Change. Like the 2008 election, that’s pretty much been the one big consistent word I’ve used in all my reviews of this season of Supergirl. In the aftermath of the transition from CBS to the CW, I kept a keen out eye for dynamic changes in the first few episodes of the season. Following the departure of Superman, those changes were all too evident, for better or worse, and that trend continues in the latest episode — again, for better or worse.
The dynamic trio of Kara, Winn, and James have all but been fractured. Kara is off doing her Supergirl thing, Winn is at the DEO, and James is finding his own place in Cat’s old job. Hank isn’t in this episode, but that’s all okay, as there are plenty of other things that occupy the runtime.
Kara finds herself trying to help Mon-El fit into Earth, which results in a lot of goofy fish-out-of-water moments (I still can’t decide whether they’re too cheesy for their own good). She spends a good amount of time trying to give him virtually the same identity of her own before realizing that he needs to create an identity of her own. Speaking of identity, her sister Alex spends a good portion of this episode realizing her own sexual identity. It’s been foreshadowed that she has a bit of a crush on Maggie, but what wasn’t clear was whether or not Alex knew she was into girls. Turns out she’s having trouble accepting that herself, and we’re left with that as a hanging plot thread for future episodes.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have another identity crisis in the form of James, who has grown sick of being a sidekick. Between Superman and Supergirl, he’s always been the guy on the sidelines, and this episode, we see him take first steps towards becoming a vigilante himself. Of course, in a world full of super-powered aliens, that may not hold up, so he spends this episode trying to recruit Winn to help him out with a super suit. I guess the dynamic trio is now the dynamic duo.
The main plot of the show revolves around these bank robbers who are utilizing alien weapons to carry out their task. Surprise, surprise. It turns out that Cadmus — now led by Lillian Luthor — is behind this. The reason? They hope that in giving these dangerous weapons to the wrong people, that the general public will grow to fear alien technology, and will therefore fear aliens and push them out. Kind of a weak goal, and it’s a bit stupid that she gave them to these small-time bank robbers, but I’ll pretend it’s a part of a greater plot.
So how did this episode play out? On paper, this one has the potential to be a real game-changer. We have two characters on the brink of finding new identities, and the continuation of an ongoing story involving what could be the entire series’ big bad. Additionally, we have the humble beginnings of Mon-El, a character set to become a superhero in his own right. While the execution wasn’t horrible, I can’t say it was fantastic.
In the grand scheme of things, where this episode could have played out as a pivotal one, it felt more like one of those obligatory transitional episodes. There were definitely moments of greatness. Alex’s subplot was solid, and I’m enjoying seeing Winn and James interacting more, but more than anything, it’s just settingthe board for episodes to come.
It’s with that in mind that I can’t be too harsh on this episode. It the job it needed to do, and set things up for future payoff. All in all, it’s episodes like these that show the benefits of marathoning shows at the end of each season.
What did you think of this week’s episode of Supergirl? Let us know in the comments down below!