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Supergirl: Nevertheless She Persisted

supergirl

They really have grown on me as a couple

Supergirl gets to her second season finale with everything stacked against her. The writers aren’t even trying to be subtle anymore with their political analogies, titling this one, “Nevertheless, She Persisted.” This is a reference to the political controversy last year involving Senator Elizabeth Warren.

National City is covered by the Daxamite fleet. J’Onn is still out cold from Rhea’s gadget. Lillian Luthor is on the loose. But none of this is the Girl of Steel’s biggest problem as the episode starts. Rhea has a nasty surprise up her shiny sleeve. Superman has been compromised, and he’s attacking Supergirl without pulling any punches. What do you do when your only living relative is doing his best to pound you into the ground at the behest of the woman threatening your entire city?

Apparently there’s a new variation on an old threat now. Rhea has found silver kryptonite, which evidently induces hallucinations. Superman is convinced Supergirl is General Zod, a recurring Kryptonian enemy of the Man of Steel. The fight rages across the bridge of Rhea’s ship, out through the viewport, and then across the city. It’s an ugly, long, brutal affair that Supergirl ends up winning. I get that it’s her show, and I’m sure I’m going to draw some heat for this, but I don’t believe she won that one.

Superman is bigger than she is, which matters with roughly evenly matched foes. He’s been on Earth longer, has absorbed more yellow sun radiation over time, and has a lot more combat experience. He also has more time with their powers, and how to use them. He was fighting, in his mind, against one of his deadliest foes. Aside from “it’s her show,” I don’t see how she pulled that one off. She passes out after the fight, Alex rushing to her side.

After a lovely daydream of being back at her place with Mon-El, Kara wakes up in the Fortress of Solitude. From what Alex says, Kara got back up after passing out, grabbed Clark and Alex, flew them here, and passed out again. Superman wakes up, back to normal, and they plot out what to do next.

Lena, having narrowly escaped Daxamite captivity and forced marriage, is trying to unwind with a drink. Lillian comes in and starts to blame her for working with Rhea in the first place. They hurl blame at each other and continue the dysfunctional family dynamic we’ve come to expect from Clan Luthor. Eventually, they agree to work together on modifying one of Lex’s old anti-Superman weapons to drive the Daxamites off. Lillian, showing her skewed sense of priorities, exults that if they make this work, a Luthor will have saved the world.

Superman and Supergirl go through the Fortress’ archives, trying to come up with a way to stop the Daxamites. They also banter about Kel-Ex, the robot servant Kara was forced to destroy earlier in the season. Finally, they come up with an idea and return to the DEO, where Winn fanboys all over Superman. It’s even worse than Coulson with Captain America. Supergirl announces her plan, which Mon-El really doesn’t like. They don’t have a lot of other ideas, though, so Supergirl challenges Rhea to single combat, which she’s honor-bound to accept. Rhea looks annoyed, but agrees. While the others argue about what’s going to happen next, J’Onn gets an unexpected visitor and finally wakes up.

Cat Grant is covering the challenge in her usual sensational way, and J’Onn is worried that innocents are going to come watch and get hurt. Rhea hasn’t exactly displayed any concern for bystanders so far. Clark and Lois ask her to tone it down a bit, and she does, lured in by a promise of a later interview with Supergirl and her ongoing crush on Clark. Cat also expresses concern about James’ career as Guardian.

Superman and Supergirl get called to Lena’s, and the Luthors share their plan. The device was originally designed by Lex to fill the atmosphere with enough Krytponite to make Earth uninhabitable to Kryptonians. They plan to modify it to do that with lead for the Daxamites. Mind you, lead in the atmosphere isn’t good for humans, but they gloss over that point. Of course, if they go that route, it’ll get Mon-El, too.

No one loves this plan, but no one has a better one. So Supergirl will fight Rhea and they’ll keep the atmospheric machine in reserve. Supergirl and Superman go to spar and chat about their relationships. There’s still no explanation as to why she won the fight. But, on to the next fight!

For some reason or other, the fight is being held on a roof in the city. Seems perfectly safe to me. Supergirl is accompanied by Mon-El, and Rhea shows up with some general. After some opening threats and salutes, they leap at each other. Supergirl throws a lot of wild haymakers, which aren’t really ever a good idea in a fight. They batter each other back and forth all over the place, and then Rhea pulls a nasty surprise. She has a really unique medical condition. Around the city, Mon-El, Superman, and J’Onn go about fighting the invaders and saving people.

Meggan returns from Mars just in the nick of time, and she brought friends. This starts tipping things against the Daxamites. After a brutal beating, Supergirl somehow gains a new power and shrugs off Rhea’s trap, in one of the parts of the show that makes the least sense of anything I’ve seen so far. Lillian tries to backstab Lena and her friends yet again, but once again the heroes are smart enough to see it coming and take precautions. Rhea also proves to be completely untrustworthy, ranting about going after Metropolis and Star City next. Supergirl finally has no choice but to use the backup Lena rigged for them. There’s a very tearful farewell as Mon survives the activation, but has to leave. The last we see of him, it at least looks like he’s heading off for his fate with the Legion of Super Heroes.

Superman leaves to go back to Metropolis after saying goodbye to a stricken Supergirl. Alex offers her some kind words, and then Supergirl flies off. A nice little touch- the balcony that’s the scene of all this is still damaged from the fighting. Alex and Maggie have a chat that ends with something I loved and that will infuriate some people. J’Onn and Meggan get a good scene, too.

In Cat’s office, the big story is Lilian claiming credit for defeating the Daxamites. I’m not sure how she’s doing that since she’s still wanted for multiple felonies. Cat calls that fake news and then has a heart to heart with Kara about heartbreak and loss. Kara rushes off and we see that Cat knows one of the show’s big secrets. There’s a really creepy end scene that I think bodes ill for next season.

What I liked: The teamwork was great. I really like this version of Superman. It was great to see J’Onn back in action finally, and I loved Meggan showing up with her friends. It’s sad that Mon left, but I like what they seemed to be doing at the end. It’s great that Lena saw her mother’s betrayal coming. And Cat was in this one, too. I’m hoping this was the last we see of Rhea, much as I like Terri Hatcher.

What I didn’t: Where’s Guardian? He was a decent size part of the fight last time. Did he give up? Supergirl’s being able to suddenly ignore Rhea’s trick made even less sense than Supergirl beating Superman. Do they know lead is incredibly bad for humans, too? Unless Cat is staying, which seems unlikely, why is she redecorating the office? And have they really decided that Kara’s just not allowed to be in a relationship?

I thought this was a decent but uneven episode. It could have been better with a few small tweaks. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5, and I’m looking forward to the return next season.

Supergirl: Resist

 

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Guess Who’s Back!!

Supergirl is almost at her season finale, and it’s a really impressive build up. There’s a mounting threat, uneasy alliances, missing heroes, and revelations about characters we’ve seen before. They manage to pack a lot into “Resist.”

Lena wakes up after the fight last episode, and doesn’t get good news. She’s on a Daxamite ship, Rhea is holding her prisoner, and Rhea is still spouting crazy talk about Supergirl. Boy, the woman holds a grudge. She calls Earth a planet of “wasted potential” and is going to make society worthy of Lena.

This takes the form of a massive invasion, as the Daxamite fleet pounds National City, and troops start beaming down all over. Rhea does a holographic address to the city, her fine-sounding claims very much at odds with the violence throughout the city. I’m really confused about the troops we keep seeing. They’re tough, but not bulletproof. They’re nowhere near strong enough to be Daxamites, but what else would Rhea be using? Maybe they’re robots of some kind. Maggie gets a good action scene as she faces several of them down at the police station.

The DEO is being overwhelmed by all the alien signals, then they get overwhelmed in a new way as more of the soldiers transmat in. Over all, the DEO doesn’t do well with this, although we get to see Alex in full kick-ass mode. Even she is forced to retreat, taking a big chance on the way out, but her sister shows up in the nick of time.

Mon-El isn’t doing really well, either. He’s a prisoner on Rhea’s ship, and she’s not at all interested in his opinions of Earth or its people. Rhea is very much acting the royal mother/dictator, and Mon doesn’t get a say. Despite the fact that he’s been on Earth under the yellow sun much longer than any of these others, he doesn’t seem particularly stronger than they are, and his training with Supergirl doesn’t seem to have done him much good, either. Rhea seems oddly confident about Supergirl not interfering with her plans.

