With Thomas Coville in “The Faithful,” Supergirl proved that a villain doesn’t necessarily need to be evil or alien to come off as a real threat. In this episode, titled “Damage,” Supergirl continues with the notion of human threats as Adrian Pasdar’s Morgan Edge returns. However, while Edge might be human, that’s about the only thing he shares with Coville. Quickly into the episode, Edge comes off as an evil scumbag. It’s an impression that only grows stronger, for better or worse (but mostly worse), as the episode reaches its conclusion.
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Consequences … Kind Of
As he promised in the premiere, Edge’s immediate plans are to ruin Lena’s life. Edge has a pretty solid case to enact his revenge too. Across National City, kids are dropping, having seizures and exhibiting all the signs of lead poisoning. The explanation, according to Edge, is the lead radiation bomb that Lena built to repel the Daxamite invasion in the previous season.
As dark as Supergirl has been in season 3, this new development might just be the most depressing yet. Kids being infected and possibly dying is a big line to cross, but Supergirl steps over it with a lot of ease. Maybe there’s too much ease there, but still this is a very effective way to have consequences from the lead bomb that really doesn’t impact any major character’s life. Even Ruby doesn’t come down with the lead poisoning.
Even though Lena’s life isn’t in trouble, the news does deeply impact her, as she believes her actions are causing such innocent trauma. It gets even worse as a deranged parent attempts to kill Lena at a public press conference with a gun. It’s scary and dark, but in a way, that feels emotionally justified.
All this dreariness turns out to be little more than a ruse, though. Kara refuses to give up on Lena’s innocence and tirelessly (with the help of Sam) tries to uncover the truth behind the kids’ sudden illnesses. Kara and Sam put their investigative heads together and realize that all the kids went to the same public pool. At that pool, the chlorine being used was some kind of substance that, when absorbed through the skin, mimics lead poisoning. The company that replaced the chlorine is owned by none other than Morgan Edge.
It’s at this point that Supergirl takes all the depressing but very intense material about Lena unintentionally being an attempted child murderer and turns it completely on its head. Edge, who was swarmy but ultimately justified in going after Lena, now just becomes an almost comically evil villain. Adrian Pasdar (which in itself is a great comic book villain name) continues to do a really excellent job at playing Edge, but this scheme — poisoning children to frame Lena — is something out of a terrible cartoon. Supergirl shows enormous restraint by not having Edge grow a mustache to twiddle and laugh maniacally.
The Edge of Morgan Edge
It’s completely understandable, at any rate, when Lena goes to confront Edge and points a gun directly at his head. Anyone who is willing to go this far for revenge probably isn’t someone who should live. So even though Lena threatening Edge with a gun doesn’t suggest great things for her future morality, it’s a rather cheer-worthy moment when she does (almost) pull the trigger.
Edge, of course, is prepared, and one of his bodyguards knocks Lena out and throws her into an airplane. The airplane is full of even more chemicals that Edge is planning to dump into the water supply, presumably along with Lena’s corpse. (If the evil scheme isn’t broke, don’t fix it.) Luckily, though, Team Supergirl gets wind of the plan, and Kara rushes off to save Lena and keep the entire city from being poisoned.
After Lena is saved, Kara goes to confront Edge herself. This scene does salvage, at least partly, Edge as a character. Edge explains that he’s aware of the monstrousness of his actions, but that’s how he’s gotten ahead so far. Edge will always do what it takes to take out his enemies, and it’s a rage that Supergirl will never be able to match. It’s a typical supervillain monologue, but Pasdar imbues it with just enough believability and slimy charm that it’s worth seeing where Edge goes from here. It’ll be interesting to see Kara go up against such a morally bankrupt character, at the very least, though hopefully child poisoning is now firmly off the table.
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The Death of Sanvers
Of course, a very big factor in making Edge seem so comically evil in “Damage” is that it’s juxtaposed with some of the most heartbreaking and realistic emotion yet on Supergirl. Evidently, between episodes, Alex and Maggie had “the talk” and their relationship is effectively over. The kids issue has broken them up. Throughout all the Lena drama, there are scenes of Maggie packing up her stuff and breaking up slowly with Alex. It’s one of the most mature and realistic break-up moments that TV has really ever seen, and it does manage to respect both characters.
Even though season 3 has stressed Alex’s desire for kids, it’s something that’s always been there in the character. The way Alex has protected Kara has always been motherly, and it’s instinct that’s always been at the forefront — the same way that it makes perfect sense that Maggie doesn’t want children. Maggie moves out, telling Alex she’ll be a great mom, and all kinds of tears are shed.
Once the relationship is over, Kara is there for Alex. Kara calls J’onn to tell him that Alex and herself will be out for a few days at the DEO. Then Kara tells her sister that they’re going back home to Midvale.
Are you ready for a Danvers sisters adventure? How do you feel about the Sanvers break-up? Is Edge working as a villain for you? Did the show go too far? How did you feel about Edge’s plan? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Supergirl season 3 airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Supergirl Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of The CW)