Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Supergirl - Resist

The war for National City has begun. The first-half of Supergirl's Second Season finale sees old faces return as Rhea's (Teri Hatcher) invasion of National City gets underway. Run out of the DEO, Kara (Melissa Benoist) and her friends are forced into hiding. The near death of President Olivia Marsdin (Lynda Carter) not only reveals her secret to the group but also offers the return of Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) who stands tall providing a public distraction to give Supergirl the time needing to rescue Lena (Katie McGrath) and Mon-El (Chris Wood) from the Daxamite ship. To do so she'll have to work alongside Lillian Luthor (Brenda Strong) in a makeshift peace destined for betrayal. By the end of the episode most of the plan has succeeded, but it turns out Rhea has one final surprise for Supergirl.

The stakes, the tension throughout, the use of entire supporting cast, and the cliffhanger setting up one hell of a monster showdown next week all help to make "Resist" one of the show's more memorable episodes. Everyone is given something to do here, and it all serves the main plot, no clunky B-stories thrown in this time around. As so many characters are given the chance to shine, it's hard to pick a standout. Alex (Chyler Leigh) getting to work alongside Maggie (Floriana Lima) while internally battling against orders that could lead to the death of her sister offer strong dramatic moments, Hatcher's steps up her game as the full-on bat-shit crazy version Rhea who has finally been given her full villain turn, and Cat Grant provides Supergirl and the city with not only a distraction but a rousing speech to stand-up and fight for their world (which, given some of her phrases about the alien promise to make them great again, is less an allegory to the current political climate than a full-on fuck you to President Trump).

"Resist" also has some small individual moments worth talking about. Lillian's words about Kara keeping her secret from Lena seem to continue to foreshadow something dark down that road. The reveal of the President is completely unexpected but fits the season's focus of inclusion and fair treatment for all. The unexpected swerve of making her an ally rather than enemy continues to give me hope that there's still a chance for Lena. And, as she saw through Kara's disguise in Season One, I'm happy to see Cat easily recognize the man behind the Guardian (instantly deflating him after one of the character's best action scenes). The arrival of Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) at the end of the episode, someone controlled by Rhea, again spins events in an entirely different direction setting up a massive throwdown between the Man of Steel and Supergirl next week with nothing less than the fate of National City (and perhaps all of Earth) at stake.

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