Supergirl, Episode 7 “Human for a Day” Broadcast on December 7, 2015
Written by Yahlin Chang & Ted Sullivan
Directed by Larry Teng
“Previously on Supergirl“, Kara and Alex learn from Winn that Hank Henshaw was the last person to see their father alive, Astra proclaims that not even her niece can stand against her and her allies, Red Tornado (revealed to be designed to kill Kryptonians) is destroyed by Supergirl, and Kara cuts her finger in Cat’s office and bleeds.
At DEO Headquarters Kara is scanned and learns that her battle with Red Tornado has drained her cells. She is as vulnerable as a human being. Once her cells have reabsorbed enough energy from earth’s yellow star her powers should return. This information is told to her by the DEO’s A.I. program of her mother. After inquiring how Kara feels, Henshaw asks Alex to help her with a subject. With him gone, the two Danvers discuss how he may be responsible for their father’s death, with Alex saying she doesn’t trust her commanding officer any longer. At work, Kara is sneezing — she’s caught a cold. Winn is stunned to learn what’s happened to her, but not as shocked as Cat. “You never get sick. That’s the best part about you.” She’s promptly sent home. Back at the DEO, a purplish colored alien is confined to a glass chamber, shooting energy blasts from a jewel in its forehead to try and escape its cell. Hank and Alex enter. “Bow your head when you approach me. I am Jemm,” says the alien. Henshaw tells Jemm his psychic powers won’t work in that cell. “So deactivate it so that I might expose your true identity.” The alien goes on to say, “I will grind your loved ones to dust.” Surprisingly, this hits Hank hard. “There are none left to grind.” On the street, James meets Kara and sees she’s lost her powers. A strong earthquake hits the city, causing damage to it and the DEO, with Jemm escaping. Kara is aghast at the extreme damage the quake has caused. Cue opening title sequence and first commercial break.
Another entertaining episode with a major reveal! It’s obligatory that every few years, or during a show’s opening season, the hero has to lose his or her powers, so Kara’s turn is now. Melissa Benoist does a really good job showing Kara is going insane being unable to help people in need, plus she gets a broken arm — nice way to put her through the emotional and physical wringer. Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen gets two strong scenes: one telling Kara what makes a hero and a nice, albeit quick, scene about his father. Calista Flockhart continues to make complex Cat watchable: I swear, one second I’m wishing a truck to fall on her, and the next I’m cheering for her. Her final scene with Supergirl was gold. And big hooray for Jeremy Jordan who got to show wounded Winn nicely, with his final words to Kara brutal. Chyler Leigh gets the expected “action” story, as Alex and Hank try to track down Jemm. It’s pretty predictable stuff, with the direction looking like Aliens or Doom. The only highpoint was when she confronts Hank, which leads to a major scream-worthy reveal, that had me yelling at the television like an episode of The Flash — and it didn’t even involve Supergirl. David Harewood has a lot more to bring to his role now. The final two minutes tease bigger things to come next week, and I can’t wait.
The good: Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Calista Flockhart, Jeremy Jordan, David Harewood, the script by Yahlin Chang & Ted Sullivan, the super effects team that made this episode look epic, the FANTASTIC reveal, and the surprise tease in the final few minutes.
Fun lines: “Don’t exhale on the way out,” “Seal the base!”, “Kara, please — Stop!”, “I feel so helpless!”, “No hero can save everyone, even Superman,” “A real hero never stops trying,” “He’s in my head,” “I believe we are better than this,” “The superhero never gets the guy,” “I’m not the enemy,” “James!”, “Go get ’em, Supergirl,” and “Did you really think this was over?”
The bad: Charles Halford’s Jemm was pretty one-dimensional and the editing with Jemm on the prowl was low budget horror film quality.
The final line: With the exception of the Jemm scenes, this was a good episode…and what a reveal in the end! Overall grade: B+