Supergirl ‘Manhunter’ Recap- Episode 1.17

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Flashbacks Time

There were flashbacks a plenty this episode and we start with how J’onn J’onnz became Hank Henshaw and how Jeremiah Danvers died to save him.  As it turns out the real Hank Henshaw had a borderline psychotic obsession with finding and killing J’onn, despite Jeremiah’s best attempts to talk him out of it.  Henshaw, Jeremiah and a handful of other faceless DEO agents then go out to the Peruvian Andes to hunt down J’onn once and for all.  Jeremiah gets separated from the rest of the group and is almost killed by a snake until J’onn shows up to save him.

Afterwards, J’onn and Jeremiah tell each other a bit about themselves.  J’onn admits to being the last of his kind, which Jeremiah at least partially sympathizes with since his adoptive daughter Kara is in a very similar situation.  Jeremiah vows to do everything in his power to help keep J’onn safe but unfortunately Hank picks that moment to show up and start shooting.  Jeremiah intervenes and though he’s able to throw Hank off a cliff, he gets mortally wounded in the process.  With his last breath, Jeremiah asks J’onn to take care of his daughters.  We then see J’onn assume Hank Henshaw’s identity.

We then move on to how Alex had been recruited to the DEO.  We find out that before being a government agent, Alex was a party girl whose prospects in the scientific field appeared to be dwindling.  Her drunken escapades eventually get her arrested and Hank shows up at her jail cell to bail her out.  He then offers her a chance to get out from under Kara’s shadow by coming to work for the DEO and she accepts.

Finally, we take a look at a teenage Kara trying to transition to her life on Earth.  She has trouble adjusting to her super hearing and X-ray vision (one of the few things I’m actually okay with them borrowing from Man of Steel).  Despite this, Kara is able to save a woman and baby from a burning car.  This naturally starts raising questions though and Jeremiah tells her that it would be safer for her to just try and fit in, reasoning the world already has Superman.  He then gives her a pair of glasses specially lined with lead to help her suppress her X-ray vision.  We then cut to several years later where we see her getting hired to be Cat’s assistant.  Not sure why they felt that scene was necessary but whatever.      

That’s a Start

Ever since the fallout from the red kryptonite fiasco, Kara has been lamenting how National City has now begun to view her with fear.  This is especially evident when she tries to stop a bank robbery and both the robbers and the hostages run away in terror.  Cat witnesses this on the news and wonders why the people can’t just forgive Supergirl already (I know right, I mean it has been a whole week).

Kara isn’t given much time to contemplate this though, since after the fallout of Hank exposing himself as a Martian, the DEO is now under investigation from the military to figure out whatever J’onn’s evil plan and who in the DEO could’ve possibly known about it.  The investigation is being led by Colonel James Harper (Eddie McClintock) and the once again Major Lucy Lane.

Harper and Lucy start by interrogating J’onn and Kara tries to listen in but the military is using some kind of scrambler to block her out.  J’onn tells them the story of what happened to Jeremiah and Hank but Harper isn’t buying it since he was apparently best friends with the real Hank Henshaw.

Harper and Lucy then move on to interrogating Alex who both correctly have a hard time believing that she didn’t know Hank was really an alien.  They hook her up to a polygraph (though given how easy it is to beat a polygraph I’m not sure why they bothered) and she passes with flying colors.  Harper then concludes that she’s not a criminal but still a terrible agent since she couldn’t tell Hank was an alien (says the guy that claimed to be best friends with him).  However, Lucy figures out Alex is lying because of reasons (seriously there is no explanation for this) and has her arrested alongside J’onn anyway.  Harper then tells Supergirl that J’onn and Alex are being taken to Project Cadmus.

When Kara fills in James on what happened and mentions Project Cadmus, he gets a horrified look on his face.  He says it’s the scientific equivalent of the DEO and is generally used to dissect and experiment on aliens to weaponize their abilities and it’s also the very reason Superman doesn’t work with the government.

