Supergirl – S5 Ep2 – Stranger Beside Me Review

Technology and family were the focus of this week’s episode of Supergirl. Kara continues to find herself at odds with her new boss Andrea Rojas and new reporter William Dey. Meanwhile, J’onn deals with the realization that his long lost brother was a traitor to their people.

Season 5 continues its great start with this family and personal worth driven episode. The main plot of the episode focuses on J’onn Jones and the emergence of his lost lost brother, Malefic (voiced by Phil Lamarr). Their encounter at the end of the premiere leaves them both injured psychically. Kara and James find J’onn writhing in pain at his home and take him to Kelly, who uses her new Obsidian tech to aid him. Using Q waves, Kelly is able to facilitate a vision quest of sorts for J’onn, who realizes that a small portion of his memories have been wiped. These memories are of Malefic and his betrayal of the Green Martians. Malefic poisoned their minds and aided the White Martians in their conquest. In the present, J’onn’s brother causes problems for Team Supergirl with him and his White Martian comrade vowing to destroy them. The White Martian attacks Kara, Brainy, and Alex in a sewer. The team is successful in eliminating the threat much to the pain of Malefic who arrives too late to save his friend. Later, a determined Malefic breaks into Alex’s apartment and poses as Kelly. Alex sees through his ruse due to her powerful connection with the real Kelly. However, the Martian gains the upper-hand on the DEO leader. He stuffs her in the closet and takes her place. Kara arrives and engages him in exciting fight which ends with his retreat, but not before he pushes Kelly off a roof. Supergirl saves the day, but Malefic runs.

Speaking of Kara, the accomplished reporter is still struggling with the new way of things at CatCo. Rojas and Dey treat Kara with little respect with Rojas demoting her to copy editor after she failed to complete a fashion article on time. Dey ends up taking the articles from Kara and also becomes suspicious of her. So much so that he tracks her to the sewer and finds Supergirl fighting the White Martian. Kara later stands up to both of them once again. After talking with J’onn, she realizes that all she can do is be the best her she can be. Kara decides to outdo the expectations and give Rojas more than what she asked. She warns Dey to not steal any more of her articles and believes him to be a saboteur. She takes back her assignments that she gave him earlier in a fit and completes them. She informs Rojas that she has completed everything she assigned and has prepared eleven pitches ready for the next meeting. Rojas seems pleased with her. Also, Dey is seen working at a soup kitchen. He might not be a bad guy after all. Time will tell.

Now, the other major storyline in this episode focuses on Lena and her continued research with Obsidian tech. It is revealed that it was Lena who kidnapped Eve and now has her locked up in her lab. Luthor is still deeply hurt by Eve’s betrayal. Eve tries to explain herself, but cannot reveal who forced her into it or they will be killed. They are always watching according to Eve. Teschmacher does however, admit that she enjoyed doing the dastardly things she did. Lena maps her brain (finding the loyalty and honesty centers) in order to “evolve” her by implanting her AI Hope into Eve’s brain. Eve is now a human version of Hope completely subservient to Lena, who plans to use her and the tech (that she stole from Rojas) to enact her plan to rebuild humanity. She plans to install a new code in the VR that will essentially remove the instinct to hurt others.

The other storylines focused on our two couples. Nia finds herself showered with food after Brainy misunderstands praise of the morning’s breakfast in bed. When she finally tells Brainy that it’s too much, he switches to another of her likes and still goes overboard. Jesse Rath nails the awkwardness and humor perfectly. As far as Kelly and Alex are concerned, Alex starts the episode beating herself up about not knowing certain things about Kelly. However, by the end, the two grow even closer together.

Overall, this was another stellar episode! It was well directed, acted, and written in my opinion. The J’onn and Malefic storyline was the highlight for me as I am always excited for more Martian lore. I also found the Lena storyline intriguing as well. She is such a well written and complex character that sees herself as a hero despite her evil deeds. I look forward to see how her story unfolds this season.

Stay tuned for recaps and reviews here for the Girl of Steel at Earth-9!

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