Spoilers ahead for "Resist," the latest episode of The CW's Supergirl!
The short version: Calista Flockhart's Cat Grant returns to save National City when the Daxamites invade. Kara teams up with Cadmus to try and stop Evil Teri Hatcher; it doesn't end all that well. Superman has also been brainwashed. Oh, and the president is a good alien.
The good: Cat Grant, Cat Grant, Cat Grant, Cat Grant, the resistance vibe, the action
Trent: Have I mentioned Cat Grant is back in this episode? When the series was picked up by The CW and production was moved to Canada, Supergirl underwent a decent bit of retooling to better fit the CW super-mold. Part of that was the loss of Calista Flockhart, who did not want to relocate from California to remain on the series. But they left the door open for her to return, and she finally did in "Resist." And it was glorious. This show has been hit and miss for much of the season, and this episode was a reminder of just how different a show this is without Cat Grant pulling the strings. She's a fantastic character, and having her back for these final two episodes only serves as a reminder of how much she's been lacking the rest of the season. this show needs more Cat Grant.
Setting up a rivalry between Cat and Evil Teri Hatcher was an excellent dynamic. Rhea has always been a good bit on the melodramatic side, and it takes someone like Cat to just call that stuff out. I mean, who wears a tiara? For real. Oh, and she still can't tell Kara is Supergirl — but put together James' secret identity in under ten seconds. Classic.
This episode picked up with National City under a full-on alien siege, and it was such a great story to play with. Since they're funded and staffed by the DEO, we rarely see our heroes with their backs against the wall (it's the classic Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. problem from Season 1). But this episode actually managed to cut the team off from pretty much all their resources and set them against an enemy that is bordering on insurmountable. If anything, it's a shame they didn't get to this story a while earlier and spend a few episodes in this resistance world. It's a great story.
You can tell they saved some of the budget to blow it out in the final two episodes, and the effects work was mostly top-notch here. From Supergirl's diving save of Alex at the DEO to just all the alien fighting, it looks like a whole lot of fun.
Dany: This is sort of like that time Giles came back at the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 6 and, when Buffy admitted she was sleeping with Spike, he just laughed. And then Buffy laughed, too. And then I laughed and felt relieved for a moment. Cat Grant was the heart of Supergirl season 1, and this season it was sometimes tough to tell if Supergirl had a heart at all.
What's funny is that it's not even as though this was some great piece of writing. I mean the resistance stuff is all a little on the nose, don't you think? I mean, hey, I'll take it since Calista Flockhart can sell it, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a little corny in spots.
Oh, hell, who am I kidding? Having Wonder Woman and Ally McBeal fighting against an evil, desperate housewife from space is dream television. Especially since the undercurrent of the whole thing was that it's important for citizens of a nation to cast fear aside when there's a need to rise up against an absolute evil. I've been saying how over-the-top evil Rhea is, but at least she doesn't spend all her free time saying crazy $#@! on Twitter?
Everyone else was solid, too. I liked the Alex and Maggie team-up. Cat Grant knowing that James is Guardian was absolutely classic. Even Lillian Luthor and Cyborg Superman Hank Henshaw got a solid plotline!
And I'm going to provisionally say I'm into the Superman cliffhanger. Again, I don't want this to become the Superman show (and it hasn't so far), but I also don't want the finale to be too dominated on one punching match either. But some punches? I'm cool with that.
The bad: Not much, thought it did feel a bit rushed
Dany: I'm about to come for the wardrobe and I am very sorry about that. Rhea's dresses are unflattering and weird. For all the time Cat Grant spends coming for that tiara, she could've come just as hard for the royal business casual outfits Rhea has been wearing all season.
And wtf was that red wedding dress they shoved Lena Luthor in? It takes a lot to make Katie McGrath look slightly less good, but that dress sure accomplished it. Plus: a red wedding dress? Is this Beetlejuice? What's happening?
Related to the forced Mon-El/Lena wedding: if I find out Rhea already made a baby with their DNA I am going to flip tables. Mystic pregnancy storylines never work and alien techno-baby won't be any better, I promise. So, let's not go there, maybe?
Trent: Look, this was one of the best episodes of Supergirl this year. Thanks in large part to Flockhart's appearance. She tied this cast together in a way that has been sorely lacking, and it was pretty great. If I had one complaint, it'd be that all the story beats seemed a bit rushed. Which makes sense, because they crammed a lot into this episode. But, they really didn't need to — because again — there's no reason this story couldn't have started episodes again and played out to a climax. But still, good stuff.
Kara staying on the ship wreaked of a plot contrivance. Rhea has had a million changes. Just get off the ship and take her out. Because of that, Alex's big chance to run the DEO crashes and burns, and she doesn't make the tough call to take out the ship before the DEO's positron canon is wiped out. It's natural she'd be hesitant to shoot a ship with Kara on it, but c'mon, you're saving the world from an alien invasion. Sometimes you have to make the tough calls, Danvers. Also, has Lena seriously not figured out that Kara is Supergirl? This is getting silly.
Superman was MIA pretty much the whole episode, and in the final moment, we find out why — he's apparently been brainwashed by Evil Teri Hatcher. Which, okay, is pretty much one of the oldest tricks in the comic book, err, book. So, hard to really nitpick here. But, it's a good explanation to get Supes off the board, and gives Kara an even more formidable adversary in her way. But, how did the Daxamites get to Superman in the first place? To that end, why not use whatever she's using on Kara?
Can they please work it out for more Cat Grant in Season 3. Please?
Line of the night:
"Well at least tell me you're still a Democrat?" - Cat Grant
Next week: The all-out battle for humanity begins in "Nevertheless She Persisted." Which is on the nose, but still pretty great.