REVIEW: Supergirl, S4E13 – What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?

Kara (Melissa Benoist) didn’t know which way was up in this week’s Supergirl, but one thing she did learn was that she and Alex (Chyler Leigh) made an excellent team regardless of circumstances. Plenty of other alliances are made and broken throughout “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?”, but at the end of the day most interested parties agreed that the one entity they couldn’t trust was the American government.

Violence is the answer?

The biggest shift was, unsurprisingly, the creation of Manchester Black’s Elite and Supergirl’s establishment of the Superfriends in response. After breaking out of prison thanks to his friend The Hat, Manchester gathered his fledgling team and proceeded to kill thirteen soldiers in a video he then uploaded to social media. Kara had no choice but to rope avowed pacifist J’onn (David Harewood), along with newbie heroine Nia (Nicole Maines) and her mentor Brainy (Jesse Rath), to keep the peace through violence. But she soon found herself at a loss when The Elite informed her that the U.S. government was launching a satellite that would soon start shooting down aliens that dared to make their way to Earth’s orbit – and that they were planning to redirect said satellite to attack the White House instead. Our Girl of Steel was between a rock and a hard place, wanting to go high while everyone else went low but also wanting to stop the new Trumpian president and his violent adversary from taking things too far.

Though Alex was reluctant to take Supergirl’s side in the action when her career and safety were at stake, she eventually decided that doing the right thing overrode her other fears. And so the Danvers sisters joined forces alongside the rest of the Superfriends, managing to destroy the satellite before it could hurt any humans or aliens even if it meant The Elite got away. It wasn’t a total victory, as the President threw a fit and named Ben Lockwood (Sam Witwer) the Director of Alien Affairs in retaliation – but it certainly let the entire DEO know where the government stood. Realizing that Supergirl and Lena (Katie McGrath) had been right now to trust the new administration, Alex agreed to work under the radar with them (separately, anyway). And even Colonel Haley (April Parker Jones) may have been convinced to join the fray when she realized the president had acted against protocol and she’d been none the wiser.

Agent Danvers to the rescue.

Elsewhere in Supergirl, James (Mehcad Brooks) had to set aside his convoluted feelings for Lena in order to give his reporter the go-ahead to pursue the true story behind her now government-sanctioned experiments. It’s not clear where this story is going, especially now that it seems like they wouldn’t have had to break up at all if she had just explained that she wasn’t truly cooperating with them. It seems we’ll have to give them a few more weeks to let it all shake out, but in the meantime it’s a relief that the plot isn’t taking up too many scenes.

Another confusing element was Nia’s sudden insistence on knowing about her future descendent, which she and Brainy got into a little tiff over. They even dragged poor Kelex, robot keeper of the Fortress of Solitude into it, before eventually deciding that even if Nia can’t know everything up front it’s still a good that she’s so eager to learn. Thanks, I guess? At least Nia’s powers (honed by gloves Brainy made to harness her raw dream energy) were on full display in “Truth, Justice and the American Way,” and they did their part to help save the day. The downside was that Brainy’s Legion Ring was stolen during the fight, but that will certainly make The Elite a more powerful foe in the near future.

Ben Lockwood’s villainy also seemed to be stalling, since the true evil is now the callous disregard for alien lives shown by the American government. His Children of Liberty were none too happy with their leader trying to turn into a politician, but he shut them up with a good show of violence. Now I guess he will remain a none too subtle reminder of our real life cabinet, even if viewers are currently clueless about his next move… Or what happened to the other Supergirl, for that matter.

“What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?” was a bit of a scattered episode, but it reflected Kara’s frazzled mindset in the face of so many new and confusing obstacles. Hopefully next week both she and the writers will recover some of their laser focus.

Supergirl airs Sundays at 8/7c on the CW.