Supergirl “Human for a Day” Review (Season 1 Episode 7)

This is the sort of episode that’s hard to judge. Tonight’s Supergirl had a lot of good ideas, but the execution left a lot to be desired. There was just a tonal inconsistency to the episode, not to mention some less-than-ideal plot developments. That said, “Human for a Day” still had some strong moments, not to mention one heck of surprise reveal at episode’s end.

First thing first, the show pulled an amazing bit of bait-and-switch with Hank Henshaw. As it turned out, Henshaw’s been dead for years, and a peaceful alien by the name of J’onn J’onzz. Yep, out of nowhere, the Martian Manhunter is suddenly a part of Supergirl. It was a legitimately shocking moment, and one that continues the trend of this show being willing to pull from all corners of the DC Universe. Plus, the possibility of the real Henshaw returning as Cyborg Superman still exists.

Unfortunately, the road to this big discovery was a frustrating one. The National City earthquake left the DEO on lockdown and facing the psychic threat of Jemm. The problem is that Jemm himself never came across as a credible threat, and his make-up was among the goofier the show has featured (they nailed the Manhunter, though). Even more troubling was Alex’s sudden decision to lose her mind. The middle of a prison break is perhaps the worst time to suddenly air her grievances with Hank, never mind the fact that with a mind controller on the loose, there would be a logical explanation for Hank’s weird behavior. As is, at least the big reveal should move the DEO plot in a more exciting direction.

Meanwhile, Kara was busy dealing with her lost powers, which served as a major inconvenience in the face of a national disaster. In all honesty, a lot of this material worked well, with Kara being forced to face her humanity and discover how to be a hero without her abilities. In particular, Kara talking down the rioter despite the risk to her own life was stellar, as was her heartache over the civilian she couldn’t save.

What killed the episode was the severity of the tonal shifts. This was a heavy episode, but the show tried a bit too hard to lighten the mood. Kara’s heartache worked, but it was lessened by the broad humor with Cat and Winn that followed it. It’s a small thing, but the show needs to learn how to hold the drama if it’s going to fully sell the emotional moments.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!