Most of the rest of the cast is holed up at Alien Cheers. Somehow, Winn is there, although how he got out of the DEO as the troops stormed it is never explained. J’Onn is still out cold from whatever weird device Rhea used on him last episode, and there’s no word of Superman. Maggie and Guardian are fighting in the streets, so there’s still some resistance going on. They get an offer for help in the unlikely form of Lillian Luthor. On the one hand, you can’t trust her at all, but on the other, alien invasion is what’s she’s built her whole hate movement against. It’s her dream come true, and a chance for her to say, “I told you so.”

The scene with Lillian is very tense. No one in the room has any reason to trust her, but she makes some good points. She also mentions the Daxamites having kryptonite cannons, which isn’t good news for our resident caped hero. Lillian wants to save Lena, just like she knows Supergirl wants to save Mon-El. They finally get Lillian to leave without any kind of agreement.

Rhea sets up a blockade, isolating National City. I wonder why she’s so focused here. Because Supergirl live here? Or Mon-El? This is when we get a return visit from President Marston, as played by Lynda Carter. It’s an amusing name for her. Carter, of course, is best known for playing Wonder Woman, and Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston. A nice nod to comics history, there. Marston and Rhea argue over a comm channel until someone pops up to play peacemaker- the long-absent Cat Grant. Rhea and Cat bicker a bit, and Cat makes a cutting (Catty?) remark about Rhea’s tiara. Rhea, ever reasonable, launches an attack. First the fighter escort, then Air Force One itself get hit. Supergirl saves Cat, and, as they land amid the wreckage, they learn that Marston herself is an alien, and has also survived. Marston says she guesses she owes them an explanation, and the unflappable Cat shoots back, “Tell me you’re still a Democrat.”

Among the things I don’t like here: the intense scrutiny someone running for President gets means there’s no way I buy she managed to fool everyone. I’m glad Cat and Marston survived, but no one seems to care a bit that all the fighter pilots, crew, and Secret Service agents have been killed. There’s not even a passing mention of that, which just seems unlike Supergirl and most of her friends.

There are happy reunions back at Alien Cheers. Winn seems especially happy to see Cat. Cat was in Washington DC when the Daxamites attacked, and of course, she knows the President, because Cat knows everyone. Apparently, they were in college together. Marston talks to Alex, Supergirl, and Winn about her past and coming to Earth when her planet was invaded. The writers keep the links going to the Legion of Super Heroes, as Marston claims to be from Durla, a planet of shapeshifters. Durla is the home of Chameleon Boy in the Legion. It would explain how Marston was able to pass herself off as human for so long, although Durlans can become anything or anyone. Marston seems to have very limited powers in comparison.

Rhea is still pushing ahead with her plan to combine human and Daxamite society, but she’s not getting any cooperation from her prisoners, not that I blame them. Rhea continues to show how reasonable she is; she demands compliance and focuses the fleet’s weapons on Luthor Family Children’s Hospital. She’s seeming more and more like a villain out of a 1920’s movie serial.

After her bombshell revelations, President Marston is packed off back to DC with a few trusted DEO agents. One of those shockers was that there’s a massive proton cannon on the roof of the DEO, which even Winn didn’t know about. The President orders them to power it up and blast the Daxamites, regardless of who is prisoner up there. Supergirl, appalled, goes to Alien Cheers’ infamous back alley to think, and bumps into Cat. They have another of their heartfelt mentor/mentee scenes that I’ve actually missed. Advice delivered, Cat says first, “Now, shoo, up, up, and away, no time to lose,” then, as the Girl of Steel flies off, “That is still so cool.” I missed Cat.

A desperate Supergirl goes to Cadmus. She, Lillian, and Hank Henshaw/Cyborg game a plan to get up to the fleet and rescue the prisoners before the DEO atomizes them. While those three mount their raid, Alex will infiltrate the DEO and get the cannon armed. They talk about needing to distract Rhea, and Cat volunteers. There’s also a small confrontation between Winn and Henshaw. Alex pulls Kara aside and tells her that the cannon will even kill her if she’s up there when it goes off. This both ups the tension and shows how powerful the weapon is.

The raid is staged from the Fortress of Solitude, using a tinkered-with Phantom Zone Projector. We also find out why Lillian has kept Kara’s secret from Lena. I have to admit, her motivations are in character. Lilian really is an evil, manipulative witch.

While Rhea pushes forward on her plan, Winn does a babbling, painful job of trying to cover for James and Kara when Cat asks where they are. Cat isn’t happy about James’ remodeling of her office. Her distraction is masterful, really ticking off Rhea, including calling her Tiara Woman in passing. I kind of liked that line.

The Away Team gets on to the Daxamite ship, and Hank manages to cloak them from the alien sensors. They fight their way among the guards, trying to find the prisoners. Lillian actually calls Supergirl “useful” which is a rare compliment. Lena and Mon-El stage their own escape. Alex and Maggie sneak in to the DEO, with the President backseat driving via communicator.

The two groups meet up on the ship, after Lena and Mon impress each other. Lena is doubly stunned, that Lillian came at all, and with Supergirl at that. We get the expected Luthor double-cross, but Supergirl and Winn had it covered in a brilliant counter-stroke. Everyone gets off except Supergirl, who decides to go give Rhea another chance to surrender. Ok, I like the show being generally positive and not all dark/grim like Arrow usually is, but there comes a point, Kara. Really.

The last few scenes are some good ones. Cat and Winn get attacked by alien troops, and Cat says, “Well, it’s been nice knowing you,” to Winn just before Guardian smashes through the window (not sure from where since they’re so high up) to save the day. Guardian’s secret ID lasts about as long as the fight because Cat is very perceptive. The President orders Alex to fire the cannon. Supergirl confronts Rhea and gets a really nasty shock that explains one of the loose ends from earlier. The cliffhanger they leave us on is going to make for a hell of a season finale .

What I liked: It was good that everyone contributed to the effort. I get the alliance of necessity with Lillian and Supergirl. It was good to see Marston again, and even better to see Cat return. “Tiara Woman” still makes me laugh. I like that Lena and Mon didn’t just wait to get rescued; they’re both better than that. The doublecross and Winn and Kara’s counter was really nicely done.

What I didn’t: The gizmo keeping J’Onn out of action seemed like a cheap way to keep a powerful ally off-screen. When it comes up several times that people are worried if Kara is fast enough to get everything done, how does no one think of calling Flash for help? Sorry, but if you carefully build a shared universe, people like me are going to remember it’s a shared universe. Where are all the powerful and dangerous prisoners the DEO is holding during all this? Why is Mon relatively powerless, when he’s been about at Supergirl’s level until now?

It was a good episode with some really good bits. I’ll give it a 4 out of 5, and I’m so glad Cat is back.

Supergirl: City of Lost Children

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And you thought talking to YOUR mom about your love live was hard…

Supergirl has a somewhat odd title this week. “City of Lost Children” sounds nice and dramatic, but there’s only one child in the episode. I suppose I can sort of see a way to expand that to a second one, but it’s a stretch. Maybe they were running low on good titles.

The show opens with Guardian in action. He beats the thugs who are mugging a woman easily, but the woman is about as afraid of him as the muggers. This doesn’t make a ton of sense to me, considering there really is no doubt that they were mugging her, and that Guardian stopped them. Well, humans aren’t the most rational critters, especially when they’ve been traumatized. Might have helped if this Guardian was closer to the original’s color scheme at least. Bright yellow and blue are probably less intimidating than grey metal and black padding.

In a rare scene, Kara and Lena have lunch and have a fairly normal conversation. There is no alien attack, robbery, or sudden appearance of heavily armed thugs. Nothing even blows up. Lena techno-babbles a bit about her new project, but doesn’t really give much by way of concrete detail. Lena gets a call from her mentor, who she doesn’t name, and leaves to go meet with her.

Winn and James are out walking in the rain, but unlike most people who do this on video, they’re smart enough to have umbrellas. James isn’t happy about the earlier reaction to Guardian, and there’s an indirect reference to Batman. James broods that Supergirl inspires people, but Guardian only inspires fear. He’s really not happy about this.

The anticipated alien attack finally comes in the form of a woman who wanders a park for a few minutes. When a cop asks her if she’s ok, her eyes glow purple and she sets off a storm of uncontrolled telekinesis. Winn and James, who have the misfortune to be there, help get civilians out of the way. Supergirl swoops in to save people from the wreckage, and gets applause. The woman gets away and James looks at the crowd, brooding again.

