Supergirl: Supergirl Lives


They could at least let the poor guy get to his desk…

Back from winter break, Supergirl starts off with “Supergirl Lives!” I’m not sure why they called it that. Was this in doubt? Did someone think she was dead? Was the break that long? There wasn’t anything about her living or dying in this one.

The show opens with Supergirl chasing a fleeing van which proves to be better armed than some entire police departments as they use a rocket launcher against her. She stops the van by blasting it with heat vision, which somehow causes it to flip over. It’s the kind of scene that makes for a nice visual but really doesn’t work for someone who is supposed to be one of the “nice” heroes. It would’ve been safer for the thugs in the van and everything around them if she just flew down and stopped it. A few of the thieves (apparently, these are amazingly well-armed jewel thieves) get away, only to be stopped by Guardian. Winn tries to help out, and does a decent job until he starts celebrating prematurely, leading to his getting punched out and almost shot. As several of my friends and I have said, there’s a reason Intelligence and Wisdom are two separate stats in D&D.

After the foiled robbery, Supergirl goes back to the DEO to more or less whine. First she’s not happy that Guardian is helping her (now there’s a mature attitude), then she’s unhappy that things have been too easy lately. I generally enjoy both the character and the show, but Whiny Girl is really kind of annoying. She and Alex move on to giggling about Alex’s new relationship with Maggie Sawyer.

The next morning, Alex is rhapsodizing about Maggie spending the night. She’s giddy over current developments, which is amusing to watch. Less amusing is first Kara, then James, both turning in pieces about their respective alter egos adventures the night before. Snapper, who really needs green fur and a trash can, is less than impressed with either of them. He’s even less impressed when a woman shows up, desperate for help. Her teenage daughter has disappeared, and no one will help her. That’s actually believable. Teenagers do drop out of sight time to time, and just about every police agency on Earth is overworked and under-manned. Sad, but true. Kara latches on to this as her new crusade.

In the first season of Supergirl, the cast frequented the restaurant with no name. That tradition continues as now the social life/information exchange scenes take place in the alien bar (TM). Here, Kara meets with Maggie and gets the missing person file on Izzy, the teenager discussed in the last scene. We also learn that Mon-El is now working there, and doing just about as good a job as he did at CatCo. Maggie comments that there’s been a spike in missing persons, but there are no obvious links among the missing, so it’s not a serial killer or particularly active kidnapping gang.

Kara goes to the DEO next, which is odd on a few fronts. If she’s trying to maintain her secret ID, then why (and how) is a fledgling reporter hanging out at a classified government organization? After she gets Winn to help her, he determines that all the missing people had blood work done. That damn sure wouldn’t be in a missing persons report, and I don’t know what database Winn would have pulled the information from. Winn tells first Kara, then Alex, that he was mugged to explain away his black eye.

After we see more people disappear to give us an idea about what’s going on, Kara for some reason or other goes to CatCo. Why she went there from the DEO to investigate a doctor is unclear. But, coincidentally, she runs into Mon-El, who is bored and pesters her into letting him come along. They have an awkward scene with the doctor behind the disappearances, during which it starts to seem like Mon-El is learning less about Earth culture than he knew before. This ends in a fight, the reveal that the doctor is an alien, and a portal to an alien world. The aliens flee through the portal when they start losing to Supergirl. She orders Mon-El to go tell the DEO what’s going on and get help before chasing the aliens through the portal.

The other end of the portal proves to be the “Slavers’ Moon,” a nasty place Mon-El is familiar with. Among other things, the moon has a red sun. Contrary to any kind of common sense, Supergirl (and Mon, who naturally follows) immediately lose their powers. In the one visual we get of it, the sun looks more black than red to me. The portal flickers out, trapping our now powerless heroes. Supergirl decides, and Mon grudgingly follows, to check out the evil fortress in the distance. Why the portal is depositing people so far from their apparent base of operations, I don’t know.

