Supergirl’s newest adventure leaves a lot of people caught in the “Crossfire.” They manage to juggle a few different storylines in a way that made sense and actually worked. My only major complaint is that they seem to be ignoring some of their own history from first season, but that might be from the change in network and locale.
The show begins with Kara waking Mon-El up for his first day of work. Apparently, she’s gotten him an intern job at CatCo, with the help of the DEO and James Olsen. She spends a while trying to get a look for “Mike the Intern,” Mon-El’s secret identity. Kara seems determined to make Mon-El as much as possible like her, as she is more and more like Clark. She has good intentions, but almost from the start, we can see that Mon isn’t really ready for “normal life.”
Maggie Sawyer and Alex have a game of pool in what I think is the alien bar. Maggie complains about being dumped by her girlfriend, and Alex commiserates. They are clearly heading in a direction I wondered about, but I’ll talk about that more later. Meanwhile, Kara and James go for a walk. Despite her admonishing Mon for talking about powers in the office, they are talking about her career as Supergirl on the street, which strikes me as just as bad if not worse. Their chat is interrupted by some thugs with really high-tech weaponry that even gives Supergirl a run for her money. James suddenly leaps into the fight, displaying skills I hadn’t seen any sign of until this point, which was a bit jarring.
Back at the DEO, Winn helps Supergirl identify the weapons she got blasted with, which prove to be alien in origin. So now we have Earth thugs with alien weapons. I admit, when I first read about this episode synopsis, I thought Superman’s old foe Intergang was coming to National City, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Just after they figure out the weapons are extra-terrestrial, Cadmus does another of their weird public announcements, ranting against aliens, the President’s amnesty program (shame on them picking on Lynda Carter!), and alien tech in the wrong hands. Everyone, myself included, suspects Cadmus had a hand in putting that tech in the wrong place.
Talk at CatCo turns to the latest crisis, and some of Kara’s coworkers are wishing for their own alien blasters. A lot of debate goes on before James ends it to get everyone back to work. Speaking of work, Mon/Mike is finding ways to avoid his, mostly revolving around the hapless assistant Eve Tessmacher. Kara scolds Mike, and once again has a lot of talk about aliens and powers for someone so concerned about her secrets. She’s very inconsistent about that, our Kara. Things get even more complicated when Lena Luthor drops by. The National City Children’s Hospital was damaged in the fight with the thugs, and she’s doing a fundraiser to help it out. Kara is apparently Lena’s one friend in National City, so Lena invites Kara, and Mike/Mon invites himself.
The thugs strike again, interrupting Winn’s theorizing about the weapons and Alex mooning over Maggie. Supergirl and the thugs have another very inconclusive battle. She keeps trying to heat vision the energy beams from the weapons. That seems to be her only trick, and she’s both smarter and more powerful than that. This time, one of the weapons involves anti-gravity, which goes poorly for some of the National City police.
There’s a meeting between the thugs, led by a man named Miner, and the still-nameless director of Cadmus that shows tension between them. There’s also tension of another kind between Alex and Maggie, which leads to some uncomfortably amusing dialogue and Alex fleeing.
After more workplace shenanigans with Mon and Eve, James drops by the DEO. I guess he has an all access pass because of his friendship with Supergirl. He has an odd conversation with Winn about where the thugs will strike next. Then James goes out as a vigilante with a baseball bat and tries to stop them, which goes about as well as it sounds. He does do one thing in the fight that hints at his eventual heroic identity, already leaked in various places. Winn confronts him about this later, and Olsen tries to get Winn to help him. Winn tells James he’s going to get himself killed and leaves.
Alex and Kara meet at Kara’s apartment (does anyone else besides Miss Martian have their own place? We never see them…) for a sisterly talk. Kara rants about Mon not being a good office drone, which is a bit unfair of her. Alex gives her some perspective, but before she gets to vent about her own issues, Lena pops up again. Lena wants Kara to ask Supergirl to visit her.
Minor and Cadmus-lady have another meeting that makes little no sense. He threatens her, and she talks him down by ranting about aliens. I’m not quite sure how that worked. He was appalled by her racism and wanted to get away from her? She does warn him not to go after Lena’s party, which is of course what he wants to do.
Lena gets her meeting with Supergirl, and asks her to show up at the fundraiser as security in case the gang attacks again. This is setting up for low comedy with Supergirl/Kara quick changes. Of course, they handled that kind of thing last season, but seem to have forgotten that, and that they did it much better then than they do now.
Aside from the identity goofiness, the party has a lot of action and surprises. Winn and Lena find they have some common ground, and team up when the gang attacks. Supergirl is pretty much as ineffective as she has been the whole episode. Mon-El is disturbingly uncaring about the others being attacked. Maybe he took Kara’s “no powers” lecture a bit too much to heart. The bad guys are defeated and captured, the heroes win, and some odd looks get cast Winn and Lena’s way. Actually… they really wouldn’t make that bad a couple. They have a lot in common. They are geniuses trying to do the right thing with infamous relatives.
Winn and James plan for James’ new career as a vigilante. It’s a good scene between two friends. Lady Cadmus makes sure Minor and his thugs wont compromise her agenda. We do finally find out who she is, too, and that’s going to complicate things. Mon gets fired, and he and Kara have a talk about his future and her expectations, which goes pretty well. Alex and Maggie have a finally less awkward scene, which is a nice change.
What I liked: The alien weapons had some cool effects. Mon seems to be a lot more amusing rogue than stalwart hero. It’s fun seeing him rattle Kara so badly. Lena’s plan was kind of cool, and I like how she did it and the help she got. Cadmus lady is vile, but she’s smart.
What I didn’t: Ok, please read this carefully before sending nasty comments. I have no problem with gay/bi/lesbian/whatever relationships. I really don’t. What I don’t like is the show suddenly making wrenching changes with no explanation. Alex was very interested in Max Lord last season. Now she’s lesbian. I would love it if she was being portrayed as a bi character, or had been lesbian from the start, but the sudden shift is annoying. James’ sudden fighting ability and deep-seeded need to be a hero are coming out of nowhere. They did a much better version of Kara and Supergirl being in the same place last season. Where was J’Onn during all this? He could have been a lot of help on many levels.
This was an uneven episode. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5, and that might be a bit generous.