Saturday, April 17, 2021

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 6, Episode 3 - Phantom Menaces

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


Kara finds another unlikely ally in the Phantom Zone after her father is abducted. Meanwhile, back on Earth-Prime, Lena wages a shadow war with Lex over control of LuthorCorp, as the rest of the Super Friends face a more dangerous challenge as one of the Phantoms runs loose in National City.


Supergirl: The Movie
(Supergirl escaping from the Phantom-Zone with her father), Harry Potter (The Phantoms are rip-offs of the Dementors) and Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (Brainac-5 refers to this when attempting a soul transfusion.)


Why would Lex need to buy experimental weapons from Kasnia? Wouldn't it be more in character for him to be selling them weapons like in Season 4?


Katie McGrath and Jesse Rath play off of each other perfectly in the scene where Lena and Brainy discuss killing Lex.

Super Trivia

The episode title is a play upon the name of Star Wars: Episode 1.

Mention is made of a Phantom Zone prisoner named Az-Rel. Az-Rel was the name of a Kryptonian criminal with pyrokinetic powers who was part of a group of criminals (including General Zod) who tried to arrange a mass escape from the Phantom Zone.

Nyxlygsptlnz was the name given to Mr. Mxyzptlk's wife in the New 52 reality of DC Comics. She spent some time on Earth in secret, living as a woman named Mrs. Nyxly, who was Clark Kent's landlady when he first moved to Metropolis.

The Arrowverse version of Nyxlygsptlnz is the princess of the 5th Dimension.

Nyxlygsptlnz says that her father's name was King Brpzx. In the DC Comics' reality, Brpzx is a location within the Fifth Dimension, which Nyxlygsptlnz's father ruled.


It is possible to suffer physical injuries on the Phantom Zone, but natural healing does not occur. 

The computer systems at LuthorCorp require a password and a bio-scan.

Brainiac-5 identifies the Phantoms of the Phantom Zone as Zulian Melatarians. Originally from a dark planet on the outskirts of the Rao system, they were forced to flea and seek a new home planet. Unfortunately, their method of reproduction requires they infect other species, transforming them into soulless, hive-minded minions. They ran wild until the Kryptonians trapped them all in the Phantom Zone.

Within the Phantom Zone, the powers of the Zulian Melatarians are diluted and they cannot infect other species or reproduce. They still have the ability to cause psychic distress, making them ideal prison guards.

Individual Zulian Melatarians on the material plain gain power the more they reproduce.

Brainiac-5 believes the Phantoms only possess people as a means of evasion.

The Zulian Melatarians attack their enemies psychically at first, paralyzing their prey with misery and then attacking them physically with poisonous talons. After a brief incubation, the life force of the victim leaves their body and migrates to the Phantom's nest. The body then transforms into a new Phantom.

According to Brainiac-5, 31st scientists discovered a formula to quantify the intangible substance that makes sentient life unique - what less science-minded beings call the soul, but he calls life-force.

The physical attack of a Phantom causes the body of its victim to lose heat and Phantoms give off a distinctive cold energy signature that can be detected from a distance.

Brainiac-5 says a remote-activated kinetic inhibitor can be used to attack the Phantoms from a mile away so they can be safely captured.

M'Gann suggests that energy field discs could be used to neutralize the Phantoms, but they require a close proximity to work and J'onn is unwilling to take the chance.

Phantoms seem to be drawn to one another and can sense the presence of their own kind. This is discovered when the Phantom who was Silas keeps trying to push through the south wall of his cell shortly before the team get reports of a warehouse two miles to the south being attacked by Phantoms.

Martians are more vulnerable to the attacks of a Phantom due to their telepathic nature. 

A blood transfusion can slow the Phantom transformation process in Martians.

Large concentrations of Phantoms in an area can short out electronics. In order to contain them, Brainiac requires multiple Luthor Electro-Cores.

Using the Obsidian Neuro-Imager and a sacred U'ra'er'run (an object used in Martian spiritual rituals), Brainiac-5 attempts a soul transfusion on M'Gann.

Lena uses her portal watch to transport the Phantoms to a sub-containment unit.

Dialogue Triumphs

Kara: Just because neither have us have our powers here doesn't mean we can't believe in ourselves. And each other. 

(Brainiac-5 and Lena have just seen the news report about the National City Children's Hospital burning down and realized Lex did it just to spite them.)
Lena: (rambling) He's a maniac. This is just sport to him. It's just another way to beat me. I hate him. So much. I hate his face. I hate his voice. I hate his suits, I hate his never-ending games of depravity. I wish he would just die. I wish we could kill him.
Brainiac-5: We should kill him. We can craft the perfect murder. First, with just the tiniest re-wiring of his home, we can deliver a near-fatal electric blow. He'll be paralyzed but he'll still be aware of what's happening to him. From there, we'll finish him. You choose the method, he's your brother. (chuckles) But just make it slow, okay? After that we'll dismember the body and scatter the pieces across the universe. I know exactly which planets have atmospheres with pressures high enough to decompose carbon in an instant! This time there will be no Lex resurrection!
Lena: (softly) Brainy, stop. Okay? We can't kill Lex.
Brainiac-5: Why not? You just suggested it. Lena, you've already done it.
Lena: Brainy, it turned me into the darkest version of myself. I know it's hard, but you can't go down this dark path, okay? You're a good person.
Brainiac-5: Then what do we do? What do we do? What am I supposed to do? Ever since I removed my personality inhibitors, I... I have been overwhelmed by the depth of my emotions. The rage? It's always there. Seeping out, burning me like acid and... All I want to do is help you destroy him, Lena. I need to destroy him. And if I can't do that, then... how do I make these feelings go away?
Lena: Brainy, we were wrong. You can't put your emotions into little boxes, they'll eat away at you until there's nothing left. And I know it's hard, but you have to embrace that. It's okay to feel rage. You just gotta let it out and then let it go. 

