In Review: Supergirl, Episode 17 “Manhunter”

Much is answered and what a cliffhanger!

Supergirl, Episode 17 “Manhunter” Broadcast on March 21, 2016

Teleplay by Cindy Lichtman & Rachel Shukert

Story by Derek Simon

Directed by Chris Fisher

“Previously on Supergirl“, Siobhan is fired by Cat, Kara is exposed to red kryptonite and goes evil, Hank transforms into J’onn J’onzz publicly and is then taken into custody by his own men, and Kara is afraid she’ll never be able to win back the city’s trust.

Kara’s at home with box of donuts in her lap as she watches a broadcast of Supergirl’s arrival at a crime scene; everyone is terrified by her appearance. Everyone at Catco is also watching the negative broadcast and wonders if the city can forgive Supergirl. Winn has to dash because he’s eating with Siobhan, who raves over her meal how much she hates Cat and especially Kara. At the DEO, Alex goes to talk with Hank. He tells her to give up on him because there’s probably going to be an investigation of the DEO because of him. She’s says she cannot. Their conversation ends with the arrival of Colonel James Harper and reinstated Lucy Lane. And suprise, surprise, they’re part of a joint task force to investigate J’onn’s infiltration of the DEO. Their first subject for interrogation is “the Martian.” The colonel’s got an ax to grind with J’onn’s lies and tells him his men have created a dampening field to hold him in the form of Hank Henshaw. Kara tries to listen in with her super hearing but is greeted by a high pitched noise. “They’ve done something,” she tells her sister. “They’re blocking me out.” Lucy asks J’onn what happened to the real Hank Henshaw. Flashback to ten years earlier as Hank instructs his men that some locals in Mexico have reported the return of a god, but he knows it’s really the alien manhunter they’ve been looking for. One member of their team, Jeremiah Danvers, doesn’t want the creature killed, but Henshaw’s hearing nothing of it. In the jungles, a giant snake almost strikes at Danvers, were it not for the intervention of a familiar green alien. Cue opening title sequence and first commercial break.

This episode filled in much backstory: how Jeremiah and J’onn knew one another, what happened to the real Henshaw, why J’onn owed a debt to Jeremiah, how Alex joined the DEO, what it was like as Kara tried to fit in to living as a human, and how Kara got hired by Cat. The scene where Kara helps a mother in need was fantastic and my heart raced at what she did and I was stunned at the shocking conclusion of that sequence. The heart-to-heart that Kara has with her step-father was great, and his gift to her was fantastic. David Harewood got the best scenes of the episode as he got to play Real Hank and J’onn Hank, and he made them as different as possible. Chyler Leigh’s recruitment scene had her shinning. Melissa Benoist had a great scene in the past with Calista Flockhart, with Kara showing some skills that cemented her position at Catco. Benoist’s best scene included Jenna Dewan Tatum and Mehcad Brooks, and big thumbs up to Cindy Lichtman and Rachel Shukert for writing that scene so well. I’m still not keen on Tatum’s Lucy Lane, who got a new position by the end of the episode. The big surprise was Italia Ricci whose Siobhan also got a new position, but not the one she, or the audience, was expecting.

The good: The script, the acting, someone finally being told something, all the flashbacks that filled in the gaps in several characters’ pasts, the effects — especially on Young Kara’s scenes, Siobhan’s final scene, and a notorious setting from Superman comics being brought up.

Fun lines: “I suppose if Mel Gibson can present at the Golden Globes, Supergirl can win the city back,” “Stop bringing me cookies,” “There has to be a reckoning,” “You can consider me a friend,” “It’s good to be back,” “What is _ _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _?”, “It’s the reason Clark won’t work with the government,” and “Alex, he’s alive!”

The bad: There’s no security as the two most senior officers interrogate an alien? And the same officers can administer and read a lie detector? Nope. No buying it. And two dangerous individuals are transported in a truck with no other support than the two soldiers in the truck? And the commanding officer is alone in the cab with the two dangerous individuals? Nope, not buying that either. These were really stretches of imagination that showed the lack of budget for more actors.

The final line: The military errors did put a damper on the enjoyment of this episode, however with so many questions addressed they didn’t seem as bad. Much is answered and what a cliffhanger! Overall grade: B+ 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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