'Supergirl' 1×14 Review: 'Truth, Justice and the American Way'

Supergirl continues to push Kara to important moral places where she’s forced to learn lessons about what it takes to be a hero. In “Truth, Justice, and the American Way,” Kara was pushed to her moral breaking point as she had to come to terms with what she and the DEO were doing keeping Maxwell Lord locked up.
The episode also introduced a new personal foe for Kara – in the workplace – as Cat Grant hired a second assistant to help Kara – a clear message that Cat sees Kara as replaceable and expendable. This relationship between Kara and Cat is really being put through the ringer and you have to wonder how it can be salvaged after some serious development with the pair earlier this season. Those two are one of the strongest parts of the show, and that’s definitely something that I’ve felt missing in this show.
When it comes to being a hero, Kara is still brand new with all of this. While her cousin might be one of the world’s greatest heroes, that doesn’t automatically make her one by relation. Kara is a hero-in-training, which means we’re going to get to see her succeed, struggle, and learn from her mistakes. This was an episode that proved very important for Kara’s development as a hero.

Kara’s Moral Dilemma

It’s hard to imagine that locking up Maxwell Lord within the confines of the DEO would raise any moral dilemmas considering the kind of man he is, how he tried to kill Kara, and the threat he poses to the world. But leave it to James Olsen to raise a somewhat valid concern when he began to question Kara’s morality regarding to keeping Lord locked up like one of these Fort Rozz escapees. My reaction to James at first was: “Are you kiddin’?” Look at the threat that this man poses and what he’s done. But after listening to James look deeper and make this less personal and more about understanding the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong, I began to see his point.
Not that I agree with unleashing Lord back upon the world – as Kara and Alex eventually did, but not before Alex warned him should he come after them that she’d release a slew of evidence that would have him incarcerated by the human police force. But I can see how Kara and Alex – in the moment – took advantage of the DEO and its capability and locked Lord up where he couldn’t hurt Kara or the world again. Because if Kara had kept Lord locked up in that cell away from the world, then what’s to say she’s any different from Lord or the monster that Lord believes her to be? No, Kara is a hero, and heroes are the epitome of truth and justice, as says the episode title. It might’ve been a difficult decision for Kara to make, but heroes have to make tough choices because it’s the right thing to do.

Alex’s Guilt

If there’s one thing that we’ve learned from Greg Berlanti’s superhero shows it’s that lying will never get you anymore except a more painful downfall when the truth eventually does come out. In the last episode where Alex was forced to kill Astra to save Hank’s life – and Hank took the blame in Kara’s eyes so as to not risk Alex losing Kara. While I will say Alex was forced into this lie – as she was very willing to come clean to Kara immediately – Alex has been feeling guilty in the days since especially as Kara brings up her deceased aunt and how she still believed she could’ve saved her with just a little more time.
It’s obvious that Alex loves Kara more than anything and that she’d never want to risk losing that relationship that they have. We also know that Alex is someone who has proven herself to be a truthful person, so Hank taking the fall for Alex – and talking her into lying – is an interesting dynamic that I fear will only prove to blow up down the line.
While we’ve seen the way Kara has treated Hank in knowing that he killed Astra, I highly doubt that Kara would have that same attitude towards Alex. But I understand that with Alex seeing how Kara is treating Hank with this anger and hatred that it would scare Alex should Kara know it was actually her that killed Astra. We saw Alex attempt to come clean to Kara at the beginning, but after seeing Kara’s hatred toward Hank we’ve seen Alex fall deeper into the lie because she’s scared. Man, this is not going to end well.

Kara Lets Hank Have It

One of the relationships on this show that I’ve been surprised that I love so much is that between Kara and Hank, as well as Alex, but I want to focus on these two. As far as the whole killing Astra goes, I loved how Hank naturally stuck his neck out for Alex – he didn’t even hesitate to take the blame for killing Astra because he knows what that truth would do to Kara, or so he thinks. But Hank took the blame for Astra’s death in stride, and he got an earful from Kara in this episode.
To be honest I didn’t expect Astra’s death to get as big of a reaction out of Kara in terms of her pouncing on Hank as a result. While Astra was Kara’s family and Kara always believed she was redeemable (which I also stick by), a decision was made in the heat of the moment in order to save a life. I only wonder why Hank elected to just take the blame instead of telling most of the truth – how Astra would’ve killed this person if they hadn’t killed her. Had Kara known that Astra would’ve killed someone Kara cares about if she hadn’t been stopped then Kara would definitely understand why it had to be done. Sure, it’d take her some time to get over it, but she would understand the reasoning behind it.

The New Assistant

Any reason to have Italia Ricci back on my screen is a call for applause because man she is gorgeous and incredibly talented. On Supergirl we found her introduced as a rival of Kara’s at CatCo Worldwide Media as Cat Grant has hired a second assistant to help Kara because apparently she can’t do it by herself. But Siobhan Smythe isn’t interested in being anyone’s backup. And she made damn sure that everyone knew it.
Siobhan, who will become the Silver Banshee, is interested in becoming the next Cat Grant. She’s working her way from the bottom on up in hopes to be another dominant female force in the world. Only she doesn’t go about it in the right way. She’s rude, condescending, and a snitch. It’s almost like she’s a miniature Cat Grant without the interesting layers.
While the premise of this storyline made me go, “really?” initially, I feel like this is a good way to focus on Kara being a hero in her personal life. I want to see her fight for what she believes in – not only when she’s Supergirl. We know this job as Cat’s assistant is really important to her, and I want her to show that by fighting for her job. Not that’ll be easy as she’s a superhero by night (well, most of the time, day), and juggling those dual responsibilities will prove to be a challenge…but one Kara can handle.

NEXT ON SUPERGIRL (February 29)


Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on CBS.

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