Supergirl lost her powers fighting Red Tornado last week. She blew out her inner Kryptonian solar battery and it needs to recharge, via Earth’s sun. It’s something new that happens in DC’s Superman comic series, and now it’s a thing on Supergirl. So, much of the episode she’s powerless, but she’s still a hero. And to totally shift gears; I was right, so I’m doing my shameless told-you-so dance. Hank Henshaw is in fact the shape-shifting Martian Manhunter, J’onn J’onzz.
Supergirl is sans super powers when a massive earthquake hits National City. Freeway overpasses are collapsing, buildings are on fire, the streets are buckling, the power’s out, and people are dying. And there isn’t a doggone thing Supergirl can do. Except maybe call her cousin Superman for help. But that resource is never explored, even though lives are being lost. Now I know that Supergirl’s trying to be her own hero, but why is asking for help such an unheard of thing in dire situations? Is loss of life part of the superhero learning curve?
Maxwell Lord is exploiting the situation to boost his own celebrity. He’s trash talking the missing Supergirl to the news media, while passing out bottled water as a photo opportunity. Lord has been studying Superman, so he knows about the whole power loss thing. So when Kara comes down to scold him for causing a panic, Lord keeps calm, explaining that he believes that people should learn fend for themselves. But while out, Supergirl chooses to face an armed gunman, even though she’s got no powers. And she’s able to pretend she’s still super, and talk him into giving up.
Alex and Hank Henshaw are at the D.E.O. when the quake hits, and Gem escapes confinement. He’s a very dangerous telepath. Alex doesn’t trust Hank, because he’s been keeping secrets about her father’s D.E.O involvement. So she cuffs Hank and goes after Gem herself. But when Alex faces Gem and is almost killed, Hank swoops in and saves the day, obviously using his other-worldly powers. That’s when he’s forced to come clean and reveal to her that he is in fact the last son of Mars, The Martian Manhunter. Alex’s Dad gave his life to save J’onn from the original Hank.
There were alot of heroes in this episode, besides Supergirl. Cat stepped up as the media voice of reason. She broadcast a message of hope in Supergirl’s absence. Winn was able to show off his skills by figuring out how to make Cat’s broadcast possible. And James Olsen saved the people on the upper floor of the building, by climbing up the elevator shaft to free them. And when he falls, almost to his death, it’s that shock that jumpstarts Supergirl’ s powers.
OTHER THINGS OF NOTE: James and Kara share an affectionate hug and Winn walks in and freaks out! Alex promises Hank that she won’t tell Kara his secret. Oh, and Super Aunt Astra appears again at the end of the episode to settle old scores. Stay tuned