TV Recaps

Supergirl Review: ‘Supergirl Lives’ Inspires a Hero

Photo Credit: The CW

Supergirl returned from its winter hiatus with a brand new episode directed by Kevin Smith. In “Supergirl Lives,” Kara’s bleeding heart and journalistic passion lands her and Mon-El in a heap of trouble when their investigation into the disappearance of a missing girl leads them to the planet Slaver’s Moon.

The episode began with Supergirl battling another group of thieves with Guardian (and Winn) providing assistance. Winn gets attacked after his interference attempt backfires and spends the rest of the episode fearful and doubting himself in a subplot I’ll touch on later. After disposing of the thieves, Kara remarks to Alex that she feels like she’s in a funk, spending more time saving money and jewelry than she is protecting the world. Alex, the dutiful sister that she is, urges Kara to enjoy the win.

The next day, a story about a missing girl comes across Kara’s desk and she vows to help the woman find her daughter. Of course Snapper chastises Kara about making a promise she can’t keep, but Kara is determined! She heads to the Alien Bar where she encounters the super cute and always adorable Mon-El, now a bartender. As Kara pours out her frustration feels, he offers the young hero some advice as only someone adorable can, “If you go looking for trouble…trouble…ye shall find.” Totally foreshadowing trouble there, Monie.

Kara learns there’s been a rash of disappearances with a connection to a clinic. Mon-El invites himself to tag along during her investigation, where they pose as a couple in need of money to head to “Paris city” (cue Mon-El awkward cuteness). They uncover the missing people have been sent through and alien portal and wind up stranded on Maaldoria aka Slaver’s Moon. Kara and Mon-El have no powers on the planet due to the red sun, which makes search and rescue infinitely more difficult. The duo learns the missing are going to be sold into slavery…oh, and Maaldoria is the place where the Daxam (Mon-El’s home planet) obtained their slaves. Kara’s big idea to save the missing involves turning herself in. Yeah. That was smart.

On Earth, Alex learns Kara is missing and freaks out. Unfortunately, Maggie receives the brunt of her frustration. Alex and Maggie spent the night together (off-screen) so Maggie rightfully wonders if Alex’s change in attitude is because of that. Alex blames herself for Kara’s disappearance, fearing she’s become too focused on her new relationship with Maggie and breaks things off with her because “she’s not allowed to be happy.” Finding Supergirl has to be her priority, so she prepares to mount a rescue and recruits Winn to assist her. Of course Winn is suffering from mild PTSD and is doubting himself after being an epic failure during the previous night’s mission. The Martian is unable to assist because the planet’s atmosphere is poisonous to his race (how convenient). Alex lets Winn know it’s okay to be afraid, but you can’t let it overtake you. Nice moment but it was a weak and unnecessary subplot in the context of the episode.

Photo Credit: The CW
On Slaver’s Moon, #Karamel plots their escape with the other captives. Roulette (guest star Dichen Lachman) is revealed to be behind the abductions, as she needed a new venture after Supergirl destroyed her fighting ring. Roulette procures cattle for the Maaldorians, who are selling them to the Dominators (the foes of the Invasion crossover episodes) among others. Unfortunately that’s about as much as Roulette has to do, which is a shame because Dichen is a wonderful actress capable of being so much more than a throwaway nemesis.

At this point, the purpose of this interplanetary adventure begins to come into focus. Kara still stands ready to rebel and offers hope to the other captives, much to the confusion of Mon-El. He doesn’t understand how Kara maintains her optimism despite being powerless, on an alien planet with seemingly no way out. “That’s what heroes do. They fight,” she sternly tells him before delivering a serious burn. “They don’t sit and hide in a bar because it’s easier than getting involved.” Kara extols what it means to be a hero, and the larger responsibilities they have when it comes to protecting those in need. You ever give up fighting, you never give in. “That’s the difference between you and me,” she says, unaware that her words could also be heard by the cattle. Kara makes a stand to defend the others, suffering multiple weapon attacks on their behalf when she refuses to let them be taken. Kara’s words and actions inspire the other captives to rises up and help her. “You didn’t give up, so neither will we,” says one.

