In Review: Supergirl, Episode 55 “Wake Up”

Mon-El's return was the highlight, as an iconic DC team begins to be revealed.

Supergirl, Episode 55 “Wake Up” Broadcast on November 20, 2017

Written by Gabriel Llanas & Anna Musky-Goldwyn

Directed by Chad Lowe

Previously on Supergirl: J’onn J’onzz takes his father home to the DEO and Samantha Arias discovers a bullet that went through her top, but didn’t kill her.

Now: A mini-sub comes across an alien ship embedded in rock that fires at it, sending the vessel backwards. The ship fires another blast and the scene transitions to Samantha’s house. Sam puts her hand in some boiling water to see if she does have super powers as her daughter Ruby insists. Her hand is unharmed, shocking her. She doesn’t tell Ruby, instead telling her to go to a friend’s house for dinner because she forgot something at work. At the DEO, M’yrnn J’onzz needs help from Winn in locating an important room; the phrasing of his request concerns the young human. This leads Winn to go to J’onn, concerned that his father sounds like a prisoner. Supergirl’s arrival spurs Winn to tell her about the incident with the sub. According to his thermal scans, the ship has been in the rock for 12,000 years. Outside, before Supergirl can make like Christopher Reeve in the first Superman film, J’onn transports her and Winn uniquely to the ship. Once there they discover several life pods with one empty. A figure fires a blaster shot at Kara while muttering something in an alien language. Moving into the light, he’s revealed as Mon-El. Kara embraces him warmly, though he looks concerned. Cue opening title card.

This was the episode I’ve been waiting for: the return of Mon-El and the introduction, briefly, of the Legion of Super-Heroes. The script has three different stories, with two strong and one diminishing as it goes on. Kara and Mon-El’s reunion was not what she wanted, with him doing something to place him doubt to all at the DEO. Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood are wonderfully milking their scenes for all the emotion they can, with Benoist perfectly broken by this new Mon-El; their scene in the cell is heartbreaking. Samantha Arias is on a voyage to find out who she really is and goes home to mom, played by Betty Buckley. I’ve not been thrilled with Samantha as a character, but she becomes incredibly sympathetic in the first fifteen minutes when her childhood is brought up. Her scene in the desert is good, though it would have been better without the expected pop song accompanying her voyage. When Sam ends up is a character defining moment, with Odette Annable doing a great job when she learns her purpose, though some special effects were greatly needed when she changes, as it comes off as a John Lovitz “ACTING!” scene. On my second viewing, I was hit hard by the two scenes involving David Harewood and Carl Lumbly. Their first scene is painful father-son drama and their last made me misty; this shows the strength of the script and this pair’s acting. Amy Jackson was the highlight for me as Imra Ardeen. She was very different from her comic book counterpart: she’s brunette and has an accent. My favorite comic book is Legion of the Super-Heroes, so I will admit to these things bothering me initially, but I’m not so big a fan that they marred her performance or the episode. To the hardcore fans I say, lighten up and see where this goes.

The good: Melissa Benoist, Chris Wood, David Harewood, Carl Lumbly, Imra Ardeen (!!!), Mon-El showing some good stealth skills, Jeremy Jordan getting some great scenes that would spoil if I discussed, the four unopened life pods, what Mon-El kept, the balcony scene between Kara and Mon-El, and the episode ending eyes.

Fun lines: “No. They’re like me,” “Seven months?”, “What is happening?”, “You are,” “Then make me believe it, please!”, “This was all I wanted,” “Who is she?”, “Never,” “This is Imra Ardeen…(two words withheld for spoilers!),” “Your justice will burn the world of man,” and “I have awoken.”

The bad: Ruby is going to grow up to be a horrible adult with all the poor parenting skills from Sam, poor pop song inclusion in the desert, four unopened life pods, and Sam’s transformation.

The final line: I loved all of this but Sam’s story. That started well, but became cheese. The Mon-El story was outstanding and I’m on fire to see his other colleagues released from stasis. J’onn and M’yrnn scenes broke my heart. Reign’s reveal was just okay, slowing down the other two stories. Mon-El’s return was the highlight, as an iconic DC team begins to be revealed. And it can’t happen soon enough! 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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