Episode grade: 8
This week's opening is really bad. After last week's atrociously dumb episode, I was pretty worried...thankfully, it got better. I mean, I get that they wanted to do another bit about James having self-doubt regarding his heroic potential, but this is so stupid:
A woman is walking alone at night, and she notices a man coming up close behind her. She nervously speeds up, only to realize a second man is approaching from ahead. She starts to run, and they both move in to attack. Then, here comes Guardian! He beats these guys up and totally saves the day...but for some reason, the woman cowers from him and begs him not to hurt her.
WTF, show? This is insulting to everyone's intelligence. I'd buy if she was a little nervous and shellshocked after an attempted assault, but she legit reacts to him as if he's some sort of walking nightmare. She's in National City, so it's not as if she's never heard of superheroes.... James goes on to lament that he gets this reaction a lot, indicating that the average would-be victim isn't grateful or relieved to be rescued? What could possibly be the reason for this? If National City's people are this dumb, maybe they don't deserve superheroes.
For some reason, J'onn is also a big jerk to James for much of this episode. Um, thanks but no thanks, Guardian, I think we can get by without your skill set. Pfft, what are you now, a child psychologist? What is up with making J'onn a jerk to serve your James-questions-his-value subplot?
Anyway, there's an A-plot in which a random alien attacks a town square. James finds her house (as a result of a particularly silly scene in which he interrupts an alien's marijuana purchase in an alley, and that alien just happens to offer up this info), and he winds up bonding with her kid. Most of why I said this episode gets better is because Mehcad Brooks is awesome, and watching him interact with this scared kid was genuinely touching.
It turns out that this alien race is vulnerable to a specific type of electromagnetic energy, and it causes them to go all zombie rage with their telekinetic powers. The EM bursts that are causing them to destroy whole sections of National City are coming from the stargate Lena's building from Rhea's schematics.
Poor Lena...she really believes she's doing good work here, and she's clearly looking up to Rhea in a mommy-never-loved-me way. For what it's worth, Rhea clearly likes Lena, but Rhea's a terrible person, so it's not worth much.
Kara realizes that the techie mumbo-jumbo Winn is spouting about the EM bursts he's tracking sounds familiar...it reminds her of the techie mumbo-jumbo Lena confused her with over lunch. She knows that Lena must be the key to finding the energy source, and she calls Lena's cell.
Rhea answers the call (and deletes it from the call log after, which shouldn't be possible unless Lena doesn't bother to use a PIN on her phone...that's really a dumb error, show). She vamps and monologues and taunts Kara, and she insists to Mon-El that he's under some Kryptonian spell, yadda yadda. Worst mom since Lillian Luthor.
When they get to the site where the stargate is fully activated (and where Lena has just sadly discovered that Rhea is a lying bitch), Mon-El pulls a gun on Rhea. She aptly points out that he can't possibly kill her, because he's chosen to see himself as a hero of Earth, and they wouldn't do that.
But she doesn't want to call it Earth anymore, she wants to rechristen it as New Daxam! Dozens of spaceships pour through the stargate, and our friends are in trouble now.
Tell me what you think! Do you believe anyone would be more afraid of a guy who beats up attackers than of the attackers themselves?