(Lena has just told Lex that she's quitting LuthorCopr.)
You can't just walk away. You hate me too much. 
Lena: I do hate you. I just love me more.

Butler: I see you won your war with Ms.Luthor. So, what's next for the Man Who Has Everything?
Lex: I go get more. 


Silas tells J'onn that one of the phantoms hid inside his body and attacked him.

Kara and Zor-El attempt to follow a Phantom through one of their portals. They wind up falling to the ground elsewhere in the Phantom Zone and Kara breaks her leg.

Zor-El is captured by a group of prisoners. They're about to take Kara when a woman warns them of the approach of a group of phantoms. She claims they already got someone named Az-Rel and shows them a lighter she claims was all that was left behind of him.

Silas had three roommates, whose fate he is uncertain of. 

Brainiac-5 has a rage fit after seeing Lex Luthor on the news.

Nia is away attending a Catco investor's retreat. She tried to get out of it, but Andrea said one of their big reporters needed to go since Kara was on assignment.

J'onn is in full-on soldier mode, convinced that giving into his emotions after Kara's abduction is shat caused the current crisis with the Phantom.

Alex is in a depressive funk, watching the hologram Kara made in 601.

Kelly suggests maybe Alex can find meaning in helping others, the same way Kelly found meaning in helping Silas.

Lena locked Lex out of all the LuthorCorp computers.

The District Attorney of National City was fired for losing the case against Lex Luthor.

Lex has befriended the new DA, a man named Matthews, who has issued a court order against Lena to restore Lex's computer access.

DA Matthews is also launching an investigation into Lena and what laws Project Non Ncere might have violated. 

Silas takes a turn for the worst, during which Alex freezes up.

J'onn tells Alex she needs to be a good soldier right now.

Kara's new ally tells her that the men who captured Zor-El intend to sacrifice him to a monster that lives in what the locals call Shadow Lake, but it won't feed until it swims 11 laps around the lake.

Kara's new ally has a crystal ball that allows her to check on Zor-El and confirm he is fine.

Kara guesses her new ally is a 5th Dimensional Imp, based on her carrying a magic artifact and her mentioning having powers in her home dimension.

Kara's new ally knows Mxyzptlk, describing him as a real wild card.

M'Gann wants to attack the Phantoms directly, but J'onn refuses to listen to her plan.

Brainiac-5 meets with Lena through a holographic projection.

Brainiac-5 hacks the accounts of The Luthor Foundation, which exists only as a front to buy experimental weapons from Kaznia, and transfers the money to the Luthor Wing of the National City Children's Hospital.

M'Gann is attacked by Phantoms at a warehouse two miles south of The Watchtower. The team is able to capture all the Phantoms, but M'Gann is left in bad shape .

Kara's new ally finally introduces herself as Princess Nyxlygsptlnz. Her father, was the Mad King Brpxz'.

Nyxlygsptlnz.was banished to the Phantom Zone by her father, whom she describes as a paranoid narcissist, who killed her older brother who was kind and popular.

Nyxlygsptlnz was apparently not worth killing, but her father did bind her with a shackle that limited her magical powers.

Lex learns about Lena's hack after he's called by the Galaxy Gazette for a statement regarding the donation he just made to the National City Children's Hospital.

Lex sends Otis Graves to set the Luthor wing of the National City Children's Hospital on fire and issues a statement blaming the fire, caused by faulty wiring, on the upgrades overseen by his sister.

Nyxlygsptlnz breaks the cuff using her crystal ball and is able to restore her magic powers.

Nyxlygsptlnz uses her magic to heal Kara.

Nyxlygsptlnz says that ever since the Phantom Zone fractured she's had flashes of fake memories - things she thinks didn't happen but which felt real. As a result, she's not really sure who she was before coming to the Phantom Zone anymore.

Kara says that she's been having the same sensation since coming to the Phantom Zone.

Lena and Brainy vent to each other about their anger over Luthor.

Lena refers to the conversation she and Brainy had in 504 about keeping their emotions in little boxes.

Alex suggests that maybe J'onn can use his soul-bond with M'Gann to save her.

J'onn and Brainiac-5 figure out a way to stop M'Gann from transforming into a Phantom using J'onn's piece of her soul from when they bonded in 601, a Martian spiritual artifact and an Obsidian Neuro-Imager.

The Superfriends are able to capture Silas, his roomates, and the other Phantoms, but the Prime Phantom is able to escape through a portal.
Lena makes a deal with DA Matthews: he'll stop all the investigations into her if she'll leave LuthorCorp.

J'onn tells M'Gann that he made a mistake not sharing his fears with her and promises to be honest in the future.

Alex asks Kelly to move in with her.

Kara and Nyxlygsptlnz rescue Zor-El.

The episode ends as Nyxlygsptlnz snaps her fingers and tries to use her magic to take them to anchor point.


The Phantom Zone

The Fridge Factor

M'Gann loses 50 IQ points and needlessly places herself in peril only to give J'onn angst about going too far in his efforts to be a good soldier.

The Bottom Line

A repetitive mess of an episode which feels like it is largely treading water and leaves the heroes looking largely incompetent. At least Kara is given more to do this week and the Lena/Brainy interactions are great. But J'onn going to the opposite extreme he took last week and Alex being too depressed to go on don't really ring true.

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