[Review] Supergirl Episode 2×19: “Alex”

written by Cara Russell

SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT

I was looking forward to this week’s episode, and I do not feel disappointed. After Supergirl dashes in to save some hostages from a tense negotiation between Maggie and some bank robbers, the Danvers siblings and their significant others have an even more tense dinner as Mon-El triggers a conflict between Kara’s reckless actions and Maggie’s need to work within the system. It sets the stage for a walkout, and separates Alex from the herd so that a kidnapper can take advantage of the situation, forcing Maggie and Supergirl to work closely together.

Meanwhile, Lena Luthor is approached by Rhea to collaborate on a transmatter portal technology project – one which would have amazing humanitarian applications on earth. It’s an amazing bit of evil, watching Rhea butter Lena up by playing on her optimism and acting the part of potential mentor or mother figure, which Lena doesn’t seem to have had. Even after Lena figures out that Rhea is an alien, causing a rift in their budding relationship, she doesn’t realize who Rhea is related to, or that the project probably isn’t mean for humanitarian aid after all – setting us up for a delightful bombshell reveal in the future.

Back at the DEO, a hostage exchange is requested, which leads our crew to identify Alex’s kidnapper through a quality piece of deduction work from Maggie. Longtime Supergirl fans will be interested to see Richard “Dick” Malverne appear as Rick, a former high school classmate of Alex’s who is now a villain, coercing Kara into freeing his criminal father (Peter Thompson) from prison. While he ends up being a bit two-dimensional and his traps convoluted, the situation does bring up a nice contrast between Maggie’s and Supergirl’s approaches to crime-solving. This includes how far each will go when pushed, and what they’ll do at their breaking point. When Alex’s attempt to free herself causes her holding cell to fill with water, Maggie goes against all of her training and ethics to free Rick’s father from prison – an act Kara had refused to do. In the end, Kara convinces Peter to tell them where Rick may have hidden Alex, resolving the conflict with her words rather than her fists.

I find it really interesting that Mon-El was only present in this episode to play the devil’s advocate – and once she’s away from him, Kara acts less brashly. I’m not sure if this was intentionally done, or just the writers not knowing what to do with him aside from letting him be a dirtbag, but it’s notable nonetheless. It’ll be interesting to see if this holds true through the end of the season, or even if anyone observes that Kara is more reckless under Mon-El’s influence. It’d be a nice change from hearing how she affects him (as an inspiration for his undemonstrated heroism, or how she ruined his career trajectory as crown prince of Daxam). But in truth, I wouldn’t trade a second of the Maggie/Kara interaction and bonding of this episode to even see him return from whence he came – this show has always had its greatest strengths in its bonds between women.

-Cara

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

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