[Review] Supergirl Episode 4×18: “Crime and Punishment”

written by Cara Russell


This week’s Supergirl has taken an interesting twist. After several seasons of devaluing Kara’s day job and civilian identity in various ways, Supergirl gets an icy shoulder from Lex’s prison neighbor, only to be warmly greeted as a reporter. It’s not the twist I expected, and I’m sure it won’t be examined closely, but I’m glad it’s there all the same. I hope it’s not ultimately a ruse to show how Supergirl is duplicitous and misleading the public.

On to the meat. James finally speaks to a counselor regarding his recent traumas, and it seems the Harun-el is affecting him more than previously indicated. With black veins spreading across his skin, it’s looking like the intention is to show that his PTSD is being caused by an infection, or giving him enhanced super-senses and strength, and I genuinely hope I am misreading this.

Brainiac 5 is tasked with covertly deleting the Alien Amnesty registry to prevent the DEO or other government branches from using it as a hit list. Because this is That Kind Of Show, he thinks his way into a corner, unsure whether or not he should actually delete it. Seeking council from Dreamer, he does delete the registry, but only after copying it to his own brain – which will make him a direct target of the Agents of Liberty. I do frequently wonder if he remembers that he is an alien himself, as it only seems relevant when his image inducer is malfunctioning. Every time he refers to issues relating to aliens, it’s “they will be affected”, never “we”.

Lena and Supergirl visit Lex’s cell on Stryker’s Island and threaten the warden, including another incredibly casual reference to his husband. I have greatly enjoyed this off-handed reference, both here and from Lex in a previous episode. If only all reveals were so subtle, and not a vehicle to Bury Your (corrupt) Gays.

Lena uncovers the key to Lex’s diaries, which prompts Otis to appear and sic the prisoners on Supergirl. As she’s dealing with that along with an ambush by a Metallo’d Otis, Lena uncovers the secret entrance to Lex’s secret bunker. The military shows up and threatens to blow up the entire prison, including the prisoners, to get at Supergirl. She manages to subdue the prisoners and escape with Lena, however, Lex manages to use Otis as an unwitting suicide bomber to destroy the bunker. He gets better with Eve Teschmacher’s “care”.

Alex and Colonel Haley are stuck helping Ben Lockwood in his new position as Secretary of Alien Affairs. Since Haley is now in possession of James’ signal watch, she’s ordered to summon Supergirl into a trap. While she tricks Lockwood by cancelling the summon, Ben’s team walks away with a dozen DEO grade Kryptonite-killer weapons, which doesn’t bode well for anyone, especially with Supergirl framed for an attempted prison break at Stryker’s. President Baker gives Ben the authority to deputize the Agents of Liberty, and presumably those weapons will be put into dangerous hands quickly.

Some time after, Kara meets with Lex’s cell neighbor, Steve Lomeli, a war crime whistleblower who seems inspired by Chelsea Manning. Lomeli gives Kara a hard drive that is a clone of Lex’s computers. Whether this was intended by Lex or a mistake on his part we’ve yet to see, but it’ll be hilarious to this viewer if Lex’s intricate plans are undone so easily.

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

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