Supergirl: 221 “Resist” Review
Reviewed by Ben McClure.
We came into Resist, the penultimate episode of Supergirl’s second season, full of high hopes that the story will get into epic action showcasing Supergirl fighting off an alien invasion the likes of which we’ve never seen. And to a degree, it delivers. There are some great effects, and a few scenes of big-scale spectacle. In particular, there is an outstandingly staged sequence where the DEO is attacked by Daxamites that’s as gripping as anything we’ve had on the show. And in general, we had explosions, lasers, punching, flying, and all sorts of glitz and glam.
Unfortunately, it is all thrown together in a bit of a jumbled mess, with a story that never really pulls itself together.
There are numerous sequences and ideas that feel like they’ve just been crammed together, without the energy being taken to make sense of its different parts. For example, Cat Grant’s reappearance is dramatic and features a fun performance by Calista Flockhart, who is very much welcome back. But it’s also nonsensical. Why is she able to just butt in on the President’s private video call with the Queen of an invading army? Why does she do so with a bizarre diatribe about how great women are at this sort of thing? What purpose is there to this scene at all, except to allow Kara to rescue her?
Indeed, why would the President of the United States be flying toward the lead saucer of an alien invasion at all? The answer: none, except so that Kara and the others can find out she’s an alien. It’s just one of several examples where the producers want to move the status quo along somehow, so they come up with the most expedient way to do so, regardless of how much sense it doesn’t make.
Another example is the return of Lillian Luthor. She needs to show up so Kara will know that she can go to her later for help getting onto the Daxamite ship. But what sense does it make that she just wanders into the bar where everyone has just gone to hide, right in the middle of an alien attack? Naturally, Kara, Alex and the others give her the answer that we all expect, but none of us are fooled: we know that Kara will be teaming up with them by the time the episode ends, and we know that Lillian will betray her.
Given that there’s a ground war going in during the alien invasion, it’s a bit ridiculous that Kara just stands around wringing her hands. They justify why she doesn’t attack the ships, with the threat of kryptonite cannons and all, but there’s no reason she shouldn’t be out there dealing with the ground troops–especially when James and Maggie are doing their bit. (Of course, James and Maggie going out to fight turns out to just be an excuse to get a few extraneous characters off screen until they are needed for cool moments later in the episode.)
And then you have that climax, which is the worst of all. After all that build-up about the big gun on top of the DEO, and the drama and anxiety of Alex’s orders to fire as soon as possible, Kara blithely ignores her opportunity to escape in order to give crazy Queen Rhea one more chance. But that results in Alex hesitating and the chance to defeat the Daxamites to be lost. Obviously, the dramatic intention is to make Kara more noble and heroic, but the result is that the character looks foolish and the plot itself to feel pointless. It undermines the ending of the story, and thus the whole episode.
(I really, really hope that Alex has to face some comeuppance for disobeying direct orders from the President, although I suppose she could just threaten her in response to reveal her secret. Maybe that would create some interesting tension in the future.)
Anyway, the episode is boosted by lots of grand spectacle and the return of Cat Grant, but weighed down by contrivance upon contrivance and an ending that makes the whole thing feel like it was treading water to get to the cliffhanger at the end. Hopefully, the season finale will pick things up a bit.