November 3, 2016: “Supergirl” Episode Review – S02E04 “Survivors”

Superman Homepage reviewer T.A. Ewart (aka liheibao) reviews episodes from the “Supergirl” TV series, airing on The CW.

Check out his review of the 4th episode of Season 2 in, when Kara (Melissa Benoist) and Alex (Chyler Leigh) investigate the murder of an unregistered alien, the trail leads to an alien fight club run by Roulette (guest star Dichen Lachman), the ringmaster who commands aliens to fight in mortal combat for the entertainment of rich humans. While trying to stop the fighting, Supergirl and Martian Manhunter find themselves up against a surprising opponent. Meanwhile, Hank (David Harewood) is thrilled to have found another Martian and tries to get to know M’Gann (guest star Sharon Leal) better. Supergirl takes Mon-El (Chris Wood) under her wing and begins to train him.

SurvivorsOriginally Aired: October 31, 2016
STORY BY: Paula Yoo and Eric Carrasco
DIRECTED BY: James Marshall

REGULAR CAST:
Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers/Supergirl)
Chyler Leigh (Alex Danvers)
Mehcad Brooks (James Olsen)
David Harewood (Hank Henshaw/J’onn J’onzz)
Jeremy Jordan (Winslow “Winn” Schott)
Ian Gomez (Snapper Carr)

RECURRING CAST:
Chris Wood (Mon-El)
Calista Flockhart (Cat Grant)
Katie McGrath (Lena Luthor)
Brenda Strong (The Doctor)

SPECIAL GUEST:
Laura Benanti (Alura Zor-El)

GUEST CAST:
Sharon Leal (M’gann M’orzz/Miss Martian)
Katie McGrath (Lena Luthor)
Dichen Lachman (Veronica Sinclair/Roulette)
Ian Casselberry (Quill)
Stephi Chin-Salvo (Receptionist)
John DeSantis (Draaga)
Harrison MacDonald (Mummy Bro)
Dan Willows (Werewolf Bro)
Terry Mullett (Buzzcut Merc)
Ben Sullivan (Prince of Daxam)
Shauna Haracka (Maggie’s Girlfriend)
Robert Zen Humpage (Dead Alien)

3Rating – 3 (out of 5): Supergirl rights the ship somewhat with this week’s episode, but, unfortunately, there’s too much Alex Danvers and Maggie Sawyer. The real story is between Martian Manhunter and Miss Martian, and it’s actually quite good. Harewood makes the most of his scenes and does an excellent job of portraying the alienation he, as J’onn, has felt, in addition to the frustration he feels when Miss Martian rejects his overture to bond in the Martian manner. The Fight Club nonsense is only saved by Benoist selling herself as a powerhouse, and only with her roundhouse… which was nicely punctuated. Mon-El’s story is utterly unnecessary, but since Jimmy Olsen isn’t a suitable romantic interest any longer, someone has to fill that void. Note: It will never work. Super-powered beings like Kara grow distant from their humanity when linked to someone who isn’t human. It’s been done before more than once with Superman, in and out of canon, and the result is either Regime Superman or death.

I’ve little affection for Alex, who just comes across as a Mary Sue in all the wrong ways. However, her yearning stares at Maggie Sawyer, coupled with Sawyer’s smirks at flirting successfully with Alex, are just too much “What the…?”. Alex has shown no interest in anyone male or female, yet with Sawyer’s arrival, Alex has joined the ranks of sexual fluidity… and I just don’t buy it. The pandering or blatant grab for relevancy in the form of sexuality made topical, just falls flat with me. Alex just seems to be a cipher, at the end of the day. She’s a great sister when Supergirl is around. DEO superstar when J’onn is near. Greatest fighter of all when any alien comes around, and conveniently sexually fluid when Sawyer arrives, ready to bed any female, alien or otherwise. The real shame of it is that Sawyer is a very good character, as evidenced by her longevity in the Superman mythos, but her popularity stems from the Howard Stern treatment, and that’s the direction Supergirl has decided to proceed.

