We’re one week away from the four-series crossover, and Supergirl gives us at least three truncated episodes in one.

Title: “The Darkest Place”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Glen Winter
Written by Robert L. Rovner and Paula Yoo

Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers / Supergirl
Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen / Guardian
Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers
Jeremy Jordan as Winn Schott
Floriana Lima as Maggie Sawyer
Chris Wood as Mon-El
David Harewood as J’onn J’onzz / Hank Henshaw / Cyborg Superman
Brenda Strong as Lillian Luthor
Sharon Leal as M’gann M’orzz
Victor Zinck Jr. as Phillip Kowalski
Ian Gomez as Snapper Carr
Dean Cain as Jeremiah Danvers
Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor

Premise

Supergirl, captured by Cadmus, shows no awareness of the extent of her powers and gets bullied around. We learn who runs Cadmus, however, and we discover that the real Hank Henshaw remains alive, as the character we know from DC comics.

Guardian tries to clear his name when another vigilante begins murdering criminals outright. I mean, who does this guy think he is? Arrow?

J’onn J’onzz starts s’eeing th’ings, and finds himself in d’irect c’onflict with M’gann M’orzz

Despite being adults, Alex and Maggie engage in high school romance shenanigans

People continue to ignore the fact that Kara and Mon-El share the same last name.

The Muppet Show beats out Xena on our Fantasy TV Show Tournament.

High Point

The Martian battle, while relying heavily on CGI, looks good, and the background between these characters almost justifies the episode’s title. Good material exists here to be mined and developed.

Low Point

So Cadmus has Supergirl behind unbreakable Thanagarian bars. She can’t zap her captors’ weapons with heat vision? She can’t move the entire cage and fly her way out? She can’t reach out at superspeed when they get close and steal the keys?

Or even better, have Cadmus plausibly incapacitate Kara, and then have her think her way out of her situation. I know it’s all a set-up to reintroduce Dean Cain’s character and establish the identities of the Cadmus adversaries, but the show could have handled these things in a more convincing and dramatically effective manner. Here, Supergirl just looks like a pushover and a bit of an airhead.

The Scores

Originality: 2/6

Effects: 5/6

Story: 4/6 The stories have potential, and I enjoyed the episode. Too much happened too quickly to really engage me, however.

If the use of the name “Hank Henshaw” was intended from the start to lead to this week’s reveal, that’s pretty clever.

Acting: 5/6 Brenda Strong has potential. It’s interesting to hear Lillian’s take on the Superman/Lex Luthor conflict.

Emotional Response: 4/6

Production: 6/6

Overall: 4/6

In total, “The Darkest Place” receives 30/42