The news covers the attack in the park in a slightly fear-mongering style, and the gang meets up at DEO to figure out what’s going on. J’Onn identifies the woman as a Phorian, a race with great powers. J’Onn, and presumably the DEO, didn’t know any of them were on Earth. Mon-El and Supergirl are out searching the city while the others strategize. When James offers a suggestion, J’Onn acts like a dick and says this is a DEO matter, not something for Guardian.

Lena and Rhea have dinner together and discuss their test earlier in the day. Lena is downcast about the failure, but Rhea encourages her. After some more talk about how Lena should keep trying, Rhea goes back to the test facility to work on their project.

There’s an utterly pointless scene of Mon-El getting bumped into and dropping an ice cream cone. After that, Guardian breaks up a drug deal involving aliens. He trips over a lead about the earlier TK attack. Since the DEO wasn’t exactly welcoming earlier, Guardian follows up on his own and, while not finding the woman, he finds her son, and bonds with him by taking his helmet off. As a whole, the CW heroes really don’t do a great job with their secret identities.

Guardian brings the kid back to the DEO, where Alex tries to get some information from him. They do work out his name is Marcus, but he won’t speak aside from that. They do figure out he’s really interested in James/Guardian, and finally agree to let him talk to them. While the rest try and work with the kid, Mon-El talks to Winn about his concerns that his mother is still lurking about.

Lena and Rhea’s gadget continues to not work quite right. Lena wonders about trying to go visit Lex in prison and ask for his help. Rhea offers more encouragement and tells Lena she needs to think like herself, not Lex. Lena ponders, techo-babbles more, and gets an idea.

After some negotiating with the folks at the DEO, James brings Marcus to work, passing him off as his nephew. They bond a bit over stories of James’ father and James’ camera collection. Mon swings by and brings lunch for Kara, because he really does seem to be excelling as boyfriend lately. Those two talk a bit about Rhea. Then, Rhea and Lena get their toy working properly, finally. That sets Marcus off, so it’s a good bet his Mom’s earlier fit was during the first test. Lena and Rhea stop their test, which ends Marcus’ fit after the office gets evacuated and Supergirl rushes him outside.

Back at the DEO, Supergirl speaks up for Marcus, saying he wasn’t in control of himself. J’Onn wonders if something similar happened to his mother. The cell they have Marcus in has a telekinetic damper in it, so he can’t spazz out on them again. J’Onn has managed to erode James’ confidence with his earlier comments, but then talks James up again with stories of his past.

The DEO crew figures out the correlation between the power spasms and a weird kind of energy spike. When Winn goes into detail, Supergirl recognizes something Lena said earlier during lunch. When Supergirl tries to call her to get more information, Rhea answers, taunts Supergirl, and hangs up.

James and Winn persuade J’Onn to let them leave with Marcus, who is finally cooperating. Winn has a portable TK damper, so hopefully that will keep things under control. James and Marcus have bonded more as Marcus shares his history with James. The plan to use Marcus’ power to find his mom works great. There are complications that aren’t going to help with Winn’s power damper.

Lena gets the device working, and is thrilled for about a minute. Then Rhea starts showing her true colors. The DEO traces the energy, and an impressive team of Supergirl, Mon-El, and J’Onn fly off to deal with it. Rhea, improbably, holds them all off for a bit before springing a few surprises. Rhea’s master plan is revealed, and it’s ugly. All this because she can’t accept Mon’s decision about Kara. Interesting timing with Mother’s Day coming up.

What I liked: I get why he’s “reserved” for the movies (even though DC laughably claims the movies and tv shows are totally separate), but I like that this is the second Batman reference they’ve worked in on Supergirl. It didn’t go as well as they could have, but the Supergirl/Mon/J’Onn team was impressive. I don’t like Rhea, but she’s being really clever here. Even though it was partially set up for later, I liked Kara and Lena’s lunch scene actually being a drama-free lunch.

What I didn’t: I don’t get why J’Onn was so harsh to James earlier in the episode. I also don’t know what I buy the citizens suddenly being afraid of Guardian. I don’t recall that being mentioned before. Wasn’t’ Lyra working with them? Where’d she go?

This one had some good twists and turns. I’ll go 3.5 out of 5 as the season finale draws near.

Supergirl: Alex

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Alex is kidnapped but Lena has a problem she doesn’t even know about…

Things get particularly difficult for Supergirl and her friends in “Alex.” While the writers manage to keep things tense throughout, they also fall back on a few crutches that don’t ring true (more on that shortly). Unusually for the show, they didn’t introduce any new aliens, or major characters with ties to the DC Comics Universe.

They open with a bank robbery turned hostage situation in National City. Maggie is on the phone with the criminals, trying to negotiate their surrender. As often happens, Supergirl swoops in and wraps it up her way. This is where that crutch I mentioned comes into play. Maggie is annoyed with Supergirl for the help. It is suggested that Maggie has been feeling this way for a while, but we haven’t seen any hint of that on the series. So, to generate more drama, they invent an ongoing situation that hasn’t actually been ongoing. Later at dinner, these tensions are heightened when Alex, Maggie, Kara, and Mon-El talk about the day’s events. Maggie suggests that Supergirl is great when there are monsters around, but that maybe the Girl of Steel shouldn’t involve herself in police work. The best exchange is Maggie saying Kara never looks before she leaps, and Kara retorting that she can fly. Kara leaves early and abruptly, Mon accompanying her. Alex goes after them to smooth things over, after Maggie says she has no problem with Kara, it’s Supergirl she’s having issues with. Alex gets into the elevator with someone ominously lurking in back with baseball hat pulled low. Is that ever a good thing on any tv show or movie? You’d think Alex’s instincts would have kicked in.

The next morning, Lena Luthor gets an unexpected visitor- Rhea, Mon-El’s mother and recent widow by her own hand. Rhea is posing as a businesswoman/inventor, and brings a deal to Lena for a spectacular new machine. It will supposedly be useful for such diverse fields as climate change and transportation, among others. The ladies agree to discuss this further over dinner.

Maggie shows up at CatCo, where Kara is directing someone about layouts, which is an odd job for a reporter. Then again, James is inexplicably absent, so maybe Kara is covering for him. At any rate, their initial coolness from last night’s dinner fades when they compare notes and realize neither of them have heard from Alex since the end of dinner. Clearly, this bodes ill. Kara’s attempt to maintain a positive attitude pretty much gets shut down when she gets a call full of unwelcome news. Someone is holding Alex prisoner, demands Kara free a criminal from prison, and knows Kara is Supergirl.

There’s a brief scene of Alex in a largely featureless cell, ranting at her kidnapper. Wisely, Maggie and Kara call in all… well, most… of the help they can get. They go to the DEO and bring in J’Onn and Winn. James, as Guardian, continues to be off screen and never referenced. The prisoner is Peter Thompson, in Albatross Bay Prison, and doesn’t sound familiar to anyone. Maggie decides to research Thompson, since they don’t have a crime scene to investigate.

Apparently the day has flown by, as the next scene is Lena and Rhea at dinner. They talk about their respective family situations. Lena calls her relationship with her mother “apocalyptic,” which is fair enough. Rhea gives a very biased version of Mon-El’s relationship with Supergirl, carefully not naming names. Rhea does slip up a bit as they toast their new venture.

Hank, Maggie, and Kara go to see Thompson, who is a bit confused at an “FBI” (Hank’s cover) agent, a cop, and a reporter dropping by. He also seems genuinely surprised at someone working so hard to free him. Kara loses her temper a bit, and Hank ends the interview. When Kara protests in the hall, Hank tells her he used his telepathy and Thompson really doesn’t know what’s going on. Winn, meanwhile, has run a facial recognition scan of all Thompson’s visitors, and found out that one of them is Rick Malverne, Thompson’s son. In the comics, Malverne was a very minor character in Supergirl’s past.

Supergirl speeds off to Malverne’s place, at first not finding anything except monitors showing Alex in her cell. Malverne himself shows up finally (how he was hiding from her X-ray vision I have no idea), and is incredibly cocky and annoying. He shrugs off Supergirl’s threats, commenting that her eyes glowing with heat vision look really cool up close. He also knew the Danvers family from all their school days. I guess people going from Midvale to National City must be almost as common as folks from Smallville ending up in Metropolis. They take Malverne in to the DEO, but he won’t back down on his demand that they free his father. He continues to ignore tough talk from Supergirl and Maggie. What I find really odd is that he somehow “blocks” J’Onn’s telepathy, which they never follow up on. Seriously, did he buy a psi-scrambler at Walmart? All they learn is how long Malverne spent planning this, and how much time he spent stalking everyone involved.

