Warning: This recap for the “Resist” episode of Supergirl contains spoilers.
What are you looking for in a Supergirl episode? Because this one’s got it. Alien invaders, a preening Teri Hatcher, passionate kisses, evil Luthoring, Maggie kicking ass, the return of Cat Grant, Tyler Hoechlin’s pretty face, and Alex Danvers leaping off a balcony guns blazing into the arms of her sister. All that and the promise of a Kara/Rhea beatdown next episode makes it clear that they’re leaving everything on the field for the season finale.
Rhea (Teri Hatcher) has begun the invasion of Earth in earnest: Daxamite soldiers wreak havoc in National City and even the DEO is quickly taken over. Supergirl and company relocate to the alien bar where they are tracked down by Lilian Luthor (Brenda Strong): Rhea has taken her daughter, Lena (Katie McGrath), and she wants to help, but they turn her down. The president (Lynda Carter) hurtles in on Air Force One with an old school chum in tow, Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart). Rhea shoots the plane down, but Supergirl saves Cat, and President Marsdin emerges from the wreckage, revealing that she is an alien.
Marsdin directs the DEO to retake their base and destroy the Daxam mothership with their positron cannon. Kara is torn because her friends are on the ship, so she agrees to work with Lilian. Along with Cyborg Superman (David Harewood), they teleport onto the ship and free Lena and Mon-El. Kara stays behind to give Rhea one more chance to surrender, and Alex is unable to fire the cannon despite the president’s direct order. The cannon is destroyed and Kara finds herself squaring off against Superman (Tyler Hoechlin).
You think your mom is pushy about you having children? Mon-El’s mother is willing to take over a planet so she can have a grandson. While the actual logic behind Lena and Mon-El’s marriage doesn’t make much/any sense, it fits as part of Rhea’s grandiose plans. There aren’t a lot of over-the-top, Take Over the World villains anymore, but the Queen of (New) Daxam fits into that category — and the more baroque her plans, the better.
Not that it’s any kind of secret, but Supergirl is solidly anti-Trump. The writers have taken occasional pot-shots at the president’s rhetoric this season, but they really go at him this episode. Not only do we have the Hillary Clinton-esque president standing up to an autocratic bully, but there’s also Cat Grant lighting him up with her epic distraction — calling out Rhea’s empty promises “to make our world great again,” and urging everyone to “resist.” Mon-El points out his mother’s ridiculous belief that she’ll be able to make the humans pay to build monuments to her ego. There’s also the conversation between Kara and the speciesist Lilian. Lilian laments that they’re on different sides politically, but Supergirl rightly points out that it’s not about politics: Lilian hates her because of her “genetics.” It’s audacious, but then, any watchers who would have taken issue with it are long gone by now.
No disrespect intended to Ian Gomez who does a fine job as Snapper Carr, but there’s only one Cat Grant, and the screen practically hums when Calista Flockhart is on it. She’s so powerful that it might, in fact, be a boon that she’s there so rarely. Cat is basically an ethical deus ex machina, blasting away any moral conundrums with the perfect parable — lifted from her own life, natch — so Kara needn’t fret or puzzle out dilemmas on her own. Flockhart is an unmitigated joy to watch, but probably best in small doses once or twice a season. Maybe four or five. Or six.
Inside Comics Moment
The real Lynda Carter announced it months ago, but tonight, President Marsdin confirmed on the show that she is a Durlan — the same species as long-time Legion of Super Heroes member Chameleon Boy. The history of the planet is altered somewhat: In the comics, Durlans destroy their own civilization in a self-inflicted nuclear holocaust known as the Six Minutes War. The 30th century LSH is a rarely used property from the DC universe and, while this doesn’t in any way suggest that they’re interested in doing so, it would be worth it just to get a live-action version of the single worst superhero in the history of comics: Arm-Fall-Off-Boy.
Line of the Night: The episode is full of great Cat Grant moments, but “At least tell me you’re still a Democrat” takes the cake. It’s the one time the old saw of, “I don’t care if you’re black, white, purple or green,” turns out to be literally true.
Did anybody else shout, “Ah! Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!” when Lilan and Cyborg Superman left Kara on the Daxamite ship? Everybody did? Good.
Runner-Up Line of the Night: “Thanks, James.” “I’m Guardian.” “Oh, honey. I can see your eyes right through the slit.” Is it the “Thanks, James” or the “Oh, honey” that makes this so brutal?
Okay, seven. Next season, please give us seven Cat Grant appearances. Fine, eight. But no more!
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
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