“Alex” is difficult to evaluate. There were interesting points but several issues keep this week’s Supergirl from soaring.
On principle, I like how Kara learns how punching her way through her problems isn’t the best course of action. It adds a new layer to Kara being “super.” I’d argue she isn’t the punch first, ask questions later type. Supergirl didn’t set the stage for this conflict, but it was otherwise handled well enough. Criminals using the vigilante defense borrows a lot from Batman, and this story is more in line with Batman, but I’d give this storyline some extra leeway if Supergirl had developed it. The opening ten minutes of “Alex” didn’t do enough. We needed a few episodes for context.
Supergirl also leaned too much on Maggie and Alex’s relationship for my taste. The show has earned some latitude regarding this romance. Supergirl has done a great job for a CW show of depicting this relationship—the bar isn’t that high—but Maggie’s argument of “You’re her (Alex’s) sister, but that doesn’t mean you trump me as her girlfriend” doesn’t hold water. Kara and Alex are family. Maggie won’t be family until she marries Alex. I agree that Kara should’ve listened to Maggie, but ultimately, Kara does trump her. Put a ring on it, Maggie.
The Lena Luthor-Rhea (Mon-El’s mom) plotline has played out as badly as I thought it would. I’ll reiterate, I never cared for it. Maybe that colors my perception of this story arc, but Lena and Rhea behaved out of character this week. Since she’s been on the series longer, let’s start with Lena.
Lena questions Rhea’s intentions. She finds out Rhea’s an alien and her instinct is to contact Kara for a character reference. That makes sense. It sounds like something Lena would do. Kara’s too busy when Lena calls and she implies she’ll wait for Kara to have a free moment. At episode’s end Lena reconsiders—the reasoning for which occurs off camera in typical CW fashion—and gives Rhea a chance. Supergirl needed to show what changed to make Lena come to this decision. I don’t buy Lena trusting her gut in trusting Rhea when her gut reaction was to ask Kara.
We don’t know as much about Rhea but we do know she owns a large spaceship that scanned the elemental composition of Earth (for potential toxins), and “Alex” asks us to believe she’d forget that detail (including an element that doesn’t exist on Earth in her proposed blueprints). The episode also suggests Rhea would Wikipedia Lena’s bio so she could say they went to the same college. Sure she would. That’s so farfetched I’ll quote Ralph Wiggum (Simpsons) by saying that’s unpossible.
I could go on but I’ll stop. The Lena-Rhea connection is ill-conceived. It puts too much emphasis on a character we just met and places the season finale in the hands of the Mon-Kara romance. The CW needs to divorce itself from romance. The writers don’t know how relationships work.
Thanks for reading.