SUPERGIRL: The Past Is Always Present

Supergirl’s 17th episode (“Manhunter”) is all about assumptions and revelations. It is also about picking sides, and there’s a clear-cut good side and bad side—although, everyone has their reasons. Lucy Lane and a Colonel James Harper show up at the DEO to interrogate Hank, whose powers are conveniently kept in check by a nifty little device. Everything’s being done under the guise of an investigation, but it’s clearly a witch hunt.

But it’s also a clever vehicle to reveal how J’onn J’onzz met Jeremiah Danvers and the real Hank Henshaw. Spoiler alert: the real Hank was a raging douchecanoe, considering his venom-filled assessment of the Martian Manhunter: “This thing is the most dangerous fugitive we’ve ever faced.” He knows nothing of the Manhunter, but has formed an opinion like most small-minded people do: based on trumped-up nonsense and fear. (Anyone catch that pun there? Okay, good.) While searching for the Martian Manhunter in a jungle, Jeremiah trips while being pursued by the snake from Britney Spears’ “Slave for You” performance, and he would’ve been toast if it weren’t for—you guessed it—J’onzz saving him.


Jeremiah quickly realized that the Manhunter isn’t a threat, vows to intervene with Hank/DEO on his behalf, and fills him in on Alex and Kara. The conversation drives home the parallel between aliens and refugees that has been commonplace in the series (and much appreciated). Jeremiah has an open mind and allows himself the wisdom of reworking his opinion, based on actual facts: “You’re not a danger—you’re a refugee. Like my daughter.” I like that the show doesn’t shy away from an important issue, tackling the idea that different doesn’t equal bad—and that too many people hate based on overzealous fear and a strange sense of right.

Unfortunately and predictably, Hank marches in and shoots the Manhunter—twice—with a show of extreme cruelty. There’s no compassion, no humanity in his actions. Jeremiah ends up fighting him and throwing Hank off a cliff—but not before getting stabbed, because he brought gravity to a knife fight. Granted, at the end of the episode we learn that Jeremiah is actually alive, which…I mean, duh. You don’t hire Dean Cain and then shove him into a flashback or three.

Lucy and Colonel Heartless—sorry, Harper—reject his story and decide he’s going to Project Cadmus. It’s basically a lab full of scientists who experiment on aliens and humans. Sounds a lot like The Initiative from Buffy, minus Riley. I mean, I’m sure Marc Blucas is available, guys. Someone make this happen!

Anyway, Alex goes to the mat for the Manhunter, which results in her being interrogated. We get a nice, neat little backstory about how Alex was a party girl before Hank (the Manhunter as Hank) recruited her and saved her life. She almost drove drunk and is arrested. When Hank/Manhunter visits her at jail, two curious things happen. One: Alex gets extremely protective at the mention of Kara, and I like that in a Big Sister kind of way. That was the only thing that was said that really reached her. The second thing is more of a question. Alex acts like she never met Hank Henshaw before, but unless I’m misremembering, in a flashback, she and Kara saw him come to the house when they were kids (in an earlier episode). You could argue that kids forget things, and that’s true. But I think I’d remember something so important.

Alex gets sentenced to Project Cadmus as well, which leads to a really awkward bit of revelation. Kara enlists Jimmy to help in getting Lucy on their side. This, of course, involves Kara revealing her identity to Lucy and now basically everyone but the mail man knows Kara’s secret identity. I do get it, though. This allows Jenna Dewan Tatum to stay on the show, so I’m all for it. Just let her dance. Please. I beg you. *ahem* Anyway, Kara drops a whole lot of wisdom on Lucy. It’s an excellent example of what it’s like to long to fit in and what it means to allow yourself to be vulnerable and trust in a harsh world: “When you are an alien, you’re willing to sacrifice anything, everything—betray your fundamental instincts, just to fit in. To belong somewhere, to find your place in this world. … I know you’re feeling betrayed and alone, but if you go along with Jim Harper, just to feel like you belong, to feel like you fit in somewhere. Ultimately, the only person you’re betraying is yourself. It wasn’t easy for me to show you who I really am, but I did it because I trust who you are.” It is well done, and it’s enough to sway Lucy.

In a great scene, Kara and Lucy (wearing helmets to protect their identity; bonus: it was totally badass) stop the truck transporting Hank, Alex, and Colonel I Hate Everyone Who Is Different. Alex disables the device stopping Hank’s powers, and Hank rearranges Colonel Harper’s memories to suit their purposes. However, quid pro quo, Clarice: in doing so, Hank sees Harper’s memories, revealing that Jeremiah is alive. This prompts the two fugitives—Alex and Hank—to go after Jeremiah. But, um, guys? Olympus would be THAT way. Wait, not quite what I meant. My problem is that no one knows the location of Project Cadmus. So, unless Hank saw it when he did his mindmeld, I’m curious as to how they’ll find it.

Now, let’s tackle the last bit: Siobhan. She’s wonderful and awful at the same time. She gets drunk on Mimosas (solid), bitches to Winn about Kara, tries to sabotage her with Cat by sending a fake email (btw, she was on the phone with Kate Middleton, which yesssssssssssss), and then ends up drinking scotch on a roof because everything backfired. See, when Cat got a suspicious email from Kara’s account (seems rage-y; I had initially thought she was going to pretend to hit on Cat), Cat had Winn analyze the computer. And, whoops, definitely not Kara.

Drunk-on-the-roof has a fight with Winn, because he should’ve been on her side—because clearly she has the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone, to quote Giles. Siobhan breaks a heel, falls off the roof, and ends up saving herself via a banshee yell. We allllll saw that coming, right? I mean, everyone but Siobhan and Winn, because I don’t know which of them looked more shocked.


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Welcoming the Future, Treasuring the Past.