Lena tricks Rhea into revealing herself via a nice bit of misdirection on a scanner. Lena then confronts Rhea, who at least doesn’t deny the fact that she’s an alien. Lena won’t do business with her and tells her to get out before security gets there. That’d be a short fight, although Lena has no way to know that. Rhea goes peacefully.

The team tries to con Malverne into giving up Alex’s location, but he really has prepared well. He figures out that his dad in this scene is really J’Onn. Malverne is annoying, but he’s pretty clever, I have to give him that. During all this, Alex tries various ways to escape that don’t work, then cuts her DEO tracker out of her shoulder. This, too, Malverne has been blocking. Winn manages to trace the signal when Alex gets it working, and Malverne warns them not to go. They do, finding that Malverne scrambled the tracing signal. In reprisal, Alex’s cell starts to fill with water.

Malverne sets up a video chat with Alex, using a computer that wasn’t on the table in his cell last scene. Alex can’t give Kara any clues about where she is, tells Kara not to give in to Malverne, and then Maggie takes the computer into the hall for a private, tear-filled conversation with Alex. The signal cuts out, and Maggie and Supergirl argue some more. Granted, it’s a rough situation, but those two have never shown any signs of the animosity they apparently have this episode.

Rhea returns to Lena’s office to tell some half-truths. She claims she hid the fact she was an alien because Lena’s mother Lillian is so famously and rabidly xenophobic. Rhea makes an impassioned plea to not let a great opportunity slip by because of a “lapse in judgement.” Lena then calls Kara for some advice, but Kara is a bit too busy at the moment.

Kara has a scene with a lot of self-blame, as J’Onn tries to make her feel better. Maggie confronts Malverne again, who won’t change his goal but shifts his focus. Alex, meanwhile, is in increasingly desperate straits as the water rises. Maggie falls for this, and does something desperate. She gets confronted by Supergirl, and tensions flare again. This time, Supergirl manages to get through with an emotional appeal to Thompson, who gives them a possible lead on where Alex might be.

The rescue is, of course, very last minute. It’s also not done that well. Supergirl and Maggie get to the new location, and Supergirl just walks in, looking around. I guess she forgot she had super-speed? Then, when she finally finds the cell, she smashes it open but then flies upward when the water flows out. Was she afraid the water would do something to her costume? The three women have a very teary reunion scene. Back at the DEO, Alex recovers, exchanges I love yous with Maggie, and then gets a small measure of revenge on Malverne before J’Onn mind wipes him.

The final scene doesn’t look good, especially when you watch the previews for next episode. Kara calls Lena back to apologize for earlier, and Lena says it’s fine, she worked it out. Then, as she hangs up, Lena turns to Rhea and asks if she’s ready to change the world. Rhea responds that Lena “has no idea,” which really should be setting all sorts of alarms off in Lena’s head, given her own past with maniacs like Lex and Lillian.

What I liked: The overall plot was decent, and they did a good job of making it a very tense, thriller-sort of story. Malverne was a clever foe, and Alex did everything she could to not be the damsel in distress. They were smart enough to tone down Mon’s usual comedic presence. Rhea is being very slick in what she’s doing and how she’s going about it.

What I didn’t: As I mentioned before, the tension between Supergirl and Maggie felt very forced and out of nowhere. I get that if they didn’t do it, there wouldn’t have been much of a plot, but the never explained blocking of J’Onn’s telepathy was something I really wanted some detail on. I already went over the multiple if not outright flaws, things that didn’t hang together during Alex’s rescue.

I’ll give them a 3 out of 5. It would have been higher without the issues I mentioned above.

Supergirl: Ace Reporter

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Wait, aren’t I supposed to be in a morgue with a zombie?

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.

Supergirl: Distant Sun

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Family Feud, Daxamite Edition

 

Supergirl’s life keeps getting complicated in “Distant Sun.” One thing I noticed that I hadn’t caught last episode is that her intro/voiceover is wrong now. She’s not working at CatCo. Either there’s something coming down the pike about that, or the show runners are being lazy. Or both, I suppose.

The episode starts off with Mon-El attempting to do something nice for Kara. Her tendency towards being an early riser kind of screws it up. They get some very sweet couple moments together before she takes off to play crimefighter. Turns out there is an alien on a rampage in the park, using a laser eye-patch to shoot up the place. After a few minutes, Supergirl wins, and quips to J’Onn on coms that there’s an alien cleanup in aisle three.

The President (the returning Lynda Carter) calls J’Onn for an update on the situation with the Daxamites. Their ship has been hanging over National City with no communication, but at least no more hostile actions, either. The President is very insistent about J’Onn and the DEO taking no further actions with the Daxamites.

Alex and Maggie are coming back from yoga, with a lot of banter back and forth. It doesn’t matter who talked who into what, I don’t see either of them doing yoga. They’re both way too tightly wound. They run into Emily, an ex of Maggie’s, and they have a very tense conversation. Eventually, Alex talks them into having dinner together. Me, I’m not sure I’d want to have dinner with my girlfriend and her ex, but whatever Alex is into I guess.

At the DEO, they get a surprise from the gear they’ve captured with the alien. Apparently, there’s a very large bounty out for the death of Supergirl. Mon-El translates the currency as a reward big enough to buy your own planet, which is pretty impressive. Alex is concerned that a series of brawls between Supergirl and various bounty hunters is going to be bad for public safety, and J’Onn agrees. After some banter between Winn and Mon about Mon cooking, Supergirl reluctantly agrees to lay low for 24 hours. On their way out, J’Onn asks Mon to keep an eye on Kara. He agrees, but after he does something first.

Rhea and Lar Gand meet Mon-El at the alien bar (insert name joke here). Rhea is particularly cutting about the place, clearly thinking its beneath them. They’re even less happy to find out he works there. And then things get worse yet when he accuses them of being behind the bounty. There’s a weird bit about Lar and Rhea being worried that they were the last generation of Daxamites. That’s weird on several levels. Even if they can’t have kids at this point, the entire crew can’t either? That seems odd.

That evening, Alex and Maggie get stood up at dinner, which is never fun. Kara, James, and Winn are having game night at her place, and she’s very tense about being cooped up. Mon-El comes in and tells them about his meeting with his parents. Unfortunately, this when the next bounty hunter shows up and he has a nasty trick up his sleeve. He takes control of Mon-El’s body and has him attack Kara. I think the most interesting part of this is that Mon-El takes her out through the window, and it sure looks like he’s flying. He’s never done this before, and no one comments on it later. It’s a major power development that no one notices? They eventually capture the bounty hunter, mostly through Winn being really clever (and Guardian being dumb).

The captured hunter won’t talk, and is very confident about being able to resist them. Then J’Onn shows up, and they have the duel of the glowing eyes. J’Onn wins, learning he was hired by the Daxamites. Unfortunately, their orders from President Marsden mean they can’t do anything about it.

Alex confronts Emily about blowing them off for dinner, and learns things she didn’t know about Maggie. While she ponders this, Kara and Mon are cleaning up Kara’s place after their fight. Mon-El makes a not great analogy about Romeo and Juliette, which he hasn’t finished reading yet. Kara suggests they try and talk to Rhea at the same time Mon suggests they run for it. Naturally, they end up setting up a meeting with mom.

The meeting takes place at Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. I don’t know why anyone thought this was a good idea. Rhea is smug and superior about her planet’s culture, and very cutting about all things Krpytonian. Literally, considering she pulls out a Kryptonite blade when the discussion doesn’t go the way she wants. After an ugly fight that’s not great for the Fortress’ decor, Mon surrenders and agrees to go with Rhea to save Supergirl’s life. Neither Mon nor Kara are happy about this.

Alex has a long talk with Maggie about what she’s learned, and trying to make things better. These scenes are decent, but I kept feeling like they were just taking time away from the main plot. Alex gets back to the DEO just as Kara arrives, not doing too well after Mommy Dearest’s visit. Kara is desperate to get back to the Daxamite ship (apparently whoever was supposed to name it was the same one that was supposed to name the bar), blaming herself for Mon being up there. After a lot of resistance from J’Onn, they come up with a plan.

The family reunion doesn’t go very well. Lar is thrilled to see his son again, but less so when he hears more about what’s been going on. Rhea is just as patient and understanding as she’s been these last two episodes, having Mon confined to a cell for disagreeing with her.

