Supergirl: Resist

"The future is female. We've all read the T-shirts."

This jam-packed penultimate cliffhanger episode featured our two young female heroes aided by the queen of media and the female president of the United States, fighting two female supervillains. Honestly, one of the big reasons I continue to enjoy Supergirl is because all this grrl power is such a nice change from the male heroes and villains that always dominate this sort of comic book show.

In a full-on tribute to Independence Day or possibly V, the Daxamites invaded National City with Queen Rhea broadcasting from above like a commercial in Blade Runner that the people of Earth should not be afraid, just as her soldiers were proving her wrong by zapping them with their ray guns slash pole-vaulting equipment. To cement her power, Rhea decided to force her son Mon-El to marry Lena Luthor and produce a royal heir, even though apparently Daxamites have the technology to clone a baby from locks of hair. Why would Queen Rhea care about optics and heirs to the throne when she's carrying out the invasion of an entire planet? It's a mystery. At least that gave us some nice moments for Mon-El, who seems to know his place as Kara's damsel in distress, and the stunning Katie McGrath in a stunning red wedding dress.


As a counterpoint to Queen Rhea and the alien invasion, we had Lillian Luthor, who decided that an enemy of her enemy was someone she could pretend to work with but ultimately betray in the end. I've been undecided for awhile about whether Lillian actually cares about Lena, but I guess she does, and how about the effective use of the Phantom Zone projector to get everyone to and from the ship? Why all that plot time spent on the transmatter thing, then? My bet is that the Phantom Zone might turn out to be a useful way to get rid of Queen Rhea in next week's finale that will keep Teri Hatcher available for a possible return to the series. (That's a total guess, by the way. I don't read spoilers.)

Then we had President Olivia Marsdin and Cat Grant plunge into the episode during a witty and hugely dramatic attack on Air Force One, again reminding me in the nicest way of the Christopher Reeve Superman movies. As it turns out, President Wonder Woman is a good alien, not a bad alien. And Cat Grant can still steal every single scene she is in. My two favorite scenes in this episode were all about Cat — and this is coming from me, who initially disliked her in a great big way.


The best one was Supergirl and Cat Grant in the dumpster scene having a heart to heart. Cat confided that she had gone to the happiest place on earth (Bhutan? really?) searching for the secret of happiness, and discovered in the end that her problem was loneliness, and that it was human connection that she lacked. "It's not about what you do. It's about who you love." That helped Kara realize that for her, Mon-El and Lena in danger was what mattered the most. Stopping to reflect doesn't always work in an action-packed episode, but this time, it was a perfect, sweet callback to the many times Cat mentored and encouraged Kara in their previous roles as boss and assistant.

Although... I know that we left logic behind a long time ago, but how can Cat listen to Supergirl calling her "Ms. Grant" in Kara Danvers' voice and not put the two of them together? For that matter, how can Lena look at her new alien bridegroom Mon-El and recognize him as Kara's boyfriend "Mike" and not see Kara as Supergirl? It's all very confusing. Okay, it's stupid.

And that issue arose again in another wonderful sequence of scenes when Cat and "Winslow" took over the deeply damaged CatCo building and managed to broadcast Cat's message of courage to the people of National City. Honestly, I wanted to transcribe everything Cat said in this episode, and she and Winn together again were such a pleasure to watch. I particularly enjoyed Winn trying to explain that James and "Kira" were absent from the fight because they were cowards, followed by Guardian arriving and saving them and Cat immediately recognizing James in his Guardian garb.

All this would have been enough, but an episode of Supergirl should always include terrific Kara/Alex scenes, and this one did. The best bit was Alex and Kara hugging goodbye before Kara took off into danger, but I also absolutely loved Alex giving us an outstanding John McClane move when she jumped off the building firing her gun, trusting her sister to arrive in time to catch her before she hit the pavement. Alex and Maggie also had a nice bit where they teamed up to break into the DEO and take it back. And then, since J'onn is still under the weather, the President made Alex acting director of the DEO, making it nearly impossible for Alex to press the button that would destroy Supergirl along with Queen Rhea's mothership.

