the Crime Rate has risen to 40%, Supergirl’s newly discovered vulnerability as even failed to produce more heroes in her wake. As enemies lose fear, victims lose faith.
As Jimmy is left to man the phones in Kara’s absence, Winn leaves to meet with Siobhan.
First, though, he leaves to meet with Siobhan, who is angry over Kara’s actions.
Pissed at the “four-eyed bitch in a kilt” we know as Kara, Siobhan, frets over her inability to get work; sure that Cat has ruined her. Also expressing her hate for Kara, Winn encourages her to move on and have faith that she’ll find work eventually. He tells her to set a goal and to stop at nothing to achieve it.
As the news speculates as to who J’onn J’onzz is, Alex visits him at his Cell at the DEO; where he’s trying to get her to stop visiting him, for fear she’ll be implicated in the reckoning against him.
Alex insists she won’t abandon someone in a crisis; which is made worse when the military; lead by Captain Harper and Major Lucy Lane, arrive to interrogate Hank and his “Confederates”.
Having been on familiar terms with both Lucy and Harper, Hank is sadly ostracised, as his interrogation begins; despite his willingness to cooperate. With his newly revealed race, Hank can no longer be trusted not to plant falsehoods in his mind. I do question how; being the sole Martian survivor, that the DEO is able to tell he can alter people’s thoughts – unless the White Martian has a similar physiology.
With this newly founded distrust, they’ve managed to create a shield to prevent both his, and Supergirl’s powers from being used.
When J’onn is asked what happened to the real Hank Henshaw, we’re taken back 10 years to our original Hank, briefing his agents as they seek out the ‘Manhunter’ aka the very iconic; Martian Manhunter; J’onn J’onzz, who has been mistaken for a resurrected mythological demon in a village nearby.
Tracking him with a shoot to kill order, to the Peruvian Andes, Jeremiah is the first to come across J’onn, as he is saved from the attack of a deadly python.
Back at the DEO, and back in Present day, Lucy and Harper are in disbelief at J’onn’s tale. They’re unwilling to believe that Jeremiah would spare his life; nor would J’onn save his enemy.
Instead, we travel back once more, as Jeremiah and J’onn make camp for the night.
J’onn fears the fire, and perhaps Jeremiah as he refuses to sit next to him. When confronted, he relents that fire burned his planet into its demise, wherein Jeremiah learns that he was the sole survivor.
Advocating for his well-being, Jeremiah refers to J’onn as a refugee, like his daughter aka Kara.
Telling him that she was adopted to be raised alongside his daughter Alex, he hands J’onn a photo, implying that she is also an alien, as he says “she’s not from here either”, here clearly not meaning the Peruvian Andes.
As Jeremiah swears to keep J’onn safe, he confesses that “humans can be ignorant”.
Sadly they are ambushed by the real Hank Henshaw, who fails to parallel in charisma next to our beloved J’onn.
Vindictive and cold-blooded, Hank shoots J’onn; the most powerful being on earth -according to Superman – learning that he can regenerate if he doesn’t end him quick enough.
In his defence, Jeremiah attacks. Whilst Jeremiah is seemingly, fatally stabbed, Hank falls to his death from a cliff.
With the insistence that J’onn looks after his children, Jeremiah dies, and J’onn assumes the role of Hank at the DEO; to protect the world from other Aliens.
Perhaps unaware of his own self-preservation against White Martians, Lucy and Harper prefer to believe that Hank had every intention of infiltrating the DEO to take down humanity itself before others could. Defending himself, he rightfully declares that he brought honour to Hank’s name.
Far from willing to cooperate themselves, the military decide to take Hank away. More than 300 years old, they refuse to buy into the good image Alex paints of him; instead suspecting her also.
At her own interrogation, Alex is questioned under a lie detector.
Elsewhere, Siobhan sneaks into Catco, to send a scathing email to Cat; pretending to be Kara.