The DEO folks come up with a plan that involves subterfuge and the transporter gate they used back during the Slavers’ Moon adventure. There’s a lot of fighting on the ship, and Mon gets a chance to tell Winn he’s a little short to be a stormtrooper, which delights Winn to no end. Eventually, everyone meets up and Mon tells off his parents, returning to Earth with Kara and company.

Maggie and Emily finally talk and get some closure. J’Onn gets bitched out by the President for not following orders, and we get reminded what her big secret is. Kara and Mon talk about whether or not people can change, and the power of love. Up in orbit, Lar and Rhea talk about Mon’s decision, and they have the kind of argument that couples’ counseling isn’t going to fix. I think the Daxamites aren’t done with our heroes yet.

What I liked: The banter was a bit better then usual this time around, especially between Mon and Winn. Actually, Winn in general did better this episode. I like that Mon is becoming a much better person than he’s been. It was good seeing Lynda Carter again. Kara manages to be very earnest about believing the best in people without being annoying about it. J’Onn got to use his powers effectively, and the rescue mission was well planned.

What I didn’t: I just didn’t care about Maggie’s ex. I don’t know that we needed that scene. Guardian’s only action sequence involved him being pretty stupid. How did no one notice Mon-El flying? The way Lar and Rhea’s argument ended didn’t really make sense when you take their powers into account.

This was a pretty good one. I’ll give it a low 4 out of 5.

Supergirl: Star-Crossed

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Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, Daxamite Version

Last episode, we saw hints of a major bump in the road for Kara and Mon-El. This time, that kicks in to high gear. There’s also trouble in paradise for Winn and Lyra. It’s not a great episode for couples, but then, that’s probably why they called it “Star-Crossed.”

Things start off going fairly well, with the now unemployed Kara watching Game of Thrones with Mon at her place. Again, I really wonder how she’s paying for things like rent and cable. They have a cutesy, new-couple kind of scene which you just know can’t last. Sure enough, it doesn’t. The signal gets interrupted, as an orbiting ship demands the return of Mon-El of Daxam. Release him by dawn or we’ll take him by force, they threaten. The DEO catches the broadcast as well. The ship appears above National City, and J’Onn bellows for Winn, who isn’t there, much to J’Onn’s annoyance.

Winn and Lyra are at the National City Art Gallery. Winn’s technical genius can be used for evil, or at least not good, as Lyra talks him into breaking in with promises of museum sex. I have to admit, she’s good at persuading the boy.

Now at the DEO and in costume, Supergirl decides she’s going to go meet the invading ship. Mon-El wants to go with her, which is a bit odd. I mean, he’s been training with her, I get that. But last I checked, unlike his comic book counterpart, Mon can’t fly. I’m not sure how he was planning on getting up there. Regardless, Supergirl is going to handle this on her own, and takes off. The ship’s shields stand up to her heat vision, and they duel for a few minutes with different weapons. Then, the aliens stick her in some kind of crystal ball. Weirdly, this makes her fall, and everyone is worrying. Like she couldn’t stand up to the impact? At any rate, she breaks it to do a stock superhero landing.

Mon finally tells her to stand down, and that he is going to surrender to the aliens. Just before he gets beamed up, Supergirl speeds to his side, wraps her arms around him, and hitches a ride. She’s in for a shock when she learns that the ship is under the command of Lar Gand and Rhea, King and Queen of Daxam. She’s even more shocked when they reveal that Mon-El is their son. All Hail the Prince of Daxam, indeed. In the comics, Lar Gand is Mon-El’s real name, so that was a nice touch. Lar is played by Kevin Sorbo of Hercules fame, and Rhea is the ever-lovely Terri Hatcher, best known as Lois Lane on the New Adventures of Lois and Clark several incarnations of Superman ago.

Winn’s great mood gets interrupted when Maggie asks him to come see her at work. Apparently, he didn’t disable as much of the museum security as he thought he had. That could be embarassing enough, but it gets much worse. Lyra apparently doesn’t show up on video, and Van Gogh’s Starry Night went missing. Doesn’t look good for Winn, that.

On the Daxamite ship, Mon-El’s family and Kara have a very tense meal. Rhea spends most of it cutting on Kara and Krypton. They found him from the beacon he sent a while back, and traced him to Slavers’ Moon. The family was surprised about Mon-El freeing slaves there. Mon-El argues with his parents about slavery and Daxam’s past. Supergirl and Rhea also argue, and then we see a flashback of how Mon-El escaped from Daxam. It doesn’t make Mon look very good, and it also seriously contradicts what we’ve seen in the past. Bad continuity there, guys.

After storming out, Supergirl and Mon-El talk back at the DEO. They argue about his lying to her. She is adamant that this changes everything, and flies off in a huff. Of course, Kara ran down Daxam every time it came up in conversation before this. I can’t imagine why he wouldn’t want to tell her he was the Prince.

Winn pleads his innocence to Maggie at the cop shop. She believes him, but asks about Lyra. This is when James and Alex come in, indignant that she arrested Winn without telling them. Of course, he’s not actually under arrest at the moment, but apparently that doesn’t matter. Finally, a deal gets made where Maggie gives them a day to prove Winn innocent. When they start digging in to the case, they find out both that Lyra’s people can’t be seen on video, and that there’s a string of robberies very similar to what happened to Winn. Kara offers to help, and is very falsely cheerful. Alex agrees Mon-El lied and she’s mad he hurt Kara, but says maybe he’s looking for a fresh start. As if things weren’t complicated enough, this is when Rhea suddenly appears and says she wants to talk to Kara.

Alex, James, and Winn follow up a clue that leads them to Lyra, and a passing reference to Rimbor, home of Ultra Boy in the Legion of Super Heroes. Odd that most of the planets they’ve been mentioning in this show have to do with the Legion. I wonder if they’re building up to something.

Rhea is worried about Daxam’s future. Apparently, the planet wasn’t destroyed like Krypton was, just badly damaged and now is livable again. Rhea and Lar want to gather their people and build a new future, and want Mon-El to be part of it. Again, for a people that are so irresponsible and hedonistic (or so says Kara), these folk seem very responsible. Rhea wants Kara to let Mon-El go, pointing out how unforgiving her people are. From what we’ve seen of Kara of late, especially about Daxamites, I’d have to say Queen Rhea has a point.

Winn goes to Lyra’a place, and it turns out it’s good he brought Alex and Guardian as backup. They have a fight with Lyra’s gang, and then learn why she’s been working with the thieves. Her brother is being held prisoner by a powerful alien crime boss called Mandrax. J’Onn knows of him, a former prisoner from Ft. Rozz. After J’Onn says they’re going to investigate the matter, Winn goes down to the cells and rashly frees Lyra.

While Mon-El tries to patch things up with Kara, and she continues to be snotty to him, Winn and Lyra try to bluff her brother free. Mandrax turns out to be physically powerful, and Winn turns out to be pretty clever. The bad guys get captured, and Maggie is persuaded to let both Winn and Lyra go. Winn and Kara have a chat about Lyra that echoes Kara’s issues with Mon, but Winn isn’t as closed minded and unforgiving as Kara has been.

But Kara still isn’t in a forgiving mood. Mon-El comes by to give a really nice and sweet apology, and she tells him it’s over. I said a while back that they seem to be trying to make Kara a lot less likable this season. If so, they’re doing a good job. Mon, meanwhile, tells his parents he’s staying on Earth with Kara, even if she won’t be with him.

At the DEO, Winn has been fiddling with the breech device Cisco made for Kara during the big crossover. If that seems like a weird thing for him to be doing out of the blue, there’s a reason. The episode ends with the appearance of the Music Meister, kicking off the Supergirl/Flash musical crossover episode. I’ll just say they end the episode on a cliffhanger that will continue over on Flash.

What I liked: For someone that started off so shallow, Mon-El is really maturing nicely. He’s a far cry from the great hero of the same name in the Legion of Super Heroes, but he’s getting closer. I like the plan Winn pulled off to save Lyra. It was good seeing Kevin Sorbo again, and especially Terri Hatcher on a Superman show.

What I didn’t: Mostly Kara. She’s amazingly biased against Daxamites. I don’t like how she’s handling things with Mon-El at all. Also, this is the second crossover Supergirl has been part of where her bit comes just at the very end. It makes the tie seem a bit weaker, or it does to me.

I’ll give this one a 3 out of 5. I hope Kara pulls herself together soon.

Supergirl: Exodus

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If we don’t like you, we’ll deport you. That sounds… familiar.

