This week was an odd one for Supergirl.
If that Jimmy Olsen/Lucy Lane date weekend seemed to come out of nowhere, it's probably because this episode aired out of order, the result of a plotline in "How Does She Do It?" that focused heavily on a series of terror attacks. In light of actual terror attacks in Paris and Beirut this weekend, CBS pulled the episode...who knows just what we missed?
On top of that, we learned some new secrets that were always meant to come as a shock (no Livewire-related pun intended)...and ones that will likely play out throughout the rest of the season.
So when it comes to Easter eggs, what did we catch? What did we miss? Read on...!
Kevin Tancharoen, who directed this episode, is a name that should be familiar to comics fans.
The filmmaker, who directed Mortal Kombat: Legacy and 18 episodes of the Mortal Kombat series, has also chipped in on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., where his sister Maurissa is a showrunner, and directed a pair of episodes of The Flash, including the fan-favorite "All-Star Team-Up."
That beastly alien at the start of the episode, who Kara called a "he," only to be corrected by Henshaw? Well, s/he is credited merely as "beast" on IMDb, but to me, there's a passing resemblance to Kitty Faulkner, a S.T.A.R. Labs scientist who periodically transforms into an out-of-control beast known as Rampage.
...So, until Rampage shows up somewhere else, that's my head canon and you can't stop me!
The week's top-billed villain is Livewire who, just as in the comics, a shock jock who got electrical powers and turned to crime after losing her job at the radio station.
In her original iteration, she was a Superman villain who later came to cross paths with Supergirl. In the post-Flashpoint DC Universe, Livewire has been a problem for both Superman and Batgirl.
Interestingly, this character was originally created for Superman: The Animated Series before being imported into the DC Comics Universe.
MEET THE PARENTS
We'd already seen Dean Cain and Helen Slater -- known for their roles as Superman and Supergirl, respectively -- in the pilot, but this is the first time they really get anything to do.
It seemed like it was worth mentioning the pair as legacy hires again, especially since it looks as though we're going to have a subplot involving Jeremiah Danvers' history with Hank Henshaw and the DEO playing out in the near future.
Henshaw figures out fairly quickly that Leslie didn't get hit with lightning: Kara did.
Strangely, the way Kara inadvertently gave birth to Livewire was actually key to the defeat of Hank Henshaw's Cyborg Superman persona in the classic comics story Reign of the Supermen!, when a de-powered Superman, seemingly helpless against a Cyborg Superman wielding a hose from which he can fire Kryptonite, is saved when the Kryptonite passes through the body of The Eradicator -- who had simulated a Kryptonian physiology for himself -- altered, and purified to return Superman's powers instead of killing him.
Also, the question of whether when she's not energy, she has a body Supergirl can hit...that applies to Henshaw in the comics, too.
This is also how her origin played out in the TV series, apparently -- as Supergirl artist extraordinaire Jamal Igle reminded me:
If you don't follow Jamal on Twitter, I have to wonder what you're doing with your life.
"You are Element X," Henshaw tells Supergirl of the way her body changed the nature of the lightning that created Livewire.
What's so special about that?
Well, in DC Comics lore, "Element X" isn't just a way to say "you're a variable." Element X is a very specific thing. Known as fire of the gods, Element X is a substance discovered by the New Gods. It is a cosmic-level energy source, and is used to power the devices of the Fourth World, including Mother Boxes and Father Boxes.
Weirdly, we were just talking about this earlier as it pertains not to Supergirl but to Arrow...!
Do you hear that faint, whistly tune? That's the theme to The X-Files, home to Agent Fox Mulder, whose name Cat Grant mistakenly refers to Hank Henshaw by.
After being gone for years, The X-Files will make its return to TV in January.
Given the fact that Hank Henshaw briefly impersonated Superman in the comics, could referring to him as "Agent Monroe" be a reference to Iron Munro?
Iron Munro originally appeared in 1940, but became far more key to DC's history when, following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the multiverse was reshaped into one universe and all the old Golden Age Superman stories were now understood to feature Munro, not Superman.
He would later pop up in Manhunter, where he would have familial ties to Kate Spencer, the title character. During his time rediscovering that part of his life, he worked loosely with the DEO and Agent Cameron Chase, Spencer's best friend, who will appear later in the season on Supergirl.
In Superman #714, Munro and Superman teamed up with a reformed supervillain named -- you guessed it! -- Livewire.
It sure looked to me like Cat Grant was nursing drinks during this episode...but she referred to what she had in her glass as iced tea.
This is the second time in as many episodes that Cat has had non-alcoholic drinks at an occasion where alcohol would have been expected and/or socially acceptable.
Is it possible that the writers are drawing inspiration from the comics, where Cat Grant is a recovering alcoholic?
LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE
As I was watching the episode, I was prepping this Easter egg post to note that the device the DEO came up with to capture Livewire was basically the Ghostbusters' containment trap.
And then Kara said it herself, much to Henshaw's chagrin.
Can we add "genre-savvy" to Kara's list of skills?
Expect much more on this later, but Winslow Schott's father is the Toyman.
A Superman villain with decades of history and a number of different iterations, the character has already been cast for an episode later this season, so don't be surprised if Papa Schott spends Thanksgiving alone in the pokey and then New Years on the lam.
Disturbingly, in the comics, Toyman was responsible for the death of Cat Grant's son.