‘Supergirl’ S4:01 Recap and Review: “American Alien”
Finally. We’re back to what makes Supergirl a show to watch. Supergirl Season 4 has moved away from the disjointed storytelling that made so much of season 3 a mixed bag. The writers set up each of the major characters with story arcs that allow for nuanced levels of conflict throughout the season, both interpersonally and within the season’s larger story arc.
Supergirl: American Alien opens with one of my favorite people, Lynda Carter, reappearing as President Marsdin to celebrate the anniversary of the Alien Amnesty Act. Supergirl has taken over Earth’s protection since Superman has been off-world in Argo City. She has seemingly regained her sense of hope and wonder at being able to help others around the world. She smiles again, sharing a moment of saving National City and then returning a runaway balloon to a little girl.
Back at the DEO, Alex has settled into her new role as Director, with Brainy taking over from Winn. It’s a fascinating dynamic as the two are not exactly the smoothest matchup. This seems like it will have lots of potential for both conflict and growth. It parallels the beginnings of J’onn and Winn’s relationship.
J’onn has taken over the role of protector from his late father. He is channeling that into supporting aliens as they find ways to become more comfortable in society. However, things are not progressing as smoothly as everyone hoped. The Alien Amnesty Act was a step forward, but the conflict has been brewing under the surface. Much as the social climate in the U.S. has been shifting, Supergirl has moved toward the exploration of what a world looks like with tensions between the established majority and the incoming minority. This conflict appears to be fueling where this season will head.
Lillian Luthor reappears, which is a welcome addition in my opinion. Brenda Strong shines in the role and brings out the best in Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor. Lena is one of the most enigmatic characters on television. Her intentions seem to be coming from a place of good intentions, yet her methods have been leaning more toward elements of a Luther-esque style.
All in all, the season introduced a series of conflicts that will hopefully remain throughout the season. I have high hopes. Up, up and away for Season 4.
Supergirl airs Sundays at 8 PM EST on CW
Micky Small is a freelance writer and Superhero Scholar. She writes about female and LGBT superheroes and diversity in media. Follow her on Twitter @femmepwrdprod
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