On the one hand, you could say that last night’s SUPERGIRL episode, “Resist” was overstuffed. No fewer than three characters reemerge into an already supersaturated field, including everyone’s favorite media mogul Cat Grant and anti-alien Lillian Luthor. On the other hand, in part because of these old characters (especially Cat Grant), I don’t think there’s been a more “Supergirl” Supergirl episode this entire sophomore season. “Resist” unabashedly channels current events, packs in pop-y one liners by the second, and is all around a very fun ride.
“Resist” begins by continuing with the ominous events from last week, with the entire race of surviving Daxamites streaming into National City to begin their takeover. Queen Rhea watches from above with an imprisoned Lena wondering what the heck she’s even doing here. Well, naturally, Rhea wants Lena to marry and have kids with Mon-El. Say it ain’t so!
President Marsdin is one of several old faces who reemerge and play a huge role in “Resist.” As we know, but Kara does not, Marsdin is an alien, though it hasn’t been exactly clear if she’s friend or foe. Well, last night, Marsdin appears to be friend, bravely flying Air Force One right towards the hovering encampment of Daxamite invaders. She boldly tells Rhea to stand down as does none other than Cat Grant, who’s returned to her beloved city to defend it. Cat gives one of several badass speeches in this episode, rallying her city by channeling her command of the media, in between fielding calls from world leaders of course. In this case, though, Rhea gives the orders and Air Force One comes crashing down.
Supergirl saves Cat but Marsdin is nowhere to be found. That is until she pulls herself out from the rubble, revealing her true alien form. Kara is shocked but Cat is cool with it so long as she’s a Democrat. As I said, Supergirl was very Supergirl last night, and that includes its politics. “Resist” itself is a refrain in the zeitgeist and of course the whole alien as immigrant theme of season two is also part of these politics.
Kara later links up with her sister, Winn, Jimmy, and the rest at that familiar alien watering hole which has now become ground zero for the resistance. It’s not too long before Lillian Luthor shows up, another blast from the past. Sure, on a normal day, Lillian wouldn’t be holding out an olive branch and Kara and Co wouldn’t take it. But Lillian wants her daughter back and Kara wants Mon-El back so the team forms an unlikely alliance.
Marsdin also gathers herself, dubs Alex head of the DEO because J’onn is still incapacitated, and commands the agency to activate a weapon that will take out the Daxamite ships. There’s a lot going on here, but the show mostly doesn’t lose track of all the different (and often conflicting) agendas. Fun one liners like Supergirl calling Cyborg Superman “R2 (D2)” or Cat Grant returning to a CatCo in shambles and comparing it to a West Hollywood gym add to the ride. This is an episode that takes Supergirl back to its roots.
Queen Rhea continues to be a dastardly antagonist, this week, forcing Lena to marry Mon-El or else she’ll blow up the Luthor Children’s Hospital, and a whole bunch of other hospitals. The irony of Mon-El being forced to marry one of Kara’s best girl friends is also interesting. But as Lillian reminds Kara, when her daughter figures out Supergirl’s real identity, they might no longer be friends.
Ultimately, the big weapon that Marsdin tells Alex to fire never goes off because Kara is still trapped on the ship, courtesy of a Lillian double cross. This leaves Kara aboard the ship with Mon-El, but Kara does have a contingency. She beams Mon-El back but decides to try to reason with Rhea one final time. This decision also helps mitigate the worry I had earlier, that Mon-El might upstage Kara when it comes to the final confrontation with Rhea. Thankfully, here he does not.
In fact, the show doubles down on making things especially personal for Kara with one final huge reveal– that Superman, almost certainly under mind control, is working for Rhea. A great cliffhanger to set up a final Supergirl season two finale next week!
Season 2, Episode 21 (S02E21)
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8PM on CW
Ade Adeniji | Contributor