[This is a review of Supergirl season 2, episode 15. There will be SPOILERS.]
Season 2 of Supergirl has largely focused on the integration of aliens in life on Earth -- exploring aspects such as aliens as refugees and prejudice against aliens as Kara Danvers battles against the publicly anti-alien organization Cadmus. The villainous group was seemingly defeated in the midseason finale, 'Medusa', with Kara receiving help from Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) to apprehend Cadmus' leader, Lillian Luthor (Brenda Strong). But, when Supergirl returned from its midseason hiatus, the fight against Cadmus was made more complicated by familial relationships.
In 'Luthors', Lillian escaped prison with the help of Metallo and pinned the jailbreak on her daughter - while it was debated whether Lena may or may not be evil. Then in last week's episode, 'Homecoming', it was revealed that Kara's adoptive father, and Alex's biological father, Jeremiah Danvers (Dean Cain) had aligned himself with Cadmus - betraying his family despite protesting that everything he was doing was for them. 'Homecoming' ended with the Danvers sisters at odds, Kara taking comfort in her new boyfriend Mon-El while Alex hid the fact that she let her father escape custody.
In this week's episode, 'Exodus' - written by Paula Yoo and Eric Carrasco and directed by Michael Allowitz - Kara investigates a series of alien kidnappings she learns have been perpetrated by Cadmus while Alex searches for Jeremiah. Plus, Kara agrees to set up an interview between her editor, Snapper Carr (Ian Gomez), and Supergirl in an effort to publish a story that will help her defeat Cadmus.
Although 'Homecoming' had some shortcomings when it came to contrived plot devices, it excelled by driving a massive, Jeremiah-shaped wedge into the relationship between Kara and Alex. After learning Jeremiah had betrayed her, Alex let him go and though neither Kara nor J'onn knew about it, they suspected Alex was unsettled by her father's actions. In 'Exodus', Chyler Leigh shines again while Alex lets her emotions and worries about her father get the best of her. She violently interrogates a member of Cadmus in the DEO's custody, then fails J'onn's loyalty test and ultimately goes rogue.
Seeing the by-the-book agent throw out the rules certainly makes for a compelling adventure - and is a proven formula based on numerous successful action films over the decades - and Alex's storyline in 'Exodus' is no different. But, while it's no doubt fun to see Alex fight off Cadmus agents in the alien dive bar, in a deserted underpass, and again in their own facility, 'Exodus' also highlights Alex's relationships with her father and Kara. 'Exodus' reveals Jeremiah's true loyalty lies with protecting his family, needing to betray them to do so - and Alex understandably calls him out for his poor decision. Still, Alex's faith in her father is vindicated as the father and daughter fight their way out of Cadmus' facility.
That said, the true climactic moment of 'Exodus' arrives a bit later. After Alex gets onto the spaceship Lillian planned to use to send the aliens back to space, she's unable to stop its ascent - leaving the job up to Supergirl, who positions herself on the other side of the cockpit window from Alex. Kara fights against the ship all while Alex cheers on her adoptive sister. It references two especially strong moments from previous episodes - Kara saving Alex's plane in the pilot and Kara letting her rage loose in a blast of heat vision. But the moment additionally reinforces the idea that Team Supergirl - Alex and Kara in particular - are stronger when they're together.
Kara Gets (Justifiably) Fired
While Supergirl season 2 has highlighted Kara's work with the DEO more and more, her day job has fallen by the wayside. Weeks have gone by without seeing Kara write an article, talk to her editor, or even appear in the CatCo Magazine offices. Although the concept of Kara wanting to become a reporter may have worked on paper - and, when showcased in an episode, was generally utilized to move the plot along in some way - it is the most underdeveloped idea of the season. Further, what little journalistic efforts we've seen from Kara have been largely unethical (she regularly uses herself as a source and often tries to push her own agenda through her work).
As a result, Supergirl's interview with Snapper is as hollow as all the back and forth between Kara and her editor has been this season. Kara hopes to use her job as a reporter to change the world, but refuses to follow the rules of her chosen profession, instead bending journalism ethics and practices to her own will. The fact is, Supergirl's impulse to trust her instincts and do the right thing no matter the consequences is what makes her a hero, but it's that inability to follow rules that makes her a lousy journalist.
And, ultimately, that conflict between her need to save people and her inability to listen to her editor is what gets her fired. Certainly, Kara's blog has the necessary effect in moving up Lillian's timeline for launching the spaceship, helping Supergirl save the kidnapped aliens as well as Alex. But it's another instance of her breaking the rules for her own personal agenda - albeit a good one - and Snapper is left with no choice but to fire her. Of course, it remains to be seen what's next for Kara. Will she find a new job or manage to return to journalism? It's unclear as of yet, but hopefully it's a more well developed character arc rather than a convenient plot point.
Mon-El's Secret Revealed
Since the midseason finale, Supergirl has been teasing Mon-El's secret after revealing an alien spaceship searching for the Daxamite refugee. All signs seemingly pointed to Mon-El being the prince of Daxam, especially once Lois & Clark's Teri Hatcher and Hercules' Kevin Sorbo were cast as mysterious characters with hints of them being Daxamite. The pair were revealed in the final moments of 'Exodus', having located Mon-El on Earth and arrived near the planet.
Even more importantly, their characters are referred to as "your highnesses" by a faceless member of their crew, insinuating they are the king and queen of Daxam. Plus, they're both shown discovering that Earth's yellow sun imbues them with heightened abilities, as it does Mon-El - though their powers are likely not quite as strong as Kara's. Although it isn't revealed in the episode proper that Mon-El is the Daxamite prince, the promo for Supergirl's next episode, 'Star-Crossed', does just that.
With Cadmus' latest plot to disrupt alien life on Earth foiled, Supergirl is poised to shift to an alien threat in the form of Hatcher and Sorbo's characters. Additionally, when Kara learns Mon-El is the prince of Daxam rather than the palace guard he told her he was, it will no doubt throw a wrench in their newfound relationship. Of course, it remains to be seen if this particular story thread, which has been teased and built up for much of the season, will be as compelling as Kara's fight against Cadmus. But, fans will get to see soon enough when Supergirl returns.
Supergirl continues Monday, March 20 with ‘Star-Crossed’ (the first part of the musical crossover with The Flash) at 8pm on The CW.