Winn is worrying about his black eye, and generally freaking out, at the DEO. James comes to visit, but mostly to get Winn to help him with another mission. Winn explodes at James, with some justification, and announces he’s quitting as Guardian’s assistant. Their argument gets interrupted when Alex comes in, worried about Kara. While she’s right in this instance, you have to wonder why Alex is worried this soon. Kara hasn’t been gone that long, and is a superpowered adult.

Back on Slavers’ Moon, Mon-El manages to set off a trap. It’s bad timing, since they actually seemed to be enjoying a civil conversation about planets they’d both been to. It was a nice scene. They look up from the trap to see an alien with some kind of rifle covering them.

While Alex raids the doctor’s place that Winn sent Kara to, Supergirl and Mon find that their captor isn’t that bad, really. He’s not one of the aliens that’s been kidnapping people. Supergirl pulls a flier about Izzy from some weird magic pocket on her shoulder and the alien, Jo, confirms he’s seen her. Supergirl and Mon-El run the classic “surrender to get inside” gambit on the alien fortress, except with no real plan or backup. They do find Izzy and all the other missing people, and then find out that Roulette is working with the aliens, and proud of “taking human trafficking to the next level.”

Winn finds a way to trace the portal, which sounds like good news. Unfortunately, Slavers’ Moon has something in its atmosphere that’s toxic to Martians, so J’Onn can’t help. Alex, meanwhile, utterly freaks out and spews crazy all over Maggie for… daring to make her happy? Then, Alex persuades Winn to come with her and gets some kind of special gadget.

Roulette keeps bragging about her new enterprise, and blames Supergirl for shutting down her clubs. There’s a Dominator with her, one of the bad guys from the big crossover the CW did late last year. Either the Dominators can travel dimensions, too, or there are versions of them in Supergirl’s reality, too. Weirdly, the alien doctor is wearing his human disguise on the Slavers’ Moon for no apparent reason.

Things come to a head as Supergirl rallies the prisoners, Mon shows some degree of heroism, and Alex leads her strike team through the portal. Winn faces down his own fears (and an alien) with a lot of references to red shirts. Alex’s toy proves to be a yellow sun grenade, which gives Supergirl (but not Mon?) her powers back briefly. What Supergirl doesn’t see is the Dominator bowing to Mon-El. Interesting.

Everyone gets back to Earth safely, mother and daughter are reunited, Kara turns in an article about alien slavers (weird that every article Snapper gets is in a blue folder. No one uses email?), and Alex and Maggie patch things up. Personally, were I Maggie, I might run off at this point. Maggie also reveals she knows Kara’s secret. The alien good guy, Jo, comes back to Earth with them, no doubt to become a comic relief/source of information/regular at the alien bar in the future. That or be utterly forgotten. Snapper reveals that there’s a bit more to him than just the non-stop grouch. Mon-El makes a questionable decision, and we see that someone is hunting for our blandly handsome Daxamite. They are really hinting that a favorite fan theory about Mon-El might be true after all.

What I liked: Supergirl’s absolute heroism shines through here. Even with her whining at the beginning, she’s a hero through and through, which is a nice contrast to the other CW shows. Arrow seems to largely revolve around should heroes kill? (No, they shouldn’t) and Flash seems to have become should I change time for my own reasons (again, No). But Supergirl is doing what’s right because it’s right and I’m very glad of that. Winn’s reaction to getting beat up on the street made sense, even if he recovered really quickly. The mystery behind Mon-El is getting interesting.

What I didn’t: There were a lot of small things that didn’t make sense. Kara (instead of Supergirl) at the DEO, the magic pocket for the flier on Slavers’ Moon, how Roulette even got to the Slavers’ Moon, insta-power loss under a red/black sun. It was remarkably convenient that the alien moon was toxic to Martians. For that matter, Hank/J’Onn had a minimal role, and I really like that character. And why was the alien wearing his human disguise on another planet? They aren’t doing a great job with her secret ID, considering Mon also called her “Kara” in the room full of prisoners.

It was a decent, if not great, episode. I’ll give it a low 3 out of 5, and hope they get back on track soon.