Monday, February 1, 2016

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 12 - Bizarro

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Kara's nervous about her first date with Adam Foster. But her real test of courage this week will come in the form of a mysterious evil twin, who challenges Supergirl's reputation as a champion of good as she begins causing trouble around National City. Meanwhile, J'onn must deal with the consequences of his White Martian prisoner and ponder the threat of their invading the Earth.


The Bizarrogirl arc of Sterling Gates' run on Supergirl and the Terror Incognita arc of Mark Waid's run on JLA.


We're told Maxwell Lord began abducting Jane Does two years ago. Granting that Lord is the kind of sleaze who would do that sort of thing for all manner of experiments, how could he have been abducting women the same size and hair-color as Kara for the past two years when she has only been Supergirl for a few months?

Why did Maxwell Lord give Bizarro Girl a new costume with darker colors and a backward-S after she's changed by the exposure to Kryptonite? It's stylish, sure, but what's the point?

How the heck did James survive Bizarro's flame breath after trying to kick-activate his signal watch?


While his performance is hardly subtle, Peter Facinelli does a fine job of making Maxwell Lord the kind of smug. creepy villain you love to hate in this episode.

It;s a quick moment, but the scene between Winn and James discussing their problems is a nice bit of work from both Mehcad Brooks and Jeremy Jordan. We haven't gotten much interaction between James and Winn except as adversaries so it's gratifying to get a scene of the two as equals.

The scene between Kara and Bizarro at the end is deeply moving.


The fight sequences between the two Supergirls are handled well and the direction does a good job of disguising the stunt doubles needed for Melissa Benoist to fight herself.

The script does a fine job of suggesting it will be Alex, not James, who will wind up being the target of a revenge-crazed Bizarro. So it's all the more surprising when Bizarro kidnaps James.

Super Trivia

The concept of the Bizarro duplicates first appeared in Superboy #68. In this story, a scientist developed a duplication ray which accidentally created an impure clone of Superboy. The clone was as noble as Superboy, but shunned by all the people of Smallville due to his ugly appearance, except for one blind girl. The story was intended as a tribute to Frankenstein.

Years later, Lex Luthor - having learned of this incident - rebuilt the duplication ray to create a clone of Superman he could manipulate. It turned out the Bizarro clone was as noble as Superman, but his efforts to do good often caused harm instead. Eventually, Bizarro left Earth along with a Bizarro clone of Lois Lane, and used the raygun to create a Bizarro world on which they could live.

In most modern retellings of the Superman legend (post-Crisis and Superman: The Animated Series, in particular) Bizarro clones are the result of Lex Luthor's failed attempts to clone Superman. The clones have varied in temperament, with most fitting the earlier mold of easily manipulated but basically noble monster.

The Bizzaro Supergirl in this episode fits the same mold, being a creation of Maxwell Lord's super-science who is manipulated into fighting Supergirl.

In the post-Crisis DC Universe, one Bizarro traveled into space and built a cube-shaped world near a blue sun. The blue sun gave him the power of Bizarro-Vision, which allowed him to create new Bizarros.  One of the Bizarros he created was a Bizarro Supergirl, whom he later sent to Earth in a rocket to keep her safe.  This led to the Bizaro Supergirl running amok on Earth, as seen in Sterling Gates run on Supergirl.

The Bizarro duplicates in the comics have the equivalent yet opposite powers of their regular Kryptonian counterparts, such as Flame Breath instead of Ice Breath or Freeze Vision instead of Heat Vision. This is also true of the DCTVU version of Bizarro.

Bizarros also react differently to Kryptonite than regular Kryptonians, with the common Green Kryptonite isotope making Bizarros stronger rather than weakening then. Bizzaros are made weak in the presence of Blue Kryptonite, which is harmless to regular Kryptonians.

Though never named as such, the reversed-Kryptonite J'onn devises in this episode glows blue, in reference to the Blue Kryptonite of the comics.


J'onn says the Jane Done he examined at Lord Technologies was comatose and her cerebral cortex function was practically non-existent.

Alex says the evil Supergirl can't be the result of cloning because even if someone had gotten a hold of her DNA, the clone would still be an embryo. This suggests there is no scientific way to accelerate a clone's growth in the DCTVU - at least not with the technology known to the DEO.

Maxwell Lord used an elementary genetic synthesis to create Bizarro. He isolated Supergirl's genome and then flooded the Jane Doe with a concentrated infusion of DNA. He got Supergirl's DNA from the arm of the Red Tornado, which Alex gave him in 106.

