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SUPERGIRL Recap: “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”

Kara has come a long way this season. She’s reaffirmed her place within her human family and her circle of friends. She has, for the most part, learned to conquer the anger she feels over having been sent away from her dying planet. She’s continually figuring out how to balance work and life. (Hey, who isn’t?) But ethical grey areas, especially those found in the pursuit of saving the world, are what Kara is dealing with this week. After all, she is complicit, along with the D.E.O., in the illegal (but TBH kinda necessary) detention of Maxwell Lord.

The dark mirror of this imprisonment dilemma comes in the form of the Master Jailer. He’s so mysterious a figure that the D.E.O. isn’t even sure if he’s alien or human. His advanced armor keeps his identity shielded, but his modus operandi is hunting down prisoners of Fort Rozz. Kara even takes note of his choice of headwear in her very first words to him: “I thought masks were only big in that other city.” (A nod to Gotham, of course.) The Master Jailer even has a couple of visor tips that vaguely resemble Batman‘s ears. Or, at least Arkham Knight‘s ears.

At the D.E.O., J’onn is still insisting that Alex not reveal the fact that it was she—and not himself, as he’d told Kara—that had killed Astra. The funeral rites that started shortly after the beginning of the episode resonated with Kara for the remainder of Supergirl‘s 43 minutes of airtime. She’s unsure of how she can continue to work with J’onn, but since her goals of keeping peace in National City and beyond are so closely aligned with those of the D.E.O.’s, she ultimately has no choice. Alex, meanwhile, has been itching to tell Kara the truth, but every time she starts to initiate the conversation, a convenient change of subject takes the opportunity away.

James Olsen is wrestling with his journalistic integrity and balancing how much truth he can ultimately share with Lucy Lane. When Maxwell Lord has been off of television screens for more than 24 hours, Cat Grant is immediately suspicious. Lane, her new chief counsel, digs up to some info vianational security contacts. When she mentions the “secret government agency that tracks aliens” Jimmy—sorry, James—lets the name “D.E.O.” slip from his lips just moments later. Lucy realizes that he’s been withholding information about how closely he works with Supergirl, and marches out of the office. James ultimately tells Kara that he has to be allowed to tell Lucy Kara’s secret so that he can, I guess, save his relationship? That stings even me a little, James. I won’t lie. While on paper I tend to find Olsen’s push for transparency noble, I’m just not sure all-truth-all-the-time is the best policy for Supergirl at this particular moment… even if she has told almost everyone except Lucy who she really is. A girl still needs secrets, Jimmy.

Cat Grant, meanwhile, has taken putting-Kara-through-the-paces to a new level with new hire Siobhan. Recalling the rivalry between Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt in The Devil Wears Prada, Siobhan is goal-oriented and she wants to use every opportunity she can get her hands on to advance herself up the media empire ladder of success. She even hand-pressed coffee beans, for crying out loud. Siobhan is the precursor to another of Supergirl’s frequent comic book nemeses, Silver Banshee. In an interview with Comic Book Resources, actress Italia Ricci says that the character will retain her comic book origin story (she was a human who became possessed) for the show.

By the end of the episode, Kara has a slight epiphany regarding imprisonment when she and Fort Rozz prisoner 2445 are being held by the Master Jailer. After escaping her pod and taking out the Jailer, she returns 2445 to the campus where he had created a new life for himself. Returning to the D.E.O., she frees Maxwell Lord, hoping that his “better angels” will stop him from exposing Kara’s identity and the work of the D.E.O. When Kara leaves the room, Alex ensures Lord that a “dossier the size of this room” comprised of all of Maxwell’s crimes should be enough to keep him quiet for a while.

What did you think? Sound off with your thoughts!

Notable Quotables

“Oooh, I’ve wanted to catch a corrupt cop ever since we binge-watched The Wire.” – Kara

“When you have more power than any human army on Earth, you have to be better than this.” – James Olsen

“Mutually-assured destruction. You make me nostalgic for the Cold War, Alex.” – Maxwell Lord

“I was told you asked for, and received, Netflix. I recommend Call The Midwife.” – Kara

Tune In Next Week For:

Mystique! Just kidding. Indigo, played by another former Supergirl (Smallville’s Laura Vandervoort), has a very blue-and-red visage, and sure seems to have some acrobatic moves reminiscent of Marvel’s shapeshifter. Oh, and Kara goes to Clark’s Fortress of Solitude, NBD. (I can’t wait!)

Image: CBS

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