Supergirl’s episode 12 (“Bizarro”) was chockful of complicated relationships, beginning with Maxwell Lord (doing a decent approximation of Dr. Frankenstein) creating Bizarro. This raises the question: is evil born or made? Certainly, Lord mercilessly pumped at least seven people full of concentrated Supergirl DNA, before succeeding. And yes, he went a bit A Clockwork Orange in trying to program Bizarro. But beyond that, he spends the majority of the episode looking smarmy and grandstanding, without any observable depth. Personally, I prefer my supervillains to be more human, more flawed, and somewhat relatable. But perhaps God Complex’s charm is in meant to lie in his single-mindedness.
Another complicated relationship is Kara and Cat’s. Since Kara agreed to date Adam, Cat pulled a Mr. Hyde and brought Kara a latte. She even takes her suggestion at a meeting about how to cover Bizarro (yes, Cat coined the name). But that’s not all the crazypants shenanigans going on at CatCo: Winn finally starts speaking to Kara again, who offers him a nice backhanded, “Does this mean I’m on a planet where you’re talking to me again?” Bravo, girl. Kara enlists Jimmy and Winn’s help, but gets a text from Adam mid-talk. She blushes and beams, hems and haws—and when she fills the boys in, Jimmy is supportive. More on that later.
Kara and Adam’s date is good at showing us how well they mesh, how genuinely interesting in each other they are—until Kara makes up an ill grandma and has to flee to rescue a cable car full of people. (You’d think she’d start stockpiling some more believable excuses, no?) Bizarro swoops in, and they fight—but relaying the information to Lord later, she’s genuinely surprised by the fact that Supergirl rescued the people who were in danger. And that is the moment I’m most interested in Bizarro (Hope Lauren is very compelling). Because she’s starting, however briefly, to think for herself, to reason out actions and their meaning. There’s a cognizance there that softens her for a few moments, making her human. Of course, Lord is a suave enough talker to bring her back around to, as Kara puts it, “talking like Cookie Monster.” I would’ve gone with the Hulk, but that works too.
Interesting, it is only Kara who sees the person in Bizarro (perhaps as an outsider herself), rather than the Frankenstein’s monster. At the DEO, when Hank and Alex are the governmental equivalent of HULK SMASH, Kara shows kindness, her unwavering belief in the potential for good shining through: “But she’s not the villain here. She’s the victim. It’s Max we should be going after.” Alex and Hank want to shoot her with Kryptonite darts, and when Kara balks, Alex spits, “You’re acting as if she’s a person and not a science experiment.” That’s a harsh turn for Alex, and I didn’t quite care for it. Of all people, you’d think she would have compassion for Bizarro.
She does have enough plucky cheer to send Kara on her raincheck date with Adam, which is vaguely sweet and charming. They discuss how normality is a lie! They kiss! But Bizarro flies in and snatches Kara, faster than a speeding train. More on the implications of that in a minute.
At CatCo, Jimmy pours a drink for himself…and Winn—to drown their sorrows. Obviously, we’re keeping with the bizarre/opposites theme of the episode. (Does everyone keep good booze at work? Is desk booze a thing? Will someone buy me a flask? *cough* Moving on…) The conversation between Jimmy and Winn is both amazing and infuriating. Winn’s eyeroll-inducing, sad sack, woe-is-me “friend zone” attitude and comment made me want to Force choke him. The fact that the show keeps insisting this is a thing is perpetuating a culture of male entitlement that is unhealthy and damaging. If Jimmy had responded to Winn’s friend-zone tangent with a counterpoint of NOPE, I would’ve cheered. Also, why are we acting like friendship is a consolation prize? That’s not a good thing to teach the youths. Or so I’ve heard. (Get off my lawn.)
That aside, Winn does Jimmy a solid and asks what the frak he’s doing with Kara. He correctly asserts that Jimmy could be with Kara if he just took the leap. He also very wisely points out that no one ever frelling wants to be in a relationship with someone who wants to be with someone else. That’s emotional torture. What Winn says sinks in, but time will tell if Jimmy actually does anything about it. He does leave the booze for Winn, though.
Meanwhile, Kara tries to reason with Bizarro, who is all Buffy in “Beer Bad.” Kara’s earnestness is really endearing, but it doesn’t save Bizarro from getting lit up with Kryptonite bullets from the DEO. Surprise! Since she’s the reverse of Kara in all things, these only manage to corrupt her, distorting her face and ticking her off. If she wasn’t BIZARRO SMASH before, that did it.
At the DEO, Kara confesses to Alex that Lord must know they’re sisters, since Bizarro attacked Kara, not Supergirl. Hank wanders off to have the Kryptonite reverse-engineered, so they have a weapon to use on Bizarro, and Kara has a mini-freakout about needing to stop Lord. I mean, I’d be pissed too if his lackey ruined my date twice.
But all that’s null and void, because Kara breaks it off with Adam, and then blows off Jimmy who was awkwardly trying to comfort her on the balcony. Kara was abrupt and abrasive, which is not usually like her. But when you break up with someone you actually like for good reasons…well, I’d be a bit put out too. Unfortunately, this gives Bizarro a prime opportunity to kidnap Jimmy, because Lord prompts her to kill Kara’s friends and family. (And we sure Bizarro isn’t King George?)
Jimmy wakes up duct-taped to a forklift (we’ve all been there, dude), his Supergirl batsignal watch a foot or so away from him. Kindly, he tries to reason with Bizarro, reminding her that everyone feels ugly sometimes, but love is greater than that. He describes his love for Kara, “I love her, because of who she is. Because she’s brave. Because she’s kind. And she always tries to do the right thing. And you can be the same. You’re not a monster.” This is solid and beautifully done, but Bizarro kind of flips out and goes all dragon breath after Jimmy hits the watch.
The fight scene between Kara and Bizarro is short, and it ends with Alex putting a reverse Kryptonite bullet in Bizarro. Touchingly, when they take her back to the DEO, Bizarro apologizes to Kara, who comforts her as they put her into a medically induced coma so they can try and help her. While the turn between HULK SMASH and “I’m sorry” was a little too sharp for my liking, it was still a touching scene. I’ll overlook it, because I’m a sap.
Kara dashes into cell 19 to confront Lord, who Alex arrested (much to Hank’s utter rage. Not even disgust. He was furious). He threatens Kara’s adoptive mom, and I have to say: I don’t grok him. Is he supposed to be pure, indiscriminate evil? If so, why bother to cultivate his softer side with Alex earlier in the season? It’s curious.
A few bits and bobs: Cat downgrades her relationship with Kara. Jimmy declines hanging out with Kara to pick Lucy up at the airport (maybe to break up with her? Please say yes.). And Kara, after returning to her apartment, appears to be attacked by a giant green alien octopus that hatched on her coffee table.
I don’t suppose we can fry that thing up for calamari?