After hearing this, Kara makes a somewhat desperate move and reveals her identity to Lucy.  Lucy kicks herself for not realizing it before and Kara begs for her help to save J’onn and Alex.  Lucy refuses at first and demands to know why aliens constantly lie about who they are (gee Lucy, I think the DEO’s general policy of shooting aliens first and asking questions later has something to do with it).  Kara says it’s because when aliens like her and Hank have lost everything they care about, they do whatever they can to fit in on Earth.  Lucy reluctantly agrees to help save J’onn and Alex.

Harper has J’onn and Alex transported in a big rig to Project Cadmus but are interrupted by a couple of people on motorcycles who later turn out to be Kara and Lucy.  Harper’s guys prove to be hilariously useless against them (one guy actually complains about them wearing body armor) and they successfully free J’onn and Alex.  J’onn erases Harper’s memory of their escape but in the process stumbles upon a memory that indicates Jeremiah is still alive and at Project Cadmus.  Since Alex and J’onn are now both fugitives, they decide to go on the run while at the same time try to find Jeremiah.

When Kara and Lucy make their way back to the base, they are surprised to find out that Harper has resigned and has named Lucy the acting director of the DEO.  Lucy is nervous about this but Kara assures her she’ll do fine.  Kara then decides to respond to a bank robbery but is nervous at how people will react to her but Lucy says “You got me to trust you.  That’s a start.”

Siobhan

Siobhan has had a rough go of things since being fired from CatCo and has been unable to get a new job since Cat has apparently and unsurprisingly blackballed her.  She of course blames Kara for all of this but Winn calms her down a bit by basically giving her the old “you can whatever you set your mind to” speech.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say Siobhan interpreted this wrong since she then tries to get her revenge on Kara by getting her fired as well.  She breaks into CatCo and hacks into Kara’s computer (really easily I might add) and sends Cat an angry e-mail posing as Kara.

Luckily, since Cat isn’t a complete idiot, it takes her all of two seconds to realize that Kara didn’t send it.  She even has Winn prove it, who says that the speed and typing patterns of the hard drive don’t match Kara but they do match Siobhan.  Okay, first wouldn’t it have been easier just to prove that Kara wasn’t in the building when the e-mail was sent?  I’m sure CatCo has some security cameras.  Second, does no one else find it creepy that Winn knows how Kara and Siobhan type?  Regardless, Cat warns Siobhan that she’ll turn her over to the police if she pulls another stunt like that.

Siobhan is once again angry at Kara for ruining her life and decides to get drunk on top of a building.  When Winn tries to console her, she gets angry at him for taking Kara’s side, though Winn rightfully points out that she was the one that committed what may be a federal crime and her getting on Cat’s crap list twice was her own damn fault.  Siobhan then ends up falling off the building though her fall is softened when she uses a sonic screaming ability (just how long she’s been able to do that is anyone’s guess) much to Winn’s understandable surprise.

Analysis

As much as I enjoyed this episode it wasn’t without it’s problems and the biggest one by far is Colonel Harper.  For starters, I’m convinced that he was written in for the sole purpose of being a substitute for General Lane, especially considering he ends up resigning off screen.  My guess is that either Glenn Morshower wasn’t available to reprise his role that week or they just didn’t feel like including Lucy’s daddy issues into this episode.  While I would normally be relieved not to see General Lane again, they have somehow written Harper to be even dumber.  His interrogations of J’onn and Alex felt pointless since he basically ignored everything they said anyway.  His dialogue is virtually the same as General Lane’s probably would’ve been but where as Morshower can at least carry himself like someone that’s actually a credible threat to Supergirl, McClintock just sounds ineffectual and whiny.

