Supergirl is back in action with “Ace Reporter,” a kind of ironic title since she’s been unemployed for a while now. That comes up in the first scene or so, when she flies around the city and then goes to the DEO. She has to face a menace that even Kryptonians aren’t immune to: boredom. Apparently, National City is on a big law-abiding streak, and there’s nothing for the Girl of Steel to do. Finally returning home, we learn that while Mon-El has quickly become a pretty good cook, Kara is lacking in this department. She’s burning through a lot of food trying this, and, again, I wonder where she’s getting the money to pay for it. It’s possible the DEO pays both Kara and Mon, but it’s never been confirmed.
Her boredom is alleviated when Lena Luthor pays a visit. After a mention of “the rent-controlled part of town,” maybe worked in to deal with the people that have wondered how Kara affords an apartment that big, Lena asks a favor. Her ex, Jack Spheer, is about to announce a new technological breakthrough, and Lena wants moral support. Not having anything else to do, Kara agrees.
Jack, played by guest star Rahul Kohli (Ravi from iZombie), has a new product called BioMax, which is a swarm of nano-bots that heal injuries, as he demonstrates rather dramatically. Jack touts their many uses, and then opens the floor for questions. Kara gets in a few good ones, despite the best efforts of her former boss, Snapper Carr, who should possibly be renamed Snarker. After the press conference, there are two awkward meetings. Lena and Jack run into each other, and an employee who recognizes Kara’s name from her Cadmus expose (the one that got her fired) says he has info for her about BioMax.
Guardian is out fighting crooks, but doesn’t seem to have his usual backup. After winning the fight, he goes back to the van to find that Winn has been a bit distracted by Lyra, his girlfriend. Guardian’s secret lasts about a half second, since Lyra’s species has an acute sense of smell. Lyra’s big new plan is to fight crime with Guardian. The hero isn’t happy about this idea, but gets talked into it by Winn.
Kara’s meeting with the would-be informant goes badly. As he tells her about problems with the human trials on BioMax, the nanites arrive in their big swarm and blow up the car. Kara is fine, of course, but her source, not being Kryptonian, isn’t. Kara goes to CatCo (I guess they still want to get their money’s worth out of the set) and asks for James’ help with a Freedom Of Information Act request. Snapper wanders in during this, and continues to show he bears a grudge. She leaves, but listens in with her super-hearing, and finds out that Snapper has a lead on a BioMax test subject. Why the boss is off chasing down a story by himself isn’t really clear.
Jack visits Lena’s office and they banter a lot before he eventually gets her to agree to dinner. Guardian gives Lyra a shot out in the field, and she shows she has some problems with a few areas. The van has a sign up that’s a nod to the Star Spangled Kid, a name used by two different DC superheroes.
Snapper keeps his appointment with his source as Supergirl hovers and eavesdrops outside. I admit, I was debating whether this was her being worried since the earlier attack, or being really competitive with Snapper. Either way, it ends being a good thing she’s there, when the nano-swarm attacks again. Supergirl saves Snapper, but his source fulfills the Star Trek red-shirt role of showing how the monster works.
Upset, Kara goes home and vents her frustrations with Mon-El, who is hanging around playing good boyfriend. When he relays a message from Lena, Kara decides to go crash her date with Jack. She and Mon banter about stalking vs “really creepy journalism.” They really do seem to be giving a lot of the great comedic lines to Mon-El these days, and he’s doing well with them. The dinner goes as awkwardly as you’d expect, with Mon making it even weirder before proving he’s not just a pretty face, even when he doesn’t use his powers.
Jack and Lena talk about their past and end up kissing, to no great surprise. Kara and Mon break into Jack’s company to investigate the issues about the human trials. What they find out is surprising, if a bit of a stereotype for the mad scientist. Mon and Kara barely escape detection from the newly revealed villain of the week.
The next morning, Kara drops in on a distracted Lena. Kara tells Lena what she’s learned, and Lena is shocked. However, huge points for avoiding cliches as Lena just asks for a bit of time, not for Kara to not do her job. This would have been an easy scene for a lot of emotional drama, and they chose not to do it, which I appreciate.
Winn has a somewhat disturbing meeting with Lyra, which goes badly and displays a side of her we’ve never seen (and I’d happily never see again). Kara shows she’s gained some maturity and perspective about her job, and goes to see Snapper. They have a talk about journalism and ethics, and Kara makes a good decision.
Lena confronts Jack about what Kara has learned, and Jack has an unexpected reaction. Then, his CFO Beth (Claudia Doumit, who might be looking for something to do after the rumored cancellation of Timeless) shows up and complicates everything. Eventually we end up with a huge fight between the arriving-just-in-the-nick-of-time Supergirl and the nano-swarm. This has a tragic end, although Lena gets a great line before that point.
Kara goes to visit Lena and comfort her after the developments of the night before. It’s a good friendship scene. There’s a similar one between James/Guardian and Winn that resolves some of the issues about Lyra, although it does leave us wondering about some of her appetites.
Snapper and Kara actually have a make-up scene, or as close to that as Snapper’s ever likely to get. It makes a good change for something in Kara’s life, and brings one of her problems from earlier in the show full circle. The episode ends with Lena getting a very unexpected visitor.
What I liked: Lena is a strong character who is nothing at all like the other Luthors. I’m glad they didn’t take the various chances they had this episode to create drama between her and Kara. Mon-El continues to be a good comedic presence, even if they’re not giving him enough else to do. I’m glad they had Kara move forward with her employment situation.
What I didn’t: Is there ever an ongoing show when someone’s ex comes to town and turns out to be a good person in no trouble at all? That’s getting a bit cliche. J’Onn was barely on this week, and he’s a favorite of mine. I’m not sure where this Guardian/Lyra//Winn bit is going.
It was a decent episode. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5.