In Review: Supergirl, Episode 53 “Damage”

One character crumbles, while a pair say their farewells. A great episode.

Supergirl, Episode 53 “Damage” Broadcast on November 6, 2017

Written by Eric Carrasco & Cindy Lichtman

Directed by Kevin Smith

Previously on Supergirl: Samantha Aria looks in a mirror and finds herself covered in tattoos while a cloaked woman yells at her, “Soon you will reign!”; Alex needs to cry on Kara’s shoulder because fiancee Maggie doesn’t want to have kids; Lena Luthor uses one of her brother’s devices to release lead into Earth’s atmosphere to drive off the Daxamites that are invading; and Morgan Edge threatens to bring Lena down.

In the present, a busload of convicts who have overpowered their guards are stopped by Supergirl and Alex. Once the authorities arrive, the sisters walk away together solemnly. Kara asks, “You holding up okay?” Alex responds with “No.” Her adoptive sisters says, “It’s happening tomorrow?” Alex takes a moment before saying, “Yeah.” Kara puts an arm around her sister as they walk out of frame.  Cue opening title card.

Damage is occurring in two places. The first involves Lena Luthor. Children throughout National City are contracting lead poisoning. Morgan Edge takes to the airwaves to tell the city that it’s due to Lena using a device of her brother’s for a purpose it wasn’t intended. This outrages the citizens who want blood from Lena. The second focuses on Alex and Maggie who are breaking off their relationship because Alex wants to be a mother someday, while Maggie doesn’t want to raise children.

Writers Carrasco and Lichtman have done a really good job blending the stories, moving between them, while keeping the grief and the tension high. Lena is really put through the wringer in this episode and Katie McGrath dominates her scenes. She has Lena doubting herself to the point where she pushes all her friends away. When she learns who is truly responsible for the kids, she does something in a very Luthor way. Kara and Sam are paired, briefly, to learn who is responsible for the children’s illnesses. They made a good team and even have a similarity in their backgrounds. Fans of the comics know that this relationship is not to last. The climax of this plot is great, with realistic destruction occurring to a vehicle. The individual who’s the source of the damage is fantastic, marking him as the big villain of the season.

The break up between Alex and Maggie is painful and beautiful. I admit to wanting this relationship to just end, but after this episode I was really sad that they couldn’t get past this one hurdle. There’s a fantastic moment that’s begun by Maggie, featuring a classic Cindy Lauper song, that leads to a situation that both Cheylr Leigh and Floriana Lima carry off superbly. I also admit to to not loving the drama in most episodes, tuning in for the action sequences. But this had me completely taken in: I felt their love, their pain, and I was so disappointed they couldn’t get it to work. Kudos to the writers and director Kevin Smith for making Alex and Maggie’s scenes so good. Alex’s final scene with Kara was great and has me looking forward to what next week’s installment will reveal.

The good: the story, the direction, Katie McGrath, Cyler Leigh, Floriana Lima, Adrian Pasdar, Cindy Lauper, the effects, and the tease of things to come from.

Fun lines: “We can’t be together,” “Lock her up!”, “10 point 21,” “Because I did it,” “Me too. Bad dreams,” “Sticky hinge,” “Well, that’s a disappointment,” “You capes,” and “Score one for the girl from Krypton.”

The bad: The opening scene on the bus doesn’t really need Alex involved, but it’s a good reason to have the sisters tease what’s to follow, and still no Legion of Super-Heroes.

The final line: One character crumbles, while a pair say their farewells. Great writing, great direction, and great acting make this a great episode. Overall grade: A

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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