Last week’s Supergirl dealt with the reemergence of Dean Cain’s Jeremiah Danvers, free after 15 years of captivity by Cadmus, only for him to turn around and steal the DEO’s alien registry with the help of his robot arm and beat the snot out of J’onn & Winn.
This week’s episode, “Exodus,” not only follows up on that but also hammers home the immigrant-inclusive subtext of this season dead-on with an opening and other scenes that are viscerally uncomfortable because of how close they are to real-world events right now. Here’s what I mean: the episode opens with a couple and their preteen daughter (who, in an eerie coincidence, looks like Logan‘s Dafne Keen) driving out from National City when they’re pulled over by a cop for an apparently broken taillight. Cop offers to help fix it but instead slams the dad against the back of the car because it turns out he’s with Cadmus and they’re aliens. The daughter runs away but is eventually captured after a grim, handheld-camera chase through the woods that–if you’ve heard one bit of recent news about the horrible things President Cheeto has been letting ICE get away with–is very damn hard to watch.
Speaking only for myself, I’ve never been of the persuasion that art isn’t inherently political and that applies to something as escapist as superhero stories. So, as tough as that opening and later scenes where characters talk about “deportation” are hard to sit through, all the props in the world to director Michael Allowitz & writers Paula Yoo & Eric Carrasco for staging it.
The abductions continue when the “alien dive bar”–which, in what I’m starting to think is a deliberate attempt to troll me, Mon-El explicitly refers to as the “alien dive bar”–is bombed and all the alien patrons but Mon-El, including Lyra, are kidnapped. The team vows to track Cadmus down and put a stop to what they’re doing but J’onn is concerned that Alex won’t be able to effectively take down Jeremiah, who at this point must be seen as an enemy.
Kara, meanwhile, has to deal with Snapper resisting her pushing a piece on the alien abductions as it’s not verifiable. Despite meeting with him as Supergirl, Kara still can’t get anywhere. This culminates in an ending that I won’t spoil but it’s absolutely the logical outcome and the best Snapper has been all season.
Outside of that, this episode is solid with lots of big damn hero moments for Alex, Kara and others, a solid, tense climax with well-done effects and, again, unavoidable parallels to the real world that help elevate this episode into something pretty special. Speaking of special, the teaser for the next episode–set to air March 20–confirms that Mon-El is, in fact, not a former manservant to the prince of Daxam but the actual prince. And his parents-ex-Lois Lane Teri Hatcher and ex-Hercules Kevin Sorbo–are the king and queen AKA those hooded figures we’ve seen around the edges of some episodes and have come to claim him.
I don’t know how this will turn out but if this episode is any indication, Supergirl is on track to finish its second season in very high esteem indeed.
Tom Speelman is a contributor to Loser City and The Mary Sue and a regular writer/columnist at Comics Alliance. He’s a freelance writer and proofreader and is featured in the upcoming criticism anthology A Galaxy Far Far Away: Exploring Star Wars Comics from Sequart Publishing. Find him on Twitter @tomtificate.