What a phenomenal hour.
Damage does a splendid job of juggling a number of different subplots and keeping them all afloat. Too often, shows try to balance a multitude of story arcs to no avail, but this hour surprisingly thrives across the board.
Although Katie McGrath has been a welcome addition to Supergirl since the show’s sophomore year, there’s no denying that she’s been underused for a large portion of that time. Thankfully Damage rectifies this by giving her a whole lot of scree-time which McGrath utilizes to maximum effect. Not only does she get to showcase Lena’s dark side by almost murdering Edge, she gets to display some gut-wrenching vulnerability as she professes to Kara that she’s given up on trying to fight her lineage. McGrath gives a particularly haunting performance, and this episode singlehandedly reminded me just how integral the character has become to the show’s DNA. In fact, the inclusion of her story arc elevates the show to another level, and I do hope she sticks around for a long time to come.
And then there’s Maggie and Alex. Although it feels very unnatural to say goodbye to Maggie to soon (Floriana Lima sadly has other plans), the show did its best with regards to her departure. Moreover, I love the fact that there are no bad guys; both women came to a mature conclusion that’s the result of an innate incompatibility. Chyler and Lima are both spectacular here, and their final goodbye is a real tearjerker as they both acknowledge how much they’ve grown thanks to this relationship.
Elsewhere, Samantha Aries’ slow-burn into super villainess is in full swing. Although there’s no sign of a sinister streak to her personality, her abilities continue to surprise in the most unexpected of moments. I freakin’ loved this week’s ending with Ruby noticing a hole in Sam’s shirt, only for the mother to flashback to the assassination attempt on Lena’s life. Yup, LexCorp’s new leader was shot and she didn’t even feel it. It’s a harrowing bookend to a fascinating hour.
Now let’s take a moment and praise that masterful airplane sequence. Most shows would keep such an ambitious and CGI-filled set-piece for their season finale, but Supergirl casually gives us this thrill-ride right in its fifth episode. Sure it’s a bit insane that Kara suddenly can’t lift two pieces of airplane wreckage (didn’t she carry en entire plane in the pilot as well as Fort Rozz at some point?), but it makes for some goose-bump worthy drama when she has to make a choice. I got chills as she urged Lena to rise up and climb to safety. How much do we love these two?
– The teaser is a bit rushed, but I always enjoy it when Kara and Alex kick ass together. Actually it’s amusing to note that Alex does all the asskicking in the teaser.
– Props to Supergirl for utilizing this hour to highlight the ramifications of the season two finale’s lead bomb. Of course it’s discovered by the end that it’s Edge who was poisoning the children and not Lena. Still, I love continuity.
– I almost had a heart attack when Lena asked Olsen to take over for a while. I still don’t understand how the show’s writers expect us to take Olsen seriously as a CEO. It was idiotic in season two, and it’s still idiotic now. How do his skills even qualify him for such a position? Ugh.
– Pretty powerful moment with the poor dad storming into Lena’s office and berating her for making his son sick. Wow.
– Loved how casually Kara grabs a bullet during the assassination attempt. Also, why wasn’t James more seriously injured? He sure healed quickly.
– How cute is it that Lena stays at Ruby and Samantha’s? Apparently, they’ve known each other for a long time so let’s hope we get some backstory soon.
– Lena makes a great point: if she had poisoned Ruby, would Sam still let her stay over? I think not.
– How cool is it to watch Sam and Kara crack a case together? Everything from their research to their pool-visit was on point. Sticky hinge indeed.
– Samantha is adopted as well! Hmm…
– I kind of wish Lena wasn’t hit in the back of the head just as she was taking control of the situation. Anticlimactic!
– The musical score in the plane sequence was just epic.
– Edge shoots his lackey and frames him. Shocking.
– A bit too convenient that Sam says that throwaway line about Lex-Corp developing the antidote but I’ll take it.
– Please writers, don’t put James and Lena together. She doesn’t need a relationship.
– It’s like the writers read my review last week and gave us another scene with the ladies bonding. Awesomeness! This makes Samantha’s eventual downfall all the more horrifying.
– Kara calls the DEO and asks for a few days off for her and Alex. Wooho the girls are going back home.
Lena: I know you believe that everything is good, and kind, and that is one of the things I love about you. But that’s not the real world. In the real world, my last name is bin Laden and everything I do hurts people.
Kara: So what happens when you connect the Xs?
Samantha: Nothing. The movies lie.
Edge: You need help, Lena, ’cause you’re not you’re not thinking clearly.
Lena: (holds up a gun) I’m thinking like a Luthor.
Lena: (to James) You know, I have a rule. Whenever anyone takes a bullet for me, they get to call me Lena.
Alex: (to Kara) You remember when you said that, uh if I lost Maggie, that I would be at a bar drinking? That I would be broken? Score one for the girl from Krypton.
Packed with emotion and action, Damage is a brilliant hour of Supergirl.