REVIEW: Supergirl, S2E18 – Ace Reporter

Rahul Kohli brought new life to tonight’s Supergirl, helping to elevate “Ace Reporter” to one of the show’s most entertaining episodes this season. Though Kara (Melissa Benoist) has been fired from CatCo, she hasn’t given up her passion for journalism and accompanies Lena (Katie McGrath) to a press conference for her ex-boyfriend Jack Spheer’s (guest star Kohli) new medical miracle. This naturally snowballs into a murder mystery that only Kara can solve – and a tragic showdown that only Supergirl can keep from becoming worse. Meanwhile Winn (Jeremy Jordan) wants Lyra (guest star Tamzin Merchant) to join him and James (Mehcad Brooks) on their Guardian adventures, but her overzealous attitude gets in the way.

Jack Spheer here to charm the pants off everyone.

The biggest story of the night revolves around Lena Luthor, once again planting the seeds for her to potentially turn “bad” later on while reinforcing her friendship with Kara in the present. But while the Supercorp scenes are emotionally fulfilling, the crux of the episode rests on Lena’s past relationship with Jack. McGrath and Kohli make the most of the backstory provided by the script, and their performances and chemistry sell the plot more than anything else. Jack could easily have come off as nothing but arrogant and smarmy, but Kohli played him with a disarming sincerity around Lena that helped leave viewers in real doubt as to his intentions with Betamax. The twist that his CFO Beth Breen was behind the murders and actually controlling him was delicious, even as it sealed Jack’s tragic fate. It’s not often that Supergirl manages to craft such a deft mystery or resolve it so well, and hopefully it’s a feat that can be oft repeated.

What are friends for if not to inadvertently get you your job back?

Kara’s journalism reappears in this episode, and it manages to have some uplifting moments even as it’s mostly there to further Lena’s plot. Kara still fumbles at the opening press conference, but manages to ask pressing enough questions to pin her as a truth-seeking reporter. Her quest to find the true killer even gives Mon-El (Chris Wood) the chance to show off his special brand of humor, and Snapper Carr (guest star Ian Gomez) the chance to dispense wise advice and snarky comments. The latter of those would be funnier to me if he wasn’t beyond rude to James, who is his boss. If Kara is supposed to learn to respect her boss and be guided by his teachings, why does Snapper not at least have to speak to James with respect?

The Guardian subplot is a fun departure from Supergirl‘s otherwise heavy storyline, as we all know that James and Winn make an excellent team. Lyra definitely spiced things up, but once again the show missed an opportunity to give James a little of the POV he very much deserves. Lyra and James’ burgeoning dynamic is almost entirely filtered through Winn, so that instead of seeing James confront Lyra about his concerns or even apologize to her and welcome her back, we get scenes of each of them with Winn and almost entirely bypass the two people who actually have the conflict. That being said, the final scene hinted at a lot of fun to come from the three of them interacting and I look forward to seeing it in future episodes.

Overall Supergirl delivered a very well-written and acted hour of television for its spring return. The biggest ‘flaw’ was the near-total lack of Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) and J’onn J’onzz (David Harewood), but at least the former of those will be remedied when Alex gets kidnapped next week and Maggie (Floriana Lima) has to save her.