Supergirl “The Darkest Place” Review (Season 2 Episode 7)

Supergirl has been on such a hot streak this season, it was perhaps inevitable that the show would turn in a lesser installment eventually. By no means is “The Darkest Place” a terrible episode, but its focus on some of the show’s less successful elements this season makes for a weaker showing all around.

So what goes towards a less exciting episode this week? First and foremost is the show putting the biggest focus yet on James Olsen’s superhero turn. More than any other character this season, James has felt a bit lost in the shuffle, with his decision to become Guardian still feeling random and unmotivated. However, instead of further exploring his motivations, this episode gives him a plot that feels like it’s ripped from the early years of Arrow, with a killer vigilante tarnishing Guardian’s good name.

This would all be fine if this episode were fully dedicated to Guardian, but James and Winn are pretty much isolated in this bizarre little side story. It hits plenty of familiar beats without any of the depth, making for a shallow story that does little to push this story arc along. That Kara and the rest of the gang pretty much never interact with it only makes it all the more aimless.

As for the main story, the kidnapping of Mon El finally brings Supergirl into more direct conflict with Cadmus. This storyline goes a long way towards further fleshing out the evil organization – and its devious leader Lillian Luthor – though there still a bit ill-defined. They seem to have infinite resources, but their moves continue to feel fairly low stakes. If nothing else, Lillian lives up to the Luthor name, delivering a number of cold ultimatums and no-win scenarios to the heroes throughout the hour.

This week’s MVP, though, is David Harewood, who pulls double duty as both J’onn and the real Hank Henshaw. Each character requires a different approach, and Harewood does fantastic work portraying both J’onn’s sense of betrayal and Henshaw’s unbridled rage. True, he doesn’t quite sell Henshaw’s declaration that he’s Cyborg Superman – though it’s such a ridiculous line, I don’t know who could – but it’s a treat seeing Harewood get the chance to take up some more screen time.

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