Supergirl, ‘Triggers’: Kara Still Struggles to Find Her Center

Supergirl, Season 3, Episode 2, “Triggers”

We knew after the first episode that Odette Anable’s unnamed single mom character would factor heavily into this season. The second hour spent an unusual amount of time establishing her charter’s background before telling us her name (Samantha Arias). It was an odd narrative choice to make, but not so distracting that it impacted “Triggers” in a negative way. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of Supergirl:

What’s the scoop:  Kara is still struggling with the guilt and grief associated with Mon-El ‘s departure. While Sanvers’ and Mystery Single Mom’s mornings are sun-kissed interludes of wake-up sex and toaster waffles, Kara greets the day in a drab apartment with a bowl of lumpy oatmeal as her only companion. Nothing says sad sack on TV quite like oatmeal for breakfast. Kara is trying to put on a brave face by throwing herself into work, but in her current headspace she’s not a very effective journalist … or superhero. Also, James is feeling more useless than normal now that Lena is giving her new acquisition -– CatCo Media –- her undivided attention.

Anything new?:  The previously mentioned backstory of Mystery Single Mom, who we learn at the end is going to manage L Corp while Lena is away. There’s also the small matter of a new villain, a metahuman “psychic,” Psi. While she did no predicting of the future, she does use a wide variety of mental abilities to turn everyone, especially Kara, into quivering balls of fear with a look and a puff of telekinesis, in order to rob banks and armored cars.

Give me some action:  Given that this week’s villain was more of an internal threat, there wasn’t as much in the way of flying, punching and laser eyes this time around. However, it was an interesting way to give Kara’s struggle with Mon-El’s departure some kind of physical form. Kara’s guilt is crippling under Psi’s spell, and doesn’t get much better later on. With some help from Alex, Kara gets to the core of her emotional struggles:  she believes she sent her boyfriend to a lonely, silent death in that pod, and the weight of that thought is crushing her. Once she gets those feelings out in the open, Kara gets it together enough to save Ruby — child of Mystery Single Mom — from a wayward wrecking ball, and fight through Psi’s attacks to end the crime spree.

Human Resources nightmare of the week:  I have to say I like Lena Luthor’s management style. First, her instinct is that hugging one of her employees in the middle of the workplace is potentially bad (of course Kara’s like “screw that, bring that in”), is an encouraging sign. Then, after Kara rebuffed Lena’s efforts to reach out to her as a friend, Lena got “professional” with Kara, quietly reading the riot act and essentially saying she didn’t spend nearly a billion dollars to buy a company, so that Kara can  ignore what she’s assigned, and leave the office without explanation. Add that to Jimmy getting pushed to the margins; everybody’s learning that there’s a new sheriff in town.

GIF quote of the week:

What’s next: During the episode’s coda, J’onn gets a telepathic message from M’gann saying he needs to come to Mars. So, that seems significant. Something felt off about Sanvers getting into a knock-down-drag-out over DJ vs. Band at the wedding reception, but kind of glazed over the whole having kids conversation. Got a feeling that’s going to come back around too.

Last impressions: As much as everyone would love to see happy-go-lucky Kara return, it does make sense there would be some lingering emotions about Mon-El. As with any Superman-type story, it’s also interesting to see Kara battle an enemy or face a problem that can’t be resolved solely by punching it hard enough. The choice of villain complemented Kara’s internal struggles well. And now that we know how Mystery Single Mom fits into the grand scheme of things, we can move forward with the season.

Craig Wack

For a weekly discussion of comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes

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