REVIEW: Supergirl, S4E17 – All About Eve

Even though Lex Luthor did not appear in this week’s Supergirl , the plan he put into action during “All About Eve” was nothing short of astounding. While Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) went on the hunt for Lex and Eve with some intel from Lena (Katie McGrath) and backup from (Alex), the villains were setting a trap for her that she had very little change of avoiding. At the same time, J’onn (David Harewood) and James (Mehcad Brooks) were dealing with some very different identity crises in the wake of their recent traumas.

Can you say power trio?

Despite the title, the only things the characters learned about Eve were that she was in love with Lex (big surprise) and she was human enough to drop by her aunt’s house and cure her cancer. Nevertheless, the wild goose chase did go a long way towards repairing Lena’s rocky relationship with Supergirl as well as reinforcing who her true friends are. Despite her mother Lillian trying to get inside her head and make her believe the Danvers sisters would abandon her if they learned she had been helping Lex, Lena threw herself into the investigation and even agreed to work alongside Supergirl without complaint. Alex repaid that compliance with absolute trust in her friend, defending her even when her stash of Harun-El was discovered.

More surprisingly, Supergirl actually apologized for jumping to conclusions about Lena and allowed herself to be vulnerable in front of the younger Luthor. I specifically say Supergirl because Kara and Lena remained without any meaningful interaction, but it’s interesting that now Lena and Alex are on a parallel path of growing closer to Kara’s alter ego while the latter is cornered into keeping them at bay again and again. The strengthened bond also meant that both ladies had her back when “All About Eve” came to its shocking conclusion, which will be very important in upcoming episodes.

Speaking of that shocking turn of events, Ben Lockwood (Sam Witwer) started off the hour running into a roadblock getting enough votes for the repeal of the Alien Amnesty Act. Somehow that roadblock was lifted, with the Senator in question flipping her vote – as well as her block’s – at the last second and allowing the repeal to pass. The President had warned this could mean retaliation from angry aliens, but no one was prepared for Supergirl herself to storm the White House and attack it as soon as the repeal was announced. No one, of course, except for Lex and Eve – who had sent ‘Linda Lee’ to do precisely that while the real Supergirl was busy following their footsteps to an abandoned Luthor lab. The Girl of Steel quickly became public enemy number one, but she had an even more surprising ally in her corner: Colonel Haley (April Parker Jones), who sensed that something more sinister was going on.

It’s never a bad idea to ask for help.

The more introspective side of “All About Eve” focused on James and his gunshot wound recovery, specifically the emotional baggage he was unwilling to deal with despite his sister Kelly’s insistence. Their arguments were tough to take at first, especially when the audience was waiting for signs of James’ own superhuman strength to appear after taken the same serum Lex did, but they became an important stepping stone after James found himself in the middle of another life-and-death situation at the White House. Once Kara confirmed that it was Eve and not Manchester who shot him, James was forced to add the latest incident to yet another on the long list of Lex Luthor’s attempts on his life – and that reality triggered the PTSD he was so desperately trying to avoid. Thankfully, he was brave enough to ask his sister for help at the end, and Kelly was ready to stay despite him nearly running her out of town earlier.

J’onn was also dealing with family issues, but they were even more internal than Olsen’s considering they were literally taking place inside his mind. After having abandoned M’yrnn’s pacifism, his powers were failing him and so he reached out to his dad for guidance. But instead M’yrnn materialized to take away the sacred symbols of Martian history because J’onn didn’t deserve them anymore. Thus began an episode-long struggle between the two sides of J’onn’s consciousness, as the mind trip doubled as a way for him to self-flagellate over his past choices while also establishing firmly who he is: the Martian Manhunter. He and his father’s memory parted peacefully, and J’onn’s powers were intact by the end of it. In both cases, the men ended up where they started but with much more clarity and self-awareness, and “All About Eve” handled their stories with care.

“All About Eve” definitely left its heroine in a tough spot at the end of the hour, but she’s got enough allies to make it a fair fight. Plus, the last two weeks have been the strongest entries in the season thus far, so I’m excited to see where the show goes next.

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