written by Dayna Abel and Cara Russell
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
After the train wreck that was most of Season Two, it’s downright magical to see the show remembering that its most important relationship is the one between Kara and Alex. This episode got right down to it with its entire focus on the Danvers sisters and a terrific flashback to their high school years in Midvale.
The growing pains of the Danvers family are on full display. Anyone who has a younger sibling can relate 100% to the arguments between Alex and Kara, minus the alien stuff. I think. Most little sisters are aliens. It’s only through loss and hardship that Kara and Alex develop a cohesive bond and begin to see the positive ways each can impact the other’s life, rather than letting resentments fester for years. Alex and Kara may be in worlds of pain right now, but they are each other’s home, and nothing in the universe can take that away. It will take time, but the sisters will heal. Stronger together, as always.
On a lighter note, apparently Smallville is canon on Earth-38, and the references to Chloe Sullivan and the “Wall of Weird” were absolutely delightful. It would be amazing if Allison Mack could reprise her old role sometime this season to show up as Clark’s friend from high school to help Kara somehow. Throw in Erica Durance as a DEO agent and it’s a gift to Smallville fans this week. It does, however, make me wonder: if Durance is playing Alura this season (Kara initially mistook the agent for her mother), and Smallville was canon here, does it weird Kara out that her cousin is with a woman who looks like her mom? I’m just saying.
Overall one of the best episodes of the season so far, and I’m feeling great about the direction the show is going in.
* * *
In the aftermath of last week’s breakup between Maggie and Alex, Kara drags Alex back to their childhood home to visit Eliza in Midvale. This paves the way for a sibling scratching post, as well as an angsty teen flashback to an early Scooby-esque murder mystery adventure, from which the girls relearn what it is to be sisters and knowing that the familial bond they share is stronger than romantic breakups and old men trying to pull something over on those meddling kids.
I think I’d have a kinder perspective on this episode if it weren’t caused by such a terrible premise (why can’t fictional lesbians Have Nice Things, and why of all people is it hinging on someone who isn’t a people person suddenly defined by needing to be a mom? WHY). There are several instances of persons in power using it to exploit others, up to and including a law enforcement agent murdering a teenager to cover up their corruption, and arresting a pedophile to take the fall. We also see a newly replaced Hank Henshaw use a fake FBI profile and the appearance of Kara’s dead mother Alura to try and convince her to be human. Real jerk move from J’onn, and I hope Kara never finds out about it (although I admit, I’m pleased his vintage car makes several return appearances).
There’s a distinct Smallville vibe, especially since Chloe Sullivan is mentioned by name and plays a pivotal role in solving the mystery of the week, albeit without appearing onscreen. If I were a betting person, I’d wager that this was an attempt to float a teen superhero show, which would not be amiss in this climate of adult heroes bereft of Buffys, Blurs, and Andrew Clements. In any event, it sets a clearer stage for next week’s bombshell, which will itself no doubt be a lead-in to the upcoming four-show Crisis On Earth-X crossover.
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