Meanwhile, at Alex’s interrogation she continues to defend Hank; recalling her past and how he saved her. A former party girl, feeling worthless in comparison to her sister, Alex is recruited by Hank after being arrested after a night of partying.
With his own awareness of Kara’s secret, he reassures Alex that she is special also. Despite passing the test, Lucy refuses to accept it and has Alex arrested also.
When Kara/Supergirl demands to know where she and Hank are being taken, we learn that they are being recruited into Project Cadmus. After asking Jimmy for help back at Catco, he reveals that Project Cadmus was reason enough for Superman to reject working with the government.
Project Cadmus is revealed to be a lab in which Alien’s are dissected and have their powers weaponised. With her human status, Kara fears what Alex’s fate should be. Are we about the see a Man-made mutant emerge? barring the comical grace in which Deadpool approached his fate in the Marvel Universe, of course.
Deciding that Lucy is their only option at saving them, Jimmy calls her to Kara’s apartment wherein she reveals her secret.
Reluctant to help, Lucy asks Kara why all Aliens feel the need to lie.
It is with her response that we flashback to Kara’s past as she struggles to fit in amongst her sister and her peers. When she uses her powers to save a family from a burning car, Jeremiah warns her against it. He tells her that it’s not safe to be herself, and gives her lead-laced glasses to suppress her vision; in order to help her assimilate to the idea of normal.
Flashing back two years from present day, Kara suppresses her uniqueness to win Cat over in hiring her; with her over-enthusiasm to be ordinary. Ironically, she uses her abilities to prove that she can anticipate Cat’s every need, in being a loyal servant at Catco.
Losing her role as hero to her well-established cousin, it is clear now, that Kara pursued Catco to serve a purpose to the world, within Journalism.
Promising her complete dedication, Kara tells Lucy that sacrificing yourself; to go against your very being, is what is necessary to fit in.
Though Lucy disagrees, it is this notion that Kara uses to get her help. If she were to sacrifice herself, to allow Alex and Hank to be a part of Project Cadmus, she would be as much of a ‘liar’ as any Alien.
As Harper tells Alex and Hank of all the ways Project Cadmus will use them; dissection included, Lucy and Kara approach their prison van on motorcycles to ambush their journey.
Able to destroy the power inhibitor in the upset, Hank is able to manifest his strength, to break free and take down Harper; wiping his memory of the events. In the process, J’onn sees that Jeremiah is alive and trapped within Project Cadmus. Officially fugitives on the run, Alex and Hank set out to save him as Kara is asked to continue being there for her city.
Back at Catco, Siobhan meets with Cat. Playing coy; awaiting the moment she is given her job back, she is instead called out by Cat. With Kara out sick for the day, and with Winn’s technical aid, she discovered that the keystrokes that wrote the email match Siobhan’s and not Kara’s.
As Cat threatens to call the police, should Siobhan ever act out again, she is asked to leave.
Back at the DEO, Harper has resigned – as per J’onn’s will – and Lucy is made the Director of DEO. On friendly terms with Kara, she asks for her help in running the agency. As she is set upon another rescue, Lucy encourages her heroic and truer self, with faith in the redemption of her public image.
As Winn approaches a drunk Siobhan on a rooftop, Supergirl flies over – earning Siobhan’s disdain alongside her alter-ego.
Angry at Winn for protecting Kara, she falls from the roof. In what seems like a nostalgic set up, to meet new heroes, Siobhan is able to save herself from impact with the ground by a scream.
Known in the DC universe as Silver Banshee, it seems unlikely that Siobhan’s vendetta against Kara will ever be spared for heroism.
Tonight, Supergirl welcomes The Flash to National City in this multi-network crossover event; “Worlds Finest” wherein friendly competition ensues, as they tackle the threat of Livewire and Silver Banshee.
Catch the Sneak Peak below as we learn just how Barry Allen entered the Supergirl universe…literally.
Supergirl airs Monday at 8|7c on CBS!
[Featured Image Courtesy of CBS, Source Content for Gif: Supergirl “Manhunter”, CBS 2016 ]