Season 2 Episode 19 ‘Alex’
This week’s episode takes a turn not often seen on the adventures of our favorite Kryptonian. A harrowing thriller riddled with suspense as Supergirl faces one of her greatest adversaries, a sadistic, cerebral adversary creating a battle that she cannot punch her way out of. When Alex is kidnapped, held as a blackmailing chip to attempt to force Supergirl to break a high profile criminal out of jail, Kara and Maggie must work together, their conflicting styles and emotion fueled tongues clashing heads along the way, to try and save her. This episode is hands down one of the best, not just Supergirl episodes, but comic book show episodes period. Taking a unique spin on the ‘bad guy kidnaps someone close to the hero’ concept, making it considerably more psychologically assaulting than most iterations are, combining that with an environment that takes the hero completely out of their element, forcing them to feel even more helpless, and then tack that onto absolutely incredible, emotion-fueled performances, plain and simple this episode of Supergirl absolutely knocks it out of the park.
Imagine guarding a secret your whole life, something that makes you special, unique, powerful, but also the knowledge of that secret could make those you love the most targets for incredibly horrible people. Now imagine going about a day, just like its any other day, and receiving a phone call from an anonymous, ominous voice, not only telling you that they know your secret, but they have abducted the one you love and cherish most in this world. The confusion, the fear, anxiety, rage, and every other negative emotion on the spectrum that would immediately overwhelm your nervous system, that is exactly the performance we get for Kara Danvers in this episode. Not only the emotions coming from having a loved one kidnapped and being held
The confusion, the fear, anxiety, rage, and every other negative emotion on the spectrum that would immediately overwhelm your nervous system, that is exactly the performance we get for Kara Danvers in this episode. Not only the emotions coming from having a loved one kidnapped and being held for ransom to try and blackmail you, that Maggie and the rest of the DEO are also feeling to the 1,000th degree, but that knowledge eating away at your insides, that kick to the gut knowing that the unearthing of your secret is what made your loved one the target in the first place. It was an absolutely tremendous performance by Benoist, encompassing the myriad of feelings that Kara had to process through during this episode.
We also see a heart-wrenching performance by Floriana Lima’s Maggie, delivering some incredible scenes, both with the fear and worry surrounding Alex, but also as a wonderfully crafted foil/partner for Kara, as the two biggest loves of Alex’s life butt heads over their immensely different methods in attempting to locate her. Chyler Leigh’s Alex positively excels in this episode, despite being on screen by herself, confined to a small cell for 90% of her airtime this episode, Leigh delivers a spellbinding performance. We get to see Alex’s resourcefulness and MacGyver-esq skills as she dismantles a camera to hot wire her subdermal DEO tracking implant in effort to give a signal for her team to try and track her, and later on managing to fashion her pants into a life jacket in what Maggie refers to as ‘Navy Seals’ like ingenuity. Additionally, Alex gets to have some beautifully tear creating moments with Kara and Maggie, pushing Kara to not give in, reinforcing that Supergirl as a symbol and idea is more important than one person, even Supergirl’s sister, and talking to Maggie about all of the first’s she’s gotten to and still wants to experience with her. Tremendous performances across this board this week, it was a masterclass level week on Team Supergirl’s set.
Our villain this week was positively brilliant. Smart, calculating, patient, practically soulless. Rick Malverne, the son of the criminal he attempts to force Supergirl to break out of jail, was a childhood acquaintance of Alex’s, witnessing Kara use her powers to save a family from a car crash when they were teenagers. After learning of Kara’s move to National City, and then Supergirl’s appearance in National City, he put two and two together. Taking a year to plan the kidnapping and blackmail, Malverne was aware of Alex, Kara, Maggie, Hank (and his Martian identity), the DEO tracking devices, and so much more. Paralyzing Kara and Maggie with helplessness as he toyed with them, brilliantly portraying the stone-faced psychopath while bursting into outrages demanding the release of his father, who had rescued him from his abusive mother. The utilization of such a vicious, cerebral villain is such an amazing nemesis for a punching powerhouse like Kara.
Even the B-Plot, featuring Rhea’s wooing of Lena Luthor was fascinating and plot driving. Tantalized by the possibility of creating amazing alien technology, Lena is at first apprehensive, given the realization that Rhea is an alien. However, by the end of the episode, it appears the two have managed to come to an agreement, the source of Lena’s turn around undoubtedly to be an interesting thing to pursue in future episodes. Top to bottom left to right, and every aspect in between, this episode was positively brilliant. It’s so nice seeing a fresh aspect on the superhero weekly punch and kick villain to have to endure something that is a match on a unique level, forcing our hero to grow and evolve into something greater than they were before.
I personally cannot wait to see what else the remainder of this season has in store for us, tune in next week as we analyze and react to the next amazing adventure of Supergirl! Until then #keepitnerdy