Carl Lumbly shows up in this episode and you almost remember when you liked the stuff with J’onn (David Harewood). Barely. Lumbly’s voice brings back that warm feeling, so long missing on the show. And he’s got to be there because this episode’s all about Harewood finding out why he doesn’t remember his brother (Phil LaMarr doesn’t get a credit this episode, as his character—named Malefic, in the best proper noun usage since Geonosis, hops from person to person via mental telepathy or it’s just his transforming powers… doesn’t matter). Again, it’s unbelievable the Martian evil brother thing is a multi-arc—possibly full season—villain thread because the Martian CGI is so terrible. At one point, they just do the flashbacks with human children, explaining it’s because Nicole Maines (who’s helping Harewood with his memories while not breaking annoying Jesse Rath’s heart) is seeing things through a human perspective, which makes little sense since Maines is… an alien.
But whatever. Her being an alien was always a little weird anyway. Why not just forget it whenever it helps the budget.
Meanwhile Sean Astin shows up as the evil brother’s latest persona, except Astin’s an old friend of Azie Tesfai’s, which soon puts her in danger and ends with her and James (Mehcad Brooks—who’s got nothing to do on this show anymore, especially not since he quit his job) in exile. It’s like the whole episode is treading water until they can shoe out the Olsen siblings.
Rath’s really annoying. It’s not cute. He’s really annoying.
The show also figures out a way to bring back Andrea (Miss Teschmacher) Brooks, making her Katie McGrath’s sounding board again, which isn’t great because Brooks is more wooden than the CGI super-Alexa McGrath talked at the previous episodes.
Meanwhile Melissa Benoist is overworked at the newspaper, but every task she has to complete seems to be something she could do at super-speed but doesn’t. Why doesn’t she ever use her superpowers to get her work done? Has it ever been addressed? The idea Benoist could be overwhelmed with a backlog of civilian work is silly.
The show’s also doing questionably effective—ergo not—end song montage sequences now. If you can’t do a song montage, don’t. Don’t pretend you can sell it with some song you found out you could use for cheap (or exposure). It’s all very unsteady.