written by Cara Russell
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
Another week, and another episode of Supergirl where we deal with uncomfortable topics we already deal with on a daily basis! At least it’s a softer opening, with Kara and the gang (Nia Nal included) starting the day with a mojito brunch on a rooftop garden, complete with an inebriated Brainiac 5. I would’ve been okay if the episode had ended here.
We receive confirmation that the parasite infecting rogue DEO Agent Jensen is not only alien, but the Parasite previously seen in Episode 2×06 “Changing”. As before, the host is able to drain the life force from any other living creature (and any alien’s powers to boot), though this comes at the cost of the host’s own health. As this makes direct action by Supergirl a liability, the onus of capturing Jensen is firmly on Alex’s shoulders, even while she’s under the thumb of observer Colonel Lauren Haley (April Parker Jones).
Kara surprisingly accepts being benched and goes to work on an interview with a renowned alien healer, Amadei (Adam Levy), in hopes to show that aliens are peaceful too. Shortly after the interview, an amulet that keeps Amadei alive is stolen. J’onn and Kara go on a whodunnit chase, uncovering an ex-girlfriend (Michelle Krusiec) and half-human daughter Elizabeth (Shannon Chan-Kent) who was led to believe her dad didn’t want to acknowledge her. As it turns out, the mother, Natalie, prevented Amadei’s and Elizabeth’s letters from reaching one another, and also stole his amulet for the Children of Liberty so they could make Jenson immune to the Parasite’s side effects.
Meanwhile, James is struggling with he sudden popularity Guardian has gained through anti-alien channels. While at a fancy media function, Ben Lockwood corners James as a peer (?!), as Ben is now employed as a right-wing fringe media radio host. The encounter, along with a media sponsor sympathetic to the “Earth First” movement, causes James to reconsider and contact Ben for a joint effort that will surely backfire, choosing to engage with the toxic platform he has now been offered.
Back to the villain of the week, Alex and the DEO confront Jensen while Supergirl stays back, evacuating bystanders like someone who actually does as she’s asked. Against Colonel Haley’s orders, Alex manages to talk Jensen down instead of shooting him, which would have caused a nuclear incident. Jensen instead pulls a suicide move, removing Amadei’s amulet and causing his own brain to burn out.
While this is a net win for the home team, this episode’s side players still feel fairly shallow and missing motivation and weight. We never hear why Amadei breaks up with Natalie, only the story she made up for Elizabeth. And while Ben Lockwood is personally thriving in the unrest, his wife and son are still MIA, and he’s under the impression that the “movement” he supports would survive without his direction and influence.
Perhaps most interesting are the beginnings of J’onn finding himself an outlet in the private investigation field. He no longer has a place in the DEO, and has struggled with following his father’s footsteps in non-violence and non-interaction as a Martian priest. All in all, I’m glad this episodes is over, as it’s engaging more in WTF-ery than answers.
Supergirl airs Sunday nights at 8 Eastern/7 Central on the CW. Cara can be found on Twitter @virtualcara.