Relatively recently, Arrow dipped into politics in “Spectre of the Gun.” Deliberately or not, Supergirl seems to following suit on the immigration front in “Exodus.” If they didn’t write this with some of the current issues regarding deportation, refugees, and immigration in mind, it’s a really striking series of coincidences.

The show opens with a family on a road trip. It looks like a normal scene until they get pulled over. It’s not just a traffic stop, as the family gets dragged from the car by the cop and a van full of henchmen. As they are taken away, we see they are aliens. Considering Jeremiah stole the alien registry last session, it’s not a big leap to guess that these are Cadmus thugs.

At the DEO, the team reviews that there have been twenty alien abductions in the last few days. J’Onn reluctantly declares Jeremiah an enemy combatant (which is a weird term) to be arrested on sight. Supergirl worries that they need to warn the other aliens who may be at risk. Mon-El offers to warn everyone at “the alien dive bar.” See, he works there, and even he doesn’t  know the name of the place.

Kara tries to use her reporter job to get the word out to the aliens at risk. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have the reputation or the freedom her cousin Clark does on the job. Snapper refuses to run the story without confirmation from multiple sources. Kara parries with an offer for him to interview Supergirl directly.

At Nameless (I’ll give it a title if no one else will), Maggie and Alex are playing pool. Alex is clearly still upset about her father’s betrayal, and equally clearly in denial. Alex complains that she’s the only one left who believes in him. Well, considering what he’s done so far, I’m not sure Alex should be giving him the benefit of the doubt.

In another part of the bar, Lyra and Winn are being the unbearably cute new couple, and James seems to be amused by it. Lyra and Winn enthuse over the movie Dune. When she goes off to get more drinks, James and Winn talk about the new relationship, and Winn says he’s taking it slow. Which is not at all what it looks like. The bar once again comes under attack, this time by Cadmus thugs. Lyra, Maggie, and Alex fight pretty well, but the Cadmus thugs get away with all the aliens. I’m not sure how they differentiated the aliens from the human-looking aliens, but they managed it. Alex almost gets captured herself by letting someone get the drop on her, but James pops up as Guardian and drops the Cadmus gunsel. So at least they get a prisoner out of it.

At the DEO, they’re getting nowhere. James is freaking out about Lyra being taken (so much for taking it slow), and he blames Jeremiah. Alex looks deeply hurt by this. J’Onn says Cadmus did something to the prisoner so he can’t telepathically read him. Alex goes down to the holding cell and goes full-blown bad cop on him, beating the prisoner until J’Onn pulls her off.

After a bit of secret identity round-about, Snapper gets his interview with Supergirl, who comes in via the balcony she used to meet Cat Grant on (I miss Cat). Snapper is professional, and asks follow up questions Supergirl can’t answer. Apparently, despite them being in a skyscraper downtown now, the DEO is still notionally a secret agency, so Supergirl can’t give him any useful information. Snapper refuses to run the story without confirmation.

What follows is a very important scene that I apparently have a different feel for than the writers of the show. Jeremiah shows up at Alex’s place and asks her to steal something from the DEO to help him. She agrees, at which point Jeremiah shifts back into J’Onn, who was testing her. Since she failed the test, he suspends her. I’ll get back to this later.

The real Jeremiah is at Cadmus, working with Lilian. Oddly, he’s now dressed the same way J’Onn was while impersonating him, and there was no way for J’Onn to know that. I’ll call this lazy costuming. Lilian tells Jeremiah he’s all the Superman they need, as we see aliens herded onto a giant space ship.

At Alex’s place, Kara comes by to visit her and Maggie. Alex bewails J’Onn being so unfair to her. Kara disagrees with J’Onn’s methods, but says he was right to suspend her. She then rushes off to try and find a way to get the warning out to the remaining aliens on the list. Maggie actually agrees with Alex, and says if protecting her father is what she’s going to do, then that’s what Maggie will help her with.

Kara bumps into Lena at work. Apparently, they were supposed to go do something and Kara forgot with everything going on. Lena is remarkably understanding, not only not holding it against her, but agreeing to go through the L-Corp database to find anything that might help locate the missing aliens. Lena also suggests that, if Snapper won’t help get the word out, Kara should do it herself via a blog.

The traffic stop into alien abduction (except reverse of the way the term usually works) bit gets stopped this time when Alex and Maggie ambush the Cadmus thugs. How they managed to find them when the entire DEO couldn’t, I’m not sure. Alex manages to hack the van’s GPS and get the location of the Cadmus base. Showing further brilliant judgement, Alex goes in alone, and Maggie lets her. While this bit of tactical excellence goes on, Lena finds a clue in her records, but we also learn that there’s a traitor in Lena’s offices. Then, predictably, Alex gets captured at the base.

Jeremiah tries to explain what’s going on to Alex. He says the aliens will be deported to Takron-Galtos. In the Legion of Super Heroes era, Takron-Galtos is a prison planet, holding some of the deadliest criminals in known space. Alex points out the aliens on Earth are mostly here as refugees, trying to build better lives, and sending them randomly to a different place that’s not even their home isn’t going to help them. Jeremiah counters that it’s better than just killing them all, which was Lilian’s plan initially. Gee, all this sounds familiar in a sorta, how shall I say it, Presidential way? Jeremiah also says he’s working for them because Lilian threatened to kill Alex and Kara if he didn’t.

Mon-El makes a Ricky Ricardo style entrance to Kara’s apartment, and finds her wresting with publishing her blog. He says if she thinks it’s the right thing to do, than she should do it, since she’s the most moral person he knows. Just after she publishes it, Lena calls to say she has found the base, and then gets attacked in her office as Kara listens in.

Lena fights her attackers and then gets thrown off her balcony, which is, of course, a cue for the last minute rescue by Supergirl. After a lame secret identity cover on Supergirl’s part, Lena tells her where the aliens are. The mole in Lena’s office is not addressed that we see.

Lilian announces that the launch is being pushed up since Kara Danvers published her blog that has somehow gone viral and is alarming the remaining aliens. Alex appeals to her father, and Jeremiah switches sides once again. Alex races to the ship while Jeremiah gets his ass kicked by Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg Superman. Which I guess means the Cyborg Superman is stronger than J’Onn, since Jeremiah beat J’Onn down last episode.

Alex finds Lyra and frees her, telling her to get the aliens on board out. Alex then races to the bridge, where reality sets in as she realizes she has no idea how to fly, or stop, the ship. As the DEO goes into high alert, Alex finally calls in. You’d think this would be J’Onn’s hint to go there, since he knows more about ships than probably anyone else at the DEO, but he just looks worried in the monitor room. Supergirl arrives and starts trying to shove the ship back. Finally, after a lot of tension, she wins, looking utterly exhausted.

The news covers Cadmus’ plot and calls it a terrorist strike, which I’m sure will annoy Lilian Luthor. Kara goes to work and gets fired, which she deserved. Alex talks to J’Onn, who apologizes and reinstates her, and in my opinion, she deserved neither. Loyalty tests happen in some government jobs, and you don’t apologize to the person who failed them. Maggie and Alex get a cute couple moment at the end.

Kara mopes at home, staring out at the rain in melodramatic fashion. Mon-El arrives and does his best to comfort her. I hope the DEO is paying Supergirl, as I’m not sure how she’s going to be affording that apartment otherwise. I also wonder if Kara being fired will give us a Cat Grant cameo soon, checking in on her protégé. The show ends with more aliens in orbit, commenting on the yellow sun changing them. I think someone’s family found them, and I don’t think it’s Kara’s.

What I liked: J’Onn was absolutely right to test Alex. Kara did her best to follow her instincts, and didn’t get the Hollywood ending out of it that Alex did, which was realistic. It was nice to see Guardian back, however briefly. Winn and Lyra were amusing together. I like that Mon-El is taking their relationship seriously and doing his best to be there for her. It’s nice seeing a good Luthor for a change, and Lena did ok in her fight. Alex not knowing how to fly the ship was a nice touch.

What I didn’t: Oh so much. Alex is whining way too much about the mess with Jeremiah. Speaking of, did he get away? Is he still with Cadmus? What about the mole in Lena’s office? How did Kara’s story, on a new blog that no one heard of, go viral that quickly? Why was J’Onn hanging around the office instead of helping? I can’t believe J’Onn both apologized to and reinstated Alex.

This was a very uneven episode. I’ll go 2.5 out of 5 for this. The series seems to be in decline. I hope that stops soon.

