This post contains spoilers for Supergirl.
Check out our review for last week's episode here.
Leave it to an episode of Supergirl to make traditional mother-issues look like they ain’t no thing. The sins of the mother play a big role in “Shelter from the Storm”, and that’s not just in reference to the murder of Patricia Arias. We also continue to have our hearts ripped out as J’onn’s father slips further into dementia, and get a sprinkling of friend drama. Oh, and there’s romance. We’ll dive into whether or not that’s a good idea a little later.
The main arc this week focuses on Reign’s hunt for Ruby. The World Killer knows that to fully kill her alter ego, she must first remove Ruby from the equation. She’d be able to off the kid in an instant if she could just locate the little nuisance. Points to Lena Luthor for knowing exactly where to stash someone who’s hiding from a Kryptonian: Lex’s mansion.
While it is a clever hiding spot, the episode seems to do nothing with it, which is a shame. It was such an opportunity to illustrate how diabolical Lena’s brother is. Even if it didn’t delve into that, you mean to tell me that the dude utterly obsessed with Superman and any other alien is only guarding his safe room with some bullets, fire, and a little ice? C’mon! Where’s the megalomania? Give a little taste as to why people are so pissed that a Luthor has holed themselves up in their town, don’t just hope that everyone watching a show focusing on a Kryptonian knows why Lex Luthor is such a monster.
Before Reign can deal with the underwhelming Luthor mansion, she first goes digging for her daughter at her Earth mother’s home. Patricia knows that her daughter is somewhere inside the monster. Patricia is dead now. Her last moments are touching, but empty. She loved a granddaughter she’s never met and believed in a woman she was never there for. Sorry, Patty. It was time for you to go. It’s never fun seeing Supergirl sad, though.
After killing her mother, Reign is back to square one on the finding Ruby front. Thankfully for her, kids make oodles of mistakes, and Ruby swipes Alex’s cell phone to make a call home. Rookie move, Danvers. Never trust a twelve-year-old who can “handle anything”. They inevitably have breakdowns when “anything” turns out to be that their mother is the one running around murdering a bunch of folk, and find themselves next on the list.
Ruby’s got a list of things to thank Supergirl for, but at the top is finding a way to trick Reign into letting her go. While they continue to rip our hearts out over this M’yrnn storyline, they’ve also found a way to give it function beyond the important conversation it represents. The Green Martian’s long term memory remains mostly intact as he slips further into his illness, and he’s able to remember that he avoided being murdered by the White Martians by adapting to their way of thinking. In Reign’s case, that means helping her acknowledge that her code doesn’t allow for Ruby’s death. Reign is on Earth to bring about justice, and the daughter of her alter ego is an innocent.
With the help of Lena’s kryptonite, Supergirl, Alex, and Mon-El are able to subdue Reign and get her locked up in her cage, which brings us to the relationships and drama portion of our little dance. The more interesting of the issues is Lena and the Girl of Steel. The women have broken each other’s trust, and each one is having a hard time reconciling with that. Kara finds herself in a spot at the end of the episode where her friend is venting her Supergirl frustrations to her, but she gets some information she wasn’t ready for. Jimmy’s going to have a weird episode on his hands next week.
Mon-El and Kara are a complicated topic, for reasons far beyond “he’s married”. While Christopher Wood (Mon-El) is pretty to look at, and a great human in reality, Mon-El’s existence in the second season of the show spent a lot of time contradicting Supergirl’s core thesis. A show that’s supposed to be focused on girl-power spent a whole season wrapped around a dude-bro who was basically just a burrito of tropes that girls find attractive and women run like hell from. Fast forward to this year, where they seem to be course correcting and fixing all of the cringe-worthy issues of the old Mon-El. But he’s still married.
We could spend a lot of time unwrapping what happened between Imra and Mon-El in the moments leading up to her telling him to stay in the past to help fight the now supercharged Reign, but let’s just leave it at the unfortunate fact that we’re bordering on love triangle, and if Supergirl plays its cards right, that might actually end up okay. Kara and Mon-El have had it out over how he was in the past, and have gotten past most of the stickiness of stumbling back into each other’s lives. For now let’s just try to look at it with cautious optimism.
“Cautious optimism” seems to be where Ruby and Alex sit as well. Ruby’s pretty upset about a lot of things, but the fact that her aunt Alex lied to her isn’t sitting well. Sam Arias has been a great addition to Supergirl, and while there’s still reason to hope that she’ll make it out of this season alive, Alex and Ruby’s reconciliation at the end is where the sins of the mother theme comes full circle. Danvers left the love of her life because she wanted children, and here we are with a potentially orphaned child crying in her lap. We’re rooting for you, Sam, but Alex will take care of your baby if push comes to shove.
We’ll see things slow down a bit next week now that Lena and the DEO have Reign in custody. We also seem to be getting a Guardian-themed episode. While more James Olson has been something that the show has needed, it will be tricky to try and slow down the pace while still keeping the season on track this late in the game. Perhaps we’ll get lucky and they’ll dive more into this Lena and Supergirl situation.
In the meantime, you know what to do if you had thoughts on this week’s Supergirl.