Martin Carr reviews the nineteenth episode of Supergirl season 2…
Episodes which narratively pivot on a single life lesson however important live and die on the ability to engage. As the tagline suggests we have an episode which revolves around Alex Danvers, DEO officer, sister to Supergirl and bringer of relationship stability to one Maggie Sawyer. That she should immediately be put in mortal danger at the merest hint of animosity between those closest to her goes without saying. Unfortunately from thereon irrespective of motive, perceived villainy or means of confinement the life lesson to be learned is obvious. Having second guessed the crux, focal point and ultimate resolution things then drift into predictability.
Flashing back to her old school days and making their antagonist such an unlikely foe does little to help the cause. All it does is highlight the differing methods which Maggie and Kara employ trying to save Alex, when surprisingly they learn that together they are more effective. This is the first time where I felt the actors were given nothing to work with in dramatic terms, falling back on cliché and pedestrian plot lines that felt slack compared to other weeks. Leigh, Lima, Benoist, Harewood and company all put in good performances, it’s just that Supergirl feels lacklustre on so many levels. Only in the burgeoning relationship between Lena Luthor and Mon-El’s mother Reya do we get any semblance of meat on the bone plot wise.
Katie McGrath and Teri Hatcher display a good chemistry where neither truly trusts the other and sparks fly. Introduced as a tantalising proposition on the tail end of episode eighteen, Reya’s entrance into Lena’s office made for a good cliff hanger. It is here where good sense should have prevailed allowing us more time with them, as the combative nature of both women proved engaging, less trite and more entertaining. If less runtime had been spent on the ‘Alex’ conundrum and more on bulking out the Lena Reya relationship, then Supergirl would have kept my attention throughout.
As it stands however not only did ‘Alex’ prove far from the best episode this season but also represented a wasted opportunity in dramatic terms. As we near the season finale how things are going to play out is obvious, with the potential for invasion looming large, but for me this action set piece can’t come soon enough. ‘Alex’ may have been going for poignancy, emotional heft and a rich counterpoint with the Lena Reya dynamic, but they only managed half the equation. Falling short in one area which left the audience floundering in the other. A rare example of dropping the ball in a season which for me has consistently delivered.