In its first two episodes, Supergirl managed to do a pretty solid job of enacting change within the show, while still calming any potential worries an audience may have that the change in network will result in an inferior series. The first episode was a solid opener — one that embodied some of the best aspects of the show — and the second shook things up a bit when they got rid of Cat Grant, taking away one of the more interesting and rewarding dynamics in the show.
The third episode of the season is something of a middle-of-the-road episode. The showrunners wisely decided to use this opportunity to introduce Lynda Carter in the role of the U.S. president, giving fans an extra bit of fan service to help hide the fact that Cat is no longer with the show.
This episode is split into a couple plots. The first revolves around Supergirl and the DEO trying to figure who made an assassination attempt on the president’s life, and the secondary one deals with Kara taking on her first job as an actual reporter. For her first news piece, Kara tackles the subject of the Alien Amnesty Act, which would allow aliens to walk freely in the United States — obviously an historic moment. Kara grapples with the idea of keeping editorialization to a minimum when reporting such news, and smears her first piece with a pro-alien slant.
She justifies her opinion as being “objectively right,” without realizing that she too harbors a prejudice against an alien race herself. This brings us into the main plot. At the top of the episode, we saw Mon-El — the alien that crash landed on Earth at the end of the Season 1 — wake up and escape the DEO’s custody. When Kara discovers that he hails from a planet called Daxam, she instantly pegs him as the alien who tried to kill the president.
Thus, we have our internal conflict in Kara, who preaches about alien amnesty in the face of humans without seeing it from their perspective. It’s a bit heavy-handed, sure, but it’s quite effective, especially as this all moves this world forward in a more open direction. What other possibilities lie on the horizon now that aliens can roam free?
Despite my overall lukewarm opinion of the episode, there’s no denying it had a few great scenes that paid off in a big enough way that I can call this episode a good one.
The first moment has to do with the bond between Mon-El and Kara. Now that these two have seen eye to eye, I look forward to where this relationship can go. I also appreciated Hank’s trying to embrace his alien heritage by heading into that bar, despite his own prejudices. His emotional throughline has been one of the more interesting ones in the series, and I truly love the careful pacing they’ve had in ramping up his comfort in his own skin. Plus, as mild as it was in the grand scheme of things, I enjoyed seeing James hold his own against Snapper, who seemed poised to elbow James out of his superior position at CatCo.
By the end credits, we’re left with two mysteries: where does the story go now that Miss Martian has been thrown into the mix, and is the president a good alien or a bad alien?
We’ll have all season to have those questions answered.
All in all, I’d call this one a bit of a mixed bag. It’s mediocre in many ways, often succumbing to the most predictable of tropes. It was entertaining, but for the most part, it definitely played on the safe side of things. That being said, it had solid execution, and still managed to be full of enough genuinely heartwarming and plot-moving moments to make it another tick in the “success” box of the show. I just hope they’ll start to take more risks as the season goes on.
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