Episode grade: 8.
We start with an aggressively normal family scene: a minivan, mom and dad up front, teenager in the back; the parents energetically sing along to Bruno Mars, because nothing is more universal than Bruno Mars; the kid rolls her eyes at their good cheer because, actually, the only thing more universal than Bruno Mars is that kids will pretend not to like things their parents like. (But for real, you know that kid is secretly grooving to Bruno Mars.)
The family road trip is interrupted by a smiling cop, who says he'll help them patch their broken taillight. Of course, they don't have a broken taillight, and he's not a real cop; he's a Cadmus goon, and this family is on the National Alien Registry recently stolen from the DEO by Jeremiah Danvers.
This is the topic of a very tense discussion at the DEO, of course, because Alex is such a devoted daughter. She simply refuses to accept that her father truly bears the blame for his own actions. There must be an explanation, or at least an excuse, for what he's done. J'onn is pretty over this debate, and he instructs all agents to treat Jeremiah Danvers as an enemy combatant. Alex's expression is that of a cornered animal, so J'onn can tell this is going to be a problem.
Because registered aliens are being snatched by Cadmus all over the area, Kara wants to issue a warning. Because she works for Catco, she immediately thinks of getting this published as a news story. It makes me a little insane that she insists on doing it as Kara Danvers, when she could easily do it as Supergirl. This whole story goes in directions it doesn't have to, and it's basically Kara's own fault.
Snapper Carr is a veteran journalist with impeccable standards, and illegitimate news stories erode the very meaning of truth. He therefore rejects Kara's story, because its only source is a quote from Supergirl. Kara begs him to reconsider, asking him to interview Supergirl himself, using his own judgment about her veracity. He grudgingly agrees to an exclusive interview.
Unfortunately, Supergirl isn't any more forthcoming with corroborating details than Kara was in her story, so Snapper walks away, still refusing to publish. Kara can't seem to understand that Supergirl's word of honor fails to constitute a news source. And for some reason, she doesn't just fly up to the news anchor at the local affiliate and ask for airtime. I'm pretty sure they'd have given it to her, happily.
At the alien bar, Winn and Lyra make googly eyes at each other (that sounded snarky, but honestly, they're adorable). Everything's about to go horribly wrong, though, because Cadmus figured out where to scoop up a bunch of aliens at once. This is a totally badass fight scene, and I have to give credit to Alex for extra badassery, because she sees a bunch of armored goons with big guns, and she attacks them straight on with a pool cue.
Wishing he'd signed up for extra combat training? Winn, who gets knocked to the floor and helplessly watches Lyra's abduction.
Outside, Alex tries to stop the getaway van, but she winds up with a gun to her head. Her assailant doesn't get far, though, because here's Guardian! He disappeared to suit up, but he's back at a crucial moment to help bring in one of the bad guys.
Back at the DEO, Winn is seething and lashes out in his helpless rage, reminding Alex that this is all her father's doing. At the implicit threat to Jeremiah, Alex goes a little over the edge...not that I have any problem with kicking the crap out of a Cadmus goon who helped abduct a bunch of innocent people and held a gun to Alex's head, but I do recognize that a hero is supposed to refrain from doing that sort of thing.
That evening, Alex is stewing at home when Jeremiah shows up to ask for her help! He explains that he's had no choice but to do what Cadmus ordered, but he desperately wants to stop their evil plans, and he can only do it with Alex's assistance. She demurs briefly, but he presses her with another emotional plea, and she agrees to help him steal equipment from the DEO.
Of course, then he immediately morphs back into his true form; this was a test. J'onn tells her he had to know what she would do if Jeremiah asked her to choose him over literally everyone else, and so she's suspended from the DEO.
Here's my problem with this episode. They're going to make such a thing about what J'onn did, calling it a betrayal and unfair, etc., but he's 100% right. He'll ultimately wind up apologizing, and I don't really get it. She'll go all rogue and save the day, so the message is...follow your gut rather than honoring your commitments? I don't get it.
Anyway, Kara says she can't condone what J'onn did, but she agrees that Alex should sit this one out. Then Maggie does something that may or may not be what she thinks is right or smart, but it's clearly the right move for her relationship: She helps Alex find Cadmus and try to rescue the aliens and Jeremiah.
Meanwhile, Kara's still fretting over how to share the news of the compromised registry. She shares her troubles with Lena Luthor, who suggests self-publishing online. Lena also offers to dig into LexCorp records and see if she can find out anything useful. She will...but her treacherous underling will immediately call Lillian! It's so hard to find good help these days.
Kara hits publish on her blog post (which Mon-El calls a "blob," and only Chris Wood could make this endearing instead of just goofy), then happens to be on the phone with Lena when Lillian's henchmen burst in to attack. Supergirl is able to rescue Lena, who gives her the news about where Cadmus is holed up.
Alex is already there, though, and she's trying to get through to Jeremiah. Again, I'm giving Alex points, because she didn't come in empty-handed; she planted explosives all over the joint and has a trigger device in hand. It's not a bad plan, all things considered, though a better one would have involved her super-powered friends!
Cadmus has loaded their alien captives onto a spaceship, and it's already set to launch. Alex finally convinces Jeremiah to man up for a minute, and she runs for the ship to free the hostages and try to stop the launch. No such luck, though; the ship is headed for space, and its pre-programmed destination is on the other side of the universe.
Supergirl shows up just in time to perform the world's most inefficient rescue. I'm not kidding, here. It somehow never occurs to her to eye-blast the ship's engines and then catch it midair. Instead, she just gets in front of the ship and pushes it, which is insane, because she has no leverage. They're in midair, the ship has inertia on its side, and this scene is pretty but kind of dumb. Ultimately, her efforts cause an engine to overheat and implode, so again, she could have just blasted an engine to get the same result much more easily.
For efficiency of storytelling, I guess, Winn and Lyra will have their joyous reunion in the bar, despite the fact that he works for the DEO, which was instrumental in her rescue.
Finally, Kara shows up at Catco, where her belongings have been packed up. She apparently should have checked her contract before blogging. Or asked someone like James, who also works at Catco in a more senior role. She kind of biffed this whole thing. I guess family makes everyone crazy.
Mon-El comforts her with potstickers, and they're all adorable and stuff, which means bad things are coming (according to Whedon's Law). Sure enough, a ship approaches Earth, and it's full of ominous stunt-casting. Welcome, Teri Hatcher and Kevin Sorbo! I'd be happy to see you, but I'm pretty sure you're coming to steal Chris Wood, and that's not okay.
Do you think J'onn was wrong to test Alex the way he did? Sound off in the comments!