Supergirl Episode 221 Recap and Review – ‘Resist’
Supergirl finally comes back to form purely for the fact that Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) makes a surprise return to rally our heroes and all of National City to Resist! against the invading Daxamite forces. I never thought I’d miss her “rah-rah, on-the-nose” approach to Feminism, and her “Suck it up, we’ve got a job to do” philosophies. I missed her so much, you guys. Her coming back made me realize that.
“Resist” does another thing that made me happy. Writers Jessica Queller and Derek Simon managed to weave together a story that unifies every major element introduced throughout Season 2 to create a cohesive climax. Everything comes into play — President Marsden (Lynda Carter) is an alien, Cadmus returns sans Jeremiah (Dean Cain), the alien refugee law is relevant again, and even the dive bar becomes an impromptu resistance headquarters for the DEO.
The main threat in this episode is Queen Rhea. She is leading her thousands of Daxamites, who survived the devastation of their home planet, in an invasion to make Earth into New Daxam. Since they’re starting with National City, President Marsden is already on her way to confront them via Air Force One. And guess who else is aboard? That’s right, Cat friggin’ Grant. She takes over the roundabout, “dick” measuring Marsden and Rhea are throwing at each other and opts for the stern talking to with a side of compromise because women are better than men. God I missed her. Have I said that already?
Then Rhea blows up Air Force One…. I guess she didn’t like what Cat had to say.
There are nice moments of action peppered throughout the episode. The stand-out kicker of the ass is Alex (Chyler Leigh). When the Daxamites break into the DEO, Alex cracks a few heads, runs through a fire fight, and leaps backwards off the balcony guns blazing, knowing Supergirl would catch her before she hit the asphalt. Supergirl ain’t messing around this time.
The subsequent attack on Air Force One takes second place, and it completely blows the first airplane rescue out of the water as the best action sequence involving an aircraft. It may or may not have anything to do with all of the explosions, Cat getting sucked out of the plane, and using this opportunity to reveal that Marsden is an alien.
The woman survived a mid-air explosion and falling from the sky with the fiery wreckage. No scratches! Of course, Cat takes this revelation with stride and asks, “Well at least tell me you’re still a Democrat.” Ha!
I appreciate the fact that the show stripped away any notion that President Marsden the kind of alien who has a nefarious agenda of her own. Cat is able to vouch for her based on their long history together, and Marsden even has a little heart to heart with Supergirl about why she is so behind the Alien Amnesty Act that was introduced earlier in the season. Marsden is actually a refugee herself, trying to be her best self just like Kara.
I’m not sure if this was what the writers had in mind when they first introduced Marsden as an alien, but I’m glad they went for it. Supergirl, Superman, and Mon-El can’t be the only good aliens trying to carve out a new life for themselves on Earth.
I mentioned before that Supergirl returns to form in a big way. Throughout Season 1, Supergirl was not afraid to point out the obvious flaws in today’s social climate, especially where the role of women was concerned. But it also called for regular citizens to stand up and resist a seemingly greater power that wants to stay in control. And this was always relevant enough in today’s world for the audience to glom onto as well.
In a very Cat Grant fashion, she and Winn set up in her old office to broadcast a call to arms against the Daxamites. Her message gets through, and it emboldens the citizens of National City to fight back. Later in the episode, she gets to slip back into her role as a wizened mentor to Supergirl. She takes the knowledge and insight she gained from her “Eat, Pray, Love” experience in Bhutan and tells the Girl of Steel that key to true happiness is human connection. She takes a measured approach to the age-old question, “What’s the point of saving the world if your loved ones aren’t in it?”
Of course, Cat Grant isn’t solely responsible for making Supergirl great again (but she is an important element). The show continues to be a haven for beloved female actors over 50. “Resist” brings together all ladies — Lynda Carter, Calista Flockhart, Teri Hatcher, and Brenda Strong. The only person missing is Helen Slater. Add Melissa Benoist, Chyler Leigh, Floriana Lima, and Katie McGrath into the mix and you have a strong case for female representation in a television show.
Though Lillian Luthor is still no fan of Supergirl, she comes seeking help to save Lena, who is being held captive on Rhea’s ship. This allows Supergirl to take advantage of the old “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” song and dance routine. Kara and Winn even get to do create a back-up plan in the even that Lillian does betray them, which she does.
When it was revealed that Rhea would be the big bad our heroes would have to fight in the season finale, I was beginning to think Cadmus was just a throw-away story thread that would be left dangling without much resolution. I’m glad Lillian and Hank Henshaw get to play a role in the invasion. After all, Lillian did warn everyone something like this would happen. It would have been a travesty not to let her show up just to say “I told you so.” Cadmus’ appearance further solidifies that the xenophobic organization will be a long-standing nemesis on Supergirl.
Since Supergirl is a show that is in love with the idea of ladies being in charge, it’s no surprise that the show decides to take a classic trope and turn it on its head.
In recent episodes, Supergirl smartly repositioned Mon-El to be the charming and lovable supporting character. In “Resist,” he’s turned into the damsel in distress. To re-establish Mon-El’s royal status in the eyes of the Daxamites (and to culminate the appearance that her people are willing to live in peace with the humans), Rhea arranges a political marriage with Lena Luthor. Through a harrowing sequence of events, Kara gets to take on the role of the White Knight, save her prince, and give him a romantic kiss before getting him to safety while she stays behind to save the day.
As for Lena, she took control of the situation easily as soon as Mon-El created enough of a distraction for her to seize a gun and shoot her way through. She got this.
Unfortunately for Kara, she has face the dragon before defeating the evil queen. That dragon, of course, is Superman… Wait, whaaaaaaat?!
- I’ll chalk it up to everyone juggling with several different disasters at once, but at least ONE PERSON should have been concerned that Superman was M.I.A. They mention his absence once, but everyone was too distracted that with their relief that Maggie made it out of the chaos alive.
- Yay! Superman’s back!
- I loved every second of Cat Grant, if I hadn’t made that clear already. I especially giggled at her disgust upon discovering that James had filled her office with dude stuff.
- Speaking of…Guardian fights off a squadron of Daxamites sent to kill Winn and Cat. Cat immediately recognizes the vigilante as James because she can see his eyes through the slit in his mask. This is particularly hilarious since she figured out that Kara is Supergirl in the first season, but was tricked into thinking she made a mistake when J’onn disguised himself as the Girl of Steel.
- Jeremy Jordan contines to stay on point with his comedic timing. I love that the best excuse Winn could come up with to explain James’ and Kara’s absence is because they’re both cowards.
- Even when fighting a bunch of Daxamites to get to the DEO’s mainframe, Maggie still has time to reminisce about her first meeting Alex. That’s real love there, my friends.
- Come back to National City, Cat Grant!