TV reviews

Supergirl 3×05 – ‘Damage’ – Review

The latest episode of Supergirl pushes Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) to her limits as she faces the consequences of her past actions, and the series finally brings the brewing conflict between Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Maggie (Floriana Lima) to a head.

Lena Luthor has never had an easy time on the show. Being the younger sister of the worlds greatest villain, a man who stands against the worlds brightest becon of hope, means that she was straight away put into a position where she was tarred by the same brush before she could even make her on screen debut. When her mother turned out to be the head of a shadowy group that was trying to kill any alien and was willing to even put civilians in danger to do so, she was able to solidify her stance as being different from the other Luthors by standing against her.

Thanks to the Daxamite invasion at the end of the last season Lena finally showed the public how much she differed from her family when she helped Supergirl to stop the attack on Earth. She’s come so far and fought so hard to be seen as a good person, so this episode hits harder than you’d expect when it appears that she is responsible for poisoning a load of children, even if this was an unintended side affect of stopping the Daxamites.

McGrath plays Lena beautifully, and manages to play the anger and hurt that the character is feeling in very believable ways. It’s painful to see this very strong woman reduced to a mess, drinking alone, wallowing in her misery. She’s been such a strong person up to this point that it comes as a genuine shock to see her unable to handle the situation.

Towards the end of the episode when she confronts Morgan Edge (Adrian Pasdar) she’s taking a step down a darker path, one that is much more in line with the rest of her family, but you can’t really feel like she’s in the wrong for wanting to shoot someone who was willing to kill children just to get back at her. The fact that she even went on to tell Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) to let her die to stop more people from being put in harms way shows that despite this moment she’s still the good person we’ve come to know her as.

This episode manages to showcase just how strong the friendship between Lena and Kara is, with the latter refusing to allow her friend to give up and take the blame for the situation. I’d been a little dubious about their friendship in the past, but seeing it here it’s really obvious that it’s a good inclusion in the series, though there were a few moments in the episode where I was expecting Lena to reveal that she knew Kara was Supergirl. It seems like it’s only a matter of time until Lena does find out that Kara and Supergirl are the same person, hopefully this won’t be something that will drive the two of them apart, as this episode shows just how good their friendship is and it would be a real shame if we were to lose that from the series.

One of the things that the series has lost, however, is the relationship between Alex and Maggie. After a number of episodes that established that Alex wanted children, and that Maggie didn’t, this finally becomes an obstacle that the couple could not avoid. With neither side willing to budge on their stance on the matter it meant that their relationship couldn’t really go any further, and this episode they finally parted ways.

This may not be the last we see of Maggie, but it’s certainly the end of one of the better couples the series has had. Whilst it’s sad to see the two of them no longer together, and the end of the only long term LGBT+ relationship still happening in the CW’s DC Universe, it’s nice to see a television relationship end over very big real life things rather than the usual trope of one of them having been cheating.

The episode manages to showcase just how strong some of it’s female actors are, and even lays the seeds for further season arc developments as Samantha (Odette Annabel) discovers that she’s bulletproof. Whilst the series has lost a great relationship, it’s also showed just how strong the one between Lena and Kara is.

Supergirl airs in the UK on Sky. Let us know what you think of the season.

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