Sunday, November 24, 2019

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 7 - Tremors

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


Kara and Lena have both learned about Leviathan's existence, but will a new common enemy be enough to convince Lena to abandon her plans for revenge? Meanwhile, J'onn has a startling revelation regarding his brother Malefic.


JLA: The Obsidian Age by Joe Kelly.


As always, Carl Lumbly is a delight as M'yrnn.

The scene of Lena revealing all her secrets to Kara is heartbreaking on multiple levels and Melissa Benoist and Katie McGrath sell every second of it.


The scene of J'onn and Kara sparring is well-shot and well-blocked, making effective use of some simple special effects.

Super Trivia

The characters of Rama Khan and Gamemnae originally came from a JLA storyline called The Obsidian Age. Both characters were powerful magicians and part of an order called The League of Ancients, made up of powerful mages from around the world, united in the common cause of protecting the Earth.

Rama Khan was the defender of the nation of Jarhanpur and drew strength from the soil of his nation. He was able to manipulate it, transforming the soil into fire, hard rock or wine. He commanded other magics as well, had a modicum of super strength and was immortal.

Gamemnae was an Atlantean from the days shortly after the magical island had sunk. Banished for having blonde hair, Gamemnae traveled the Earth and learned magics, returning home to raise the island once more and transform the water-breathing Atlanteans into air-breathers again. She went on to found the League of Ancients as a counter to the Justice League, whom she foresaw coming back in time to undo her actions, which were destined to fail.

The Arrowverse versions of Rama Khan and Gamenae are depicted as aliens from the planet Jarhanpur - a sister world of Krypton. They and three other people from their planet were said to have come to Earth thousands of years ago, with their spaceship being the "meteor" that killed the dinosaurs. Their powers are depicted as being alien rather than magical.

The Arrowverse version of Rama Khan is an Earth-Bender who can travel through the earth, change himself into a living dust devil and control the earth around him. He can also sense the presence of any person on Earth.

It is unclear what powers the Arrowverse version of Gamenae has, but she asks Rama Kham to let her use her technology to deal with Lena Luthor rather than making a big show of his powers.

The Leviathan organization in the original comics was recently revealed to have been created by the vigilante Manhunter (aka Mark Shaw). The details of this have yet to be adequately explained.

The security system for the Fortress of Solitude, upon detecting Lena Luthor, plays a prerecorded message warning Lex Luthor to give up his Kryptonite ring and transportal watch. This is a nod to a classic item Lex Luthor had in the post-Crisis era - a ring made of Kryptonite to keep Superman at bay. Ironically, the ring wound up giving Lex Luthor inoperable cancer in the comics, as it turned out Kryptonite radiation was deadly to humans - just not as fast acting as with Kryptonians..

As Brainiac-5's inhibitor fails, he unleashes a string of technobabble regarding the Psions affecting the Czarnians' evolutionary process. In the DC Comics universe, the Psions are a race of reptilian beings from the planet Maltus, who are among the most scientifically advanced beings in existence. The Czarnians are a nearly extinct species, with the bounty hunter Lobo being the last of the Czarnians.

Brainiac-5 also says something about hydrogen molecules being synonymous with Thanagarian atoms. The Thanagarians are a race of war-like bird-people. Some versions of Hawkman and Hawkwoman are Thanagarian.


The word "Leviathan" occurs six times in the Hebrew Bible, according to Brainiac-5 but not once does it appear in any historical scientific literature.

Brainiac-5 attempts to track Rama Khan by his seismic wave signature.

The archive computer for the Fortress of Solitude is powered by a polyphasic quantum processor.

The Fortress of Solitude contains a sonic cannon which sends concentrated blasts of high-frequency ultrasonic waves at whatever it is aimed at.

There is a particular coffee shop in National City which Brainiac-5 frequents because it is close to National City's tar pits, which emit an energy that enhances his brain functionality. He believes Leviathan have a base close by for the same reason.

The dust from the tar pits emits Veridian radiation. Brainiac-5 is able to use this to thwart the cloaking technology inside the elevator to Leviathan's headquarters and reveal the button to make the elevator work.

