Someone’s been playing Dr. Frankenstein on Supergirl and that someone is Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli). The poor man’s Lex Luthor (or Lex Luthor-lite if you prefer), Lord’s obsession with super-powered aliens and the potential threat they pose to humanity’s alpha status on Earth has led Lord to create a super-powered Supergirl double, a mix of Supergirl’s DNA and the body of a comatose, presumably braindead (or near-braindead young woman). The Supergirl double (Hope Lauren), dubbed “Bizarro” by the ever brand-savvy Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), has Supergirl’s powers, but not her smarts. She has the mental acuity and intelligence of a two-year-old, capable only of speaking in two- or three-word sentence combinations, perfect for controlling, manipulative Lord.
Lord has fed Bizarro a steady diet of hate TV, twisting the real Supergirl’s super-heroics into their exact opposite. When news of a damaged tram hits the local airwaves, Kara/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) clumsily excuses herself from a date with Adam (Blake Jenner), Cat’s grown-up son, to save the tram’s passengers. The unexpected appearance of Bizarro at the scene, however, complicates Supergirl’s mission. A short, budget-conscious fight ends in a stalemate before Bizarro flies off to fight another day while Supergirl does her Supergirl thing and saves the tram’s passengers from imminent death in the icy waters abutting National City. Not surprisingly, Supergirl wants answers and she knows exactly who can give them to her: Maxwell Lord, but she’s cautioned from going after him by her sister, Alex (Chyler Leigh), and Hank Henshaw (David Harewood).
Alex, however, doesn’t follow her own advice. Seeing Lord for the existential threat he poses to her family, Alex ignores the law and everything the law represents (e.g., due process, criminal charges, criminal courts, etc.) and simply detains Lord under the extra-legal powers apparently vested in the DEO (Department of Extra-Normal Operations), a dangerous precedent brushed off with little more than a token objection by Hank Henshaw, a development Supergirl’s writers and producers hopefully will address in future episodes. Considering that Lord ends up in permanent detention (again without charges or due process) and his status as Supergirl’s Lex Luthor stand-in, it’s more than likely that we’ll see Lord again, in or out of detention to once again wreak havoc on Supergirl and her friends.
In the world of “meanwhile,” Kara’s on-again, off-again romance with James “Don’t Call Me Jimmy” Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) remains in limbo. While Olsen remains committed to a monogamous relationship with Lucy Lane (Jenna Dewan-Tatum, absent this week), his heart obviously belongs to Kara/Supergirl. He only admits his true feelings about Kara/Supergirl when, post-kidnapping, he tries to talk Bizarro down from a bout of self-hatred (due to an encounter with Kryptonite darts, she no longer resembles Supergirl). In a related, not entirely unwelcome development, Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan) seems to have admitted what’s been obvious from the first episode on: He’s been permanently, irrevocably friend-zoned. Admitting that to himself and Olsen partially clears a path for Olsen to pursue Kara/Supergirl. Of course, there’s the pesky problem of Lucy Lane to consider, but given that Dewan-Tatum is only a recurring guest star, it’s only a matter of time before she leaves National City for a high-profile lawyering gig elsewhere.
Speaking of romance, the Adam-Kara romance goes exactly, predictably nowhere. It’s odd that Supergirl’s creators would introduce yet another potential love interest for Kara only to see him make a quick exit by episode’s end. It’s filler romance material that neither the episode or the series really needs at this point. With a limited run time for each episode, the go-nowhere Adam-Kara romance should have been scuttled completely and replaced with another B- or C-story more closely related to the main story or the set-up for next week’s threat. We do, in fact, get a hint of next week’s super-villain, but it’s saved for an extremely brief denouement of Supergirl returning home from a busy day as a superhero to find the remains of an alien pod of some kind and a tentacled creature hanging out on her ceiling waiting to greet Supergirl.