[Review] Supergirl Episode 4×12: “Menagerie”

written by Cara Russell


Sportsball has given way to Supergirl, but lest we forget how horrible Nia Nal’s sister was, it’s now everyone else’s turn to be terrible!

Ben Lockwood suggests his underage son act like the man grandpa Lockwood wanted both of them to be. So of course, this dumbass kid uses Ben’s equipment to engineer a takedown of the villain-of-the-week, an alien symbiote worm that has taken root in a human host. Somehow, despite meddling in a DEO operation, no one gets charged with assault and/or weapons possession, or is incriminated for corrupting a minor. In fact, with guidance from the White House, they’re applauded, as doing otherwise will give Supergirl credit for being something other than a filthy rogue alien.

Kara realizes that she’s the issue with Alex’s reluctance to move forward in her personal life. Namely, Alex’s missing memories cause her to treat Kara like someone who is constantly in need of protection and care, to the exclusion of other pursuits. Fortunately, Alex realizes this is a personal flaw, and that she needs to trust the capability of others more. Unfortunately, part of her plan to overcome this is to adopt a child…which will be in constant need of protection and care.

Lena is approached by Colonel Haley on behalf of the government to use her new research to create superhumans in order to face the “alien threat”, and give the DEO an edge over Supergirl and the Agents of Liberty. She agrees, and James breaks up with her over this, knowing that the technology would be weaponized immediately. Neither seem to remember that similar pursuits were the mainstay of Cadmus, the clandestine project of Lillian Luthor. You know, one of the people Lena is constantly trying to be better than.

A bright spot is that Nia Nal finally dons the costume her mother gave her, a sporty space-aged bodysuit affair, and gets into action next to Supergirl. Brainiac 5 still continues to show great interest in her heroic development, and it’s unclear if it’s due to his character’s comic history of being in love with her descendant Nura Nal, or if she’s integral to some future event we’ll find out about later. Either way, it’s sweet that he cares, and even his social clumsiness is endearing because he learns from every interaction and doesn’t become bitter with his shortcomings. He’s the awkward nerd we need in these troubled times, and one I hope we do better to deserve.

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

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