J'onn suggests that they can reverse engineer the chemical compound of the DEO's synthetic Kryptonite, theorizing that if regular Kryptonite makes Bizarro stronger,reversing its ionic charge should have an oppositional effect.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Watching footage of the evil Supergirl in action)
J'onn: (To Kara)
Not exactly one for your "greatest hits" reel.
Alex: I sent a team to scan the area. No signs of extra-terrestrial activity, so we can probably rule out an alien shape-shifter. (looking at J'onn) Unless there's something you're not telling us?
J'onn: The skirt was surprisingly comfortable, but no.

Kara: She's as strong as me. She flies like me. She fights like me. Except for the fact that she talks like Cookie Monster, she is exactly like me!

Cat: You two have not had your first kiss yet?  Kiera, you are like a character from a Jane Austen Novel. (glancing up at a screen) Bizarro.
Kara:  (sputtering) That's not that weird!  I mean, we've only been out a couple of times!
Cat: No. I named HER Bizarro.

Maxwell Lord: I ordered you to kill Supergirl.
Bizarro: You say... Supergirl bad. But Supergirl help people.... Supergirl not bad.

He made the Bizarro you.
J'onn: Is that what we're calling it?!
Kara: Another CatCo trademark.

James: How do you feel about drowning our sorrows?
(James begins pouring two drinks from a bottle of whiskey.)
Winn: I know what my sorrows are. What, uh... what sorrows exactly do you have, sir?
James: (chuckles) Bottoms up.
Winn: Yeah.
(The two clink glasses and drink. After taking a sip, Winn stares at James.)
What are you doing, man?
James: Having a drink with a friend.
Winn: No! With Kara.
James: Huh?
Winn: Why - why did you tell her that you were happy about her and Adam?
James: Because she likes him. And that's what she wants me to say, man. C'mon.
Winn: No!  Look, dude... Dude, I've been stuck in the friend zone so long that I'm just thinking about buying some investment property here. But you? Man, you could be with her and you know it. Literally, all you have to do is say the word. So why don't you?
James: Winn. I'm in a relationship.
Winn:  Look, dude, I know that you care about Lucy. You don't have to convince me. I get it. But nobody wants to be in a relationship with somebody who wants to be with somebody else.
(Winn downs the rest of his drink and sits back down at his desk as James rises, looking thoughtful.)
James: Good talk.
Winn: Yeah.
(James gets up and starts to walk off with the bottle of whiskey)
Winn: Leave the bottle.
(James sighs and puts the bottle on Winn's desk.)

J'onn: We're going to put her under. The way she was when I first saw her. 
Kara: She won't feel any pain, will she?
J'onn: She won't feel anything.
Kara: We have to try and help her.
J'onn: We will.
(Kara takes Bizarro's hand)
Kara: I'm going to hold your hand until you fall asleep, okay?
Bizzaro: Afraid!
Kara: I know. I once went to sleep for a long time too. I was afraid. But when I woke up, I wasn't alone. You're not going to be alone either.
Bizarro: Thank. You. Kara. 


Maxwell Lord began "disappearing" Jane Does over two years earlier. Seven women have disappeared in that time, being transferred Lord's private facility - Prometheus Genetics.  He began working on the woman who became Bizarro three months ago.

J'onn refers to his invasion of Lord Technologies in 110 and the Jane Doe he examined there.

Kara's go-to coffee order is a spiced pumpkin latee with extra foam and a little cinnamon sprinkled on the top.

J'onn refers to The Red Tornado from 106 and how it was programmed to mimic Kara's powers.

Cat Grant dubs the evil Supergirl "Bizarro".

The DEO does not have legal authority to arrest people.

Alex and Kara determine that Maxwell Lord knows Kara's secret identity and about their relationship, but decide to keep this information secret from J'onn.

Maxwell Lord is being held indefinitely in DEO Cell 19 at episode's end.

The Fridge Factor

It seems remarkably foolish for Alex to insist on keeping Maxwell Lord's knowledge of Kara's secret identity a secret from J'onn.  Forget all the problems that keeping secrets from one another has caused their team before - HE'S A FREAKING TELEPATH AND A DAMN GOOD DETECTIVE!

The Bottom Line

A welcome return to form after last week. Oddly, the only bits that don't work are Kara's romance with Adam but that's mainly because it's clear that subplot is a distraction from the main meat of the episode.  Everything else is spot on.

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