Supergirl S01E14 “Truth, Justice And The American Way” REVIEW
Airing in the UK on Sky 1, new episodes every Friday
Writers: Yahlin Chang, Caitlin Parrish
Director: Lexi Alexander
Essential Plot Points:
- Non comes to Kara to ask her to officiate over Astra’s funeral, and then tells her that the next coffin will be hers after the two week mourning period is over.
- Alex is still struggling to deal with her guilt over Astra’s death, while a wedge is driven between Kara and J’onn.
- A vigilante known as the Master Jailer is tracking down and executing escapees from Fort Rozz, and the DEO and Supergirl must stop him before he reaches his next target.
- James confronts Kara over the unlawful incarceration of Maxwell Lord by her and the DEO, and gets her to think about what is wrong and right.
- After trying to confront the Master Jailer, Kara is kidnapped alongside one of the inmates of Fort Rozz. Being subjected to the red sun of Krypton she is unable to use her powers, but then the DEO step in to help.
The question of what is right and what is wrong is something that all superheroes have to ponder at one point in their lives, and now it is Supergirl’s turn in “Truth, Justice And The American Way”. A vigilante is on a rampage, tracking down escaped convicts from Fort Rozz to put them to death, and Supergirl is beginning to question her moral compass as James confronts her about the unlawful incarceration of Maxwell Lord.
The vigilante, known as the Master Jailer, is an interesting villain for Kara to face this week. He may seem like a Judge Dredd wannabe, but through his actions, and James’s questioning, Kara is posed with an intriguing dilemma — when should you accept that not everything you do is the right thing, even if your intentions are good?
The Master Jailer he believes it is his duty to stop the escapees of Fort Rozz permanently, and while his methods would probably make Frank Castle proud, it does show Kara that she needs to be careful not to become like him. Their fight in the episode is well-choreographed and filmed, so it is a shame that he is dealt with so quickly by Alex later on (how did that work?), but since he provided such an important life-lesson to Kara it’s okay.
The main crux of this week’s storyline comes from James, though, as he struggles with his feelings towards the DEO and their practices. In the best scene of the episode, Cat and James talk about what it means to be a journalist, and when they should accept that they owe it to the public to uncover something unpleasant. Cat reveals a particularly compelling story of her early days as a reporter, and how she broke under PR pressure to write a fluff piece about an abusive celebrity, only for him to kill his wife a month later. It is not a scenario that we have seen Cat in before, but it is certainly one of the best.
The episode also features a lot of tension between Kara and J’onn, following Astra’s death last week. It is driving a wedge between the two, and, while J’onn says he’s fine with Kara hating him, Alex is still dealing with the guilt of not telling her sister. On more than one occasion she tries to reveal the truth, only to back out or be interrupted, so it will be interesting to see what happens when Kara eventually finds out because it certainly won’t be good.
- “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” poses one of the most interesting dilemmas for Kara to deal with yet: whether or not what she is doing is right. The episode brings to mind the same issues that Superman has had to deal with in the past.
- Cat and James’s exchange about journalistic integrity and doing the right thing is the best part of the episode, not only because it gives us more insight into Cat’s life, but also because of the way it is acted.
- The confrontation between Kara and the Master Jailer is well shot and choreographed, though the character’s only purpose in the episode is to get Kara to consider when doing the right thing is wrong.
- “When I need time off, I fill out a request form with HR. Until then, if there is a dangerous alien to catch, I’d like to be included. Sir.”
- “We’re just friends, no benefits. Except the benefit of friendship.”
- “I’ve got an interview with a donut. Can’t be late.”
- “I recommend Call The Midwife.”
- How come it seemed so easy for Alex to fight off the Master Jailer when Kara struggled?
And the Random:
- Siobhan Smythe, the new assistant at Cat Co, is Silver Banshee. Although we have yet to see her as the character, it’ll be interesting to see what she gets up to. It’s certainly better that they are stretching her storyline much further than Livewire’s one.
- At the end of the episode both Kara and Alex talk with Maxwell Lord about having “better angels”, which is the title for the season finale.
Review by Roxy Simons