Supergirl’s 12th episode (“Menagerie”) is Valentine’s Day themed, which means lots of cuteness and a heart-eating alien. I mean, duh. (Seriously, the snake-like sandworm heart chomper is a nice way to dovetail into the holiday. I mean, who hasn’t felt like their heart has been ingested at some point in their life? Super universal.)
It also brings the return of the normal-seeming evil that is Ben Lockwood. Even in jail, I want to punch him in his smarmy face. He manages to rope his terrible son, George, into donning the Agent Liberty mask and posting a video online. His son goes full racist Nazi, too. More than anything else, it’s difficult to watch George be corrupted by the hatred of his father—and mother. He’s an innocent kid, being swayed by a rhetoric of hate—and that’s no bueno.
Speaking of swayed, Nia and Brainy are gravitating toward each other. I mean, sure, Brainy showed up unannounced at her apartment (dude: no. never. No.), but it sweetly ended with her inviting him to her party. The “it’s a date” line, and Jesse Rath’s extremely good facial expressions, was nothing short of delightful. Rath constantly portrays Brainy as the right mix of socially awkward and totally relatable. And even though he’s fumbling through simple customs, it’s super sweet to see him try to get things right. Even if that means bending Alex’s ear, despite her less than peachy view of the holiday.
The Valentine’s Day party at Nia was, honestly, a bright spot. I mean, Brainy hiding in the closet, dressed like the lost Winchester brother? Priceless. Nia avoiding almost everyone at her own party? Occasionally me. But I loved the talk she had with Kara, and I am enjoying the mentorship bond between them. Kara is really bringing the wisdom and encouragement. Nicole Maines really conveys a lot with a look and a gesture.
Menagerie (Jessica Meraz) is an interesting villain—the symbiotic relationship between Pamela and the alien is intriguing. I wonder how it would work if the host wasn’t already predisposed to being terrible. Given the character’s baseline personality of awful, it’s easy to see her wreak havoc and eat hearts. It was also a nice touch that the creature recoiled when it bit Kara. That gave us insight into Alex’s current frame of mind and overprotective nature toward Kara. That’s difficult for Kara handle.
The masquerade was also pretty brilliant. I mean, was it bonkers the Children of Liberty pursued Menagerie? Yes. Was it also bonkers that the DEO showed up? Affirmative. But seeing Kara rescued by a badass Dreamer was absolutely worth it. Although, I’m with Brainy and Indy (have the writers been reading my reviews?): snakes, why did it have to be snakes? And the projectile alien serpents looked very much like something out of an old-school video game. That was pretty amusing.
You know what wasn’t amusing? Jimmy and Lena’s lackluster breakup. For something that should’ve been emotionally charged, it was not. The Valentine’s Day getaway leadup also did nothing to sell it or set the scene. I mean, why was Lena frantic? It would’ve made more sense for her to have planned the trip as a surprise. Otherwise, she’d thought to get him… nothing. The photo he took of her was super lovely, but it also was a little strange. It didn’t feel like either of them really put any thought into the holiday.
And the entire, dragged out car ride was off. It felt almost sterile. I didn’t care for the cause of the breakup, either—or Lena’s almost spiteful decision to take the government contract. I also would like to opt out of the Presidential aspect of this season. While I appreciate how the show tackles social issues, and I’m glad it continues to do so, it hits a little too close to home. Plus, we had WONDER WOMAN, for pete’s sake. Bring her back.
All this aside, I’m happy to see Manchester will be back! And I adored that Kara got Alex a phone number. And I hope they resolve Alex’s memory wipe storyline soon, because Kara isn’t the only one missing the sibling teamups. I need my Danvers Girls kicking ass, back to back, y’all.