Monday, November 6, 2017

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 5 - Damage

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


When multiple children in National City begin to suffer the symptoms of lead poisoning, Morgan Edge is quick to point the finger at Lena Luthor and the lead bomb she used to save the world during The Daxamite invasion. As Kara and Samantha work to prove Lena's innocence, Alex and Maggie make a fateful decision regarding their relationship.


The film Erin Brokovich (plot involving an investigation into poisoned water hurting children).


The whole dance sequence. Just... no.

Lena says that being evil is in her DNA. That would be a rather neat trick since she was adopted into The Luthor family.

Why didn't Morgan Edge just call the cops after Lena was knocked-out in his office, with a gun in her hand, threatening his life? Sure, it lacks the drama of locking her in a plane full of chemicals as he's trying to poison the whole city, but it would accomplish his twin aims of humiliating her and seeing her punished for standing against him with a lot less effort.


This episode features a lot of scenes of two people talking to each other and Kevin Smith, whatever else may be said about him as a creator, does have a knack for directing dialogues.

The effects-work on the scene where Supergirl saves Lena from the cargo plane is fantastic.

Super Trivia

This episode was directed by famed geek filmmaker Kevin Smith, who has directed several episode of The Flash and Supergirl.

Lena makes reference to The Flint Water Crisis - a disaster that seems to have served as the basis for this episode. While an investigation is still pending into precisely who is responsible for the decision to have Flint, Michigan's water supply be switched to a toxic source (the state blames the city for not financing adequate purification of the water, the city blames the state for slashing the budget for infrastructure resulting in old pipes not being replaced), the end result - tons of sick children - is not in dispute.

The crowd of pro-Edge protesters at at Lena's press conference chant "Lock Her Up". This is the same chant started at Donald Trump rallies when he accused Hillary Clinton of illegal activities during the 2016 US Presidential campaigns.


When Lena and Winn ran the original numbers for the lead-bomb, they predicted that 99.96% of the lead molecules bonded to Daxamite genes and that if it hit a human, it would disperse harmlessly. When Winn tests the bomb again in the lab, the actual rate is 89.79%. This means there is a 10.21% chance that the sick kids are a side-effect of Lena's bomb.

The pool water is filled with an advanced hydro-morphic carbon-nitrate compound - a synthetic compound that, when combined with water, exhibits the exact same properties as lead. According to Winn, anyone exposed to it would experience the same symptoms as lead poisoning.

The plane Morgan Edge uses to try and poison the National City Reservoir is a C-130 cargo plane.

Dialogue Triumphs

Lena: So this is what your revenge looks like?
Edge: Have you ever heard of The Cobra Effect, Lena? Colonial India. The British government realized there were snakes all over Delhi. They wanted them gone, so they offered a bounty for dead snakes. And then they realized that people were breeding snakes for income. They thought everything was going really well. They realized they got slithering snakes all over Delhi. The whole thing backfired. Turns out they made the problem worse. Do you understand?
Lena: You're a toxic predator.
Edge: Unintended consequences. You wanted to be a hero so bad, you didn't care who you hurt. Now people are going to die.
Kara: Even if all of this were true, Supergirl would be just as much to blame. She made the call to use that device.
Edge: Supergirl may have pushed the button, sure. But that tech was all Luthor.
Lena: You're a bottom feeder.
Edge: But I didn't poison children. That was you.

Lena: What news from the front?
Kara: (quickly) Nothing yet.
Lena: You know... you're terrible at hiding things from me.
Kara: (laughs nervously) I wouldn't be so sure of that.


Melissa apparently told Ruby about her vision from 304. She thinks it was a dream but Ruby says she was awake.

70% is the deep discount rate on the print subscription of Catco Magazine.

Maggie and Alex break up.

James is shot by the assassin trying to kill Lena.

Eliza Danvers took Kara to play at a public pool on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Acre Lee Chemical is owned by Morgan Edge. Established in 1982, it manufactures hydrogen gas, sodium hydroxide and swimming-pool chlorine. He sold it in 2015, however.

Maggie moves out of the apartment she and Alex shared.

Alex refers to her conversation with Kara in 301 about what would happen if she lost Maggie.

Kara and Alex take a few days off work to visit their mother.

At the end of the episode, Samantha realizes that she was shot during the assassination attempt on Lena but that the bullet crumpled against her without her feeling it.

The Bottom Line

Artistically well-executed in terms of direction and cinematography, but the writing is lackluster and doesn't even bother to hide its sources in trying to be topical. I have no objection to political stories being tackled with superheroes (hell, I love the old Green Arrow comics from the 1970s) but this episode seems to suffer from a serious lack of Supergirl and the only reason we have Kara in costume at all is due to Morgan Edge randomly indulging in cartoonish super-villany. The only reason it works as well as it does is due to the cast but even they can only do so much. Hopefully the pace will improve now that the Maggie/Alex subplot is finally resolved.

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