I had hoped the much-publicized four-series crossover would feel more like a four-part movie but, if Supergirl‘s installment is any indication, it won’t. “Medusa” is a mostly self-contained episode with two epilogues. In the second one, Barry “The Flash” Allen and Cisco “Vibe” Ramon show up seeking help with unspecified problems.

Tune into The Flash for the next installment.

Title: “Medusa”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Stefan Pleszczynski
Written by Jessica Queller and Derek Simon

Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers / Supergirl
Helen Slater as Eliza Danvers
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
Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor
Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash
Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon / Vibe

Premise

A weaponized virus kills all creatures that do not have Kryptonian or Terran DNA, putting J’onn J’onzz and Mon-El at risk, along with numerous forehead aliens. Supergirl and Lena Luthor both deal with family shadows over Thanksgiving.

The two Hank Henshaws duke it out.

In the secondary plots, Alex and Maggie finally get together, and the Flash and Cisco show up to invite Supergirl onto their series.

High Point

Helen Slater steps up as a promising part of the team, and, as will Mon-El’s last name, we’ll just ignore questions about why her biological daughter doesn’t look nearly as much like her as her adopted one.

Low Point

I know my hopes were too high for the “crossover,” but “Medusa” had too much too do on its own, and feels like this should have been the self-contained episode we saw.

The Scores

Originality: 2/6 Impossible comic-book science weapon stopped by impossibly-fast comic-book science antidote and the help of an unexpected ally.

Effects: 4/6 The many brief fights and action sequences– like the Hank vs Hank fight– are up to standard. Midrange CGI still works best in limited light. The concrete debris Cyborg Superman throws in the L-Corp lobby looks like it was made from foam.

Story: 5/6 I’m giving the story special consideration for thematically and structurally linking Kara and Lena’s family conflicts, and keeping us wondering what Lena would do (though I suspect most viewers anticipated what would happen).

The shadow of Lex Luthor falls more heavily in this episode than Superman’s did on last season, but it feels appropriate here.

The story tied up a number of plot threads, and wisely limited the role of Jimmy Olsen, Wannabe Superhero.

Acting: 5/6

Emotional Response: 4/6

Production: 5/6

Overall: 5/6

In total, “Medusa” receives 30/42