By now the DEO arrived on the planet and Alex’s team is making headway through the Red Fortress. I never get enough of seeing Alex kick ass and boy did she! As Kara leads the front, Mon-El covers the rear and fends off the Maaldorians with an energy weapon. This is where things take an interesting turn. One of the Maaldorians shoots Mon-El’s weapon out of his hands leaving him prone. Rather than shoot him, the Maaldorian aims for Supergirl and the other escapees. It’s as if Mon-El could hear Kara’s words about heroism echoing in his head because he stands up blocking the line of sight with his body. Then a Dominator appears telling the Maaldorian, “Not him. He is not to be harmed.” The Dominator then bows to Mon-El! Plot twist!

At the portal, Winn is attacked by a Maaldorian and he stands up for himself in time to get it reactivated. Another action sequence takes place after Alex tosses a sun grenade at Kara which imbues her with rays from the yellow sun, activating her powers and allowing for one last heroic rescue.

With our heroes back on earth, Kara keeps her promise and helps Izzy reunite with her mother at CatCo. She also manages to win slight approval from Snapper after turning in her 8,000-word story with personal accounts from those there. “I know you that you want me to follow my head, but I would rather be wrong about a dozen leads than not follow the ones I believe in. That’s the kind of reporter I wanna be. I’m always going to follow my heart,” she boldly proclaimed. To which Snapper replied, “Atta-girl, Danvers.” Out of earshot of course. Kara’s desire to fight for what’s right is slowly endearing her to Snapper and I’m enjoying that a lot.

Meanwhile, Winn retracts his earlier statement to James and says he wants to remain helping him fight crime. It was a cute scene. “Guardian, he protects the earth, but Agent Schott? He protects the stars!” My problem with this subplot is it I knew it would be wrapped up by the end of the episode and it was. Winn feeling inadequate in a world of superheroes and muscly vigilantes should have been something played out over the course of numerous episodes but I digress.

Alex invites Maggie over to apologize for her crazy rant earlier. Initially blaming the universe for smacking her down for being happy, Maggie tell her that wasn’t a good enough answer. Alex then opens up about the weight of her responsibility for Kara, and admits that any time she focused on herself it would end badly. After poorly segueing into feeling responsible for Supergirl’s disappearance, Maggie cuts her off by admitting he knows Supergirl is her sister because Alex only gets that worked up over her. “Bad stuff happens. In our line of work, it happens all the time. How do I know you’re not going to run the next time it does,” asked Maggie? Alex reassures her that it won’t happen again. This was probably my favorite emotional moment from the episode. There’s a wealth of depth to Alex and Maggie’s relationship that should be explored more. I know series is Supergirl, but you have to mine the drama where it exists the most and right now Alex and Maggie’s relationship is the highlight of the show.

Mon-El goes to see Kara to check in on her after their adventure. They sit on the sofa, under a red blanket, where he admits he was wrong about not getting involved. Seeing Kara with the captives inspired him, and he’s not used to that. Mon-El says there wasn’t much to inspire him on Daxam, and when Kara brings up the prince, Mon-El says he wasn’t worth admiring, but he wants to be. He tells Kara he’s decided to be a superhero like her, he wants to get his hands dirty and do something meaningful. Kara tells him there’s no easy ways out if he decides to go on this path, and will have to listen to her. Of course Mon-El makes some adorable jokes to lighten the severity in the room, such as when Kara tells him the cape can get heavy and he says “I want a heavy cape” and relieve some of the heavy in the room but he’s committed to this. “I want to help you keep the world spinning. To prove that I was spared for a reason.” Excuse me while I design a “his and hers” version of the Fortress of Solitude. She inspired him to save the world. She did that. He looked into her eyes and basically said, “I want to be the man you think I can be.” Well I’ll be damned!

Back on Maaldoria, two mysterious figures (ones tracking Mon-El in a previous episode) find out our hunky hero-to-be is on earth and murders the doctor who was kidnapping the humans. It’s obvious there’s more to Mon-El’s story than he’s let on and I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out. A friend of mine shared with me her theory and I have to say I agree. What if Mon-El isn’t a palace guard like he claimed but be it is actually the Prince of Daxam? If so, he would have a lot to atone for and would add a new dynamic to the blossoming relationship between he and Kara.

Overall it was a solid episode with the main highlights coming from Kara’s impassioned speech on Maldoria, Alex and Maggie’s relationship drama and Mon-El & Kara’s chemistry.

About the author

Ryan White-Nobles

Ryan White-Nobles is Editor-in-Chief of TVSource Magazine. He's a natural #Heel who loves a spirited debate and probably watches too much TV. Follow him on Twitter at @SourceRyan to discuss all things TV, soaps, sports, wrestling and pop culture.