BWW Recap: James Olsen Embraces His Darkside in SUPERGIRL's 'Rather the Fallen Angel'
Last week's episode left off on the aftermath of yet another Thanksgiving genocide and we pick up not too long after that.
According to Agent Liberty, his movement stands for human exceptionalism. He asks James to tear down a monument, but James counters that it's not his style. Agent Liberty makes the grandiose proclamation that SUPERGIRL will be dead by nightfall.
Lena continues going down the path of making humans exceptional, which is fairly chilling considering Lex Luthor's similar experimentations when he went "dark side." That kind of experimentation is a slippery slope - one that we see Lena spiraling toward more and more each episode.
Lockwood plays the martyr card when he "reports" on the news from Thanksgiving. Spinning it to seem like the aliens were the catalyst, he places the blame on Supergirl. Agent Liberty threatens the life of the Child of Liberty who assisted James, making James choose between blowing up a monument and saving the man's life.
Manchester struggles to resist his violent urges as he works with SUPERGIRL and Kara is concerned that the five Children of Liberty turned up dead at the hands of his brass knuckles. After convincing SUPERGIRL to go to Shelley Island without the DEO's knowledge, Manchester backstabs her to get an audience with AGENT Liberty. "Pain is a great motivator," is his response to the betrayal.
Lena opens up to her test subject Adam, remembering the day she watched her mother drown when she was four. Lena carries on to say that she's always known deep down that she didn't deserve better than the Luthors, as she stood by and watched her mother die without calling for help. Adam counters that no four-year-old would know what to do in that situation.
Supergirl is trapped inside the monument that James is planning on destroying, making Agent Liberty's threat against her even more real. She manages to claw her way up the monument as James publicly endorses the Children of Liberty and states that "only humans belong on earth." SUPERGIRL screams for James, who is deaf to her pleas.
Manchester figures out that the Children of Liberty double double-crossed him, and that AGENT Liberty he was meeting with was a fake. Hey, karma's a... well, you know. Meanwhile, at the monument, James notices Supergirl's ice vision and Manchester breaks the power dampeners, allowing SUPERGIRL to escape.
Lena rethinks her experiment, offering money to Adam before the experiment has concluded. He pleads with her to let him make his own choice about participating, saying that some things are worth the risk - he wants to do something good with his life. He counters that Lena herself is a good person, even if she doesn't believe it herself.
Upon confronting Manchester, J'onn learns that Manchester is responsible for the deaths of many Children of Liberty in his rage-induced attempts to avenge Fiona.
Lena struggles with the death of Adam, having only displayed three minutes of powers before he died on the operating table. James extends a peace offering to Lena, now understanding where she was coming from when she was protecting him. Lena, still grappling with her humanity, pushes him away. The credits roll on Manchester riding up to the Lockwood factory, suggesting that he knows the identity of Agent Liberty.
This episode feels like a bit of a catalyst for a good number of characters who have been on the brink of making villainous choices. The theme of this season seems to be that you don't have to be inherently evil to become a villain. We saw it in Lockwood, we're seeing it in Lena, and even James has been making some pretty dark choices lately. Hopefully, Lena will continue to defy her roots as an evil Luthor, but the parallels between her choices and Lex's pre-evil villain choices (like in Smallville,) are pretty damning.
Photo Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW