Supergirl: 2.19 Alex
Despite a promising start, this week’s episode never quite lives up to its potential and was something of a disappointment for me.
After Supergirl busts through a ceiling to apprehend a couple of hostage takers, who Maggie had been negotiating with for 17 hours, Maggie is left annoyed at Supergirl for trumping the police force and simply charging into a situation, causing property damage and injury to the criminals which is, we learn, leading to criminals using Supergirl's intervention as a factor to help them get reduced sentences. This is an interesting angle to take, to questioning Supergirl's actions and place in society especially in relation to law enforcement and due process. Where this idea falls down is, surly with Superman having been around several years (and possibly Batman, too!) the issue of using a super’s intervention as a defense must have come up before?
After a tense family meal where Maggie can't contain her anger towards Supergirl (she's keen to stress to Alex, not Kara but her alter ego) Alex follows Kara, who storms off, and promptly gets kidnapped. Having seen everything Alex is capable of, being drugged by some weirdo in a lift seems a little underwhelming but we'll let it slide for Plot.
What follows is a cat and mouse chase with an ex-schoolmate of Alex and Kara's, who, after figuring out who Supergirl is, kidnaps Alex in order to bribe Supergirl into breaking his father out of prison. This seems a very complicated and excessive plan and all leads to lots of arguments between Kara and Maggie over the best way to proceed in high stakes situations. What could be interesting in the storyline is tainted by the fact both Maggie and Kara feel like they're being childish. As much as I love Melissa Benoist as Supergirl, sometimes Kara's adorkableness wears a bit thin and season two has been lousy with examples of Kara acting spoilt.
The villain, his plight and his plan are instantly forgettable and didn't engage me. I don't enjoy seeing Alex damselled and the chase to track her down didn't quite grab me. The twist of Maggie finally being the one who breaks and goes against the law to try and rescue Alex was a little predictable and as such, lacked punch, especially with Kara, having done a flip of opinion, lecturing her about it. Also, as a huge fan of Chyler Leigh in this show, an episode named after her character that hardly features her feels like a total swizz!
We get to spend a little time with Lena and Mom-El, who has turned up to try and trick Lena into building an intergalactic transport gate so she can do something evil. Yet again, Lena looks to be the unwitting pawn in a villain's schemes. If Lena turns bad in the season finale I'll be really annoyed. An appearance from Lex would be fun though...
I always enjoy Supergirl but this is one of the least satisfying episodes. While the character work between Maggie and Kara is solid enough, the two of them switching views and learning their lessons, I felt the opportunity offered up to explore the ideas behind Supergirl's place in the policing of a city were wasted as the story became almost too personal. It was about convincing Maggie that Supergirl was a force for good, rather than the whole legal system. Although, at the end of the episode the criminals are still, it would seem, using Supergirl's intervention as a loophole to get off?
I'd be tempted to say this has been the least I've enjoyed an episode of Supergirl since the one about Winn's father in season 1... But I still enjoyed it more than an episode of Arrow.