Supergirl: 4.02 Fallout
Last week’s episode felt like a bit of shift towards the lighter, fun Supergirl though this episode is a little all over the place.
To be fair, this is very much a setting the board episode; in the fall out of last weeks revelation (to the world) that the President was an alien, America has now become a hotbed of xenophobic rhetoric. There has always been a through theme of anti-alien racism on Supergirl, tha last time is was tackled as a central plot point was with the Cadmus storyline which for me never quite got the traction needed to be anything more than mustache twiddling villains. This season already feels like we’re taking a more politically motivated approach and I’m all in favour of that.
While I still find Braniac a little annoying, I like the dynamic of him trying so hard to be liked, especially his reaching out to Alex and he is used really well this week. While ordering pizza to cheer up Alex from his usual pizza place, his L-Corp holographic emitter malfunctions – part of Mercy’s plan to try and expose aliens hiding in plane sight – and once the pizza owner sees his real face he turns on him. This leads to some very nice soul searching as Braniac and the show looks, just a little, at the sense of betrayal when someone you thought was a end shows their prejudices.
This scene also allows Nia to step up a little more. She has gone into the pizza place and interviews, flashing her CatCo credentials in order to deescalate the situation and protect Braniac. This leads to her having a chat with Jaaames where she tells him she’s transgender, a moment only spoiled by James’ rather cheesy delivery of ‘thank you for sharing your truth’. Corniness aside, hopefully we’ll get more of Nia that doesn’t involve her being adorably Kara-Season-1. This whole sequence is only undermined by the completely illogical fact that Nia had gone into the pizza place to ask if they did coffee?!? Having fallen asleep at her desk she rushes out to get coffee but why go into a random pizza place and ask if they serve coffee? There’s a Starbucks on every corner in every city in America, the CatCo building should have a coffee place in the foyer, or a cart parked outside? Either way, she brought Kara a coffee last week so must already know of a coffee place close enough? Okay, I may sound obsessed with coffee… but this was an inexcusably bad piece of writing to get the characters in the same place. And you were doing so well Supergirl.
I’ve always been a fan of Rhona Mitra and I’m enjoying her turn here as a full blown villain version of Mecy. Otis, I’m less keen on. The mysterious masked figure of Agent Liberty (popular in the Berlanti shows this season) is shown this week holding an anti alien rally for normal, everyday people which was nice to see. Its more interesting than just being a shadowy figure of doom.
There is a nice sequence also where Kara, Lena and Ms Tessmacher get trapped in L-Corp after a security shut down. Kara trying to use her powers discreetly to get them out of L Corp before Mercy could find and attack them was fun but I could have happily watched a longer sequence of this. It culminates in a cool one on one fight between Lena and Mercy.
There is a little side plot of a DEO soldier being turned by Mercy (so he would release her from jail) but it feels a little poorly seeded. We also see people get a little speechy this week, Jimbo gives a tedious speech to the CatCo staff and Supergirl gives one of her trademark TV speeches. The eipsode ends with a cliffhanger, the trigger of which, could be the narrative undoing of the story... but we'll see.
We see a lot of little movements this week shifting and setting up the story and new characters, the whole is maybe not as good as the sum of its parts but after a strong start to this season this was a solid episode of re-shuffling and I’m more optimistic for the rest of the season.