SUPERGIRL S3x19 – The Fanatical

The Cult of Thomas Coville has returned, and it’s bad news for everyone, especially James Olsen and his secret identity.

Previously, on SUPERGIRL

It’s a pretty heavy-handed episode this week, as the various members of the DEO team have to deal with lost trust, unresolved feelings, a moody tween, racism and the return of the cult that worshipped Supergirl from earlier this season.

The action centers around Tanya, a member of what’s left of Coville’s cult, who escapes and delivers a Kryptonian book to James Olsen at CatCo, because he’s friends with Supergirl. The book is filled with plans to cause some havoc, and James and Kara vow to protect Tanya from the others. But when the cult – led by Olivia, a girl Supergirl saved back in the fourth episode of the season THE FAITHFUL – comes after her, Olsen switches into Guardian to save her.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t go well. One of the kidnappers shoots Guardian in the face and completely shatters his mask, revealing his identity. When the police arrive, they focus on Olsen instead of the actual kidnappers, which leads to Olsen’s emotional arc. The cult want to blackmail him, using the threat of outing him to the whole city as Guardian, as leverage towards having them return the book. In response, he decides to announce that he’s Guardian himself, though he worries about how National City will feel about having a black man serving as a vigilante.

Mehcad Brooks gets to deliver a pretty emotional scene as Olsen tells girlfriend Lena Luthor about the first time he had handcuffs slapped on him – when he was seven years old – to hammer home the point that he doesn’t believe people will be accepting of him as a hero. It would maybe be a bit easier for him, since he could just call his best friend, Superman, the most beloved hero on the planet, over to stand by him, but that’s obviously not the way Olsen wants to gain acceptance. He wants it to be for the work he does, not who he stands with.

Thankfully, he doesn’t have to make the choice, as Tanya decides to turn herself in. The DEO team decides to send Mon-El undercover to get kidnapped along with Tanya to find their secret lair, which may house the key to saving Samantha Arias from the Reign part of her personality. Kara manages to stop Olivia from turning herself into a fourth Worldkiller by using her personal experiences and her inner conflict over her problems with Lena to convince Olivia that she has a lifetime to figure out her purpose.

In another unfortunate turn, the artifact the cult was using to create the Worldkiller – which could be reverse engineered to save Samantha Arias from her Reign persona – is destroyed in the fight. But Lena and Winn manage to find another piece of the artifact five lightyears away. Kara and Mon-El decide to take J’onn’s spaceship/classic car to get it before Reign develops an immunity to the Kryptonite Lena has been using to keep her under control. This should lead to another emotional moment next episode, as Mon-El needs to work out his feelings for Kara…

Elsewhere in the episode, Alex is having problems relating to Sam’s daughter Ruby, who is a little angry after her mom tried to kill her next week. J’onn suggests a trip to the arcade for Alex, Ruby, J’onn and his father M’yrnn. It does not start out well, as the sensory overload causes M’yrnn to destroy an arcade cabinet. As J’onn and Alex are dealing with the grown-up stuff, Ruby and M’yrnn bond a bit and Ruby teaches M’yrnn how to play foosball in one of the enjoyable lighter moments of the episode. We could definitely use more scenes with the two of them.

Next week kicks off the final four episodes of the season, and it looks like things will continue to be heavy.