Monday, October 30, 2017

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 4 - The Faithful

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


Kara investigates a mysterious new religion which worships Supergirl and believes those saved by her to be a chosen elite. At the same time, Samantha begins to feel that she has failed as a mother putting her job before her daughter.


Superman: The Power Within
by Roger Stern.


Again, Ruby is written as acting far younger than her character apparently is.

Just how DID that follower of The Cult of Rao know Ruby's name?

Granting it is in a auditorium full of people clapping, Alex is awfully cavalier about telling Kara that the girls in Supergirl costumes performing a dance routine are inspired by her, not worshiping her.

The re-orchestration of the song Pure Imagination is painfully bad.

The closing montage, while artfully shot, should be Exhibit A in the case against using Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah in any montage ever again.


Melissa Benoist does a good job of capturing Kara's horror to being worshiped.

Chad Lowe does a good job playing Thomas Coville with just the right amount of sincerity and a creepy edge.

Super Trivia

While cults involving Kryptonians are not uncommon in the DC Comics Universe, the main inspiration for this episode seems to be the Roger Stern story The Power Within which focused on Superman dealing with a cult that started worshiping him and a counter-cult that was focused on destroying his worshipers!

Superman once had to deal with a cult that worshiped him in the Superman/Batman storyline Worship. Superman had to act to stop the cult when they began to practice human sacrifice to win his favor.

Following The Death of Superman, cultists praying for Superman's resurrection began to congregate at Superman's memorial. When four heroes emerged - each apparently continuing Superman's legacy - a religious schism was formed between the cultists who argued over which of the four was the true Superman reborn.

The death of Conner Kent - the clone of Superman created following his death, who became known as Superboy - prompted the creation of a Cult of Conner which combined Kryptonian theology with a resurrection myth that sought to bring the dead back to life. This occurred in the mini-series 52.

The symbol on the pamphlet handed out by the cult is the Kryptonian symbol for Rao. Depending upon which comics one goes by, Rao is the primary god of the Kryptonian pantheon or the sole God of Krypton. Rao may also be the Kryptonian word for God. In either case, Rao is the god of life and light and the red star Krypton orbits is named Rao as well.

When asked if Supergirl remembers saving a certain girl, she responds that she remembers every person that she saved. In the comics, Supergirl having total recall or an eidetic memory, is one of the classic powers Kryptonians have when under a yellow sun.


A betahedron is like the omegahedron that powered Fort Rozz, only smaller.

On Krypton, betahedrons were used to power probes that were sent into space by Kryptonian scientists that contained Kryptonian artifacts. These artifacts were embedded with information on the history and religion of Krypton, so that other worlds could learn of Krypton and their culture. Winn compares this to The Voyager Probes launched by NASA.

Betahedrons have unique energy signatures that can be tracked.

Dialogue Triumphs

(As a young woman named Olivia tells her story of how Supergirl saved her life.)
James: Do you remember saving her?
Kara: (clearly broken up) I... I remember all of them.

(Samantha is crying about blowing off Ruby to focus on a merger.)
Samantha: I just feel like the worst mother.
(Lena smiles softly.)
Samantha:Why are you smiling?
Lena: Because I actually had the worst mother. Objectively speaking. And I find your self-appraisal a little funny.

Dialogue Disasters

Alex: (looking at a canister in the Kryptonian probe) They put Kryptonian soil samples on the probe. It - it's laced with Kryptonite!
J'onn: (yelling) Get it away from her!


The opening scene depicts the plane crash in 101 which spurred Kara into using her powers to save people for the first time, from the perspective of a man named Thomas Coville.

Ruby plays soccer.

L-Corp is merging with a business called JQB.

Sam is the new CFO of L-Corp.

Kara remembers every person she saved.

Thomas Coville is 44 years old and a native of National City. He was a lawyer, but was disbarred after a number of misdemeanor convictions for public drinking and disorderly conduct following his discovery that his wife was cheating on him with her physical trainer and had filed for divorce.

The flight which Kara saved in 101 was Flight #237.

Lena was once propositioned by a world leader who asked if she was baptized, saying he only slept with good Catholic girls.

Ruby's father is no longer in the picture.

Ruby is taking French.

Thomas Coville recognized Kara as Supergirl based on how her eyes looked shortly after saving the plane he was on.

Coville somehow acquired a Kryptonian artifact that had the holy books of Rao stored in them.

Kara refers to the Fort Rozz omegahedron from 120.

Alex decides she really wants a daughter and can't stay with Maggie if she can't be a mother.

M'yrnn J'onzz has a cameo, praying with his son.

The episode ends with Samantha having a vision of herself covered with odd symbols and a woman in a black cloak telling her she will reign. This happens 22 hours after Alex buries the betahedron, which lands close to some underground craft and begins powering it, causing some thing in a tube in the pod to awaken.

The Fridge Factor

Alex, of all people, should not need to be told that she should get Kryptonite as far away as possible from Kara.

The Bottom Line

There's a great story to be told about the dangers of hero worship and organized religion. The Faithful is not it. The Faithful is not even in the same ballpark as it. The only thing that makes this episode work as well as it does is the performances of the cast. Even then, the script seems preachy regarding its points on the danger of faith being corrupted then tries to pay lip-service to religion with a final scene that shows most of the cast praying.

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