I had a feeling Superman would show up at the last minute. Not brainwashed, though. As if the situation wasn't dire enough.

Bits:

-- Again, a politically relevant episode title ("Resist"). Plus there was Rhea's slogan, "Make the world great again."

-- Lillian said that Lena would hate Kara when she finds out she's Supergirl. Come on. If I found out my best friend was secretly an alien superhero, I'd be thrilled.

-- Cyborg Superman went along for the ride with Lillian, although his face mask looked a bit like it was about to fall off. I loved Kara calling him "R2" when he put the probe thing in the wall thing, in an obvious callback to a Star Wars scene.

-- Where is Jeremiah Danvers? He's now missing. Come on, I'm still waiting for my Dean Cain/Teri Hatcher scene.

-- We learned that President Marsdin is a refugee from the planet Durla. Which is pronounced "Door-la" instead of "Derr-la."

-- Queen Rhea just told Kara that she killed Mon-El's father. I was wondering how Mon-El would find out.

Quotes, mostly the Cat Grant edition:

Mon-El: "How's the invasion progressing? Is it as much fun as you'd hoped?"

Alex: "I'm so glad you're okay."
Maggie: "I'm so glad that when things look their worst, we both thought to run straight to a bar."
Great use of the alien bar in this episode, by the way.

Cat: "If I wanted to listen to this adolescent macho posturing, I would have stayed in DC. Is this really who you want to be, testosterone-driven windbags boasting about your big guns? Surely we don't need to measure anything. We're women."

President Marsdin: "I suppose I owe you an explanation."
Cat: "Well, at least tell me you're still a Democrat."
I don't think I've ever laughed harder at any other line on this show.

Cat: "Supergirl, I understand you setting up your rebel headquarters in a dive bar, it's very French Resistance. But what are all these monitors and these satellites, and these handsome armed men dressed in black?"

Cat: "She was my R.A. at Radcliffe and I'm having this vague memory of walking into the dorm bathroom and seeing E.T. in a bathrobe and I thought it was the pot brownies, but now I'm realizing that it was actually E.T."

Cat: "If I can survive dinner with that letch Bill O'Reilly, I can certainly survive a little turbulence."

Cat: "There are free weights in my office, and it smells like a West Hollywood gym in here. And there are sports paraphernalia where my diptych candles are supposed to be."

Winn: (re: lead dust) "Space asthma. It's my idea."
Great idea, Winn.

Alex: "Just be faster."
Kara: "Faster than a speeding bullet."
That was so sweet.

They pulled out the stops for this episode, and it was wonderful. I just wish there had been more of this sooner in a not-so-great season. Four out of four pot brownies,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.

4 comments:

Kate Jonson said...

Mon-El wears glasses like Kara and Clark. That's why Lena doesn't know it's him. You know classic glasses running joke. lol

Billie Doux said...

Kate Jonson, you're right -- but the thing is, Lena recognized "Mike" while they were being (almost) forced to get married. She mentioned the fact that he was Kara's boyfriend. So she knows Kara's boyfriend is an alien prince who doesn't need glasses. And even though she saw Mon-El and Kara together, wearing glasses, she didn't it together that Kara is Supergirl. It was just too much for me. :)

Patryk said...

The Daxamite weapons were straight out of Stargate and the Invasion definately more like V then Independence Day with the big talking head in the sky.

Winn designed the Guardian suit pretty close to the Daxamite attire.

Brainwashed Superman? Must be season finale time. At least this time we have an actor to portray him unlike last season.

Yeah Lena should find out or reveal she already knows about Sueprgirl soon or this will be really pushing it.

Serena + Pumpkin said...

I totally love Terri Hatcher as the big bad. She's just campy enough that she's evil without being ridiculous. She's one of my favorite villains in the CW D.C. verse, which honestly isn't saying much.

And so much better than Dean Cain, who just did not age well.

Also, fun fact: the actresses who played Rhea and Lilian starred on Desperate Housewives together.