Dialogue Triumphs

J'onn: Father, I need your counsel. Malefic came after my family, and history repeated itself. To protect them, I had to send Mal back to the Phantom Zone. I have tried to move on, but it's like I can feel him nearby.
M'yrnn: That's because he is nearby.
J'onn: What?
M'yrnn: Your brother is here.
J'onn: You mean here in my mind?
M'yrnn: No. I mean, he's across town.

M'yrnn: The only chance of saving your brother is to let down your psychic shield entirely. Open your mind to him like a flower. Complete vulnerability. Allow him access to your memories and innermost thoughts, so he can see your truth.
J'onn: If I bond with Malefic... he can choose to poison my mind. How can I make that choice knowing that he will most likely murder me and kill everyone I love?
M'yrnn: Then retrieve the Phantom Zone projector, send him back to isolation.
J'onn: And punish him again?
M'yrnn: I'm sorry, my son. In my lifetime, I faced this test. Should I attempt to reach Malefic and risk the utter decimation of my people, my family, and myself by his destructive power? Or should I lock him away where he cannot harm others? I made my impossible choice. There is no such thing as right or wrong. There is only peace in one's heart, something I never found. The sins of the father are visited on the son. You must make your own choice, J'onn. Then ask H'ronmeer to guide you to your brother. No matter what you decide, I will love you for it. Just as I loved both you and Malefic long ago.

Rama Khan: (speaking as he shapes a giant bolder from the earth under him) You thought you could hide her from me? I am ancient. I am the earth. What are you?!
(He throws the rock at Supergirl, who punches it into dust easily.)
Supergirl: Me? I'm just peeved you didn't knock.

Kara: Lena, you have to believe me, I never meant to humiliate you.
Lena: No. When I came to this city, I promised myself that I would never trust anyone again... And then I met you. You chipped away at my armor with your warmth and your earnestness, and you convinced me to trust in people and friendship again. And against my better judgment, I did!  All the while telling you about my Achilles heel - betrayal. (sobbing) I confided in you that everyone in my past had betrayed me. About how much it hurt to have someone you love lie to you and betray you. I spelled it out to you over and over again, essentially begging you not to violate my trust, begging you not to prove that, once again, I was a fool! You reassured me ad nauseam that you would never lie to me, that you'd never hurt me. And all the while, there wasn't a single honest moment in our friendship.
Kara: No! No, that is not true
Lena: No! I killed my brother for you, for our friends! Don't you understand what you've done?!
(Kara starts crying)
Kara: When you found out, why didn't you come to me right away, so I could explain?
Lena: "Explain"?
Kara: Yeah? If you hate me so much, why... Why not out me at the Pulitzer party? Why pretend to still be my friend this long?
Lena: Because I wanted you to experience what you did to me. Feel what I felt
Kara:.(sighs) I understand your pain and your fury and... And you're right. I made a big mistake, maybe the biggest mistake of my life, but please Lena, please don't leave the Fortress with Myriad. Please don't let my mistake push you to do something terrible.You are a good person-
Lena: No! No, you don't ever get to tell me who or what I am again!
Securty Drone: Intruder alert! Intruder alert!
(The binding crystals instantly form over Kara's body.)
Kara: Did you reprogram the Fortress defenses to attack me?
Lena: Yes. And I rigged it to answer to this little button I have in my hand.
Kara: Are you going to try to kill me?
Lena: (scoffs) No. Supergirl, I'm not gonna kill you. I'm not a villain. (pauses as she activates her transportal watch) You shouldn't have treated me like one.


This episode opens one day after the events of 506.

The old woman from Leviathan tries to kill Lena in her home.

Lena's apartment has the most sophisticated security system in the world, according to Lena.

Lex Luthor once theorized that Superman had a fortress where he kept all the advanced or alien weaponry used against him. Lena believes he was right and that this fortress has the dispersal system she needs for Project Non Nocere.

J'onn has been having visions of Malefic as if he were nearby for two days. He thinks they are guilt pangs over how he treated his brother in the past.

The old woman from Leviathan is revealed to be a woman named Margot. She is also a servant of Leviathan, albeit one in contact with its leaders.

Leviathan is said to have been on Earth since the dinosaurs were wiped out and they have been keeping humanity from destroying the planet ever since.

