Since Jeremiah (guest star Dean Cain) made off with the DEO’s alien registry on Supergirl last week, Cadmus has been abducting aliens who are on it for unknown but clearly nefarious purposes. Kara (Melissa Benoist) decides to put her journalism to good use and inform the public so they can protect themselves, but her boss Snapper Carr (guest star Ian Gomez) is having none of it… Unless he can talk to Supergirl herself.
Over at everyone’s favorite dive bar, Alex (Chyler Leigh) is tortured by thoughts of her father – but as least she has Maggie (Floriana Lima) helping her try to understand why he betrayed the DEO and hurt so many people. And James (Mehcad Brooks) actually gets to be in Supergirl this episode, enjoying his friend Winn’s (Jeremy Jordan) newfound bliss with the lovely alien Lyra (guest star Tamzin Merchant). The relative calm soon becomes a storm when Cadmus agents barge in ready to drag away some alien citizens, including Lyra.
The attack on the bar was an incredibly well-done scene, and one of the highlights of the episode. Every beat was perfectly played, from Lyra’s fear to Winn’s helpless desperation to save her. James, Alex, and Maggie all got to do their part to fight back even though they ultimately failed. Watching Alex violently take her frustration out on the Cadmus soldier they captured was both disconcerting and powerful, because Chyler always sells the material she’s given. The undercurrent of guilt she feels at having let her father go in the previous episode is keenly felt here, without her having to say the words.
After her last encounter with Jeremiah it’s hard to believe that Alex would once again trust her father in the face of such flimsy evidence. Regardless, it’s still heartbreaking when it turns out to just be J’onn (David Harewood) testing her. A test she understandably failed, leading to her suspension. If I have any qualm with Supergirl this week, it’s how little Alex seems to register that she committed the equivalent of police brutality. Her love for her father and need to protect him are sweet, but she went way too far and trying to keep her father safe does not negate how she’s jeopardizing the DEO. Especially not when in reality, Jeremiah is about to forcibly deport the abducted aliens on Cadmus’ orders.
Alex’s confrontation with Jeremiah was exactly the right bookend for their story last episode, revealing more of his cold calculations and how far he’s willing to go to protect his family – even if it’s not what they want. The fact that she is able to help him see reason makes up for her pain over the last two episodes and leads to one of the most thrilling rescues in Supergirl to date. The DEO pulls together to help Alex when she needs it, even if she’s once again not following protocol – a reminder that at the end of the day they are a family. The Danvers sisters drive that very point home as Kara lands the spaceship and brings the aliens back home thanks to Alex’s words of encouragement.
Kara’s side of the story finally delves into her job at CatCo for more than a few minutes, which is a breath of fresh air. While it’s bordering on ludicrous that Snapper can’t tell when Kara is simply switching outfits back and forth, she does need to learn about the realities of reporting and Snapper seems like the only one who can teach her. Instead of listening to him and making L-Corp the second source for an article, though, she follows Lena’s (guest star Katie McGrath), advice of making a blog post instead. Even if Kara’s choice was misguided, it was worth it because it led to her saving Lena from her mother’s goons. More Supercorp is never a bad thing! Of course, it also led to Kara being fired. But I’m sure the show will deal with that soon enough. Plus, Snapper Carr dropped a line about a fascist being elected to the White House. Clever, show.
Clearly the theme of Supergirl this week is the Danvers sisters taking matters into their own hands instead of acting within the lines of their institutions. And it’s delicious to watch, make no mistake, but it’s also a mark of this episode’s quality that both women have to face consequences for their actions and get the chance to make things right. Their hearts may be in the right place, but their methods lack finesse. Aside from a unifying theme that makes the episode one of the best this season, there was also a distinct lack of Mon-El. Coincidence? We’ll find out next week!