Supergirl: 4.18 Crime and Punishment
Supergirl and Lena team up to investigate Lex in tightly plotted episode that reels in the many plot strands after the past few episodes.
Supergirl is officially declared an enemy of the state by the dodgy President, along with martial law and a curfew being put in place. This makes things a little tricky for Supergirl, shown with a nicely shot scene of her trying to rescue a man from a car crash while being attacked by some mob rule vigilantes.
The main bulk of the episode takes place at Strykers island, where Lena and Supergirl have headed to investigate Lex’s time in prison. It was really good to see Supergirl doing some detective work and the show has been missing Supergirl/Kara with a sidekick working on a specific lead. With so many characters on the show, too often we get a team-up of convenience with two or three characters thrown together for convenience of the plot and while most of these characters have been established generally on the show, we’ve been missing a strong Lois and Clark style relationship. I’d very much like to see more of Supergirl and Lena (or Kara and Lena) going on adventures together.
Thanks to the Warden Lex bribed, Supergirl and Lena are able to blackmail themselves some free time in Lex’s cell, where Lena has to go through all Lex’s diaries. It allows Lena some time to reflect on her upbringing and we get a little bit of insight into her and lex’s relationship. He’s shown as having been cruel from an early age (keeping a list of her mistakes since she was a toddler) as well as a few flashes of kindness he showed her.
Lex turning up on the show has allowed Lena’s goodie credentials to be cemented, I always found the slight undercurrent of is she isn’t she a bit obvious but having her portrayed as a good person fighting against her family instinct to be clandestine. Lex has allowed for further exploration of her character in a satisfying way.
We see Jaaaaames this week dealing with the fall out of his attack. The show decides to take a route of PTSD which is an interesting and pertinent subject to tackle, I do find it less interesting because Jimbo is still quite a toxic character and it feels like they show keeps throwing plot lines at him willy-nilly to try and make him relevant.
I do, however, like the idea that Lex returning (let alone having him shot) would be what triggers his PTSD, over the years Jimmy Olson has endured a lot at the hands of Lex Luthor. Ultimatly the episode ends by suggesting that the extreme PTSD has some connection to the cure Lena created which robs the subject of its importance a little; its not regular PTSD for our James, its Super Strength Space Science PTSD.
Alex gets a rather dull side story, yet again going up against Col. Haley. This time, Lockwood has turned up at the DEO and demanded that Haley turn over any weapons to combat Supergirl and to summon her at his command. He can do this because the President is… crazy I guess. Haley has about a day to comply and intends to because she’s a stickler for order, giving Alex enough time to brood about how to change her mind. This involves another awkward scene with James’ sister; the show really wants you to want them to get together but Jimbo’s sister isn’t very likable and I don’t bring any good will with me from Jimmy’s character, so I say steer clear Alex. Of course Haley does the right thing and, while following orders to hand over the weapons, uses the Supergirl summoning watch to warn Supergirl to stay away. Haley has been a schizophrenic character, the friend or foe angle could have been interesting but its lacked any depth with her simply bending and changing depending what the story needed from her. This latest development kind of put her on our side while loyal to her country and duty and I hope they can leave it at that for now.
By episode end Supergirl has fought Metallo powered Otis (MatallOtis?) who Lex sent to the prison to cause an riot and stop his sister. This gives us some genuinely fun prison based fight stuff, including Supergirl reverting to Kara disguise to avoid detection and then befriend Lex’s cell neighbour, a Julian Assange-a-like who confides Lex’s secrets to Kara’s because he’s a fan of her CatCo blog. This does lead to Supergirl realising she should lay low and do a bit more journalism. I like Kara sneaking around, digging up stories as part of her adventure and welcome the idea of the show embracing that for a while, give the Girl in Blue a rest for a bit.
This was a nicely structured episode that used its characters and multi story threads better than some this season and it actually felt like it pushed the characters and the story forward.