REVIEW: Supergirl, S2E21 – Resist

Supergirl‘s penultimate episode tries to pull disparate pieces from the season to make a cohesive whole, and for the most part it succeeds. Rhea (guest star Teri Hatcher) is the biggest threat to the planet, having invaded it with her army of Daxamites. But Lillian Luthor (guest star Brenda Strong) and President Olivia Marsdin (guest star Lynda Carter) also come back the forefront, having previously appeared as potential antagonists but now banding together to stop a bigger threat. President Marsdin turns out to be an Earth-loving alien who doesn’t want her new home to repeat past planets’ mistakes, while Lillian remains a future enemy but is willing to lay down arms for the moment. And we mustn’t forget the triumphant return of Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), who can’t let the biggest story of the century take place without her.

Teaming up with enemies for the greater good.

The fact that so many key players in this episode are women is a highlight for sure, but I can’t help wishing that M’gann M’orzz had gotten the chance to reprise her role as well. Especially since J’onn (David Harewood) was out of commission for most of the hour so that the actor could play Cyborg Superman instead. That being said, a lot of excellent dynamics were mined this week. Not only did Rhea face off with Lena (Katie McGrath), as the latter defied the alien queen at every turn despite facing the horrible prospect of marrying Mon-El (Christopher Wood), but Cat got to dispense plenty more of her sass and wisdom upon Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) herself.

Kara found herself at the center of a moral dilemma, having to decide between saving the city from destruction and saving her boyfriend & girlfriend best friend. Though Alex (Chyler Leigh) advocates against the selfish path, Cat insists that it’s “not selfish. It’s everything.” So Supergirl heads to the Daxamite ship to rescue the people she loves, leaving Alex behind to stall before she’s forced to blow up the sister she loves in order to save everyone else. While Kara is never in any real danger, of course, there are moments of tension where we wonder if characters like Lena or Mon-El might meet their fates. Lillian’s sudden yet inevitable betrayal comes as no surprise to anyone, but it leaves Kara in a more precarious position than ever – having to battle a brainwashed version of her cousin Superman (guest star Tyler Hoechlin). That’s definitely going to make for an exciting finale.

While Kara had a lot of action this week, Alex was the beating heart of the episode and Cat was its moral center. Both women had some moving moments that revealed who they are in times of crisis, as they are tasked with protecting and uplifting the homefront respectively while Supergirl takes the battle to the Daxamites. At the same time, the way Cat stepped right into her own job and even lampshaded how little James had done with the position didn’t do much more than highlight Supergirl‘s glaring failure this season. Why make James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) the leader of CatCo Media if he’s apparently so ill-equipped for it? Instead he spent his minute of screentime as Guardian once more, which lead to a cute scene with Cat and Winn (Jeremy Jordan), but otherwise didn’t capitalize on his growth from last week’s episode.

Kara loves Lena confirmed.

The #Resist analogy was not lost on me, and while it was at times a little clunky, it was very much appreciated in this climate. Overall, it was a hugely enjoyable episode with a ton of girl power and only a few big flaws. Next week’s finale promises several showdowns, especially for Kara. But between battling first Clark and later Rhea, what will be her big lessons this season? She came out of the premiere saying she wanted to learn who Kara Danvers was, but what has she learned other than the fact that she enjoys journalism even if she doesn’t fully understand it? Perhaps Mon-El is the one who has grown the most this season, but even his storyline this week didn’t smack of heroism. Unless he shows up next week to help Supergirl fight her cousin because he was never really going to leave her to face his mom alone, they can put this storyline away when the next season arrives.