Supergirl: Homecoming

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This cheery moment brought to you by…

After the insanity last episode with Mr. Mxyzptlk, things start off on a better note. It’s the morning after for Kara and Mon-El, and Mon wakes up in bed alone. He wanders through the apartment bemused as he sees that Supergirl has been busy, foiling several crimes. She flies in through the window, bearing flowers and coffee. They have a few amusing new couple moments before Kara insists they go in to work at the DEO. She also requests they keep their relationship a secret.

That lasts about 10 seconds until Mon-El makes a big booming announcement that they are together. This produces aggravation and eye-rolls from Kara, J’Onn, and Alex. Alex and J’Onn tell the happy couple they will have to go to HR and attend a sexual harassment seminar since they’re coworkers. Kara’s surprised they have an HR. Me, I’m surprised Mon-El’s an official employee. I guess that’s how he supplements his meager bartender pay.

This tension gets broken by Winn exclaiming, “Holy Cadmus Cream Eggs!” which makes me wonder if he’s understudying to be Robin. Cadmus is on the move, a convoy leaving one of their suspected weapons warehouses. With the talent and powers available to the DEO, I have no idea why it’s a “suspected” anything. If nothing else, J’Onn should be able to phase in and check the place out if they have doubts about it. But, Supergirl and J’Onn fly off to intercept the convoy, which is several SUV’s and a trailer that Supergirl can’t see into. Supergirl disconnects the trailer from the semi cab, while J’Onn does some weird thing that’s not quite clear, landing on the road in front of the lead SUV and causing all three of them to flip over. Inside the trailer, they find… Jeremiah Danvers, the long missing father of Alex and Kara, giving us the title, “Homecoming.”

Jeremiah is returned to the DEO and there’s a wave of elation from everyone… accept Mon-El. Apparently the only one with a fully functional brain, Mon-El observes that they’ve been looking for Jeremiah for 14 years (or 15, the number keeps changing throughout the episode), and it’s suspicious that he suddenly turns up, also bringing word of a dangerous bomb that no one else has gotten word of. Mon-El points out that they only get word on Cadmus activities if they do one of their creepy press releases or if they get caught red-handed. When Kara protests they did catch them red-handed, Mon-El counters, amusingly, that they were waving their red hands in the air like they just didn’t care. That was possibly the best line of the episode. The bomb Cadmus has is supposedly powered by the energies Cadmus collected from Supergirl’s heat vision when she was their prisoner.

After a scene of Hank Henshaw (the real one) and Lilian Luthor prepping what is probably the bomb, things get tense at the DEO. Or more tense, I guess. Winn is understandably nervous about the bomb threat, and does a plot recap that seems like it would be more for the beginning of the second episode rather than the midst of this one. Mon-El remains suspicious, and everyone is mad at him for it. Even the professional agents, whose job it is to be suspicious. Jeremiah, in addition to being beaten, has some kind of damage to his right hand and arm, supposedly as punishment for helping Supergirl and Mon-El escape a while back.

Things go much worse at a family dinner that night. All the Danvers are there, plus Maggie, who brought tequila, J’Onn, and Mon-El. Mon continues to be suspicious, and Alex looks ready to punch him out. Kara drags him off to another room, argues with him, and tells him to leave. Jeremiah escorts him out, dropping a hint about blackmail when they are alone. Clearly, there’s nothing strange here.

At the alien bar (no, I’m not going to stop pointing out it has no name until they fix that), Mon meets up with Winn. Mon rehashes his case against Jeremiah, and says they should at least keep their guard up. Winn actually agrees, and then runs into his new lady, Lyra. They’re very affectionate, and Mon is impressed. Winn asks that, as payback for his help, Mon-El be good to Kara. I thought that was kind of touching, and something a good friend would do.

The next day, Jeremiah is back at the DEO, which is what everyone seems to want except for Mon-El. Jeremiah gets a tour of the facility from J’Onn, and they talk about old times. However, when J’Onn gets called away, Jeremiah doesn’t go the medlab, like he was told. He goes into the computer room and starts hacking. Winn sees him do this, but when he and Mon-El bring their concerns to Kara, her major reaction is being annoyed they were spying on Jeremiah.

Fortunately, she gets her head on straight and the three of them go to everyone else. Jeremiah comes up with an excuse for looking at the files, ignoring that he didn’t go where J’Onn told him to. Everyone else ignores this, too, and Alex turns her fury on the three of them. She later hisses at Kara that she’s either part of the family or she’s not. That’s uncalled for and both personal and professional levels. This is probably Alex’s worst episode of the series.

Mon and Winn meet up at the bar again. Lyra is teaching Winn darts, which he’s fairly hopeless at, just like he was at pool a while back. Mon and Winn discuss Mon’s relationship with Kara, and Winn actually gives some really good advice. This gets broken up when they get an alert that their detector is picking up what should be the Cadmus bomb.

Acting on this information, the DEO sends out the troops, the huge strike team being led by Alex, Mon-El, and Supergirl. After proving how useful he is earlier J’Onn sits this one out for no apparent reason. The location isn’t so much a trap as a distraction, as the DEO find nothing, while Jeremiah uses the chaos to get back to the file room and steal some data. He also proves surprisingly adept at fighting, not just agents, but J’Onn himself. Jeremiah went through some changes while he was Cadmus. And apparently, not until it’s too late did it occur to the usual paranoid head of the DEO to use his telepathy on Jeremiah. Not one of J’Onn’s better episodes, either. Just for good measure, Jeremiah beats up Winn on the way out.

The team meets up in the medbay (you know, the place Jeremiah was supposed to go and never did, arousing no suspicion at all), where J’Onn and Winn are getting patched up. Even Alex has to admit there’s something wrong now. Winn earns his pay by saying he managed to slip a tracker on Jeremiah.

For reasons that I hope make sense to someone, because they don’t to me, Supergirl and Alex go after Cadmus alone. I get they’re upset about Jeremiah, but so is everyone else. Even if J’Onn is too hurt to come along, which it didn’t look like, they bring no agents or Mon-El? Lilian has yet another “distract the heroes by endangering civilians” getaway planned, taking Supergirl out of the fight. Alex has a showdown with Jeremiah, where he claims he’s doing this all for her. Either Cadmus got some leverage on him or he’s become a true believer while in captivity. Alex completes her episode of the highest professional standards by letting him go.

Winn checks on his friends before going down to the computer lab to see what Jeremiah was up to. Me, if I’d been slammed into the ceiling by a crazed scientist with a cyborg arm, I’d take a sick day. Supergirl is worried about what all this will mean. Alex goes off to talk to their mom, who has been floating around the edges of the episode but not contributing much.

The wrap up scenes are all a bit odd. Alex sobs at her place, and Maggie walks in, because apparently the highly trained DEO agent doesn’t lock her door. Maggie doesn’t know about any of this, and tries to comfort Alex as best she can from a place of ignorance. Mon goes to see Kara, who also doesn’t lock her door, and offers her a shoulder to lean on. It’s actually a sweet scene. Winn figures out that Jeremiah stole their alien registry (I wonder if the President is on it?). Lilian gloats that soon the Earth will be free. Anyone notice that the anti-alien bigotry that gets thrown around this show seems to focus on the Kryptonians as a whole, and almost never on J’Onn?

What I liked: This might be Mon-El’s best episode. He was smart, and stood his ground in the face of overwhelming odds against his friends. That’s not easy to do. He was also supportive of Kara at the end. And, far as I can tell, Mon didn’t administer a well-deserved round of “I told you so”s. Winn did well, too. Lilian knows how the heroes tick and her distractions make a lot of sense.

What I didn’t: Almost everything I didn’t mention in What I liked. The fight with the convoy made little sense. Everyone ignoring Mon-El’s questions was unlike both Alex and J’Onn at the least. J’Onn showed major lapses in judgement here, as did Alex. One cyborg arm makes Jeremiah, a scientist, a match for the combat veteran J’Onn? No one picked up on the arm when he was examined? Alex and Supergirl go off after Cadmus alone? No one locking their doors at the end was probably just for staging purposes, but it was stupid. I guess James was off doing his job again.

I think this was the worst individual episode of the series so far. I’m giving it a low 2 out of 5. I hope they get better next time around.

Supergirl: Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk

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A never welcome guest in the Superman universe…

Supergirl gets a visit from one of Superman’s more powerful and most annoying foes in “Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk.” Like several other classic Superman foes in this series, this seems to be the first appearance of the character in this world, since Supergirl is completely unfamiliar with him. Their best font of Superman knowledge, Jimmy Olsen, doesn’t show up this time around to confirm that. Maybe he’s actually doing his real job, unlike a certain blonde heroine who I’m unclear about how she manages to stay employed.

