The Supergirl season 3 premiere introduced a much darker (and meaner) Kara Danvers. Although the premiere ended with Kara taking a step in the right direction and injecting herself back into the lives of her family and friends, it didn’t seem like a permanent solution. Very quickly into this episode, titled “Triggers,” that is confirmed to be the case. Kara is just as moody as before, but interestingly Supergirl dives headfirst into that emotional trauma by introducing a villain that can manipulate and control minds.
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The Only Thing We Have to Fear…
The new villainous girl in question is Psi. (She has a real name, but it’s so bland that her weak code name ends up looking brilliant.) Psi, played by the criminally underrated Yael Grobglas from the even more underrated Jane the Virgin, is a thief with the power to make people live out their worst fears — a fact that’s established immediately as Psi, calmly, walks into a bank and reduces everyone to their knees in fear, including Kara herself.
In some strange Supergirl VR Experience (trademark pending), we see Kara’s fears from her perspective. Kara believes, at first, that she’s seeing the destruction of Krypton again and it completely paralyzes her. Scared Kara isn’t too radically different from Angry Kara, but this is a far more sympathetic, darker and emotional shade from the girl of steel than what was given in the premiere.
Though Kara tries to hide the effect that Psi’s mental attack has on her, it eventually becomes too much — so much so that reliving her fears causes Kara to freeze up even when Psi is not around. Alex, after pressuring Winn for the truth, learns what’s going on with Kara and goes to help her sister. Alex convinces Kara that the fear she’s feeling isn’t a weakness. It’s a natural part of her human self, and even though she’s feeling fear (and pain about Mon-El’s disappearance), that’s what makes Kara special as a hero. It’s a great message, even for non-Kryptonians. (Now, it would be appreciated if Supergirl dropped this whole dark Kara storyline, but the chances are still low.)
This is because it’s revealed in Kara’s second face-off with Psi that the trauma she keeps reliving isn’t the destruction of Krypton. It’s actually what Kara fears happened to Mon-El when she sent him away. Kara doesn’t truly think Mon-El just escaped but, rather, that he died in his small pod out in space. Thankfully, Alex is on hand again to calm Kara down, and it works. Kara stands up to Psi and resists her mental attacks, locking the villain up. While it’s an empowering image, it is somewhat undercut by Kara still being distraught over Mon-El’s disappearance, something which the audience (still) knows is just temporary.
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A Super (Single) Mom
Kara’s Mon-El angst is a sight better than another plot that Supergirl jams into Psi’s rampage. Sam (otherwise known as Reign) is having trouble with her daughter, Ruby. Ruby is aware that what her mother did — saving her at the waterfront attack from Bloodsport — wasn’t normal. Ruby becomes convinced that her mother is a superhero. When Sam denies it, Ruby throws herself into harm’s way in Psi’s path, hopefully to spark her mother’s powers again. This plan not only doesn’t work, but it’s really unbearable to watch.
The lack of success is half down to Ruby being a very wooden actress and another half to the subplot seeming out of place. Sam’s story is intriguing, but it feels like it’s coming from a completely different show. Sam wasn’t even hinted at until the season 2 premiere, and now the show is acting as if she’s always been a part of the show. Thankfully, at the end of “Triggers,” it’s revealed that Sam is filling in for Lena at L-Corp, so she will interact with the other characters more and feel more integrated. As of right now, Reign is a bit of a flop.
A New Adventure
Speaking of Lena, her “Triggers” subplot is brief but very exciting. After buying CatCo, Lena announces her intention to be in the office every day. This is a brilliant move (on Supergirl‘s part) for a number of reasons. Mainly, it brings Kara’s life as a reporter and Lena’s best friend together under one literal roof. Yet, it also brings up a fascinating new dynamic between Lena and James.
James doesn’t take too kindly to Lena swooping in and pretending she owns the place, even though she does literally own the place. James has been running CatCo for a year, and he doesn’t need a boss. Lena doesn’t seem to care much about his opinions. The tension between them is left unresolved, but it’s certainly one of the most interesting new plots that season 3 has introduced. It’s unlikely that the next episode will get into the CatCo drama too deeply, however.
In the final moments, J’onn is having a drink alone when he receives a psychic message from M’gann. M’gann tells J’onn that he needs to come back to Mars and quickly.
Time to get ready for a lot of wonky CGI, but it’s a dedicated story for Supergirl‘s underutilized secret weapon, The Martian Manhunter.
Are you excited for a Mars adventure? How did you feel about Psi’s debut? How long will it take Kara to get over Mon-El’s disappearance? What do you think of Lena’s new position at CatCo? 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)