A Look Back on Supergirl Season 2 Episode 19: Alex

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Rick Malverne: It’s simple. She told you she’s okay. And now we trade my father for Alex.

Beware: Spoilers may follow.

This episode presented a very interesting dilemma through its characters: Superheroes vs. law enforcement. With Supergirl literally being a bulletproof is there any need for cops to handle matters like a hostage situation when she can zip right in and save the day within minutes? This episode explores that not only as a story but through the eyes of its characters thus furthering the relationships among the protagonists.

The story is that Alex’s (Chyler Leigh) girlfriend Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima) and her sister Kara (Melissa Benoist) have often clashed in the act of apprehending criminals. However when Alex is kidnapped by a childhood friend of the Danvers’ named Rick Malverne (David Hoflin) who knows Kara is Supergirl and threatens to kill Alex unless Kara releases his criminal father from prison, Maggie and Kara must work together to save her.

The thing that frames the dilemma is a hostage situation that Maggie is handling. Maggie is about to convince a criminal to back down when Supergirl zips in to save the day. Maggie may have been taking a long time to save the hostages but Supergirl just went in and saved the day without a second thought. Supergirl is good at fighting behemoths but police work requires a lot more carefulness. While Maggie bringing up the ‘Supergirl Defense’ is something that goes nowhere both sides make valid arguments but both sides ultimately have their consequences in this conflict.

Even though Alex is trapped for the majority of the episode she does make the most out of her screen time. We see her utilize her skills as an agent to the best she can in order to survive her captivity by turning her pants into a flotation device and tries to send a message to her team.

Even if the viewer knows that Alex is going to be rescued by the end of it all, the direction of the episode really amplifies the suspense. Maggie’s interrogation of Rick goes nowhere, Jonn cannot read Rick’s minds to find out Alex’s whereabouts, Jonn attempting to disguise himself as Rick’s father fails, and when Alex manages to send a signal and Kara sets out to rescue her it only gets worse as Malverne’s (who had spent years planning the abduction and accounting for everything) trap results in her on the verge of drowning. Maggie and Kara’s multiple failures to rescue the woman they both care for, results in Maggie getting so desperate she almost gives in to Malverne’s demands only stopping when Kara persuades her.

David Hoflin’s performance as the villain was done well. He doesn’t have much physical strength but captures the perfect mastermind demeanor. And we see that his father was genuinely a loving man towards Rick although the actor Gregg Henry didn’t have much to work with. His performance also hints at a past love for Alex as he has a sense of bitterness when he finds out Alex “is playing for the other team.”

Lima’s performance as Maggie shines this episode. She does nail the part of being tough and upstanding in her nature as a cop, but what really stands out is when it comes to the emotional moment when speaking to the still hostage Alex on video. The scene when Alex fearing that this the end for her and prepares to say goodbye while Maggie assures her that it is not the end promising several firsts for their relationship makes you truly feel all the emotions their relationship has brought throughout the season (and making it that much sadder that they broke up later on). Those emotions are brilliantly capped off with the scene between the two after Alex is rescued.

If there is one nitpick about the episode it’s that there is a b-plot about Mon-El’s (Chris Wood’s) bitter mother manipulating Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) into helping her get revenge, which doesn’t go hand-in-hand with the rest of the episode.

Despite the title only having the name of a character, the episode takes what is a predictable plot and drives it into some new territory with both its characters and direction. It presented an interesting dilemma, followed through with it, and furthered the character’s relationships altogether.

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