Supergirl: 4.20 Will the Real Miss Tessmacher Please Stand Up?
Last week’s episode sees the continuation of Kara and Lena investigating as the two head to Kaznia on the hunt for Lex Luthor.
I’ve really been enjoying the Kara/Lena investigates stuff; its something that the show ahs been missing for a while. Not just our hero doing some investigating but the someone who doesn’t know her secret dynamic has been fun to have back in the mix. There is something iconic about the secret identity trope and it creates some really engaging and satisfying scenes and sequences when the show leans into it. After discovering some evidence that might give her secret away to Lena this week, we see Kara sneaking back to destroy it and its little moments like this that remind you how closely a secret identity needs to be guarded.
The main story revolves around Lena and Kara finding Miss Tessmacher at the now deserted secret base where Lex was keeping Red Daughter. Its very clear from the get go that there is something weird about Eve (maybe a robot or clone?) and its so obvious that its actually a little frustrating that it takes our supposedly intelligent leads so long to figure it out.
Our B story this week is an odd one that doesn’t really sit right. Alex gets a phone call telling her she needs to travel across state because a teenager is about to give birth and wants her to adopt the baby. So she heads off with Jimmy’s random sister, Kelly, who she happened to be with at the time and checks into a motel and waits for the baby to be born. It’s a rushed, illogical moment that keeps trying to forgive itself by referencing how sudden it all is but Alex saying I haven’t through abut this for months, it’s very unusual to happen so quickly doesn’t hide the fact that the show hasn’t thought about this for months and it is unrealistic that she should get a call asking her to head to a hospital and wait for a baby to be born.
Alex spends the whole episode stressing and worrying if it’s the right choice still and if she will be able to be a mother. Chyler Leigh is great and delivers her performance with commitment and emotion but when she gets another call telling her the mother is keeping the baby instead (Oh, yes, I was told that happens sometimes, she says) it just shows up the whole narrative as cheap. It genuinely feels as though the writers suddenly remembered that Alex wanting to adopt was a thing and rushed through an entire season arc in one episode B storyline.
If Alex had been introduced to a teen mother-to-be a few episodes back, forged a relationship with her, come to understand why she was giving up her baby and THEN had the grandparents turn up and change the teen’s mind after the birth, that would have afforded the show and the characters a stronger, emotional arc as well as giving the opportunity to address issues around teen pregnancy within the show. Unfortunately, its all rater empty and lazy and serves mostly as an opportunity to create some quick emotional bonding between Alex and Jimmy’s grumpy sister.
We also see Lockwood gong full villain, breaking in to Lena’s lab and injecting himself with her untreated Harun-El treatment, giving himself super powers. This leads to a nice scene where he takes a DEO strike team and orders them to open fire on Jimmy and Dreamer. Brainy steps in the line of fire and convinces the DEO soldiers to follow their own conscience and stand down. Brainy has really grown on me a lot. I don’t think this show is very good at introducing new characters; they try to make us care to much too soon about them but now he’s been here a while, I feel Brainy is nicely integrated.
Towards the ends of the episode, Kara decides to tell Lena the truth about her identity. This feels quite organic as they’ve been sending a lot of time together. Kara has had a few close calls with keeping things under her hat, so it feels appropriate that she would think about fessing up. Slightly predictably, just as Kara is taking off her glasses and putting her hands on her hips, Lena turns her back and give a speech about how much Eve Tessmacher betrayed her by pretending to be her friend and colleague whilst living a double life. Its all rather on the nose and I couldn’t help feeling that it actually afforded Kara the perfect opportunity to confess but she backs down. Surely Lena, is an intelligent woman who would and could understand the many, many reasons why someone would keep such a thing secret? It was a nice scene but doesn’t come anywhere near that beautiful post flight moment in Superman: The Movie.
At the end of the episode, Kara heads off to the president to tell him all the evidence she’s found to show that Lex is planning on attacking the US. This is a stupid scene. Its ridiculous that Kara would go to the president first with her information and its even more ridiculous that he would just let her into the oval office for a chat. They nominally imply its because Cat Grant’s name hold so much cred you can just get a face to face with the president late at night by turning up? As we know, the President is a badguy and he black bags Kara (his office has Kryptonite after the fake-Supergirl attack). It annoyed me that Kara would do something as stupid as this, especially since everyone has been thinking the president was shady for a while now.
Another mixed episode with some nice moments but the Alex storyline is so forced and lazy it drags down all the fun Kara/Lena duo stuff.