After taking a week off so that rich rock stars could pat themselves on the back on live television, ‘Supergirl’ returns this week with an episode that seems mostly like filler, but does have a few lessons about ethics and morals to teach the kiddies at home.
It’s another girls-night-in for Kara and Alex at Kara’s apartment. Kara tells her sister that she actually misses Astra, which leads Alex to start to tell her that she really killed her aunt. However, before that can happen, Non swoops in and asks Kara to come with him. It’s Astra’s funeral, and Non wants Kara to recite the Kryptonian Words of the Dead (or whatever they’re called) before he launches her coffin into space. After the ceremony concludes, Non tells Kara that the next coffin is going to have her in it, but first he plans to properly mourn for two weeks.
The next morning at CatCo, Kara is stunned to find that Cat has hired a second assistant – named Siobhan Smythe (Italia Ricci, no relation to Christina although they could probably pass for sisters) – to help out around the office. Even worse, Kara has now been dubbed “Assistant #2.” Cat calls her new assistant, Jimmy and Lucy into her office to talk about Maxwell Lord, whom Cat is certain has disappeared. Jimmy feels uncomfortable because he knows that the DEO is holding Max prisoner.
Speaking of the DEO, they get info about where a Fort Rozz escapee might be. It’s an alien who likes to eat human flesh, so he’s probably over on the set of ‘The Walking Dead’, right? Don’t worry, he’s not this episode’s Alien of the Week; he’s just bait for the real villain – the Master Jailer, a bounty hunter that takes Fort Rozz criminals and acts as judge, jury and executioner for them. When the DEO tries to recapture the flesh-eater, the Master Jailer gets to him first and takes him back to his spaceship to behead him with a fancy laser guillotine.
Naturally, as is par for the course on almost every episode of this series, Supergirl tracks down the Master Jailer for what I refer to as “Fight #1.” Supergirl always gets her ass handed to her in the first fight, or at least looks like she’s no match for the week’s villain. This, of course, leads to “Fight #2” at episode’s end, where you can probably guess who comes out on top. This first fight reveals that the Master Jailer has chains that shoot out of the gloves/arms of his armor – so those of you with twisted bondage fantasies about Melissa Benoist (Just me? Huh.) might get a few inappropriate jollies from this sequence.
The real message of this episode, however, has to do with Kara’s (and, by association, the DEO’s) acceptance of keeping Maxwell Lord locked up just because they know he’s a bad person. Jimmy confronts Kara about this and asks her if that’s really the person she wants to be. This is probably the episode’s best scene, and while others may not like the dramatic moralizing, I appreciate when shows like this put their main characters into moral dilemmas. A series like ‘Supergirl’ needs more moments like this one, and a little less fisticuffs, in my opinion.
The DEO figures out that one of its law enforcement contacts (I thought he was an FBI agent, but the episode later suggests he’s a cop, so I’m not sure and it’s not that important) is dirty. When Alex and Supergirl lead a team to go to get him, they find out that his partner (which I’m fairly sure was posing as FBI… again, not important) is actually the Master Jailer. He shoots the other cop/agent in the head and then flies off with Kara as his prisoner. He takes her back to his spaceship and puts her in a steel cage, which keeps red sun rays on her so that she doesn’t have her powers. In another cage is a Fort Rozz prisoner, whom Kara learns was sentenced by her mother as a drug dealer, but since coming to Earth has gotten a job as a professor and now teaches astronomy to students.
The DEO finally figures out where Supergirl is and launches a rescue, led by Alex, who fires some holes in the ceiling (the spaceship is buried beneath a cabin in the woods) so the sun can come in and Kara can get her powers back. Supergirl disables the Master Jailer pretty quickly – which is sort of a cheat, but again, the villain’s only purpose in this week’s story is to get Supergirl to reflect on her own morals.
Supergirl, Alex and Hank eventually decide to let Maxwell Lord go, but Alex lets him know that they have a whole dossier on his crimes, so any info he chooses to reveal about Supergirl or her real identity will be done at his own peril. The episode ends with Supergirl asking the hologram of her mother about the “Myriad” thing that Astra talked about and getting no reply. In fact, the hologram tells her it will self-destruct if she asks any more questions about it. There’s also a scene where Jimmy tells Kara that he doesn’t want to have to lie to Lucy anymore about what he knows, and would like permission to tell Lucy that Kara is really Supergirl.
This isn’t a great episode for this first season, but Benoist is just as charming as ever and the story is certainly watchable. Next week’s episode looks like it might be a whole lot more interesting, but I won’t spoil what’s coming up, just relay that it’s titled ‘Solitude’, so that will probably give some of you die-hard fans a hint about what we’ll see.