‘Supergirl’ 4×12 Review: ‘Menagerie’

Supergirl returned from a two-week hiatus just in time to celebrate Valentine’s Day in its own unique way. Heart-eating alien, anyone? I don’t know about you, but that just screams Valentine’s Day perfection.

In “Menagerie,” Supergirl and co. dealt with the aforementioned heart-eating alien as Kara continued to struggle with her new dynamic with Alex. It’s something that has shifted the dynamic of the show in an unpleasant way, and I’m hoping that it’s sooner, rather than later, that this problem is rectified and we can get the spirit of the show back. Elsewhere, Nia continued to grieve from the sudden loss of her mother and also found herself stepping into her “super” shoes as Dreamer. Not to mention, we got some cuteness from Nia and Brainy on Valentine’s Day that actually gave me something that I’m looking forward to seeing develop.

Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the so-so from Supergirl’s latest hour, “Menagerie.”


The Good

  

Nia and Brainy’s Relationship

This was the relationship that I never saw coming and never expected to want as much as I do. But the chemistry between Nia and Brainy is just so delightful and so pure that you honestly can’t help but to swoon for them. Right now, they’re still in the getting-to-know-you stage. They’re friends who both know that the other likes them, but they’re taking things slow. They’re so damn cute and innocent and their relationship is fun and playful. Brainy trying to play it cool, as if he doesn’t like her, and then preceding to tell Alex that “I want (Nia) to be my Valentine.” It’s just too damn cute. I need this to happen. I can’t wait for it to happen. Because let’s be honest, it’s going to happen. You don’t plant all these little hints for nothing. Nia’s interested. Brainy’s interested. Now they’re going to train together. Dear God, I’m actually really looking forward to this. But I think I’m more excited for it to take on a more serious nature as their relationship develops from friends into something more. While the fun, playful, innocent side of their dynamic is so alluring and adorable beyond belief, I’m excited to see when they start dabbling in matters of substance and learn to lean on each other.

Heart-Eating Alien Takes Center Stage on Valentine’s Day

As far as irony goes, having a heart-eating alien taking center stage on Valentine’s Day is pretty amazing. Not to mention it was a brilliant representation of how those that hate Valentine’s Day feel about Valentine’s Day. So there was a little something for everyone. But the icing on the cake? The fact that this heart-eating alien took to a heart health ball for a bulk of its feeding for just priceless. The irony. It was too much.

Nia Rises to the Challenge

At this point, I’m watching Supergirl for Nia Nal and all of the glory that is her character and her journey. While it’s been a couple of weeks since we last saw Nia struggling with her mother’s death, this episode saw Nia continue to struggle with the sudden loss of her mother and using it as an excuse to not yet suit up as Dreamer. But after some discussion with Kara, where Kara helped her realize that it’s okay to grief but to also be aware that there’s so much good to be done and people to save, Nia eventually decided that it was her time to suit up. And just in time, as she got a vision of Kara in trouble squaring off against the heart-eating alien Menagerie. Nia showed up suited up as Dreamer — and looking hella amazing! — and helped Kara take down Menagerie. The two lovely ladies had a heart-to-heart afterwards where Kara told Nia that she has potential to be an amazing hero. But she’s not there yet. Obviously. That comes with training and with experience. It’s all about the journey. And I’m so excited to see Nia’s journey to becoming the hero she is destined to be.

Alex is Ready to Move Forward

FINALLY. Honestly, I’d thought Supergirl had forgotten all of the promises that Alex had made to herself in terms of living her life — settling down, becoming a mother, finding a purpose beyond heading the DEO. This season has just been Alex focusing on being the leader of the DEO and dealing with the government stepping in. There was no time for Alex to focus on herself. And while I count Alex finally being ready to move forward with getting the things she wants in “The Good,” I hated that essentially the show blamed Kara for Alex not going after what she wants. They were merely putting the blame elsewhere because they forgot all about it. It was never Kara’s fault that Alex wasn’t going after what she wanted. Also, apparently Alex had dated a lot, something else that this show pulled out of its ass. But hopefully now that there’s a promise of Alex moving on and dating and moving forward with the adoption process, we’ll actually get to see Alex do those things. But I won’t believe it until I see it, Supergirl. So show me. Give me Alex juggling being a mom and leading the DEO. Give me all Alex juggling being a mom and dating and leading the DEO. I actually want to see it. So show me you’ll remember this time.


