|Directed by||Chris Fisher|
|Story by||Derek Simon|
|Teleplay by||Cindy Lichtman and Rachel Shukert|
|Original air date||March 21, 2016|
"Manhunter" is the seventeenth episode in the first season of the CBS television series Supergirl, which aired on March 21, 2016. The episode's teleplay was written by Cindy Lichtman and Rachel Shukert, and directed by Chris Fisher.
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The people of National City continue to be skeptical of Supergirl following her Red Kryptonite-fueled rampage, to the point where even Cat is becoming concerned. Still coming to terms with what happened, Kara calls in sick and Winn prepares to fill in for her, but he gets a message from Siobhan to meet him and leaves Kara's duties to James. At Noonan's, Siobhan tells Winn that she has been blacklisted from all media outlets, implying she blames Kara, but Winn believes Siobhan will land back on her feet. At the DEO, J’onn continues to refuse Alex's help, but she is interrupted by the arrival of Lucy Lane and Colonel Jim Harper. The two have been sent to find out who else was aware of J'onn's infiltration of the DEO, seeking to expose any potential traitors. The two take J'onn to an interrogation room, engaging a dampening field that prevents Hank from transforming and Kara from listening in.
During his interrogation, J'onn tells the two about what happened to the real Hank Henshaw. Ten years prior, Hank led a team of agents, including a reluctant Jeremiah Danvers, on a manhunt for J'onn in Peru. When Jeremiah was attacked by a snake, J'onn saved him and the two formed a bond. J'onn talked about how his planet burned, leaving him the sole survivor, while Jeremiah showed the Martian a picture of his daughters. Though Jeremiah promised to help J'onn and convince the DEO he is not a threat, a distrustful Hank appeared and fired upon the alien. Jeremiah attempted to stop Hank, who manageed to stab Jeremiah before he threw Hank over a cliff. As he lay dying, Jeremiah asked J'onn to watch over his daughters. J'onn agreed, and assumed Hank's identity. However, Jim, who was close friends with Hank, doesn't believe him and places J'onn in custody. Alex is the next to be interrogated, and tells them of how Hank recruited her to the DEO, claiming him to be the best man she knows. Though Alex passes her lie detector test, Lucy still believes she is lying, and the two are ordered to be taken to Project Cadmus.
When Kara tells James about what happened, James reveals Cadmus is a secret genetic engineering facility that dissects aliens and performs experiments for military use, citing it as the reason Superman won't work with the government. With no choice, Kara asks James to bring Lucy to her apartment, where Kara reveals to her that she is Supergirl. Lucy is still distrustful, asking why Kara continues to lie about her identity. Kara tells a story of when she was a teenager and she rescued a woman and her baby from a burning car wreck. The car exploded, injuring Alex, and Jeremiah told her that she must continue to conceal her abilities to keep herself and those around her safe, giving Kara a pair of lead-lined glasses to help inhibit her powers. Years later, Kara convinced Cat Grant to hire her for the assistant's job, saying that she’s not special, but just wants to be useful and is willing to sacrifice everything, as Kara tells Lucy. After a moment of clarity, Lucy agrees to help Kara.
Later that night, as Harper's transport vehicle is en route to Cadmus, they are surrounded by motorcycles that throw the truck off course. One of the cyclists is Supergirl, who disarms the guards, while the other cyclist, Lucy, helps Alex and J'onn escape. J'onn erases Harper's memory of the incident, but discovers in Harper's memories that Jeremiah Danvers is alive at Cadmus. Alex tells Kara that she will go with J'onn to find Cadmus. Later on at the DEO, Lucy and Kara are informed that, as a result of J'onn's mental manipulation, Harper has resigned and has named Lucy as the new head of the DEO. When they are notified of a bank robbery in progress, Lucy encourages Kara to return to her superheroics and earn back the public trust.
Meanwhile, Siobhan sneaks into CatCo and sends an insulting e-mail to Cat from Kara's computer, hoping to frame her and get her fired. Later on, Cat confronts Siobhan, deducing with Winn's help that she was the real culprit, and threatens to have Siobhan arrested if she ever returns. That night on the balcony, a drunken Siobhan is furious at Winn for turning on her, even as he tells her that being a criminal and manipulating people isn’t a way to get what she wants. Suddenly, Siobhan loses her balance and she stumbles off the roof, but her fall is slowed, allowing her to land unharmed, as she discovers she has developed a sonic scream.
The episode received positive reviews with the best emphasis on the backstories and less emphasis on the villains.
Cliff Wheatley of IGN gave the episode an 8.2/10, stating "Last week's Supergirl was a tough act to follow, but "Manhunter" delivered its own compelling storyline in the wake of Kara's Red Kryptonite incident. Between J'onn, Alex and Kara's flashbacks, as well as the return of Dean Cain as Jeremiah (plus an off-brand Oreo reference!) this episode was definitely one of the stronger entries in Season 1. While the interrogation scenes were goofy, Lucy Lane made a real turnaround this week as she learned the truth about Kara."
Stacy Glanzman of TV Fanatic gave the episode a 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Caroline Siede of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B+, stating "“Manhunter” doesn’t feature a traditional superpowered villain-of-the-week. Instead its main goal is to provide “origin stories” for Hank, Alex, and Kara—exploring how the three members of this makeshift family got started on the journeys that brought them all together."
In the episode there is also the song "Party Rock Anthem".
- "SUPERGIRL: "Manhunter" REVIEW" from IGN (March 20, 2016)
- "Supergirl Season 1 Episode 17 Review: Manhunter" from TV Fanatic (March 21, 2016)
- "Everybody gets an origin story on this week’s Supergirl" from The A.V. Club (March 21, 2016)