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“Rather the Fallen Angel” gives us more insight into the Children of Liberty’s plans for dominance while using James to achieve their goal and we get a scientific journey that reveals quite a lot about our Lena Luthor and her first human test subject.
James gets an audience with Agent Liberty himself where they discuss what he and his Children of Liberty are all about. Not much is shared but Agent Liberty is very keen on using Guardian as the symbolic human hero. Tom, one of the CoL whom James met last week, realizes that he’s given James up to Agent Liberty’s more nefarious ways and that they have no intention of releasing James unless he helps them. Tom gets James his gauntlet back and they attempt to escape Shelley Island – now not functioning but where aliens were once brought for Earth orientation. They fail and the CoL threaten to kill Tom as a traitor and James tells them he’ll do what they want so long as they spare Tom. Tom doesn’t understand why James would do this for him and James explains that he knows who he is so it doesn’t matter whatever they make him do under duress. They have him go on camera to pledge his allegiance to the CoL and to participate in blowing up the iconic towered structure there. They lie and tell him no one is in it; but, in fact they have Supergirl chained up there while her powers are dampened on the island. She gets James’ attention and he and Manchester Black take out the CoL gathered there and the power dampening stations so Supergirl can save the day. James later reflects with Kara about what he was about to give up and says he understands why Lena was moved to act on his behalf with the DA. She suggests that he go and tell her that. He tries but Lena rebuffs him after the horrendous day that she has had.
Eve comes to Lena’s office to let her know that their first human subject is ready for the trials. He is identified as Subject 0331. Lena goes to meet him and he is condescending at first asking her as “Lab Tech” about the (male) scientist is doing. She quickly corrects him and he later apologizes. They move into a discussion about why he was chosen and it comes down to he and Lena thinking the same way about a hypothetical situation. She shares that if this works they could save hundreds of millions and create something that is far more enhanced that an ordinary human. Subject 0331, now Adam, does not want to be a hero as he was the one who received the kidney from his perfect brother who ended up dying because of the surgery and he freely admits that he wouldn’t have even agreed to the same kind of sacrifice. He’s not worthy of any kind of possibility of being a hero. Lena convinces him that she understands exactly because as a four-year-old she stood and watched her biological mother go into the water and never come out. She didn’t do anything and now she will always pay for that inaction by being a Luthor. Adam tries to give her absolution but she won’t have it. They proceed and we hear her describe that Adam displayed super-human abilities for 3 minutes, 42 seconds before dying. She is 87% certain that human trials will continue with improved results.
Supergirl saves Manchester Black while he’s rumbling with some Children of Liberty over alien fission rods. He asks to team up with her and she timidly says she’ll call him if she has any information to share. J’onn then reaches out and tells Supergirl that Manchester has information on the shipment that they were discussing earlier. She meets him at the shipping container yard and Manchester is ready to break the supervisor’s jaw to get information and she scolds him that that’s not how we superhero around here, sir. Kara, burning the leftovers to non-recognition has Alex and J’onn join her for dinner, which J’onn was already bringing wings (ha!), and she expresses concern about Manchester but J’onn assures her that Black’s intentions are right even if his methods aren’t always. She decides to go back to Manchester with a pot pie peace offering. They work together to figure out that the CoL are working to make Shelley Island operative again. He takes a look at her yellow sun multivitamin device and convinces her they should go together without the DEO. The two arrive at the island and her powers immediately fade away. Manchester Black has set her up to give her to the CoL as their prisoner so he can get a personal audience with Agent Liberty to carry out his revenge. When the CoL try to deceive Black with a fake Agent Liberty he doesn’t buy it and gets the fake to reveal Ben Lockwood’s the real deal. Manchester is confronted by J’onn for betraying his trust and Supergirl and Black puts an empathy enhancer on J’onn where he reveals that he’s been on a vengeance binge by taking out as many CoL as possible and if he has this much pain in his heart then J’onn should feel it too. J’onn is wrecked with guilt and sorrow for putting Kara in harm’s way and goes to her weeping. We leave Manchester Black riding up to Lockwood Family Steel.
This was a very well written episode that explored the depths of what emotions will push our characters to do. Adam as Lena’s test subject will obviously leave an indelible mark on Lena as he made her confront her past and realize what and why she’s doing what she’s doing now because of it. Manchester Black reveals the length of what he will do to get his chance at revenge and it is ugly and has far reaching consequences. James realizes what he will do to become the hero and nearly loses himself and Supergirl in the process. All of these storylines interweaving and telling their tales in this episode were very real, believable, and very well executed. This was a refreshing break from what this season has given us so far. Huzzah!
Cougar’s Comic Corner
“All-Star Superman” #4, “The Superman/Olsen War” written by Grant Morrison released July of 2006.
Jimmy Olsen, the Daily Planet’s “Mister Action,” is young, brilliant, and reckless! For this week’s story he must become the director-for-a-day of P.R.O.J.E.C.T. With top agents assigned to protect him, he’s looking forward to an easy day of jet-setting and international liaisons, all in the name of scientific discovery. Instead, P.R.O.J.E.C.T. receives a terrifying directive to take down a rogue Superman!
Available through Amazon/Comixology here!
Episode Tie: Black Kryptonite and Elseworlds
Next time on Supergirl!
Season 4, Episode 8, “Bunker Hill”
KEVIN SMITH DIRECTS; NIA BEGINS TO EMBRACE HER POWERS — Nia has a powerful dream about Agent Liberty but refuses to look at it as a prophetic dream and pushes it aside. After noticing something is bothering Nia, Kara enlists Brainy’s help, and the two try to persuade Nia to embrace her destiny. Meanwhile, Manchester Black pays Ben Lockwood a menacing visit. Kevin Smith directed the episode written by Rob Wright & Eric Carrasco.
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