Check out the “Supergirl – Episode Reviews” Contents page.

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andramus
Member
What the heck is the Howard Stern treatment? Also I speculated that Alex might be gay back at the beginning of season 1 of the show so her interest in Maggie isn’t especially surprising to me. She struck me as a character who hasn’t had much in the way of a personal life for a long time. She told Winn in episode 2 of this season that she hasn’t been on a date in 2 years. A lot of people don’t realise they’re gay until later in life because they don’t experience strong feelings of sexual attraction to either sex.… Read more »
liheibao
Member
What the heck is the Howard Stern treatment? Send me a PM and I’ll let you know. Also I speculated that Alex might be gay back at the beginning of season 1 of the show so her interest in Maggie isn’t especially surprising to me She hadn’t shown interest in anyone, why would she be gay? A lot of people don’t realise they’re gay until later in life because they don’t experience strong feelings of sexual attraction to either sex. Because of this they tend to go with the flow and form attachments with the opposite sex because that is… Read more »
andramus
Member
Which doesn’t apply to Alex, as she showed no interest in anyone. . .unless she’s going with the flow now, as Maggie Sawyer is the first person to flirt with her since Maxwell Lord? So far what we have seen depicted on screen is not much to go on but some of the interviews I read from months ago in the lead up to this season talked about a character being revealed to be gay. I can’t remember specifics but what I took away from interviews was that the character wasn’t even aware they were gay themselves. That this wouldn’t… Read more »
MattComics
Member
I would agree with andramus that Alex simply hasn’t had much of a life outside of work and looking out for her sister and that’s the main reason her preferences one way or another haven’t really been established. Unless you want to count her line about Clark smelling good as some sort of confirmation but even then Alex might just be fine with both. I think the show is just treating gay and bi folks as what they are, another aspect of humanity. Obviously the kind of struggles and perceptions they tend to face mirror what’s going on with aliens… Read more »
liheibao
Member
I think the show is just treating gay and bi folks as what they are, another aspect of humanity. They’re pandering. Blatantly. (or are they spelling M’Onell and that’s why Kara has no reaction to his name being El?) Yep. Once more, I can SMH at the removal of Superboy from the mythos. I do like that as a Daxamite his powers differ from a Kryptonians. It seems like he’s going to have golden age Superman power levels. STAS Superman maybe, but golden age? He was much stronger than than that, and had x-ray vision. And super-speed. And didn’t need… Read more »
MattComics
Member

Is it pandering when they show a budding straight relationship on screen?

Super El
Member

Most romances these days are pandering, regardless of sexuality.

But featuring a near-Mary Sue as suddenly being in the LGBT Community just out of the blue? Yeah, that’s pandering.

MattComics
Member

I don’t really see it as out of the blue if she’s never had an established preferences before that. Her being a “Mary Sue” is debatable and a separate issue IMO.

MattComics
Member

“Most romances these days are pandering, regardless of sexuality.”

Maybe true but it seems to be only the portrayal of gay relationships that’s getting called out as anything particular. So is the problem what they are doing with Alex and Maggie is really that exceptionally pandering or is the problem that it’s on screen -at all- and treated about par with any straight romance that we would typically see in a CW series?

s-shield
Member

My summation of Kara at work:
KARA (to her boss): I’ve brought you nothing
BOSS: Bring me something
(Later, with her mother)
KARA: Work is hard.

Lol, yes Kara, work is hard.

s-shield
Member

I noticed the computer behind Mon-El at the start of the episode spelled his name “Mon-El.” Why is no one in-universe commenting on this? Even just to do a silly Winn moment, “Hey, you have the same last name! Or is it like Smith where you come from?”

I suspect that Mon-El’s backstory is a lie. I bet he turns out to be the actual hedonistic prince of Daxam, who selfishly fled his planet when the sky started to fall. His real name might even be Lar Gand.