Martin Carr reviews the fifteenth episode of Supergirl season 2…
With the alien registry in enemy hands and Jeremiah seemingly playing both sides, Supergirl turns into an episode of familial feud, divided allegiances and bloodthirsty beat downs. Nameless thugs in balaclavas, black van kidnappings and Luthor Corp pulling the strings equals a whole mess of trouble for all concerned. Kara and Alex disagree over Jeremiah, Maggie takes sides against the DEO and alien inhabitants are rounded up like cattle for purposes unknown. In short ‘Exodus’ is not without incident, accidents and last-minute saving the day type stuff.
In a funny sort of way despite all the special effects going off everywhere ‘Exodus’ is quite old-fashioned in its expectations. Whether driving a fat wedge between team players providing friction, drama, unease and entertainment in equal measure. Or bearing witness to relentlessly savage beatings to apprehended felons between gritted teeth, ‘Exodus’ illuminates the darker corners of character rarely displayed during pre-watershed programming.
Meanwhile the involvement of Lena and Lillian Luthor has certainly added an extra element of spice to proceedings, as back room machinations provided through CADMUS offer up a more grounded sense of evil via corporate espionage. Both actresses equip themselves well even if Lillian has little more to do than wax a metaphorical moustache. Whilst back in the realms of National City reality we get moments with Snapper at CATCO, which feel more like a reminder to the audience than an actual plot point. As this worldwide media organisation makes narrative room for the DEO, alien spacecraft and intergalactic immigration measures.
In light of a certain United States President there are easy parallels to be drawn considering the plot line running throughout this episode. They are neither subtle nor watered down in their depiction of abduction, harsh treatment or underlying political finger-pointing. Considering the chaos which ensued very recently at airports across America, what Supergirl is doing with the delicacy of a hammer blow reflects a vast majority of feelings throughout the developed world. Whilst Berlanti has bravely chosen a comic book platform to express mutual disgust at unsanctioned infractions and disruption inflicted without provocation or due process.
Upon reflection everything else pales into insignificance when measured against the underlying themes of ‘Exodus’. Character reactions are not a reflection of their loss of loved ones, misconstrued motives or lovelorn longing. They are a direct reaction to the mercenary measures being metered out across National City with a singular goal in mind. Any familial disputes, misunderstandings or motivational missteps are mere distraction from the meat and potatoes behind the scenes. Dissatisfaction, disillusionment and disgruntlement at a country in flux being marshalled into the next four years by an administration driven by self-interest and isolationism.