SUPERGIRL S5E2
Supergirl S5E2, “Stranger Beside Me.” Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW.

The second episode of Supergirl Season 5 quickly solidify the themes the show hinted at in its first episode. Mainly, that actions have consequences and that there are repercussions from past actions we can’t always escape. It’s coming back to haunt J’onn J’onzz (David Harewood) but it’s also catching up to Kara Danvers/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) in her role as a journalist.

For the first time on the series, there is a growing sense that Kara’s behaviour at CatCo Media may not put her in the “employee of the month” category. Over the past four seasons, Kara’s been working as an assistant, then as a reporter, but her work ethic has been questionable at best. She’s constantly running off to her other job as Supergirl whenever she hears trouble with her super-hearing, or when the plot needed her to be involved in something more glamorous then filling paperwork and answering emails.

This time, under new management and semi-surveillance from mysterious colleague William Dey (Staz Nair), her behaviour and her need to act for the greater good are affecting her life. We’ve seen her deal with this briefly at the beginning of Season 3. Kara asked herself the question at that point whether she should abandon her job altogether and just always live as Supergirl. It’s that dichotomy of who Kara is. This time, it feels like there will be real consequences to her actions as William seems to be on the path to discover the double life Kara is leading.

Supergirl S5E2, “Stranger Beside Me.” Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW.

The real focus of the episode, however, is the search for J’onn J’onnz’s brother, Ma’alefa’ak, also spelled Malefic (Phil LaMarr). He’s reappeared and is on a quest for revenge. We learn that J’onnz’s mind has been tampered with and he’s forgotten he even had a brother. He’s desperately trying to figure out what happened to him. This leads him to seek the help of Kelly Olsen (Azie Tesfai) to help him untangle the mystery of his own mind. Kelly has been working on technology that could allow him to access some of his repressed memories. That technology is derived from Andrea Rojas’ (Julie Gonzalo) current venture.

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Supergirl S5E2 quickly builds on the potential new threat introduced last week: a new type of contact lens that interfaces in Augmented Reality with the real world, but that also spies on people wearing them — whether what they’re watching, or worse, what they’re thinking. This is part of the business of Andrea Rojas, the new owner of CatCo Media. Rojas is also aggressively marketing those lenses using the extensive reach of her newly acquired media empire. This is likely to take a bigger place as the series goes on and will put Kelly Olsen and the Supergirl team on a collision course with Rojas.

Supergirl S5E2, “Stranger Beside Me.” Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW.

The other element at play is the downfall of Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath). S5E1 introduced her new AI technology named HOPE, a sort of altruistic assistant to Lena. We witnessed the return of Eve Tessmacher (Andrea Brooks) in National City on order from the shadow organization Leviathan. Lena managed to abduct her and keeps her locked away in her laboratory. It seems at first that Lena’s goal is to extract information from Eve, but her true intentions prove to be much more nefarious. Lena mapped Eve’s brain and has her AI penetrate her brain. The implications of this are incredibly disturbing, but shows quite clearly how far she’s willing to go to achieve her goal of “improving humanity” and getting revenge on Supergirl. We don’t know how far her plans will take her, but whatever ethics and moral code she had is gone; who knows what she’ll do?

SUPERGIRL S5E2
Supergirl S5E2, “Stranger Beside Me.” Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW.

There’s a minor subplot in this episode that explores the relationship woes and misunderstanding between Nia Nal and Brainy. We’ll get more into this in the next couple of weeks as it develops further.

Supergirl S5E2 quickly establishes all of the elements, plots and themes it will explore this year. It is exciting to see how it will all tie in together. See you next week!

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