She’s back! After a two-month break, the Girl of Steel finally returns to the small screen in an episode of ‘Supergirl’ directed by Kevin Smith (he of ‘Clerks’ fame, but recently of more dubious ‘Yoga Hosers’ fame). Fans worried that the foul-mouthed, 420-friendly Smith might screw things up need not be concerned. This is a pretty solid entry.
The episode gets underway with Supergirl flying to stop some jewel thieves making a getaway in a van. She’s assisted by Guardian (a.k.a. Jimmy Olsen) as well as Winn, who jumps out of his own van (that he uses as a computer center to help Guardian) to stop one of the bad guys. In doing so, another villain gets the drop on Winn and is seconds away from putting a bullet in his head until Guardian shows up to save him. However, Winn’s brush with the hereafter will affect his decision-making for the remainder of this episode.
The next day at work, Kara and her boss, Snapper Carr, get a visit from a frantic mother who reports that her daughter Izzy (whom viewers will soon learn is played by Kevin Smith’s real-life daughter, Harley Quinn Smith) has vanished. Snapper doesn’t really want anything to do with what looks like the case of a runaway, but Kara decides to investigate it on her own. She soon learns of a local lab that’s paying young people for blood work, so she and Mon-El go together to investigate. Of course, the lab is not what it seems and the two find themselves in a room with a large alien portal. The seemingly human doctor who’s running the lab reveals that he’s actually a reptilian alien. After a short fight, Supergirl goes through the portal to locate all the missing teenagers. Mon-El follows her through to the other side. Once there, the pair find themselves on a desolate planet with a red sun – meaning that neither Supergirl nor Mon-El have any powers.
The two are befriended by a local alien (James Urbaniak) who tells them that they’re on the planet Maaldoria, better known as the “Slavers’ Moon.” He tells them that the people they’re searching for are being sold into slavery and held in the large, heavily protected structure nearby. He also notes that there’s no way in and no way out. However, Supergirl knows that there’s at least one way in. In the next scene, she and Mon-El surrender to the aliens. They’re put in a holding cell with the rest of the prisoners, including Izzy, and they soon learn that Roulette (Dichen Lachman), the woman who ran the alien fight club back in Episode 4 of this season, is behind the selling of the slaves to the aliens.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, the folks at the DEO find the portal and figure out that Supergirl is trapped on the other side. They also know that she doesn’t have any powers there. When Winn suggests that J’onn go through to rescue everyone, the Martian Manhunter points out that the atmosphere of the planet is toxic to him. (This is what we call a plot contrivance, folks.) As a result, Alex and a group of DEO soldiers go through the portal instead – along with Winn (at the insistence of Alex), who’s responsible for opening the portal back up for them when they come back. Of course, given his brush with death earlier in the episode, Winn is scared silly about what awaits for him on the alien world.
The remainder of the episode is primarily a lot of fisticuffs. Supergirl and Mon-El make their escape and catch up to Alex and her soldiers, who are working their way in from the outside. When one of the reptilian aliens gets the drop on Mon-El, a larger, slim-build alien (who was about to purchase all the human slaves) stops him – saying that Mon-El is not to be harmed.
Back at the portal, another reptilian alien attacks Winn and is about to shoot him when Winn stops him with a large rock and knocks him out. (Winn celebrates his victory by yelling, in a nod toward ‘Star Trek’, “I’m not a red shirt!”). Supergirl, Alex and the others make it back to the portal. Just when it seems the aliens coming after them have the upper hand, Alex detonates a “sun grenade” that J’onn prepared, which temporarily gives Supergirl back her powers so she can hold off the aliens until everyone gets back home. Joining them in the return to Earth is the alien they befriended earlier. Will we see him in future episodes? I’m guessing so.
The episode wraps up with Kara turning in her story about the alien slave world to Snapper, Winn telling Jimmy that he’s back in the game assisting Guardian, and Mon-El telling Kara that he wants to be a superhero too. The final shot has two hooded aliens showing up on Slaver’s Moon asking the whereabouts of Mon-El. As this week’s story comes to an end, they find out that he’s on Earth and kill the doctor/alien we’ve seen throughout the episode. Next week? It looks to be “electric”!
Most of this week’s episode seemed to be filler – just something to give fans after the long break that would remind us who all these characters are and what their connections are to one another. I didn’t touch on the ongoing relationship with Alex and Maggie, but rest assured the two are still together… although for a few moments it looked like they might break up. I’ll confess to liking how the series is handling the coupling – not putting a huge spotlight on it, but not shying away from it either. In other words, just treating it as any other TV series romance.
As for Kevin Smith as director, nothing in the episode really points to the fact that he’s behind the lens, which is a sign that he did a pretty good job here. I suppose it helps that Smith didn’t write the episode he shot. There are no long monologues or the bawdy sense of humor that he’ prone to. This is the second DC show he’s directed recently (he did an episode of ‘The Flash’ and is scheduled for more), so my guess is we’ll see him doing ‘Supergirl’ again at some point.