Supergirl’s 19th episode (“Alex”) centers around Alex being kidnapped by a childhood friends of the Danvers girls. Rick Malverne (David Hoflin) sports a nazi-adjacent haircut and, like Alex, succeeds in making me want to punch his smarmy face. As far as villains go, his reasons are clear cut: his dad’s in jail (played by the talented Gregg Henry), and he wants him freed. Because his murder-y father isn’t a total jerk, given they he rescued Rick from his abusive mother. Kara even remembers Rick fondly: “What happened to you? I remember when Alex had the chicken pox, and I was eating lunch by myself. And you came and sat with me.” Honestly? That’s a lot of backstory, but I enjoyed the way the show tied in the car accident we saw previously, when Alex and Kara were kids.
The episode, essentially, pits Kara and Maggie against each other, who butt heads over the best methodology of how to save people. Maggie does have a point when she snaps, “You should’ve asked, but you never look before you leap.” But Kara’s justification is puzzling: “Sometimes, it’s better to punch than to talk.” While Kara does often lead with brute force, she’s also the character who, when temporarily powerless last season, still stood in front of a gun. She’s the same Girl of Steel who often appeals to someone’s better nature, who demonstratively sees the good in unexpected places. So, while I understand the need to build tension between her and Maggie, I’m not 100% sure that is fair.
That said, I want to talk about Alex, who is such a badass she removed her own tracker from her arm, did a Navy seal move with her pants to buy herself some time, and was emotionally vulnerable with Maggie. That last one? Hands down, the hardest thing for Danvers to do. But there was a huge payoff in several ways. One: Alex has terrible taste in potential dog names. Two: she and Maggie are both on the same page when it comes to the future. When they said I love you? Yeah, I teared up. Because holy hell in a handbasket, Maggie also let herself be insanely vulnerable, too, during their laptop talk. I don’t think it was that moment when Maggie decided what she wanted, but it was that moment when she was brave enough to say it. And that takes guts every time.
A few other things we learned? Mon-El has appalling taste in pizza. Sassy Winn is still my favorite Winn (Jeremy Jordan’s delivery of “Oh, you do not get to talk to her.” was perfect). And Alex snapping, “Just make sure he remembers that,” after punching Rick—who was on his way to get his mind wiped? Classic. And absolutely something I would insist on too.
Lastly, Lena is insanely clever, figuring out Rhea is an alien. I was thrilled when she tested her, showing her keen powers of observation and strength. But it turns out she’s also super dumb, because she decided to work with Rhea (I feel like Tyra Banks.). She couldn’t even wait a day to talk it through with Kara? That doesn’t seem entirely levelheaded, and Lena usually is that. I did enjoy Lena and Rhea’s dinner meeting, and they do have a lot of familial hurt as common ground. But I shudder to think about Kara’s reaction when she discovered this budding friendship. In that case, I think I’d have to agree: “Sometimes, it’s better to punch than to talk.”
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