Tonight on Supergirl, the series resolved a number of its major plot points en route to a midseason finale that was pretty satisfying even before The Flash and Vibe showed up to steal Kara away to this week's four-show crossover "Invasion!"
Cadmus was dealt with (for now), the Cyborg Superman defeated (for now), Martian Manhunter cured, and two couples who have been dancing around each other all season long shared kisses.
And along the way, of course, there were some winks and nods to the comics.
So...what did we see? What did we miss?
Read on, and comment below.
VIBE and THE FLASH
Tonight saw the first rumblings (if you don't count the last 30 seconds of DC's Legends of Tomorrow two weeks ago) of the "Invasion!" crossover, in which Supergirl will head to Earth-1 to appear on The Flash, Arrow, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
Her guides on this journey? Barry Allen and Cisco Ramon, better known as The Flash and Vibe. We got them only for a few seconds right at the end of the episode, but their we'll see tomorrow how they ended up on her Earth and why.
Rao is the Kryptonian sun god. It's actually also the name of their sun, but in the context of someone thanking Rao, it's obviously directed at the sentient deity, not the burning gas ball.
The "Thank Rao" stuff is a lot more common these days with Supergirl, who actually spent some time on Krypton growing up, than with Superman, who was born on Earth.
The phrase has turned up a few times on the show thus far, but it seems that it's usually worth mentioning again since Rao hasn't shown up in the flesh, such as it is, yet, and the line is pretty much always throwaway and easily forgotten. Here, Kara said it because she was pleased to learn that Mon-El's health was holding up pretty well.
Rao was recently used as the principal antagonist in writer/artist Bryan Hitch's JLA.
There have been a lot of Kryptonian viruses over the years, be it in the comics or on TV shows like Smallville and Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
The difference here? It has specific characteristics that lead us to think they may be reimagining a particular idea or story from the comics.
Medusa -- a virus designed to kill anyone who wasn't Kryptonian with perfect precision -- sounds a lot like a plot Superman's ancestors were involved in on Krypton, as revealed in Action Comics Annual #2.
In that story, Superman learned that a distant relative of his had created a device called The Eradicator, which was obsessed with keeping the purity of the Kryptonian race. In addition to killing non-Kryptonians, The Eradicator was the item that prevented an exodus from dying Krypton by biologically tying Kryptonians to their homeworld; they would die quick but painful deaths if they attempted to leave the world.
There are...a number of similarities...to that particular piece of Kryptonian mythology at play here.
Kelex is basically the robot/Kryptonian AI that runs the Fortress of Solitude for Superman. Introduced during the John Byrne era, Kelex was originally a servant to Jor-El who would later be "resurrected" after the destruction of Krypton by The Eradicator when it constructed the Fortress.
We've seen Kelex a few times on the show, where he acts as the Fortress caretaker, but this is the first time we've really seen him go on the offensive.
The Adventures of Superman #454 was the first post-Crisis on Infinite Earths appearance of Mongul, the ruler of Warworld, who kidnapped a drifting Superman who was lost in space and briefly forced him into gladiatorial combat on the artificial planet.
Superman's kidnapping -- the "third act" of Superman's self-imposed exile in space -- started in Adventures #454 and played through a few more issues before he returned to Earth. Along the way, he met a Cleric who told him the story of The Eradicator and his family's role in genocide on Krypton.
...sensing a pattern yet..?