Flashback Paradox

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SUMMARY: J’onn J’onzz is interrogated for killing and impersonating Hank Henshaw. He and Alex are sent to Project Cadmus to be killed and dissected. After Kara reveals that she is Supergirl, Lucy agrees to help her free them.

Margaret: Welcome to Tales from the Krypton, Episode 17 where we have found out that everything is good and mind control is fine.

Syd: This is a very reference heavy episode and I have not seen such shallow references outside of a Seltzer and Freidberg comedy, like Epic Movie or Meet the Spartans. I think references are more forgivable when you just can’t think of anything funny so you have a reference instead of a joke. On this show, I don’t even know what the purpose of these references are. It’s like they don’t understand how adaptation works. It’s frustrating because there’s so much potential when you’re adapting a long running series, especially as they have no pretense of adapting actual Supergirl comics, so they are essentially adapting the entire DC universe and it gives them such latitude to look at everything that’s happened and really nail down who these characters are at the core and what stories resonated. They could really emphasize the parts of the characters that work and avoid the parts that don’t work. That’s not the strategy they use here. In this episode, they need a douchebag government stooge to be their villain, so they call him Jim Harper because that’s basically who that character is, right? And they have Dick Malverne in this episode and they think, what is it about the character of Dick Malverne that people like? He went to the beach that one time. Right? That’s the essence of his character, right?


Margaret: I have no idea who these characters were, so as you said, I just imagine Alex’s junior high crush was a guy who was a surfer and loved the beach. I also imagined Eddie McClintock’s character, who was part of one of my favorite SciFi series, Warehouse 13, is just a government douchebag. I thought it was just random names without any connection.

Syd: Like all references on this show, the one nice thing about it is it reminds me of things I do like. I hear the name Jim Harper and I’m reminded of Seanbaby’s article on The Six Most Half-Assed Superhero Origins and then I have a smile on my face that lasts until a character opens their mouth and then I’m angry again.
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Zero Matter

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SUMMARY: Under the influence of Red Kryptonite, Supergirl goes on a rampage and must be taken down by the Manhunter from Mars.

Syd: Welcome to Tales from the Krypton. We just watched Episode 16 of Supergirl where Supergirl acts like a complete asshole and people notice this time.

Margaret: Right? The entire time I was watching all I could think was that a lot of things that Kara does as Supergirl under the influence of Red Kryptonite is stuff she’s already done – except for the fact that she actually spares somebody in a fight as opposed to outright killing them. And apparently that’s a bad thing?

Syd: She hurt his feelings! She said some really mean things.

Margaret: And, also, Supergirl doesn’t let evil aliens go because, obviously, they know exactly what evil aliens are and are adhering to an alien planet’s code of laws.

Syd: First we should explain that this is a Red Kryptonite Episode. Red Kryptonite is just a kind of magic space rock. The way green kryptonite kills Kryptonians, in the Silver Age DCU, Red Kryptonite had a different effect each time. For a few examples, here is Supergirl with two heads:


Here is Supergirl turning into a mermaid:


Here is Supergirl with amnesia marrying Jimmy Olsen:


But, they went a different route with this episode. Here, Red Kryptonite makes Kara good at her job.
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Hack the Planet!

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SUMMARY: Indigo, a Brainiac-descended alien with Internet-related powers, threatens to nuke National City. Lucy dumps James after his ill-timed excursion with Kara to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. Siobhan makes out with Winn for no discernable reason.

Margaret: Welcome to Tales from the Krypton. We just watched Episode 15 of Supergirl, where despite threatening to blow up a city, which would apparently destroy the planet, the only interesting thing that happens is that Lucy breaks up with James.

Syd: Instead of events, they had a lot of references.

Margaret: I think what they were trying to do was create the false impression that there was a lot on the line. They bring in somebody who is going to nuke the city, despite the fact that it was obviously never going to happen. It’s a false premise.

Syd: You could say that about any action movie. There’s always a threat to motivate the hero, but you know the hero is going to find some way to avert it. Usually the interesting part is how the hero overcomes the threat, but this episode instead felt like it was using the high-stakes threat to pad the runtime.
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