Spoilers ahead for "Ace Reporter," the latest episode of The CW's Supergirl!
The short version: One of Lena's ex-boyfriends apparently builds nanotech that turns out to be evil (like pretty much all nanotech). But, twist! It's actually being controlled by the company's CFO. Kara and Lena are besties. Kara gets her job back and earns the respect of Snapper Carr.
The good: Kara and Lena, Kara's a halfway decent reporter, nanotech goes rogue
Trent: The friendship between Kara and Lena has been a real bright spot of this season, and their relationship got a chance to shine in this one. This storyline has been a bit hot and cold, but there's some real chemistry there when they give these two a meaty story and a chance to shine. Though it bobbed and weaved into Lena's relationship with her old science beau, it was Kara and Lena that made up the heart of this story. The show needs more of that, so keep it coming.
As a recovering newspaper journalist, CatCo's approach to journalism can sometimes be infuriatingly silly. But, not this week. Kara and Snapper do a good job of investigating the case, confirm their intel, and break a big scoop. Considering we've been told over and over that Kara wants to be a good reporter, it's refreshing to actually be shown some of that, here. Sure, Snapper is still a curmudgeonly cliche, but Kara actually knows how to do the job. Progress.
This episode tackled the tried and true sci-fi trope of nanotechnology, and though you could probably guess the big twist by Act 2, it was still a solid little story that provided something a bit different than the typical Supergirl fare. A palate cleanser, if you will.
Dany: So, this is probably my pick for best episode of Season 2 thus far. Almost everything was perfect. The Supercorp was epic. Rahul Kohli, who was on loan from iZombie (which you should be watching), pulled in a fantastic performance as Jack Spheer. I think this might be the best portrayal of a sympathetic antagonist I've seen in years.
I'll tell you something else: was really pleased with the technobabble this week. How many times have we heard of nanotech? And how many times do you see a swarm of anything technological that is then compared with bees? Whoever was responsible for using the migratory habits of starlings instead, I could kiss you! Murmuration as inspiration for technological development? Very cool.
And I didn't hate Mon-El! He was helpful! He was funny! He actually listened to the woman he is dating as though she is some manner of grown adult! Wild.
But, yes, of course, the night belongs to Katie McGrath and her performance as Lena Luthor. So funny, so beautiful, and such a tragic turn! I don't often have emotions for TV these days, back Lena having to sacrifice Jack's life to save Supergirl's was really powerful. And seeing the beginning of Lena's turn towards darkness, the betrayal inevitably to come, was some of the best writing and the best acting I've seen on any CW show in a while. Melissa Benoist and Katie McGrath should really take a bow on that one. Well done.
The bad: The B stories actually felt like a bit of a distraction, Teri Hatcher feels out of place, uh ... still no Cat Grant?
Dany: Honestly, I have almost no complaints. Mostly, I was sad to realize that Alex and Maggie have become so tepid that I didn't even realize they'd been away all episode until it was over. What happened to that old Sanvers magic? Also, can I just say I don't give a @#$% about Mon-El's family? Like, at all? In a season already packed to capacity with plotlines, did we really need these very melodramatic and boring characters? Teri Hatcher is swell, but even she can't save this narrative from feeling woefully out of place. When she shows up at episode's end, I just thought, "oh, yeah ... that $#@."
Also, I'm still mad as hell there's not Cat Grant until the end of the season. Every time Snapper doles out surly advice, I think about how much I would rather it were Cat doing it.
Trent: For me, this was a solid episode. The only thing that felt a bit off was when the story tried to incorporate the supporting cast, which came off a bit off-tone with the rest of the story. Mon-El was great, using his awkward goofiness to pick Jack's pocket, but the tone wasn't a good fit for the A-story. The same goes for the Guardian/Winn story. It wasn't bad, just a weird fit with this particular episode.
Lines of the night
"I am here to kick some ass, take some names, and do it all with an endearing smile." -Kara
"So what's your kryptonite?" - Lena
"Did I mention I was a Luthor?" - Lena
So, Kara officially got her job back at CatCo. If anything, the little mini-arc of seeing her fired and returning to the bullpen felt like it got the short sell. It's set up for us to feel like Kara took a moral stand, went solo for a bit, learned some stuff, and earner her way back. But, we never got to see a whole lot of that happen. From all we've seen, Kara spent her unemployed time kicking around with Mon-El and baking a whole lot of stuff. But, hey. At least she's back.
Also, where's Wonder Woman? I mean, the president. You know, the one who is a secret alien? Remember when Cadmus was our big bad? All that stuff is still lingering out there somewhere, right?
Next week: Supergirl does Saw? Okay, yeah, we're in for that.