Supergirl, ‘What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?’: It’s Time to Pick a Side as the Series Divides into Factions

Supergirl, “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?” Season 4, Episode 13

If Supergirl can’t be fun like it used to, the least it could be is be interesting. This week’s return from its Oscars hiatus goes a long way toward that. From a plot perspective, this was one of the busiest episodes of any CW show in recent memory. Characters were introduced, re-introduced, changed locations and picked sides for the battle ahead. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of Supergirl:

What’s the scoop: Lot of ground to cover here, so let’s go to the bullet points:

  • Manchester Black escapes from prison with some help from a new character called The Hat, because he has a hat. In the meantime, he rounds up Menagerie and one of those government assassin aliens to form a group called The Elite. They start doing high profile heists (including stealing Brainy’s Legion ring) and killing anti-alien operatives.
  • Supergirl takes Brainy and Nia to The Fortress of Solitude to help Nia train. Brainy wants to take it slow, while Nia wants to learn everything she’s capable of before they break for lunch. She goes behind Brainy’s back to get her wish, but it’s a forgivable offense. This trio joins J’ohnn to form their own group of extraordinary acquaintances.
  • Lena has been recruited to start her project to super-up regular folks, and she gets a lab in DEO HQ. After the events of the episode, where it appears the president is more evil than ever, Alex and Lena team up.
  • Speaking of the president, he has a meeting with Ben Lockwood, who wants him to deputize the Children of Liberty. The president can’t do that, but after Supergirl breaks his expensive new toy, he appoints Lockwood his director of alien affairs.

Meanwhile in B-plot land: That leaves Jimmy as a team of one. There’s not been a lot for Jimmy to do all season, and this week makes that even clearer. Basically, he wrestled with another opportunity to send a reporter to dig up the truth about Lena’s experiments. And, seeing as how they aren’t shagging any more, Jimmy launches the investigation. There’s also an interesting sideline with Alex and Kara/Supergirl. After a rough start following the mind wipe, Alex and Supergirl have a conversation about how the president is circumventing the DEO’s authority by launching laser satellites designed to shoot down any approaching alien spacecraft, regardless of intention. Alex goes to Devil’s Tower to help Supergirl, and even though Alex still has no clue, it’s good to see the Danvers sisters mostly whole again.

What about the action: There wasn’t a lot of middle ground in this episode, the action was either pretty good or pretty bad. All the members of The Elite are passable with their fight choreography, and it was nice to see Supergirl (and Alex) doing asskicking things again after not doing much during the back half of this season. Nia and Brainy are another matter. Their fight scenes lacked the fluidity of their more experienced castmates -– and it was noticeable. There’s time for everyone to improve, but the more those two are in the forefront, the more their rookie action sequences will stand out, and not in a good way.

What’s next: Captain Supergirl: Civil War

Last impressions:  This episode gave us a lot to process with new secrets, and team-ups, and the changes of heart. This was the first episode that involved the Children of Liberty that wasn’t bogged down by the real-world symbolism. That has more to do with the Children of Liberty still being centered around Lockwood and serving as more of a backdrop all sides played against, rather than the plot’s engine. It was also nice to see some genuine character moments worked in despite all that was going on. The best of those was Kara struggling with trying to do the right thing while knowing everything she does is going to be analyzed through the prism of the alien conflict. Those little moments tend to get lost in the shuffle when things get busy. Overall, this episode was better than most this season, and if they are going to shelve the sunshine and rainbows of the past, then this isn’t a bad direction to take.

Craig Wack

For a weekly discussion of comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes

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