Having identified one of the remaining Worldkillers, the DEO mounts up to get her before anything bad happens in this week’s Supergirl. That...kinda backfired.
There were a lot of plates spinning in this episode. There's the awakening of Wordkiller Purity, Alex being more aggressive than usual, Ruby getting abandoned at an ice rink, Sam having a blackout in front of Lena, marital issues between Imra and Mon-El, and a bombshell pre-reveal being dropped at the end. Whew! Let's try to break this down, shall we?
At the top of the episode, the DEO storms Julia Freeman's house and finds her listening to music. She gets understandably freaked out, but Supergirl realizes she hasn't fully turned yet. Alex presses forward, gun drawn, which triggers Julia's transformation into Purity and an impressive display of power. Once subdued, Kara tries to reach Julia while Alex constantly threatens Purity, which turns into a bit of a game of psychological cat and mouse (that Purity wins).
One of Purity's powers is seeing the truths that people hide. In this case, it's Alex still reeling from her breakup and feeling empty, and therefore cynical, and unable to believe they can save Julia. It becomes a source of friction as Alex basically undermines all of Kara's attempts to reach her...until it matters the most.
With Alex being able to reach Julia in the end, it solves an important potential problem down the line, namely Alex pragmatically wanting to permanently solve the Reign issue as opposed to trying to reform her. Yes, even when they eventually discover her true identity. I don't think she wouldn't try to reach Sam, but Alex has always been the one to accept, prepare, and be willing to follow through on the less happy ending. Succeeding here means she might move to a 60% backing on redemption (maybe even 65% with Ruby in consideration).
Krys Marshall plays Julia/Purity, and boy does she play this role well. It's not just the personalities and transitions between the two, it's the physicality. As Purity, her powers include a sonic scream and the ability to freeze people's motion. When she uses them, you really believe she's using them. For me, she exudes the best trait an actor in sci-fi or fantasy projects can possess: commitment to the role. Treat the material seriously, but have fun with it, and she did!
Meanwhile, Lena gives Sam the day off to spend with her daughter, in hopes some relaxation will help with her blackouts. Spoiler alert: it doesn't. While the two are in the middle of bonding and ice skating, Reign is activated to recover Purity, making Sam ghost on Ruby, disappearing suddenly and leaving her all alone. She calls Lena, who comes and tries to reassure the understandably shaken girl. Ruby tells her about the initial trip where she was awoken and lost time the first time, information Lena hadn't previously known.
What I appreciate here is showing that kids are more perceptive than most people give them credit for. We often want to shield them from all the bad in the world, but keeping secrets never helps—the reality is that you can't hide an illness from a kid. They notice when something isn't right, and even though it's not an easy discussion to have, it's better to talk to them than have them worry, proverbially wandering alone in a skating rink.
When Sam comes back that night and meets Lena at the L Corp offices, though she's initially relieved that her daughter is safe, she gets mad that Lena mentioned her "illness" to Ruby. And, oops, Sam experiences a blackout in front of Lena and doesn't remember essentially threatening her. Witnessing this, Lena says she knows what's wrong and she's going to fix it.
I'm actually really excited Lena is the first to know, not just for the dramatic aspects, but so we can see her be science-y again. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if she's the one who figures out how to effectively fight the Wordkillers what with Lillian and Lex's accumulated knowledge at her fingertips. (After she made that vow, I wrote "DARK LUTHOR SCIENCE" in my notes.)
While all of this is going on, Mon-El and Imra have been experiencing some friction. I'm sure you've noticed he's been very eager to volunteer for missions with Supergirl. Well, Imra has noticed too. The ship needs some repairs and he's being weird and snappy about it towards her.
So, turns out that Imra and Mon-El got married symbolically to unite her planet and Earth. They were friends initially and he was still in mourning, but in time they fell in love. Predictably, being back around Kara has stirred up old feelings and has made things complicated for him. He admits this and Imra, though concerned, thanks him for his honesty. She then looks him dead in his eyes and tells him it's time he knows what their real mission is (!!!).
I figured something else was up with them. It seemed too convenient that their ship would be displaced for millennia, but end up in National City, of all places. There's a couple of options of why that would be, most obviously to help defeat the Worldkillers. But they may need to bring Supergirl into the future for some reason, or maybe they need to acquire something that only exists in this timeline. Heck, Ruby is half-Kryptonian. For all we know, they're here for her.
- Julia was adopted by the Freemans, Lawrence and Molly. While they don't share the names of Freddy "Captain Marvel, Jr." Freeman's parental units, it still pinged something in my brain. Could they be related? Perhaps. While I doubt they'll have any of the Marvel Family on Supergirl (at least before the movie comes out), it's nice to think they're out there on this Earth.
- Pestilence is the last Worldkiller left to awaken. Purity had some unexpected powers so I'm very curious to see what they do here.
- J'onn being all fatherly with Mon-El, and Winn to a degree, was cool to see. And we learned he was married for 77 years!
- Speaking of Winn, he and Alex had a great scene where he attempted to console her after Purity emotionally shanked her. It was brief, but I enjoyed the display of friendship since we rarely see the two of them interact beyond DEO business.
- The line of the night came from Mon-El during his heart-to-heart with J'onn: "I was this completely self-absorbed misogynist." This is a very important line as it shows that he's actually done the work to become a better person and is happier for it.
- I'm going to bring this up again because it’s not only interesting, but it's potentially very important: Ruby is half-Kryptonian. And about how long does a Kryptonian need to be under the yellow sun before exhibiting powers? I mean, it seems like it's about 12 or so years, doesn't it? And about how old is Ruby…?
What did you think of Purity? Have any predictions on what the Legion's real mission is? Any other thoughts, theories, or wishes? Our next new episode won't be until April, so let's speculate away!
Tamara Brooks covers Supergirl as a part of the #DCTV Couch Club. Look for Tamara on Twitter at @MisfitsTamara. Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW. It will return for the remainder of the season on April 16, 2018.