Supergirl: Suspicious Minds

Supergirl: “Just because I don’t work at the DEO anymore doesn’t mean I’m going to stop being a hero. No matter what you say.”

Colonel Haley is upset after Supergirl responds to a distress call from a Navy ship that turns out to be a deadly alien attack, and she continues to put Supergirl’s secret identity in jeopardy.

This is an excellent episode, fast-paced and full of conflict. I liked nearly everyone and how they behaved.

The action part of the episode is started by Supergirl’s trying to save a Navy (or Coast Guard) ship from attack. Nearly everyone is killed; the only clue is a shimmer that Supergirl sees. Colonel Haley is not pleased by Supergirl’s showing up; Supergirl insists she's going to keep saving people, no matter what Haley says. To track down what might have caused the shimmer, Alex and Kara visit J’onn to go through old files (I bet it was illegal, but it's always a good idea to have copies of secret files) and they discover that several people (including Haley) were involved in training some mostly invisible aliens, called Morae, to be assassins. The Morae are now being targeted for death by the very group that trained them, and naturally, they want to fight back (and attack Haley).

Another thrust of the episode is Supergirl’s secret identity. Several people in the DEO are aware of it. Some, such as Brainy, will not break under interrogation, but eventually one woman does, and Colonel Haley orders Supergirl to quit her position at Catco and to work at the DEO full time. Alex slugs Haley – most satisfying – and we seem to have a solution when J’onn J’onzz does a mind wipe on Haley. Alas, the solution is only temporary. Colonel Haley is determined; mind wipes erase memories but not intentions; and she brings in “Truth-Seekers” – creatures that will always discover the truth. The DEO employees aware that Kara = Supergirl all agree to have that portion of their minds wiped. Including Alex.

The emotional parts of the episode fall into several groups. First, James and Lena reconcile. I liked their reconciliation, which was done in a mature and reasonable manner. Second, poor Alex! What do you do when the organization for which you work is being subverted for evil purposes? Do you resign? You’ve got to want it, because life at work will be hell. On the other hand, by being in your position you may be able to prevent some abuses. Third, poor Kara! To have Alex no longer know that she is Supergirl will be so isolating.

The philosophical core of the episode: Do the ends justify the means? You can see that many times they seem to, at least to the perpetrators. Still, Supergirl gives us many questionable actions. Lena’s interference with respect to James’s indictment. The trauma applied to the Morae. Deciding to kill your own trained assassins. The wiping of minds, a terrible violation, even when it is voluntary.

Promising threads are being laid down for future arcs: Nia Nal’s being invited to become a hero; Siberian Supergirl; J’onn J’onzz and his P.I. services (I think this has the least potential, but because of the fantastic new set that is supposed to be his office, I think the creators must be going this way); Lena’s work with the Harun-El that could lead to superhumans. The last is especially interesting and leads to more philosophical questions. Wouldn't the enhanced humans be as different from us as the aliens? A truth is that there are often great changes between generations

Title musings:
The title of the episode is “Suspicious Minds,” and certainly many minds in the episode could be considered suspicious: either that they had suspect motives, or that they were suspecting others. Brainy’s compartmentalized mind, the reference to Nia Nal’s dreams, and J’onn J’onzz’s ability to wipe minds make their minds especially suspicious. But I wish the title had had more to do with the ends and the means.

Bits and pieces

Like the Russian version of Supergirl and getting to see her in action. Snow is a good clue we’re up north!

Love how Supergirl has to fake it at an exercise class!

Enjoyed Brainy’s mental compartmentalization on a timer. Also get a hint at his backstory, how he had to choose to be a hero at some point.

Having aliens who are invisible most of the time must save on the special effects budget.

I want Mehcad Brooks to come to my kitchen and make cheese soufflé.

Quotes

Brainy (to J’onn J'onzz): Some might say launching a P.I. business is very old-fashioned. But then again, you are very … old.

James (to Lena): When you told me how you helped me with the indictment, I jumped on my moral high horse and rode it into the sunset, and I felt pretty justified about being angry. But after everything I went through with the Children of Liberty, I had to rethink some things.

James: Sometimes the ends do justify the means.

Colonel Haley (to Alex): Every soldier in every war has had to do things they consider awful. Now this is reality. Sometimes reality is messy, and it’s ugly, and it’s uncomfortable.

Lena (to James): I need you as the angel on my shoulder so I can determine the right course.

Brainy: Of course, if all else fails, there’s always Plan S.

Alex: I have to stay. And I have to fight this from within.

Overall Rating

Excellent episode. Entertaining, thought-provoking, showing both sides of things, except for the invisible aliens. Three and a half out of four invisible aliens.

Victoria Grossack loves math, Greek mythology, Jane Austen and great storytelling in many forms.

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I so agree -- terrific review, Victoria, of an excellent episode. This is a whole new, emotionally fraught situation for Kara and Alex. Alex's choice really upset me, even while I completely understood why she did it.

Nick said...

J’onn J’onzz and his P.I. services (I think this has the least potential, but because of the fantastic new set that is supposed to be his office, I think the creators must be going this way);

It's also a nod to his comic book origins as his human form is usually a police detective.