Supergirl Recap: O Brother, Where Art Thou? Memory Trouble

October 28, 2019
Jonathon Wilson 0
TV, TV Recaps
3

Summary

“Stranger Beside Me” confirms that J’onn has a sibling as relationships flourish (and wither) and Lena takes a big step.

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3

Summary

“Stranger Beside Me” confirms that J’onn has a sibling as relationships flourish (and wither) and Lena takes a big step.

This recap of Supergirl Season 5, Episode 2, “Stranger Beside Me”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.


“Stranger Beside Me” continues to put a fair amount of focus on J’onn J’onzz (David Harewood) and Martian lore, as we learn almost immediately that the errant Martian claiming to be his brother in the Season 5 premiere was almost certainly telling the truth. Thanks to a curse with some historical precedent, Martian brothers scrapping causes both of them crippling pain — there’s no need for a Maury moment in Supergirl Season 5, Episode 2.

The solution to this is Q-waves, which in a stroke of luck Kelly (Azie Tesfai) is researching, provided Alex (Chyler Leigh) doesn’t kill her with blueberries in the meantime. With those waves and the help of more VR, J’onn is able to piece together missing memories and determine that his brother, Malefic (Phil LaMarr), was a betrayer of the Green Martians banished to the Phantom Zone, and it occurs to me that anybody unfamiliar with DC lore would probably think I was making all this up.

Malefic is fuming with J’onn, and doubly so when he can’t save a White Martian comrade from a DEO assault. Thanks to various snoopy circumstances, William Day (Staz Nair) is present for some of this, after tracking Kara (Melissa Benoist) from the CatCo offices, where Andrea (Julie Gonzalo) had insisted that she write a puff piece on the fashion choices at her own Pulitzer party. Awful.

And things remain awful at CatCo in Supergirl Season 5, Episode 2. William nabbed Kara’s piece that she didn’t want to write anyway and Andrea has assigned her all the day’s mundane copy-editing work, which she dumps on his desk since he’s so keen to do her job for her, thanks very much. A lot of this just feels forced and nonsensical but at least “Stranger Beside Me” maintains this season’s high standards of petty theatrics.

Malefic makes a reappearance in Alex’s apartment, posing as Kelly, which leads to a fun fight in the apartment, down in the street, and on a nearby rooftop, as Supergirl tussles with Malefic-as-Kelly-and-Alex with punctuation by loads of questionable VFX. He gets away to shapeshift another day, which he does moments later, hiding as a literal fly on the wall while J’onn debates whether to risk a complete reset of his brain in order to uncover more memories.

Alex and Kelly are brought closer by their experiences in Supergirl Season 5, Episode 2, while Nia (Nicole Maines) and Brainy (Jesse Rath) find themselves struggling with the latter’s woeful understanding of romantic gestures. The scene of him climbing into bed while reading poetry aloud gave me genuine shivers — it’s more frightening even than Lena’s (Katie McGrath) last-minute remapping of the human brain to more closely resemble the programming of her AI ally, Hope, which I’m sure bodes very well for the future. At least Kara decides to do her own editing.


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