While the flashbacks weren’t exactly necessary, they were still enjoyable to watch in their own ways.  Even though we basically already knew what happened to Jeremiah, I’ve got a soft spot for Dean Cain, so it was good to see him again.  Alex getting some backstory is a nice change of pace since every flashback scene she’s gotten so far revolved around Kara.  As for Kara, it was nice to see that even as a teenager her natural instinct is help people whenever possible.  Jeremiah’s attempts to keep those urges in check also feels reasonable since he already knows first hand what could happen to her if she isn’t careful and there’s also the fact that Superman is already around so there was technically no reason for her to put the weight of the world on her shoulders just yet.

The Siobhan stuff felt like filler but given how annoying she’s been so far, I never mind seeing Cat take her down a peg.  Also, now the writers have finally set her up as Silver Banshee so she might actually get to be somewhat interesting.

Tune in next week for the episode fans have been waiting to see for months.  Next we’ll finally get the show’s first and long anticipated crossover as Barry Allen teams up with Supergirl in ‘World’s Finest.’

Flashbacks Time There were flashbacks a plenty this episode and we start with how J'onn J'onnz became Hank Henshaw and how Jeremiah Danvers died to save him.  As it turns out the real Hank Henshaw had a borderline psychotic obsession with finding and killing J'onn, despite Jeremiah's best attempts to talk him out of it.  Henshaw, Jeremiah and a handful of other faceless DEO agents then go out to the Peruvian Andes to hunt down J'onn once and for all.  Jeremiah gets separated from the rest of the group and is almost killed by a snake until J'onn shows up to save him. Afterwards, J'onn and Jeremiah tell each other a bit about themselves.  J'onn admits to being the last of his kind, which Jeremiah at least partially sympathizes with since his adoptive daughter Kara is in a very similar situation.  Jeremiah vows to do everything in his power to help keep J'onn safe but unfortunately Hank picks that moment to show up and start shooting.  Jeremiah intervenes and though he's able to throw Hank off a cliff, he gets mortally wounded in the process.  With his last breath, Jeremiah asks J'onn to take care of his daughters.  We then see J'onn assume Hank Henshaw's identity. We then move on to how Alex had been recruited to the DEO.  We find out that before being a government agent, Alex was a party girl whose prospects in the scientific field appeared to be dwindling.  Her drunken escapades eventually get her arrested and Hank shows up at her jail cell to bail her out.  He then offers her a chance to get out from under Kara's shadow by coming to work for the DEO and she accepts. Finally, we take a look at a teenage Kara trying to transition to her life on Earth.  She has trouble adjusting to her super hearing and X-ray vision (one of the few things I'm actually okay with them borrowing from Man of Steel).  Despite this, Kara is able to save a woman and baby from a burning car.  This naturally starts raising questions though and Jeremiah tells her that it would be safer for her to just try and fit in, reasoning the world already has Superman.  He then gives her a pair of glasses specially lined with lead to help her suppress her X-ray vision.  We then cut to several years later where we see her getting hired to be Cat's assistant.  Not sure why they felt that scene was necessary but whatever.       That's a Start Ever since the fallout from the red kryptonite fiasco, Kara has been lamenting how National City has now begun to view her with fear.  This is especially evident when she tries to stop a bank robbery and both the robbers and the hostages run away in terror.  Cat witnesses this on the news and wonders why the people can't just forgive Supergirl already (I know right, I mean it has been a whole week). Kara isn't…
Episode Score - 8

8

'Manhunter' is a flawed but very enjoyable episode that shows that Supergirl may actually have a chance to end the season on a high note.

User Rating: 4.75 ( 1 votes)
8
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About the Author

Derek Johns
is a native Texan who has had a love and fascination with movies as long as he can remember. He attended Sam Houston State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis on Broadcast Journalism. His love of film only grew during his college days, with seldom an hour going by without him making some kind of movie reference. He has since gone on a seemingly never-ending quest to see as many movies (old and new) that he possibly can, a task made possible by his Netflix subscription. Besides movies he enjoys television, reading, writing, video editing, listening to music, and watching Doctor Who.
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