[Review] Supergirl Episode 2×18: “Ace Reporter”

written by Jason Froikin and Cara Russell

SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT

I noticed something odd about this week’s episode. No, it’s not that Mon-El was only in a few minutes of it. It feels like they’re wrapping things up. That’s an interesting thing to feel about it, because for a few episodes there it looked like the writers were getting off track. And for the most part, they probably were. It now looks like the last couple weeks’ shows were filler which were taking up episodes the writers didn’t originally think they would have. So now we finally have a story again.

That was the good part. The bad part is that I was disappointed in the confrontation between Lena Luthor and Spheer, if only because you can’t have it both ways. She can’t be virtually helpless in a fight, and then talk about the fear that the Luthor blood would someday turn her evil. She would have to do something evil first for that to make sense. It would have worked better if she’d gone to that meeting prepared, on her own, and killed or injured Spheer accidentally. Then it would have made sense to have a personal crisis of character.

Speaking of stories, it’s good to see Kara get the dream job she’s been fighting for so long for. At the same time, though, she still works for someone who’s kind of abusive and condescending, so who knows how long she’ll keep it. Yes, Cat was too, but it felt more like she was playing a game. Everything Snapper Carr says has weight and finality to it, and values performance above loyalty. In my opinion, that feels more stressful, like a car salesperson who always has to do better to avoid a horrible fate.

-Jason

* * *

After a long mid-season hiatus, we’re finally back in National City with our favourite gang of heroes…who are without any heroing to do. While it may feel like a tragedy for Kara, it’s one of the best possible outcomes for her, as she’s forced to busy herself with relationship reparations and focusing on her career goals instead of acting the part of damage control. We’re treated to some fantastic, supportive, loving interactions between her and Lena Luthor (an old flame of Lena’s being the catalyst for this week’s conflict), as well as redemption with Snapper Carr – and getting her job back, after demonstrating that she had learned from the transgressions which led to her firing.

Lena’s ex and old research partner Jack Spheer (played by the delightful Rahul Kohli) arrives in town to unveil a new breakthrough in nanotechnology, which he and Lena had worked on together before she returned to run L-Corp. While his arrival sets her off balance, questions raised regarding his test trials puts Kara Danvers, Ace Reporter on the trail – a trail that swiftly racks up a body count, as sources are murdered by vicious clouds of nanobots. Of course, the culprit isn’t as cut-and-dried as the evidence would have you suspect, and it delivers a high dose of interpersonal drama, even while the stakes are on a smaller-than-galactic scale.

While this is going on, it appears as though Mon-El’s existence is relegated to little more than a cabana boy who takes phone messages, while Lyra plays out his original “stranger from a strange land” plotline with Winn and James, only with the exact opposite outcome. While this is a decent reveal for folks who aren’t fond of Kara’s choices in company, it really makes me wonder why we’re doing this exact same plotline for a fourth (fifth?) time this season. I’m also very concerned for Winn, as I’m not sure if Lyra’s temper was just for show, or if it’s an indicator of something more sinister to come – abusive relationships are still abusive and harmful no matter which half of the couple is carrying out the abuse.

Lena is laid low by grief and depression just in time for Rhea to appear with some sort of proposal. While I’m not exactly eager to run back into that particular royal family drama, I do really enjoy Teri Hatcher being evil, and I think I’d enjoy seeing the League Of Evil Moms do their thing. Dare I say it – I’m looking forward to next week.

-Cara

Supergirl airs Monday nights at 8 Eastern/7 Central on the CW. Jason can be reached on Twitter @Mangacool and Cara at @virtualcara.

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