Supergirl, Season 2, Episode 19, “Alex”
A big knock on Supergirl for most of its first season was that it never let Kara have a clean win.
For the longest time, this fresh, young superhero named Supergirl would save a sinking ship or put out a raging inferno, only to get criticized for scratching a paint job or letting too much stuff burn. It was a frustrating part of the show, because Kara was also really bad at being a functioning adult, so it felt like the writers didn’t really like, or know what to do with their lead character.
The series eventually worked out this kink in Kara’s character and for the better part of a season and a half, Kara has been a confident person whose gut instincts are generally on the money.
So, it was a bit of a throwback this episode when Maggie started to question Kara about Supergirl’s methods. Kara burst in and ended a long hostage situation that Maggie had spent hours negotiating. Later at dinner (that no one actually eats), Maggie vents her frustration at Kara about the Supergirl-sized holes in walls all over National City, and how criminals are getting reduced charges because she’s not following proper procedure.
Things get tense, which causes Alex to play peacemaker with the two women she loves. She calms Maggie down first, then gets into an elevator with a mysterious stranger-type, to talk some sense into her sister.
Except, Alex never gets to Kara because that mysterious stranger kidnaps Alex, kicking off a tense, emotional episode that puts Kara and Maggie at odds for a majority of the hour.
The kidnapper isn’t even some kind of alien or supergenius. He’s just a well-organized guy from Alex and Kara’s hometown, who was able to connect the dots on his own to hatch a plot to use Alex as leverage, and get his own father sprung from a life prison sentence.
Kara stops at nothing to find where her sister is being held, much to the chagrin of Maggie, who doesn’t want a move by Supergirl to cost Alex her life. That almost happens, following a bit of badassery from a captive Alex, who performs minor surgery on herself with her ATM card. Alex digs her tracker out of her shoulder and hooks it into one of the cameras in her cell, allowing the DEO to discover Alex’s location, or so they think.
Despite warnings from Maggie and the kidnapper, Kara goes charging in, setting off a trap that turns a 24-hour clock into a four hour drop dead deadline, because Alex’s cell is now filling up with water.
This lead to a warm scene where Maggie and Alex talk about all the firsts they plan to have with one another, and demonstrates that despite her occasionally too cool for school attitude, Maggie deeply loves Alex. That love sends Maggie to desperate ends as the deadline approaches. She goes to prison to release the father on her own. Kara, who has learned a few hard lessons during the episode, tells the father if Alex dies, it is a mistake his son can never walk back from. The prisoner reveals a location were he might have taken Alex, and luckily for everyone it’s the right spot.
Of course all of this tension and soul-searching was just a smokescreen for what was really going on in B-plot land. Queen Rhea spends much of the episode trying to woo Lena into building some kind of hyperspace portal that in no way would make an alien invasion easier. Lena resists at first, but does a complete 180 after Kara doesn’t have time to chat while in the middle of the Alex crisis. So, stay tuned for the mayhem to come.
This throwback (complete with childhood flashback) episode was a great way to inject some energy into the season, which had become a little too bogged down in all the various relationship dramas of late. Chyler Leigh did a lot with some limited screentime, and further shows how Alex is a hero in her own right. This was a good kickoff to the homestretch of what has been a satisfying second season of Supergirl.