[Supergirl] Recap • 205 Crossfire

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Alex starts to realize something about herself and James becomes fed up with being powerless
BY Chancellor Agard • @chancelloragard for Entertainment Weekly

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So far, Supergirl may be the strongest Arrowverse show on the air right now: It’s hitting new beats, it’s extremely confident, and most importantly, it’s trying to be about something. However, if there’s one problem so far this season, it’s that there’s too much going on in every week. It’s clear the writers aren’t lacking when it comes to interesting ideas and they’re clearly excited to dive in, but right now it feels like they’re shoving everything they can into a given episode, which means important story lines might not be receiving the attention they need. That’s definitely the case with “Crossfire,” which has a lot of great stuff that just doesn’t get the breathing room it needs.

Tonight begins with Kara preparing Mon-El for Earth. After helping him choose his wardrobe — which includes fake glasses in case he ever wants to save the world — they head to CatCo for the first day of his internship. Watching Mon-El, a.k.a. Mike, adjust to Earth is extremely enjoyable and makes the show even more charming. Apparently, there’s something about the Els: James’ assistant Eve immediately falls for Mon-El, which means trouble.

While Mon-El avoids doing any work at work, Kara and James go for a walk around the city and run into some bad guys robbing a bank. Supergirl jumps into action, but she’s caught by surprise when robber Chet Miner hits her with a blast from a Halo-esque weapon, a.k.a. alien technology. As Supergirl contends with the alien weaponry, James tries to fight one of the goons but is knocked out pretty easily, and the hooligans run over his dad’s camera as they make their escape.

Surprise, surprise… Cadmus is responsible for supplying the bank robbers with the alien weapons. Cadmus is using Miner and his cohorts to sow fear and make people more willing to follow their orders. That’s exactly what Evil Cadmus Scientist tells Miner, because she’s so confident in her plan she’s not even bothering to hide behind metaphors. Evil Cadmus Scientist believes this will help make the world a better place for her children. And, it appears as though the fear part of the plan is starting to work — one of the reporters at CatCo gets into an argument with Kara because he thinks humans should be allowed to carry around photon canons as protection against aliens and bad guys with alien weapons.

Mon-El is really starting to test Kara’s last nerve. First, she finds out he had Eve doing his work. Then, after another encounter with this week’s lackluster bad guys, she returns to CatCo and finds him hooking up with Eve in an abandoned office. She puts a stop to that immediately, preventing us from finding out what actually happens when a Kryptonian/Daxamite has sex with a human.

In the wake of his failed first encounter with the bad guys, James decides he wants to take the power into his own hands. He pays Winn a visit at the DEO to find out where the bad guys plan on hitting next, and then he heads there dressed like Lazy Assassin from Assassin’s Creed and sporting a baseball bat. However, he clearly gets in over his head and the bad guys decide to destroy a nearby apartment building to distract him while they make their escape.

It doesn’t take long for Winn to find out what James did with his information, and he heads to CatCo to scold him for being so reckless. However, James doesn’t back down — he’s tired of being just the sidekick and really wants to change the world. Winn tells him he’s going to get himself killed, but James says this might be his way to honor his father, who gave his life defending the country.

When Kara returns home, she finds Alex waiting outside her door eating a donut…and Alex never eats sugar in the middle of the day. Throughout the episode, Alex has been grappling with her confusing feelings for the recently dumped Maggie. Alex keeps trying to be there for her, and Maggie asks if she’s gay and whether she’s coming onto her. In the moment, Alex says no, but that suggestion forces to look back on her life. However, she doesn’t get a chance to talk through it with Kara, who needs advice on how to deal with Mon-El and his tendency to ignore her orders. Alex suggests she chill out a bit and let Mon-El find his own way. As Alex gets ready to open up to Kara about what she’s going through, Lena Luthor shows up and asks Kara to set up a meeting with Supergirl.

Obviously, Kara obliges and when she shows up at the meeting, Lena asks her to chaperone a fundraiser she’s throwing for a children’s hospital that was damaged during the recent fight with the bank robbers. Supergirl reluctantly says yes; as it turns out, Lena also invited Kara to the gala. You might think working with a shape-shifting alien would make this easy, but Kara dives head-first into the sitcom-y setup and decides to switch back and forth between her two identities.

At the gala, Mon-El asks Kara to dance — apparently, both Kryptonians and Daxamites love to cut a rug. As the two aliens make their way across the dance floor, you can feel the show setting up a little something. However, that’ll have to wait. Miner, against the Evil Cadmus Scientist’s orders, interrupts the event with his big alien guns. Supergirl springs into action, but she’s no match for the machinery Miner’s packing. Thankfully, this entire event was a trap set by Lena Luthor, who has a device in place to stop them. With a little help from Winn, Lena is able to save the day.

The next day, Winn goes to see James at work to let him know he changed his mind about helping James fight crime. Winn saw how eager James was to fight the goons at the gala and knows he’ll get himself killed without him. But more importantly, he understands James’ desire to do something more than just publish the latest celebrity gossip. Winn has already started working on a suit for him and James has a name in mind, but tells Winn he’ll have to wait to hear it.

Alex goes to see Maggie and gets real with her. “My whole life has been about perfect… But the one part of my life that I have never been able to make perfect is dating,” she says, explaining she’s never enjoyed being intimate. (Speaking of intimacy, the scene alternates between close-ups of Maggie and Alex, making this scene more intimate and poignant). Maggie tries to nudge Alex closer to saying the words she’s searching for, but Alex doesn’t quite get to that place; however; she does admit there might have been some truth to what Maggie said earlier.

Alex’s questioning of her sexuality was probably the highlight of the episode. There were times when it felt as though it got lost in the other drama, but for the most part, Supergirl was very delicate and subtle with regards to this story line — not to bash the show, but those two things haven’t exactly been the show’s strengths. Part of the plot’s success goes to Chyler Leigh, who made the most of her character’s small moments in the episode. There was a hint of longing in her scenes with Maggie, leading up to their big moment in the bar. I’m really excited to follow Alex on this journey.

In fact, this episode began building a lot of exciting and interesting story lines to come. Although I think the show might be reaching peak-superheroes, James’ decision to become a vigilante feels like a natural development for someone best known as Superman’s pal. And Kara realizing she needs to let Mon-El figure out who he wants to be and what he wants to do on Earth was another nice touch.

The episode ends with another cliffhanger: Evil Cadmus Scientist is revealed to be Lena Luthor’s mother.

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