Last episode ended with Mxyzptlk popping in to ruin Kara and Mon-El’s romantic moment. Using his powers to fill Kara’s apartment with various romantic cliches, Mxyzptlk proposes to Kara. Mon-El’s objections are dealt with a non-harmful but humiliating way. When Kara refuses, politely of course, he goes on about watching her across the dimensions (which sounds really creepy to me) and rattles off the things he can’t do, a bit like the Aladdin/Genie scene in the cartoon. Mxyzptlk can’t make her fall in love, kill herself, stop her killing herself, or drink orange juice. That bit of randomness harkens back to a throwaway line from the one season show Journeyman. Mxyzptlk decides she’s playing hard to get and says he’ll win her over. He vanishes, restoring her apartment to normal.

Back at the DEO, J’Onn says he’s familiar with imps like Mxyzptlk. Mon-El offers that they were banned from Daxam, and Daxamites just killed them. I find it a bit odd these imps pop up on Mars and Daxam, but not Daxam’s sister world Krypton. While Winn goes through the archives looking for references to, and solutions for, critters like Mxyzptlk, J’Onn sends a Valentines message to M’Ggan on Mars. Mon-El asks if he and Kara are supposed to do something for Valentines, and she very practically suggests dealing with Mxyzptlk first. In other Valentines hijinks, Alex and Maggie have a scene where Alex gets a card from her mom and Maggie declares her hatred of Valentines Day. I’m not a big fan of it, I admit, but wow Maggie has issues with that holiday.

Winn goes to the alien bar (Cheers parody- Where Nobody Knows Its Name) to drown his sorrows about being alone on Valentines. Instead, he gets slammed into by a wildly making out couple, then two alien thugs pick a fight with him. Enter Lyra, an attractive alien who kicks the bullies’ asses. She and Winn talk, and she mentions she’s from Starhaven. Winn quotes the one book he knows from that world, which turns out to be a favorite of hers, and she asks him out.

Comic geek aside, feel free to skip this. In the Legion of Super Heroes title, Starhaven is the homeworld of the heroine Dawnstar. The world is described as a planet of relocated American Indians who were experimented on and, most notably, all grew wings. Lyra looks nothing like an Indian, and certainly doesn’t have wings. If they’re going to use the names of established places in the DCU, is it that hard to get them right?

What should be a simple robbery goes horribly strangely for Supergirl. Mxyzptlk pops up and almost kills the robbers in a scene reminiscent of some of Magento’s stunts in the X-Men movies, and Mxyzptlk even says he saw it in a movie. Unofficial crossover?

At the DEO, Winn makes the connections between imps like Mxyzptlk and things like genies and leprechauns. Mon says that on Daxam, they just crushed imps. Since Daxamites have no powers on their homeworld, and imps presumably do, I’m not sure how that worked. J’Onn talks about looking for artefacts that might either send Mxyzptlk home or suppress his powers. In the background, Winn gets a text from Lyra and looks unsure about meeting her that night.

Kara goes home and finds her apartment full of roses, to her exasperation. Alex is with her, and asks for advice about the Valentines situation with Maggie. Kara gives what I think is a decent suggestion, and Alex wonders if some of Mon’s attitude about Mxyzptlk is jealousy, which Kara dismisses. Their sisterly chat gets interrupted by crashes from the street.

Outside, Parasite has suddenly turned up and is on a rampage. Supergirl springs into action and then things get complicated. First Mon-El shows up to help, and then Mxyzptlk arrives dressed in a variation of Superman’s costume. Mon-El does horribly badly against Parasite, which leads to Mxyzptlk mocking him even more. The annoying imp also recognizes Mon as a Daxamite. In turn, Mon-El reveals that he knows how to send Mxyzptlk home: trick him into saying his name backwards. Kara does her best to defuse the situation, and Mxyzptlk essentially announces he’s going to act like a terrorist until she says, “I do.”

Back at the DEO yet again (They must have great coffee there or something, the characters keep showing up there even when there’s no real good reason to), Kara and Mon-El have a very loud argument ranging from how he’s acting, the best way to handle Mxyzptlk, and general character faults on both sides. The highlight of the argument was Mon stopping in mid-rant to offer a casual, “Hi, Denise,” to a passing agent. Kara finally says she thinks the two of them being together was a mistake.

Mon-El goes to see Winn, which historically has never gone well for either of them. Winn asks for advice about girls, which seems like a conversation that would make more sense with his friend James, but like I said, Olsen has the episode off. Winn babbles about the strange things he’s found in the DEO storage archives, and Mon-El steals an amulet that Winn thought showed some promise for handling their Mxyzptlk problem.

Alex attempts to follow Kara’s advice with Maggie and things go horribly. What should be a nice romantic scene turns more into a tragedy. Maggie angrily spills some of her back story (that she lied about) before storming off. I have to say, Maggie is acting like a jerk here, and leaves Alex crushed behind her.  Winn’s date with Lyra goes much better than that, which really isn’t that hard. Supergirl tries to work out how to say Mxyzptlk’s name backwards, which is amusing, and then she and J’Onn realize the amulet is gone.

Mon-El stalks down an alley that looks a lot like the one behind Nameless Bar, calling Mxyzptlk out. Mxyzptlk responds and they agree to a duel. Mxyzptlk shows he follows either American History or musicals as they both end up dressed like characters in Hamilton. The duel goes badly when Mxyzptlk cheats (color me shocked). Supergirl shows up, breaks it up, and agrees to marry the annoying imp tomorrow at noon at the Fortress of Solitude.

After an emotional Kara/Mon-El scene at her apartment (where does Mon-El live, anyway? I think the only homes we’ve seen have been Kara’s and Alex’s), Kara crosses paths with Maggie back at the DEO yet again (I’m telling you, it’s the coffee). Kara gently points out that Maggie handled things with Alex really badly. It’s a polite telling off, but there is definitely an element of, “Stop being a bitch to my sister” between the lines, which I applaud Kara for.

High Noon at the Fortress of Solitude. Mxyzptlk shows up, all excited. Supergirl is there in costume, drinking what I presume is orange juice, harkening back to Mxyzptlk’s earlier exposition about his limitations. She says she won’t marry him, and then fights some animated statues Mxyzptlk sics on her. Supergirl sets the Fortress to self destruct, claiming the blast will be strong enough to kill her and get Mxyzptlk to leave Earth in peace. Mxyzptlk gets frantic about this, and pleads with her for the cancel code. She finally has him type it in, which of course is his name backwards. She is triumphant and he goes home, which is how most Mxyzptlk stories go. Somehow, the Fortress is even restored from the earlier fight as he vanishes.

Winn takes Lyra out for dinner. She looks great in a red dress, but I really wonder about this being a good idea. Not about humans and aliens, date who you want, I’m fine with that. But Winn supposedly works for a top secret organization. Appearing on public with someone who is definitely not human doesn’t seem like the best way to keep a secret. This is the same problem that used to happen in the New Teen Titans book with the Nightwing/Starfire romance.

Alex and Maggie patch things up when Maggie makes a really big, movie-level romantic gesture. Mon-El and Kara also clear the air about their earlier argument. Mon is actually humble and apologetic, which is a big step for him. They end up making out on the couch. Happy Valentines Day to all, and to all a good night, or something like that.

What I liked: While it was a tiny bit overdone, I liked the Alex/Maggie subplot. I particularly liked Kara standing up for her sister. It was nice to see something go well for Winn on the personal front finally. I don’t much care for Mxyzptlk in general, but he was done reasonably well here. Kara was clever in getting rid of Mxyzptlk.

What I didn’t: A while back, Winn was supposed to be making a suit for Mon-El’s super hero career. So far, he’s just running around in what looks like a DEO jumpsuit. Did they forget about that? As I mentioned above, and at the risk of being “that guy,” the Starhaven thing annoyed me. And once again, the vastly powerful Martian Manhunter does absolutely nothing that any normal human couldn’t have done. Shouldn’t he at least be following up on Lillian Luthor running around loose with the Cyborg Superman, based on the man whose life he kinda stole?

It was an amusing episode. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5, and be quite happy if Mxyzptlk doesn’t show up again. Although if they stick to a holiday theme with him, he could make for a really interesting Easter Egg hunt…

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