Another fantastic episode of the CW's Supergirl this week, with "Menagerie" introducing a new villain, continuing to develop themes of teamwork, family, anti-alien xenophobia, and skewering the holiday everyone loves to hate: Valentine's Day. There's an alien serial killer on the loose, and it's…extracting people's hearts whole? And it steals their jewels. The culprit is Menagerie, an alien symbiote (yay, DC is getting on the symbiote train!) who fused with jewel thief Pamela Ferrer (Jessica Meraz). So the alien snake-thing eats peoples' hearts and she steals their valuables: a truly symbiotic relationship.
But of course, the DEO is hot on the trail, with Alex (Chyler Leigh) getting pressure to make quick work of the case, as it's leading to more protests and civil unrest calling for Agent Liberty/Ben Lockwood (Sam Witwer) to be released from prison. Because her mind has been wiped to prevent her from remembering that her sister Kara (Melissa Benoist) is actually Supergirl, J'onn J'onzz (David Harewood) shows up at Catco to play "Valentine's Matchmaker"–have Kara help Alex on the case by investigating it as a journalist.
Of course, it's not exactly that simple: after getting into a scrape with Menagerie where she sics her alien snakes on the team, Alex freaks out that her sister might have gotten hurt. We all know better, but Kara starts having intense guilt that Alex isn't living her full life because she has to "protect" her. It's part of the mind-wipe, but it also goes much deeper into the core of their relationship. The world doesn't seem right to either of them without Supergirl fighting alongside Alex at the DEO.
The show also continues to go back to the well of using Brainy (Jesse Rath) as comic relief by putting him in average social situations and watching him react. It would be starting to wear thin, except that it is still pretty fun. In this episode, he attends a Valentine's party with Nia (Nicole Maines) in an attempt to help her harness her superhero powers and join the team as well. We also learn he is afraid of snakes, "like the protagonist of the Indiana Jones film." Of course, this puts him at an even greater disadvantage against Menagerie's powers when the team confronts her mid-heist.
But the two biggest revelations of the episode were saved for the end. The first is Nia embracing her powers and teaming up with Supergirl in the final fight against Menagerie. This is not surprising and has been teased for a while, but it's nice to see the fruition of all of the Valentine's matchmaking is that the team is growing together.
The second comes from an extremely unexpected place but is perhaps the most important. Ben Lockwood has been mentoring his son George in the art of movement-building through social media, and so the younger Lockwood has been enlisting the Sons of Liberty in taking down Menagerie. Of course, they show up at inopportune times and their vigalantism gets in the way of the DEO–but at a key moment in the climax, George dramatically beheads the alien snake that gives Menagerie her powers and she collapses. This is also broadcast to social media, and the mobs begin chanting "Liberty! Liberty! Liberty!" and demanding the release of Agent Liberty from prison.
See? Even for the bad guys, teamwork wins out.
Meanwhile, President Baker (Bruce Boxleitner…Tron dude?!?? NO!!!) looks for a way to appease the crowds. Turns out he can't hold people under the Patriot Act for attacking aliens (that's going to end…poorly) and so Ben Lockwood is released from prison to a crowd celebrating him outside. Meanwhile, inside the prison…Menagerie gets a letter: fancy, sealed with wax…and from Manchester Black (David Ajala).
Could he be putting together a team? The Elite? What a tease!
Speaking of teases, we also see Jimmy and Lena's relationship dissolving. We could blame it on Valentine's Day…but it has more to do with Lena considering licensing her research to give people superpowers to the military. Perhaps the saddest part of all of this is, only after the heartbreak with Jimmy do we see Lena make the call as tears run down her cheek in the dark, she says "Do it." No doubt this also teases her older, more villainous brother's appearance on the show.
It's exactly what we expect from Supergirl. While this was more of a "fluffy holiday episode," it did set up some incredibly important stakes for the future. Both the good and the bad guys expanded their teams. Not such a terrible Valentine's Day after all, is it? The Danvers sisters get to binge on half-priced candy on the day after, too!
Supergirl returns to the CW on Sunday, March 3, at 8 p.m. ET/ 7 CT with "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?":
Supergirl s04e13 "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?": SUPERGIRL FACES OFF AGAINST THE ELITE – Manchester Black (guest star David Ajala) breaks out of prison with the help of his new team, The Elite, who are set on punishing the anti-alien forces. Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) pulls double duty as she tries to apprehend Manchester Black and his team as well as deal with a shocking new development with Ben Lockwood (Sam Witwer).