Supergirl: 2.15 Exodus
This has been my favourite episode of Supergirl for quite a while. This weeks episode is exciting, progresses the main plot arc as well as the individual characters and is just plain badass.
An opening scene in the bloody alien bar kicks off when Cadmus mercenaries burst in and snatch all the aliens they can grab - including Winn's girlfriend, who I was pleased to see was pretty badass and defended herself. But even with Alex's help the Cadmus baddies managed to get away - I didn't like seeing Jaaaaames in his hockey gear helping out Alex. Alex can look after herself Jaaaaaaaaaames! They do capture a Cadmus mercenary and take him back to the DEO for questioning. With Dean Cain now on the DEOs most wanted list, Alex is proving more and more unstable and ends up beating up the captured mercenary. This leads J'onn to pulling a pretty mean trick where he comes to Alex disguised as Dean Cain and tests her loyalty to the DEO (which she fails). This was a pretty dick move from J'onn but He was right and Kara agrees with him.
This is one of those episodes where Kara takes a bit of a back seat, allowing Alex to take the forefront. I really think Chyler Leigh is this shows secret weapon. Melissa Benoist is clearly talented and charming, with the show pinned on her, David Harewood is the proverbial class act but Chyler Leigh brings a huge amount of depth to Alex and I find watching her always compelling, whether it's falling in love or having her heart broken, hers may be my favourite overall performance in the show.
So the team discovers that Cadmus are kidnapping registered aliens and no one quite knows why. Kara fights with Perry-Lite, as she wants to run a story about it and he doesn't. This leads to a pretty unconvincing scene where Kara sets up an interview for Snapper with Supergirl. Not only does this lack any of the excitement or importance of the old Cat/Supergirl/Kara scenes but Supergirl, when chatting with Snapper, shows herself to have a level of media savvy that Kara doesn't quite seem to share.
Kara spends the episode mulling over whether she should publish her story, which she believes will save lives and prevent more registered aliens being kidnapped, on a blog, since Snapper refuses to publish it in the paper without credible sources. She eventually does, after following her consciences and the support of Mon-El, which leads to her getting fired by Snapper. This whole side story was a mess for me, none of it made any real sense; I thought CatCo was all about new, online digital media yet Snapper is editing an actual newspaper which everyone in the city reads? And isn’t Jimmy in charge, if ever there was a time for Jimmy to step up and override the editor this might have been it, since he knows the threat to registered aliens is real? Why is Snapper insisting on such concrete evidence and source names, surely if these aliens are registered the regular police would have some record of them going missing not just the DEO and Kara uncovering this pattern might warrant some level of coverage? More over, why did Kara publish her story in her own name? She must’ve known she’d get fired? There will be clause in her contract to cover this very thing, use a pseudonym or have Mon-El post it. It was a stupid thing for her to do and kind of highlighted for me the aria of duality that the show can’t quite get right for Kara/Supergirl. Kara, as Kara at work, can often be very stupid, the adorkable side of her becomes naïvely incompetent and it conflicts with how logical and intelligent she is as Supergirl.
This story culminates when Alex, with Maggie’s help, goes off grid and tracks down Cadmus and her father, Dean Cain – who is of course only helping the bad guys to protect his daughters who they threatened to kill, phew, knew Deano was a goodie – who have secured a massive spaceship that they are filling up with the captured aliens and plan to send on an autopilot course to the other side of the universe (Dean Cain’s idea as apparently Lillian Luthor wanted to just kill them all). The scene where Alex confronts Lillian and her Father just as they’re about to launch the ship and she finds out the truth is great, she pulls the old “I’ve planted bombs everywhere” bluff but them sets them all off, its another example of Alex just being baddass. Dean Cain for some reason has to stay behind to make sure the ship doesn’t kill people? I really don’t quite know why and considering he literally betrayed Lillian and tried to destroy Cadmus’ plans right in front of her it seems foolish to stick around with her?
The best moment this episodes and I’m almost tempted to say all season, is Supergirl stopping the ship. Alex find hers way to the cockpit to try and stop the ship from jumping to hyperspace and Supergirl has to stop it. This is a beautiful sequence which is gentle and powerful, the image of a massive ship pushing towards space and the tiny figure of Supergirl pushing back is more cinematic and more exciting than anything else they’ve done on the show, the use of music perfectly conveys how difficult the task is, along with the near silent screaming from Supergirl as they reach the upper atmosphere. More of this please Supergirl.
There’s much to like this week; an earlier scene of a family being kidnapped by Cadmus was brilliantly paced and constructed and it was nice to see the show take the time needed on what was a short but powerful scene. I think also the balance of character, plot, story, excitement and goofiness was as good as its ever been in a show that can wobble around under its own weight at times. Sure, it has the usual everything is resolved ending and even though Kara has been fired I doubt that will last long (though seriously, she is a terrible reporter). Jimmy was hardly in it, which is always good, Lena Luthor was in it which is also always good. The Dean Cain angle is still a bit messy but Alex is back at the DEO and everything is set and happy for next’s week’s episode. Which brings me to the slight elephant in the room; this episode features Teri Hatcher and Kevin Sorbo… except it doesn’t. Much has been made of the fact they’re coming to the show as Mon-El’s parents(?) and the opening credits of this episode proudly boast their names. But they’re not in it. Not really. They pop up in the closing scene stinger, the cliffhanger for next week, a cliffhanger that has no impact or surprise because the whole way through the episode you’re thinking >I wonder when Teri Hatcher and Kevin Sorbo will turn up? There appearance is robbed of any tension and I’m sure they only put the names at the start because they wanted to have the names come up Dean Cain – Teri Hatcher. Still, next weeks episode looks like it’ll be camp and fun!
I can’t not mention my favourite moment in this whole episode… In her explaining her plan to people who already know her plan scene, after talking about Nietzsche, Lillian Luthor puts a gentle hand on Dean Cain’s shoulder and says “You’re the only Superman we need”. Dean Cain has waited 20 years to hear those words and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bring a tear to my eye.