Technically, the CW superhero crossover won't kick off until the end of next Monday's (Nov. 28) Supergirl -- but that didn't stop the show from dropping a serious load of reveals in "The Darkest Places."
Supergirl has been setting up a lot for a few weeks now, from James (Mehcad Brooks) becoming the vigilante Guardian, Alex (Chyler Leigh) coming out of the closet and Project Cadmus being headed up by none other than Lillian Luthor (Brenda Strong). Each of those threads lead to major developments within the show that will have major repercussions going forward.
Let's break it down.
Cyborg Superman makes his debut!
Hank Henshaw is alive! We mean the real Hank Henshaw, not J'onn J'onzz (David Harewood) pretending to be the former head of the DEO who allegedly died while hunting the Martian Manhunter. Naturally, Real Hank has been hanging out with Cadmus for the past 15 years, helping them to eradicate aliens from Earth. He's also had a few upgrades and now refers to himself as Cyborg Superman.
This was a big pay off for comic book fans who have always known Hank Henshaw to be the alter ego of Cyborg Superman. In the comics, he was an astronaut whose body was badly burned during a solar flare caused by Superman. Before his body completely burned, he was able to beam his consciousness into the Kryptonian "birthing matrix," which had carried Superman from Krypton to Earth as a child. That allowed Hank to transform into Cyborg Superman.
On Supergirl, Cyborg Superman is a Cadmus upgrade to the man formerly known as Hank Henshaw. He's as strong as any Kryptonian, but the full breadth of his powers still remains to be seen. We know he was able to find his way to the Fortress of Solitude, and used Kara's (Melissa Benoist) blood to get all the information Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) has on "Project Medusa" — a virus that can kill any alien in the vicinity once it is released. Kara really has her hands full with this one.
Jeremiah Danvers returns...for a little while
There was some good news to be had in this episode. Jeremiah Danvers (Dean Cain) is also alive! He was able to help Kara and Mon-El (Chris Wood) escape once Project Cadmus had them caged up. Unfortunately, the Cadmus guards descended before Jeremiah was able to escape with his adopted daughter and her Daxamite.
Kara made quick business of getting back to the DEO to tell Alex that her father was still alive, but by the time the DEO returned to the site all of Project Cadmus had picked up and moved. Jeremiah was confident that he could last a little longer with Cadmus, considering he had made it 15 years already. Still, Lillian Luthor can't be too pleased that he helped their two prize captives escape and there will undoubtedly be punishment for Jeremiah's lack of loyalty. We'll have to wait a little longer to see if a happy family reunion is possible.
J'onn J'onzz has a devastating diagnosis
The truth has come out that M'gann (Sharon Leal) is actually a white martian. As predicted, J'onn J'onzz was extremely pissed off about it. He spent most of the episode trying to figure out why his hands kept shaking and he was having having strange visions of his family and an attacking white martian. A blood test lead him to the truth, and he immediately went to fight M'gann to the death as revenge for his family and his people who were exterminated by her kind.
Inevitably, Kara's optimism about people's ability for change must have rubbed off on J'onn because he didn't kill M'gann. Instead, he locked her up in the DEO "for all eternity," but as he walked away from her cell she told him the devastating news — his symptoms are because her blood is turning him into a white martian. It's the product of the white martian experimentation on the green martians and there's no way to stop it from happening. J'onn's hand shook as he walked away from the cell and revealed that M'gann was telling the truth. Now the last green martian in the universe has been sentenced to become the very thing he hates the most.
Mon-El and Kara could very much be "a thing"
Sorry, Kara and James 'shippers, Mon-El is officially declaring his crush for Kara — and it might be mutual. The two were stuck in side-by-side Cadmus cages for a while during the hour, in which Kara gave an impassioned speech about how Mon-El was worth saving. That could have been just the Kara belief that everyone deserves a chance, but it was enough to make Mon-El get a serious case of heart eyes for Supergirl.
After they managed to escape, he asked James and Winn (Jeremy Jordan) if Kara was "mated" yet. He then shot a mooney-eyed stare at Kara from across her apartment and it became obvious that he's developed pretty serious feelings for his superhero mentor. The question remains, does Kara feel the same way and is she finally ready to try and balance having a boyfriend with the rest of her life?
What does it all mean?
These major developments are coming up just before Kara is about to take a big journey to another dimension. Next Monday's episode, "Medusa," will focus primarily on a Danvers Thanksgiving and the Project Cadmus virus — but there's still a lot to unpack before Kara gets recruited by Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) to save their Earth from an alien attack.
Can it all be done? We can pretty safely assume that Jeremiah won't be found within the span of an episode, but the presence of Cyborg Superman, J'onn's diagnosis and Mon-El's feelings for Kara will have to be dealt with in a timely fashion or it will feel like a ball has been dropped. In some ways, it feels that the show is pulling a Kara and trying to pack too much into one hour. Along with these four major developments was James' evolution as Guardian — and Alex now being in on the secret — and Alex's next step in accepting her sexuality. The show is juggling a lot of heavy storylines that have a deep impact on all of its characters.
Up until now, Supergirl has done a good job of balancing its diverging storylines, but as each of them get bigger and require more attention they also need to start converging to save the show from feeling over stuffed. No one wants to see their favorite characters cheated for time, or an important storyline like Alex's coming out or James finding agency outside of the office, to not get the attention it deserves, but we also need to see how these storylines eventually feed into Supergirl's big picture.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on the CW.
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