NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Supergirl” are present in this review
Supergirl presented another creative and mostly satisfying episode this week, even without any subplots to buoy the storytelling. “Homecoming” was all about a huge event for our protagonists, as a routine DEO operation to intercept Cadmus leads to a surprising recovery of Jeremiah Danvers himself! After fifteen years, Alex’s father and Kara’s adoptive father is finally back at the DEO, seemingly ready to give them a major edge in the ongoing battle against Cadmus.
It hasn’t been that long since Lillian Luthor and Hank Henshaw disappeared into the wind, but surprisingly, it wasn’t them that became the big villains this week. Instead, the threat was distrust within the DEO itself, as Mon-El points out that he’s not sure if Jeremiah can be trusted. He’s been away for a long time after all, and that means plenty of opportunities for Cadmus to either turn him, or coerce him into a disagreeable arrangement that will ultimately mean sabotaging the DEO. As you can imagine though, Kara and Alex are not hearing any of it, with even J’onn letting his guard down with Jeremiah pretty fast, which is somewhat against his character.
The overall idea of paranoia and distrust being sewn amid the heroes, especially as Jeremiah does suspicious things like tap into the DEO mainframe, is great, and it nicely calls back to the effective trust-fueled conflict from, “The Martian Chronicles” a few weeks ago. Where this episode sometimes falters however is in trying to force some really awkward and heavy-handed drama where it really doesn’t need to, which only accomplishes making several characters look stupid, rather than actually enhancing the storytelling.
The biggest victim of this heavy-handed direction is Mon-El, who justifiably speaks up about due process and examination with Jeremiah, and correctly points out that the DEO needs to be cautious, until they can fully prove that they can trust Jeremiah again. Surprisingly though, Kara, who is friends with Lena Luthor and should really know better, Alex, who is supposed to be an exceptional DEO soldier with a brilliant mind, and J’onn, who can frackin’ read minds (even if this is hastily explained with a mind dampener later, the very fact that J’onn can’t read Jeremiah’s mind at all should be immediately suspicious), all pretty much shout Mon-El down, and treat him like he’s the bad guy for simply looking out for the good guys.
Surprise, surprise, Jeremiah does turn out to be a traitor too, and is indeed a mole planted by Cadmus, who eventually reveals himself to be the one responsible for Hank Henshaw’s cybernetic enhancements as Cyborg Superman, on top of Jeremiah giving himself cybernetic enhancements that even let him go toe-to-toe with J’onn in combat! After Kara actively throws Mon-El out of a dinner for speaking up about Jeremiah, and Alex freaks out at Mon-El, Winn, and even Kara for speaking up about Jeremiah after Kara finally grows a couple of brain cells, the Jeremiah betrayal really makes both of the show’s leading women look like idiots. That’s really not good, since it means that the episode’s strong concept isn’t pushed forward by believable suspense, but is instead forced along due to several of the lead characters being morons, and immediately giving Jeremiah free reign of the DEO, when anyone with half a brain would tell them that it’s not a good idea.
There is something of an implication that Jeremiah is still trying to do the right thing in his own way, and Alex letting him go at the end of the episode, even when she has the chance to shoot him, does at least set up for another compelling conflict next week. I’m sure that the Jeremiah conflict will go somewhere interesting, though it actually might have been better to let Jeremiah hang around the DEO for a few episodes, rather than immediately out him as a turncoat before this episode is even over. Maybe the rushed turn for Jeremiah had something to do with Dean Cain not having much availability to appear on Supergirl for several weeks, but even so, it didn’t totally feel like Jeremiah’s insertion back into the DEO truly lasted long enough to have the proper dramatic impact, and that’s without factoring in the careless stupidity from Kara, Alex and J’onn alike this week too.
“Homecoming” is still a pretty good episode of Supergirl overall though, especially since it offers a really creative antagonist and conflict. The shortcomings in the writing do drag down the episode a bit, and both Kara and Alex especially can be insufferably annoying with their blatant carelessness and brainless temper tantrums over Jeremiah this week, but at least Mon-El was given another effective chance to prove his worth to the DEO, on the bright side. Jeremiah hinting that Mon-El has a big secret that he isn’t telling Kara should make for another intriguing conflict later in the season too. Now that Jeremiah is definitely outed as not being trustworthy though, hopefully next week’s episode can deliver a high dose of suspense and thrills, without the childish melodrama.
- Emotional reunion with Jeremiah
- Great concept of a paranoia conflict with Mon-El
- Alex making the difficult decision to let Jeremiah go at the end
- Some irritating, forced melodrama with Kara and Alex especially
- The conflict is pushed forward by character idiocy, rather than true suspense