Spoilers ahead for “Supergirl Lives,” the latest episode of The CW’s Supergirl.
The short version: Kara is looking into a missing woman case and accidentally winds up transported to an alien planet where Roulette is selling humans. Winn almost dies but gets over it, and Mon-El decides to be a hero. Also, this one was directed by Kevin Smith.
The good: The Guardian/Supergirl rivalry, alien planets, Mon-El
Trent: As the series was retooled for Season 2 and the focus shifted more toward the superhero stuff and away from the general workday at CatCo, the writers needed to find a way to keep James Olsen relevant. So they made him the Guardian. It all happened a little too fast and a little too clunky, but he's starting to settle into an interesting role at midseason. Kara feels a bit threatened having another hero prowling the streets, and it's created a bit of a rivalry dynamic that looks to be fun to play with.
This episode also took us to a barren, alien world that sapped Kara and Mon-El's powers — while it also introduced a nifty portal MacGuffin that should make it a whole lot easier for Supergirl to start visiting some alien planets on occasion. As Winn notes, it's pretty much a Stargate. Having Kara lose her powers and still put herself between the guards and the prisoners was a touching moment and truly showed how far she's come as a hero. Sure, she wandered in there with pretty much no plan and no weapons, but still -- she meant well and showed her resolve throughout. Mon-El was also pretty great here. Initially, his fish-out-of-water alien shtick was played a bit too slapstick, but now he's really settling into a comfortable chemistry with Kara. He's also getting back on the hero's path (seemingly for real this time), so that could make for a great story to follow.
Dany: The best part was when Melissa Benoist held up a sign telling Donald Trump not to touch her genitals because they're made of steel. Oh, was that not in the episode? It was still the best of every Supergirl episode ever from now on. Anyway, obviously the actual high point was the Sanvers. How did any of us even survive without Alex and Maggie for so many weeks? It was a drought. I thought I was gonna die. But, once again, the happiness that Alex feels, the challenges that she and Maggie face as two people in constant danger ... it just all feels so emotionally honest. I had a minute where I was afraid Alex was going full Buffy "I can't be in love because I'm the chosen one" Summers, but then Maggie figured out that Kara is Supergirl and everything was cool again. Phew! And Maggie was super-clear about how she expects to be treated. Clear communication on a CW show. Get out of here! This is the best.
The bad: Winn's near death miss, wasted Roulette
Dany: As I was watching the Snapper Carr sequence, my partner said, "Ain't no Cat Grant." Same, wife. Same.
Trent: Just when it looks like they're giving Winn a good story, they snuff it out and move right along. Winn opens the episode nearly getting his brains blown out after trying to help Guardian stop a thief and it looked like they were setting up a real crisis of faith as Winn grapples with his role in this hero game and his own limitations in the field. Instead, they just ship him off to an alien planet and leave him with no backup (Seriously, Alex? Dude doesn't even get a gun out there? Or one guy to keep lookout?). Yes, Winn found some inner strength and bravery, but wouldn't it make sense to actually put the guy through some basic field training at this point? Doesn't Winn want to learn how to handle himself better? If the DEO is going to be dragging him out into the line of fire, at least teach him how to defend himself. C'mon. Also, it was great to see Dichen Lachman pop back up as Roulette, but her bit role really felt like a waste. A nice nod back, but if you're going to use her, at least give her more to do.
Lines of the night
“I've gotta get Botox for that, if they can figure out how to get a needle in my arm.” - Kara
“This plan sucks.” - Mon-El
“Oh my god! It's Stargate!” - Winn
“I'm not a red shirt, I'm not a red shirt.” - Winn
What is up with Mon-El and those aliens? Here, we see a Dominator save him and bow? Yeah, this is not going to end well for anyone. It's a bit hard to fathom they'd have a sun grenade ready to go in the event Kara's ever on an alien planet with a red sun, but who cares — it was awesome. Kara's news stories are 8,000 words long? That's an insanely long news story! Despite the fact that story certainly needs a good edit, Kara looks to be earning Snapper's respect. Nice to see that relationship make a bit of progress.
Next week: Livewire is back!