Supergirl S02E19 “Alex” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- Maggie is working on a case, trying to deal with a hostage situation but Kara swoops in to save the day. While she thinks she’s helping, Maggie thinks that she’s done more harm than good.
- After Kara argues with Maggie and leaves Alex decides to follow her, but she gets kidnapped.
- Rhea and Lena start to work together, creating a new scientific project.
- The person that kidnapped Alex knows who Kara is, and they want Kara to break out a prisoner, Peter Thompson, or they will kill Alex.
- Kara goes to the DEO to discuss what to do. J’onn says that they can’t negotiate with terrorists and Maggie steps in to help them find out who the kidnapper is.
- J’onn, Maggie and Kara go to visit the felon to interview him. Kara goes overboard and lashes out when the prisoner doesn’t give her what she wants.
- When Winn finds out who the kidnapper is, the prisoner’s son Rick Malvern, Kara goes to visit him but he wants his father to be broken out of jail.
- He’s taken in by the DEO, but as Kara and J’onn can’t use their powers against him Maggie decides to interrogate him. They find out that Thompson saved him from an abusive parenthood, so Maggie wants to use them against him to help save Kara.
- Lena realises that Rhea is an alien so decides to end their endeavour.
- Alex tries to find her own way out, and connects her tracker to the camera to help find Alex.
- When Kara tries to save her it backfires, and time runs out even more.
- Rhea returns to Lena and asks them to work together to make a transmatter portal.
- Maggie decides to take another crack at the kidnapper, but with time running out she decides to give him what he wants.
- Kara intercepts them and she tries to talk sense into Thompson and to help them find her. He tells them where he may have been taken, and the pair go to rescue Alex.
Sometimes words can be more effective than fists, that’s the lesson that Kara is forced to learn in this intense new episode. When Alex is kidnapped, it’s up to Kara and Maggie to figure out where she’s been taken but their foe is not someone they can take lightly. Desperate to have his father freed from prison, Rick Malvern has been planning this for a year and has accounted for every possible development. This creates a lot of tension between Maggie and Kara as their methods collide and time begins to run out.
Changing gears from the usual light atmosphere of Supergirl, “Alex” steps things up a notch to create a grittier episode that is probably the best of the season so far. Placing Kara and Maggie in this situation allows both characters to thrive; we hve the chance to see their vulnerability, something that Kara doesn’t go through all too often, and we can also see Maggie as more than just Alex’s other half. Melissa Benoist and Floriana Lima work incredibly well together, while the opening sequence helps to set up the tone for their character’s relationship throughout the episode it is interesting to see how things progressed between them. It’s clear that they both love Alex, but they’re past the point where they will just be polite and won’t criticise each other, especially when Alex’s life is on the line.
David Hoflin also does a great job with bringing his character, Rick Malvern, to life. It’s no secret that Supergirl has had some problems with its villains as of late, but Malvern is a great departure from that rut. While his ability to account for every eventuality and to know when J’onn is masquerading as his father seems like a bit of a stretch, he is still a fully-realised villain. That he is human also means that he is exactly what Kara is least equipped to handle, and shows that she can’t solve everything with just brute force. It gives her the chance to learn from her mistakes and become the voice of reason later in the episode, and this is something that the Girl of Steel is always good at.
This is an interesting time for Kara; we’ve had the chance to witness her charm and happy-go-lucky attitude often but “Alex” brings something different to the table. To see her struggle to keep her rage at bay and also stand in silence hoping to hear Alex’s voice is heart-breaking to watch, but it also adds a vulnerability to her character that we don’t often see.
For what it’s worth, the side story with Rhea and Lena also works quite well. While their partnership will probably be related to the season finale, it is interesting to see the pair start out together. It seems like Lena may well suffer the Luthor family curse, and will go head-to-head against Kara. The object that she will be creating alongside Rhea does seem reminiscent of the finale of the first season, but hopefully it’ll go down a little better this time. Since it isn’t clear where the writers are hoping to take the series before, it’s nice to see the story go in this direction.
- Kara and Maggie work well together to save Alex; even though they don’t often see eye to eye it is nice to see them work alongside each other. Melissa Benoist and Floriana Lima give their best performances of the season so far.
- Rick Malvern is quite a good, well-rounded villain and David Hoflin does a good job at giving him a subtle vulnerability.
- Lena and Rhea’s future endeavours together could be interesting. Let’s just hope that things don’t turn out the same way as they did in the last season.
- How was Malvern able to prepare for so much? How did he know about J’onn being the Martian? Surely if he knew all this he could have figured out how to spring his dad from prison already.
Reviewed by Roxy Simons