Check out the previous review here.
This post contains spoilers for Supergirl.
Supergirl has always had a way of being timely. The writers do their best to integrate whatever current events they can in ways that make the show even more meaningful. Within the first fifteen minutes of “Damage” we’re given mentions of Flint, Michigan, and hear misguided chants of “lock her up”. Morgan Edge is seeking his revenge against Lena Luthor by attacking her credibility. The first in what we can assume will be multiple attacks claims that the bomb she built to rid the world of the hostile aliens has poisoned children.
Clearly, this is all a set up, but logic only goes so far when your child is sick and there’s someone tangible to blame. Lena, unsure of her guilt, steps down from both CatCo and L Corp. While she’s holding her press conference, a mom receives some unfortunate news and takes a shot at Miss Luthor. Lena escapes the shot, but Jimmy gets a shoulder full of lead. Funnily enough, Mr. Olson gets more lead in him than any of the kids suspected to have lead poisoning.
Turns out Morgan Edge has a small company that distributes chemicals for pools, and it’s easier than it should be to poison the watering hole. Upon realizing that she’s not to blame, Lena goes full Luthor and goes after Edge for what he’s done. Thankfully she’s knocked out by a goon from Lackeys R Us before she goes full darkside, but Supergirl’s got to come to the rescue first.
The dastardly villain is thwarted by the end of things, but that’s not all it takes nowadays. Unfortunately, Edge knows that better than anyone. Men like him know the power they hold. They know that they could shoot someone on Main Street and lie their way out of prison, just like they know that a hero won’t toss aside their morals to put them down in a way that they deserve. When facing down the Girl of Steel, Edge doesn’t flinch. He even dismisses her in the end, and every woman who has ever had her power doubted saw red.
In the real world, strong women have their strength questioned fifty times a day, men like Edge lie, cheat, and destroy whatever they like in broad daylight, and, unfortunately, sometimes in that real world the truest of love isn’t enough. Maggie and Alex love each other, but even when you play every card exactly as you should the deck can be stacked against you. Supergirl is and has always been about girl power, and to see them tackle every kind is tremendous. Neither Maggie nor Alex are wrong for wanting the lives that they do, and neither is less of a strong, independent, wonderful woman because of it. But Maggie’s end game is Alex, and Alex just needs more.
The writers of Supergirl have the unique task of taking a fantastical world and tying it into real messages, but episodes like “Damage” show that they’re more than up for the task. Season three’s opening monologue has Kara talking about how she is a refugee of Earth, and has already focused heavily on a very real, very heartbreaking lesbian romance, a disgusting and believable antagonist, and is building up to a devastating destruction of what is becoming a sisterhood between Samantha, Lena, and Kara.
James (Jimmy!) Olson wasn’t the only one who took a bullet for Lena, Sam just doesn’t notice it until the very end of the episode. She’s going to head down a painful road to learn about her past, and the sisterhood she’s forged with Kara is going to be tested in the worst ways. To fully appreciate Samantha’s past, it seems we need to take a look at Kara’s on Earth. But that’s next week! If you had thoughts on “Damage”, you know what to do!