REVIEW: Supergirl, S2E14 – Homecoming

This week’s Supergirl was all about trust, on multiple levels. Jeremiah Danvers’ (guest star Dean Cain) return had Kara (Melissa Benoist) at odds with both her sister Alex (Chyler Leigh) and her new boyfriend Mon-El (Chris Wood). While Kara had to decide whether she trusted her family or her instincts more, Alex had to learn that trust is not enough to save the day. Meanwhile, Mon-El had to learn to respect Kara’s boundaries even if he was technically right about his theories. But did he really learn anything?

A short-lived but beautiful reunion.

First things first, the scenes between Jeremiah and his family were all very moving. In fact, his scene with his wife Eliza (guest star Helen Slater) reminiscing about the time lost was one of the best scenes on Supergirl to date. Even though the circumstances of his rescue were fishy from the start, all of his feelings felt very genuine – and the scenes were all the more heart-wrenching because they included precisely the things each woman needed to hear. Alex got the chance to feel acceptance from her father when it came to her relationship with Maggie (Floriana Lima), and Jeremiah also expressed how proud he was of both daughters. He may have been with CADMUS for years, but he doesn’t seem to have been brainwashed or had his memory wiped, so the love he feels may be real.

Why then is he sneaking around and turning on them? Not just on his immediate family, but on his good friend J’onn (David Harewood) whom he trusted with his life – not to mention on the entire world. The final scene between him and Lillian Luthor (guest star Brenda Strong) suggests he has made a deal with her that he’s forced to see through to the end. Perhaps he believes he’s protecting his loved ones by going along with her plan? The plan as of now is unclear, but we know it involves obtaining the DEO’s secret alien registry and eventually getting rid of said aliens. Not Supergirl herself, though, right? Doesn’t seem like Jeremiah would be up for that.

It is thanks to Mon-El’s interference that the Danvers sisters and the DEO at large are alerted that Jeremiah’s up to no good, and lying about a devastating attack being planned to boot. Of course, this was the part of the episode that I struggled most with. It makes sense that Mon-El doesn’t know Jeremiah very well and therefore won’t be blinded by affection for him, but he’s not the only character in that position. Winn (Jeremy Jordan) could easily have taken on this role, and addressed the problem with a much lighter and more respectful touch. He gets in on the action later on, but having Mon-El suspicious from the jump feels like a clumsy way to prove that he’s actually right for Kara. Instead he spent the episode belittling her actions as a superhero, breaking up her family reunion, and directly contradicting all her wishes without a second thought.

Even when Kara confronts him about it, he dismissively admits he has “two strikes” against him but she should let him go for a third. All of these missteps would be minor in a television relationship, and certainly fodder for an episode, but when combined they appear egregious. And that’s ignoring the big secret Mon-El is still withholding about his identity, a secret which incidentally Jeremiah knows all about. Wonder when Supergirl‘s going to drop that bomb?

A healthy onscreen ship that’s actually enjoyable.

Boyfriends who can’t listen aside, the episode had some very strong moments. J’onn having to battle against the friend he trusted was tough to watch, and it was even tougher to see him lose. But the most heartbreaking scene of the night belonged to Alex and Maggie, as the elder Danvers sister broke down in her girlfriend’s arms after discovering her father’s betrayal. If only they had more screentime to explore the feelings of both women as they navigate various losses together.

It seems like Jeremiah’s Supergirl story isn’t done, and he’ll be back next week. How will he face his daughters next episode? And will the show remember that James Olsen (the much missed Mehcad Brooks) exists? Two weeks in a row without him is not a good look.