This episode came out of nowhere to be one of my favorites of this season. It had great action, solid storytelling, character development, standout moments and another exciting cliffhanger for next week. True, there is a strong argument that the episode’s cliffhanger was more exciting as a fanboy and who was in it as opposed to the plot. Regardless Supergirl succeeds in making me look forward to Mondays. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, there is plenty to dive into for this week, including more Dean Cain, uncomfortable timely references and excellent insight into Kara’s mind. And now for the Top 5 moments from Exodus!
5. For Tropes Sake
Whether it is film, television, theatre or literature, it is nearly impossible for the plot to not fall into a kind of trope. Tropes exist for a reason. They are tried and true storytelling devices that entertain and move the story forward, usually providing hurdles for the characters and are often rooted in creating conflict within core cast. One of those tropes can be described as, “The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” As with many superhero shows, Supergirl often uses this device as characters do the wrong thing for the right reasons. Invariably, it winds up causing conflict between the characters. This week, following Alex defying orders and J’onn masquerading as Jeremiah, (the latter I felt was justified but that may be just me) the two reconnected after a brief estrangement. Alex asked, “Can we agree to stop doing the wrong thing for the right reasons?” To which, J’onn agreed embracing her in a hug. By acknowledging the trope, are the writers focusing on abandoning it? Truth be told it would be a herculean (Kryptonian?) task with this style of storytelling. I applaud the writers for calling themselves out.
4. Dean Cain, Superman
To the shock of no one, Dean Cain is again in my Top 5. One may argue that I am simply looking at all of this through blue, red and yellow tinted glasses. But I ask, what is wrong with that? He is kind of a version of Cyborg Superman, is getting to do some fun action sequences, and it does look like his allegiance with Cadmus is to protect his daughters. His choice falls in line with with the trope mentioned above, but I digress. Yes, we got to see Jeremiah fight alongside Alex and a brief Cyborg Superman bout with Henshaw. But the writers got an audible fanboy squeak of delight from me as Lillian Luthor said of Jermiah, “We have all the Superman we need right here.” Fan service FTW.
3. Sisters United
From the get-go, one of the show’s strongest features has been the relationship between the Danvers sisters. Their reliance trust and unbridled support for each other has been endearing and inspiring. This season the sister’s bond has waned, slightly due to the focus lent on the developing respective romantic relationships, and more so now due to the conflict caused by Jeremiah. This episode had an outstanding scene where Kara and Alex reconnected, albeit with a solid barrier of glass in between them. In a sequence that nearly had to be inspired by that famous Kirk/Spock scene, “the needs of the many”, Kara is trying with all her might to stop the ship from Cadmus’ Project Exodus. Seeing Kara struggle, Alex reaches out to her, telling Kara that she can do it. Re-establishing their bond was tremendous and heartwarming.
2. Uncomfortable Timeliness
More than once during this episode I said something along the lines of, “I’m uncomfortable with how timely this show is.” As stated in previous weeks, Supergirl has been repeatedly on point in being topical of current discussions effecting society. But this was a little unnerving. It all started right off at the beginning of the episode as a peaceful, alien family was violently taken into custody by a black ops team. Later, we listened to Snapper Carr preach about the importance of integrity in journalism, and that the loss of which could lead to “a fascist in the Whitehouse”. Lest we forget the reveal of Project Exodus: rounding up aliens and send them back to their home planets. These are planets that many of those aliens had escaped persecution, poverty, and violence, hoping for a better life on Earth. Sound at all familiar? Did they throw in some last minute shoots to add this poignant social commentary? Regardless, Supergirl writers deserve applause as they are not afraid to take these difficult and frightening issues on.
1. The Core of Kara
The show had another poignant moment towards the end of the episode. Mon-El came to visit Kara, following her dismissal from CatCo. Mon-El attempts to cheer her up, (I still don’t like him) reminding her of all the good she does as Supergirl. Kara confides in him one of the reasons why she loved her job at CatCo so much. She told him, “When I write, I don’t need a yellow sun. It’s just me. Supergirl is what I can do, Kara is who I am.” Here, we see a key difference between Superman and Supergirl. ‘Clark Kent’ is by and large a persona. Superman is who Clark really is. Kara is on the flip side, Supergirl is more of a persona while Kara Danvers, intrepid reporter is her core. This is not to be construed to make her seem less heroic, quite to the contrary. She has come to see her work as a reporter to be just as important as her ability to block bullets. Clark is a great investigative reporter, but it always comes in a distant second to being the Man of Steel. Kara sees things differently. It’s refreshing.
That wraps things up for this week’s Top 5, but before we go can we just talk about that cliffhanger? Teri Hatcher? Kevin Sorbo? Prince of Daxam confirmation for Mon-El? Trouble in paradise for Kara and Mon-El? What am I most excited about? (Probably Teri Hatcher. I squealed no less than seven times, “LOIS AND CLARK WERE IN THIS EPISODE.”)