Supergirl: Alex
May 1, 2017 8:37 PM - Season 2, Episode 19 - Subscribe

Alex is kidnapped and the kidnapper threatens to kill her unless Supergirl releases a notorious criminal from prison, and Maggie and Kara must work together to save her. Meanwhile, Rhea has an interesting proposal for Lena.
posted by oh yeah! (7 comments total)
So, that frustrated me on almost every level.

* Villain is too crazy prepared.

I'm not sure how finding out about J'onn logically leads to 'can shield self from Martian telepathy.' I'm also not sure how a small town boy with no connections to the world of supervillainy can out-hack Winn. I mean... there's a world of difference between 'aware that the heroes have a given advantage,' (which I'm willing to cede him because the DEO barely covers its tracks), and 'understanding that advantage well enough to counter it,' (which seems like it should take advanced degrees in fields of study not currently present on Earth).

* Supergirl is wrong the whole time, but still comes out on top.

There's a nasty undercurrent of 'only people with powers can or should do anything' on Supergirl right now. Supergirl's objections to Guardian don't spring from 'don't be a Batman knockoff,' they're all about 'but you'll get hurt!'

Her treatment of Maggie here is terrible. It's reasonably in-character: she and Alex have a really intense, not always healthy relationship due to their upbringing, and her prejudice against normal humans fits the above pattern. So when she's so disrespectful of Maggie's professional experience and relationship with Alex, it's believable.

The part I take real issue with is the story setting her up to save the day anyway - that should've been Maggie's role here, so Kara could learn a valuable lesson about taking her seriously. When Maggie says 'I should've been heard,' she's absolutely right.

* Lena appears to be going all Team Evil.

Boo to her dating women besides Kara, and boo to her working with the Big Bad. I've talked about this plenty of times before, but the clever option with Lena would be to keep her good, even incorporate her onto Team Supergirl. This looks like the her starting on the path to villainy, and that's boring, predictable and disappointing.

* Alex punching the villain was annoying.

Especially the 'make sure he remembers that part.' Like, which part of 'we need to wipe his memory' was unclear? (The worst part about Alex's casual police brutality is that Maggie is so uber-professional, so someone clearly knows what a good cop should act like.)

I did like Alex's nonstop efforts inside the cell, and I liked everything with Maggie except the shoehorned-in dumb attempt to free the dad. I also liked their interactions with each other, and I am glad that the show gets that right even when it screws other stuff up.

Oh, and Mon-El was barely there, so that's something.

But yeah, overall? Not Happy.
posted by mordax at 3:00 AM on May 2, 2017

Why does Alex's transdermal tracker have big-ass light on it? WHY?
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:49 PM on May 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

Maybe I just missed it, but since when is J'onn's identity public information. Okay, the president knows, but the average Joe on the street? I know why he didn't change from pretend bad-guy dad into his green Martian Manhunter form (special effects budget) but that whole bit where he became Hank was just so stupid. As were major parts of this entire episode (see mordax' list above for a partial rundown).

About the only good thing I can say about this episode is that Lena and Monel's mom both had fabulous earrings.
posted by sardonyx at 8:53 PM on May 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Maybe I just missed it, but since when is J'onn's identity public information.

No, I'm pretty sure you didn't miss anything. This is a good point.

My assumption was that he could work out that J'onn was a shape shifting alien based on watching Hank go up to their apartments, but seeing a green alien leave sometimes. However, that still doesn't explain how he knows J'onn is Martian or telepathic without other inside information.

Stalker-boy is in straight up, like, 'has just read the comic books' territory.
posted by mordax at 9:30 PM on May 2, 2017

What a mess of an episode. The idea that there would be tensions between the police and Supergirl could be worth exploring but not as a plot device to get Maggie and Kara at odds with each other for one episode. Show that Supergirl's helpfulness can have unintended consequences and have her and Maggie/the police work out those problems.

Likewise with Kara's anger management issues. She has a temper when it is needed for the plot, not when it suits the character. It would be far more interesting if she is shown losing her temper but is working on ways to control it. I don't know, maybe even have her visit a psychiatrist who deals with alien mental health issues.
posted by plastic_animals at 6:23 AM on May 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

I found this episode frustrating too. Imagine how incredible this story could have been if the writers had planted small clues about the boy from Midvale stalking Alex and Kara in each episode leading up to this one? I found myself constantly being pulled out of the drama by the glaring plot holes. No way does badass DEO agent Alex Danvers and smart, seasoned science division police detective Maggie Sawyer NOT ever even once NOTICE they are being stalked. Isn't it just so convenient that this average guy from little ole Midvale is smarter than the entire DEO and has more resources at his disposal than Lena Luther! Also, NOW I'm supposed to believe it's vitally important to keep Supergirl's identity a secret? grrrr arrgghhh

I won't even talk about how implausible it is that Maggie was able to just borrow (maybe steal?) a few key 007 type gadgets from the DEO and then zip on over to a Maximum Security Prison and open the cell of a murderer in under 45 minutes.

The other main complaint I have is, Mon El's worst attributes seem to be rubbing off on Kara. I am ok with Kara making mistakes, learning lessons, growing as a person, maturing as a Superhero -- but she IS NOT A JERK. And I think she kind of acted like a jerk in this episode. It hurt to watch. There is a big difference between misjudging a situation and being an arrogant, flippant, a-hole.

The episode was saved by the amazing stuff Alex was doing in the water tank. It had my heart racing. I've had nightmares all week about drowning. And of course, the interaction between Alex and Maggie and their I love yous especially was so beautiful. Chyler and Floriana are perfect together.
posted by pjsky at 9:30 AM on May 6, 2017

AND, I forgot to say -- I really didn't have a problem with Alex punching that guy in the face at the end (she's always punching bad guys it was totally in character) but SWEET JESUS you don't just rip a smoke detector out of the ceiling! THAT'S DANGEROUS.
posted by pjsky at 10:34 AM on May 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

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