This week’s episode, “Resist,” sees Supergirl return to its political roots. Between alien President Linda Carter, Cat Grant’s “you’ve got a job to do” speech and tearful sister moments, you’d be hard pressed to find an episode that fits as well with last season’s tone and message. Which is kind of awesome.
Not that this season hasn’t been a fun romp. But as we’ve talked about before, the show has taken on quite a few more CW-esque traits since moving to the CW—a fact that should surprise exactly no one. One of these traits being that the stories have centered much more around Kara’s personal dramas than the wider issues it tackled last season. And I’ve kind of missed the old Supergirl “we can do it” spirit.
So for me, “Resist” is more than just a title. It’s a suggestion: Resist the urge to cheer at our awesomeness, but also resist the urge to punch a character in his or her stupid face. With that in mind, here are my top five moments of cheer-inducing awesomeness and top five moments of face-punch-inducing anger from last night’s Supergirl.
5th Place Punch: Linda Carter Lets Me Down
Don’t get me wrong. I follow the President’s logic on this one. Her backstory is heartbreaking and certainly explains her “shoot first” approach. I just wanted a little more compassion for everyone involved. She may be right—after all, Cat’s attempt to talk it out failed miserably—but that doesn’t mean I can’t want to give her just a little punch. In the shoulder. Like a resigned, ‘80s buddy cop, “we have to do this, but I already regret it”-style punch.
5th Biggest Cheer: Maggie Sawyer with a Shotgun
4th Place Punch: Mama Luthor’s “Shocking” Betrayal
Lena has the right idea when her mother decides to abandon Kara and Mon-El. Namely, What the hell, Mom?
Overall, Lillian Luthor’s attempts at “working together” can be accurately summed up as a combination of condescension, deception and unwarranted physical assault. Teamwork makes the dream work, Lillian. Rescuing your daughter is admirable, but if your betrayal is telegraphed far enough for Winn to build new tech, you should really rethink your timing.
Though she does get a few points in her favor by being the first villain ever to explain why she doesn’t reveal the hero’s identity. I mean, with Lena’s trust issues, it will probably work.
4th Biggest Cheer: Be Faster
Not so much a cheer as a sniffle, but it deserves kudos nonetheless. In an episode that doesn’t really have time to focus on Kara and Alex’s emotions, we still get these lines from Alex: “Just be faster than me. I know you’re fast, but just… Be faster.”
It’s a painfully short exchange when you realize the result may be Alex literally killing her sister to save the Earth, but in an episode so packed with set piece monologues and action sequences, it’s awesome to see that the show still remembers its heart. Because it’s Alex and Kara’s relationship that makes Supergirl what it is.
3rd Place Punch: What the Hell, Rhea?
A forced marriage? Really? Come on. This kind of creepy kingdom-building is way beneath you. And while we’re on the subject of creepy: Kidnapping someone and redressing them while they’re unconscious is a big NO. I don’t care how much work you’ve put into building a forced mother/daughter relationship, respect your captive’s body autonomy, dude. I’ve seen Bond villains with more respect for personal space.
3rd Biggest Cheer: Winn Schott, Master of Deception
“James is, uh, hiding like a coward.” Just when he spends so much of this episode doing everything right—setting up the alternate DEO, giving Kara a Lillian proof escape plan, having Cat’s back—Winn proves himself to be a mere mortal while covering for James. Winn’s good at a lot of things, just don’t ask him to cover for you missing work. You may come back with everyone thinking you were avoiding a duel.
2nd Place Punch: Superman!
Look, I get that, with the whole vague eye focus thing, Tyler Hoechlin is trying to indicate that Clark is mind controlled or brainwashed or maybe just angsting so hard he forgot this isn’t Teen Wolf, but hitting your cousin is not cool. Especially not after you just destroyed the planet’s hope to defeat Rhea. I’m excited to see next week’s explanation for all this, but even this temporary—and probably unwilling—turn to bad guy status earns Superman a sock to his jaw of steel. Even if it does shatter every bone in my hand, thank you very much.
2nd Biggest Cheer: Lena Luthor, Science Goddess
Mon-El may fight you, but Lena Luthor will shoot you in the face. There’s so much to love about Lena tonight. Whether she’s coming to grips with her new forced title of alien princess, giving up her personal freedom to protect sick children, or rocking a truly horrendous wedding dress, Lena is the wo-man with the plan.
But the moment that made me cheer was watching her put Tony Stark to science shame. Not content to wait for a rescue, she uses her wedding tiara—and, once again, that dress is hideous—to hack the Daxamite ship. It’s no wonder Kara loves her, even if she is still a little blind on the whole Kara/Supergirl thing.
1st Place Punch: What the Hell, Rhea? (Take 2)
“People of Earth, do not be afraid.” And then proceed to murder all the people of Earth.
We all knew Rhea was planning to make a power play for the planet, but does she have to be such a jerk about it? Waxing poetic about our waste of potential, when she’s interacted with maybe five actual humans in total. Three of whom I suspect to be end-of-shift Lyft drivers.
Get to know a planet before you try to take it over, Rhea. You’ll still be a jerk, but at least you’ll be a well-informed jerk. Oh, and maybe don’t be so judgmental. After all, it’s not the humans who brought a huge alien battle armada and then proceeded to “conquer” one city.
Crowning Moment of Awesome: The Return of Cat Grant
This can’t be a surprise. Besides the general awesomeness that is Cat, I literally cheered when she stepped into the fray. Even an ill-advised attempt to cool relations between Rhea and Linda Carter can’t dampen my excitement. Though I am seriously impressed by her brokering peace between Taylor and Kanye.
She appeared with equal parts sincerity and sass. Her inspirational speech to Kara about Bhutan and the happiness of its people could help the most cynical among us put life into perspective. Her instant recognition of James as the Guardian is played with hilarious bluntness. Overall, Cat at her best.
But for me, the moment to truly celebrate came with her previously mentioned “you’ve got a job to do” speech. Only Cat Grant can turn an alien invasion into a political movement. Nevertheless, she persisted, indeed.
Katherine Siegel is a Chicago-based writer and director, and a regular contributor to Paste. You can find out more by checking out her website or follow her on Twitter.