Two of the leaders of Leviathan are Rama Khan and Gamemnae.

Rama Khan was placed in charge of the Earth by an Elder of some sort.

Kara saves Lena from an assassination attempt by Rama Khan.

According to Brainiac-5, Rama Khan was said to have been responsible for the Antioch Earthquake of 526 AD (the 8th largest natural disaster in recorded history), the volcanic explosion of {ompeii, the Yellow River flood of 1887, the Bhola Cyclone and the Biblical flood.

J'onn communes with the spirit of his father seeking guidance. The projection of M'yrnn tells him that Malefic is being held prisoner in National City rather than the Phantom Zone.

Lena suggests that one of Lex's weapons might be able to neutralize Rama Khan, but says Superman destroyed all the really bad ones. This leads Kara to confirm the existence of the Fortress of Solitude to Lena and suggest maybe they can find an appropriate weapon there.

Alex and Brainiac-5 are caught in an explosion when they investigate Rip Roar's booby-trapped body. One of Brainiac-5's inhibitors is damaged in the blast. Alex develops a mild concussion.

Rip Roar's armor is intact after the explosion.

Superman programmed the Fortress of Solitude to react violently if Luthor family DNA was detected. This is known as the L-Protocol.

M'yrnn tells J'onn he must decide if he will truly banish Malefic for good or try once again to save his soul. The only way to do this is to drop all his psychic defenses and open himself up to Malefic completely.

Lena makes reference to the events of 420 and how she and Kara traveled to Kaznia together.

Rama Khan determines that Lena must be in the Fortress of Solitude since he cannot sense her on Earth. Apparently the Fortress is the one place on Earth that is not of Earth.

According to the Fortress computer, five aliens from a sister planet of Krypton, Jarhanpur, came to Earth to escape years of civil wars, which eventually destroyed their planet. One of them, Rama Khan, had the extraordinary power to bend the earth to his will.

Lex Luthor designed a number of tiny but powerful guns that could be hidden under a wig, back when he was still trying to hide his baldness.

According to Lena, Lex only wore real human hair wigs.

The Fortress armory holds Myraid - the device used by Astra to turn the people of Earth into obedient drones in Supergirl's first season.

Brainiac-5 discovers a symbol in Rip Roar's technology which he traces to numerous disasters throughout history. This knowledge leads him to what he thinks is an entrance to Leviathan's secret hideout.

Kelly dumps Alex, saying can't cope being with someone who risks her life on a daily basis.

Rama Khan attacks Kara in the Fortress of Solitude.

Gamemnae's security measures take Braniac-5 and Alex into a strange cavern underground rather than Leviathan's headquarters in National City.

Kara uses the same acrobatic flip maneuver she used while fighting J'onn earlier in the episode to beat Rama Khan.

Kara discovers Lena taking Myriad.

Lena tells Kara about how she killed Lex in 422 and that Lex's last action was to reveal how all her friends had been lying to her about Kara being Supergirl.

Lena turns the Fortress security measures against Kara and makes her escape.

J'onn finds Malefic in Lena's secret lab and opens his mind and heart to Malefic.  This changes Malefic's mind and destroys his hatred of J'onn.

Alex goes to Kelly and promises to help her work through her grief over her fiancee.


The Fortress of Solitude

The Bottom Line

Enrapturing, despite its flaws. The biggest issue is that Leviathan, built up as this big deal all season, appears to be just two aliens sitting in a bar underground arguing with each other. (Depressingly, this is STILL a better use of the concept than what Leviathan turned out to be in the comics, but I digress.) Leviathan should be epic but its utterly goofy and far too much time is spent on the Alex/Kelly romance which was rushed to completion and is nowhere near as interesting as the writers seem to think it is.

That being said, the scenes with Lena and Kara are some of the best acting we've ever seen from Katie McGrath and Melissa Benoist and the real emotional resonance of the season is there. Ditto the scenes involving the J'onzz family and Malefic and J'onn finally coming to an accord, though part of me wonders how much of that may have been prompted by Lena's control of Malefic. Time will tell, I suppose, but all in all this is the best episode of the season.

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