Supergirl S02E18 “Ace Reporter” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- National City is devoid of crime, so with nothing to do Kara turns to baking until Lena turns up on her doorstep to ask her to join her at a talk being given by her old flame Jack Spheer.
- At his talk, Jack Spheer reveals a new medical miracle using nanobots called BioMax, which can cure any illness.
- Guardian continues to fight crime in National City and Winn wants Lyra to join them.
- A scientist who was fired from BioMax tries to tell Kara the truth about the nanobots; how they’re too dangerous for human trials.
- But an explosion kills the whistle-blower before he can reveal too much.
- Lyra starts to work with Guardian, and already there’s a conflict of interest as Lyra wants to beat people up more than he does.
- Snapper Karr meets with a source who took part in one of BioMax’s human trials
- The nanobots appear to kill them both but Kara manages to save Snapper.
- Kara and Mon-El join Lena and Jack Spheer for dinner. Kara starts to question him about the mysterious human trials and Lena is annoyed that they seem to be accusing him.
- When they leave Mon-El steals Jack’s ID card so they can sneak into BioMax industries.
- While at his office Kara and Mon-El they discover that Jack is the killer; later Kara tries to show Lena the truth so that they can do something about it.
- Winn tells Lyra that she can’t work with him and James anymore, because she goes overboard.
- Lena decides to confront Jack, even though Kara told her not to meet with him because it’s dangerous. It turns out Jack is being controlled by the nanobots, and when Lena is in danger Kara steps in to rescue her.
- Kara gets to join CatCo once again.
- Meanwhile Lena gets an unexpected visitor: Rhea.
It’s been a while since Lena Luthor has had some time in the spotlight, hasn’t it? Well that all changes in “Ace Reporter”. When an old flame comes to National City to present a new medical software, Lena has to go see his talk. Having spent years working on the software together they had never cracked the code that would make it successful, but now he appears to have done it, and he wants to make up for lost time with Lena.
For Kara, this new endeavour is great news for her dwindling journalism career. Desperate to prove herself as an investigative journalist – to the dismay of Snapper Karr – Kara tries to uncover the truth behind Jack Spheer’s new technology after a whistle-blower is killed while talking to her. Her desire to keep going in the face of adversity is admirable, and is what makes Kara so loveable in the first place. Seeing her go all out for this story helped to make this episode so good, and so did the dynamic between her and Lena.
It’s unclear where the writers are going to take Lena’s character in the future, though, given the trauma this episode inflicted on her and the appearance of Rhea at the end. Perhaps we are more likely to see her become a villain by the end of the season. If this is the case, it’ll be great to see how the relationship between the pair changes. It’s been a struggle to find a good villain in both seasons of Supergirl but if Lena does become one in the future then she will certainly be the first. She’s a fully-rounded character, one who has history with Kara and has been her friend through so many hardships. It’ll be hard to see them go head-to-head, but it’s always these kinds of hero/villain dynamics that work the best, when they knew each other and were close to begin with.
On the other hand, “Ace Reporter” isn’t completely perfect. One thing that has been a consistent problem this season has been the Guardian sub-plot, and this week proves to be no different. While it’s understandable that the writers need to give Winn, James, and now Lyra something to do while Kara fights the big battles, it just feels out of place. Going from Lena and Kara’s important fight against BioMax to the bickering between James, Winn and Lyra really messed with the overall pace of the episode. It just didn’t work, and unless they’re all going to join Kara one day it’s not clear why this story is still going on.
- The development of Lena’s character arc has been quite good so far, and this episode has given her some fuel for her potential villainy later in the season.
- “Ace Reporter”, as the name suggests, was also a good chance for Kara to get back to her A game and prove her worth as a reporter. Glad to see she’s back on track.
- iZombie’s Rahul Kohli was a good addition to the cast this week as Jack Spheer. He and Katie McGrath had some excellent onscreen chemistry.
- Excuse us for sounding repetitive, but the Guardian storyline still isn’t working for Supergirl. The problems with Lyra this week didn’t help to change that fact, and it’ll probably be a while before this sub-plot seems relevant.
- The reveal of this week’s real, behind-the-scenes villain wasn’t great, since Jack’s assistant Beth had no real character and was just another bland villain.
And The Random:
- Biomax, Jack Spheer’s alias in the DC comics, first appeared in the short-lived Power Company series and has previously crossed paths with Green Arrow.
Reviewed by Roxy Simons