Supergirl is improving by leaps and bounds and besides the ongoing issues that continue to hold it back, this was a fairly exceptional episode that can be built on to take the series higher.
There was a lot of great moments tonight that was only burdened down with the dull romantic subplot, which looks to at least have made some actual progress. It’s hard to blame Lucy for ending things with James. When he wasn’t spending time helping Supergirl deal with a crisis, he was hanging out with Kara. The writing for this subplot has been one of the biggest weaknesses of the series as neither James or Kara came off especially well and there’s been little reason to make a James/Kara pairing more desirable than James and Lucy.
Just for escaping the audience engaging void that is the Lucy/James/Kara love triangle, I was excited about the prospect of Winn and Siobhan, who found common ground on their scumbag fathers. In Siobhan’s case, her dad was a serial cheater while Winn was able to one-up her with a serial killer father. I’m glad Winn got a love interest quickly so he wouldn’t be stuck all season in the friend zone with Kara and just being the show’s go-to hacker.
Paying homage to the Smallville tradition of bringing back former Superman TV and movie characters, the show had the most recent Supergirl — Laura Vandervoort — make a cameo as Brainiac 8 aka Indigo, a computer intelligence capable of hacking and manipulating the Internet.
It was terrific seeing some color and an alien not looking like a human for most of the episode, but it was hard not to picture the X-Men’s Mystique thanks to the dark blue outfit, skin tone and pulled back red hair. Indigo’s comic look was needlessly risque so that wasn’t an option, but making her skin tone green would have helped distinguish her for the casual fan completely unfamiliar with her appearance.
Indigo proved a fun opponent for Supergirl as she her plan was more complex than cause a little physical damage and let Supergirl knock her out in the end. Indigo’s clever scheme initially saw her posing as a random hacker trying to out cheaters a la Ashley Madison, but Team Supergirl eventually realized Indigo was trying to out a general who had access to a nearby nuclear warhead. Why Indigo couldn’t just launch the nuke on her own wasn’t particularly well explained, but it was a minor hangup.
Kara needed some background on her new super powered foe, which meant she finally visited the Fortress of Solitude. I appreciated James asking whey she’d never visited since Superman clearly would have insisted. I loved the Legion of Superheroes flight ring on display. Whether on The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow or Supergirl, I’m all about an extended story arc featuring the Legion.
The DEO continues to be perfectly worthless as it needed Winn’s help to find and shut down Indigo. I couldn’t have been the only one who laughed out loud when Hank told Alex the DEO got along just fine before Supergirl came around. If so, they were dealing with some serious bottom-feeder Fort Rozz escapees. Winn is hardly the first super hacker in this DC TV universe, but I’d love to see the heroes’ tech genius not be able to solve every problem with a few hastily typed in keystrokes.
Alex was nearing her breaking point of carrying on Hank’s lie that he was the one who killed Kara’s aunt Astra. Kara’s harsh attitude whenever she encountered Hank continued to prove him right, but Alex was cracking. Supergirl finally relented and asked for Hank’s help in defusing the nuke and Winn uploaded a virus to temporarily destroy Indigo. Non was able to put her back together again to bother Supergirl down the road.
Kara decided to put her ill-will aside and return to the DEO since she recognized together Team Supergirl is stronger. That was too much for Alex, who in a very emotional scene, confessed to killing Astra and going along with Hank because she didn’t want to lose Kara. While the romantic scenes pretty much always fall flat, this was the strongest moment so far of the series thanks to the performances by Melissa Benoist, Chyler Leigh and David Harewood.
Kara seemed crestfallen and appeared to contemplate walking off, but at the sight of her sister crying uncontrollably, she gave her a comforting hug. That would have been a terrific moment by itself, but as Hank walks away to give the sisters their time, Kara grabs his hand and holds on, not even needing the words to convey her appreciation for his actions.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
A unique villain and exceptional work from Benoist, Leigh and Harewood led to a strong episode even with the silly romantic subplot.