The Bad

Supergirl — “Menagerie” — Image Number: SPG412b_0304b.jpg — Pictured: Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers — Photo: Kailey Schwerman/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Kara/Alex Dynamic

One of my absolute favorite things about Supergirl is the dynamic between Kara and Alex. But somehow they’ve managed to take the strength of their relationship and ruin it. This whole Alex not knowing that Kara is Supergirl just isn’t working. I know that the writers are more so doing this to build to a moment where Alex learns the truth about Kara and the effects that entails. But Kara and Alex’s relationship has not been the same since Alex had her mind wiped. It feels like their dynamic is a ghost of itself. You have Kara blaming herself for holding Alex back, which couldn’t be further from the truth. You have Kara believing she can’t have Alex as anything but a sister, not as a partner, which is a key dynamic of their relationship. Look, I know Alex still loves Kara. But she doesn’t know Kara, and that feels empty. “I won’t get to work with her, but I’ll still have my sister.” Will she? Isn’t that part of what makes them them? It strengthens their dynamic. It brings an added layer to their unique relationship.

Lena Partners With the Government

I’ve been pleased with how Supergirl has been dealing with Lena’s journey this season. But there’s something about what they’re doing with Lena partnering with the government that just doesn’t sit well with me. I understand that Lena is human and makes mistakes — clearly this is a mistake — but I’d like to believe that Lena is smarter than this than to work with a government that she knows is corrupt. But Supergirl is stripping everything that gives Lena light away from her. James. She hasn’t even had any scenes with her best friend Kara. So all this is is Lena and herself with her thoughts, which is only going to get her into trouble. But while we understand that partnering with the government with research that will make humans “super” is a really, really bad idea, Lena can only learn that herself. Which means she’s going to make some really stupid decisions and learn from them perhaps too late. I just hope Lena can pull out of this on the right side.


The So-So

Supergirl — “Menagerie” — Image Number: SPG412b_0216b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Jessica Meraz as Pamela Ferrar/Menagerie, Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers, Jesse Rath as Brainiac-5, Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl and David Harewood as Hank Henshaw/JÕonn JÕonzz — Photo: Kailey Schwerman/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

What is James’ Purpose This Season?

Honestly, I don’t really know at this point. I thought he was going to be a key player against Agent Liberty and the Children of Liberty, but does this show remember that? I know that the Children of Liberty have taken a back seat in these past few episodes — more because of filling the extended time of a season — but now that this episode has them back in play, perhaps James’ purpose will become more clear. Where’s Guardian been? Has James’ purpose been just to stand by Lena? Now that they’re broken up will we see James go out there and help stop the Children of Liberty? Or will he just disappear in the background again?

Children of Liberty Rises Again

Well, we knew that the Children of Liberty storyline was far from over. Only the way to reintegrate the storyline was interesting. With Ben Lockwood in prison, his son George attempted to step in for his father in reuniting the Children of Liberty to take down this heart-eating alien. And while they did nothing but distract the DEO and cut the head off the snake, they took credit for stopping the alien and used it as a rallying cry. The president helped release Lockwood from prison, and now the Children of Liberty are preparing to rise again. Stronger than ever. Game on


Supergirl airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.

Teacher by day, writer by every other free moment | Obsessed with sports, TV, books, movies, and superheroes | Proud shipper and supporter of strong female characters | Co-executive Editor for Fangirlish | Contributor for Bears Wire at USA Today SMG | Producer/Co-Host of Buffone 55 for Bears Barroom Radio Network | Contact: alyssa@fangirlish.com.