Supergirl: American Alien review S4 E1

Supergirl has burned me enough times that I’m leery of getting excited about a new season. And yeah, American Alien featured a little too much of the same annoying trends that have bothered me in the previous three seasons. Fortunately there was enough intriguing events to suggest this season has some potential.

Superman is off the planet on Argo since Kara neglected to tell him some of his family was still alive there so Supergirl has to do double duty…assuming National City is half the nation. That was such an odd headline. Despite the irony of the name of her base of operations, Supergirl is barely a national hero let alone a global one. How many times has Supergirl ventured outside of National City to save the day?

Braniac-5 did not win me over. The writers barely made a convincing case for why he should stay behind in the primitive past. What’s weird is the most obvious and comic book appropriate reason should be a crush on Supergirl. Whether they get into a relationship (spoiler: they won’t) is irrelevant, but at least it would explain his purpose.

And while I’m on things with no purpose, let’s talk the DEO. These guys have been worthless since Season 1. Honestly, Alex and Brainy operating in a truck a la Winn and Guardian would be just as effective. And despite her new position as head of the DEO, Alex is still the main operative in the field. Has she never heard of delegating?

supergirl american alien - kara, lena and james

This was no surprise, but booooo to Sam (and Ruby) heading off to Metropolis and being written off. Sam, Alex, Kara and Lena were easily one of the best examples of friendships in the history of the Arrowverse and I’m bummed we won’t have any scenes with them this season.

Kara meets her new intern, Nia Nal (Nicole Maines), who is exactly like a nervous and erratic Kara. Maines is transgender and I’m curious if Nia will be identified as such in subsequent episodes. Knowing the always impressive subtlety of the Supergirl writers it will be treated like a huge deal. At least Kara having an intern will insure that she spends some time at Catco.

OK, all the griping out of the way — let’s break down the good parts of American Alien.

James and Lena are still going strong. There’s a possibility that James could go to jail for playing Guardian so Lena gets some juicy evidence from Lillian to serve up to the DA instead. James’ charges are dropped, but he can’t be The Guardian anymore. Yay for everyone who didn’t like the idea of a black superhero in Supergirl?

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This is going to cause some problems for Lena and James, but Lena has literally seen almost everyone she cares about in prison so this gesture makes a lot of sense. I just hope the writers remember James and Lena have a mature relationship and actually confide in each other. It’s a rarity for the Arrowverse and mistrust and lies are so much better for drama. Side note: how weird was it that Supergirl questioned why Lena was visiting her mother in prison??

Supergirl was on her I’m never wrong kick and blew off J’onn’s warning that there’s a rising anti-alien movement. Kara was pretty snippy saying ‘I’m embraced as a hero because I’m good at my job. Maybe it’s time you leave protecting the city to me.’ At least it didn’t take weeks for Kara to apologize this time.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of J’onn decided he’s going to play the pacifist route this season, but it probably beats seeing the very formidable Martian Manhunter being treated like a goof every time he suited up.

supergirl american alien - mercy and otis graves

Mercy (Rhona Mitra) and Otis Graves (Robert Baker) debuted this week as former Cadmus agents seemingly stealing random materials. They’re well equipped as they were able to take Supergirl out of action momentarily. But their biggest impact occurs when they go after President Marsdin at Camp David. The attack seems harmless enough until news cameras capture Marsdin in her true alien form briefly.

That’s a long overdue reveal. It always made Supergirl and company look awful for promoting these progressive alien agendas when one infiltrated and broke laws to become president. Now there’s going to be some real fallout.

Of course, Mercy and her ally, Agent Liberty (Smallville’s Sam Witwer), are taking justice into their own hands. The bastards killed off Tiya Sircar’s Fiona. This show won’t let me have nice things. Including Liberty’s outfit. His comic book attire shouldn’t have been too hard to translate to live action. This design looks awful. At least Witwer will make Agent Liberty a cool villain.

supergirl american alien - agent liberty

And what’s the deal with the Red Daughter Supergirl making a tunnel in the southern border of Kazania?

American Alien sets Supergirl’s fourth season up on a nice direction with some intriguing new villains, reshuffling of the cast and an overdue main plot thread that should easily carry the season.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

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