Supergirl may take place in a kinder Earth than ours, one where cloaked superheroes save the day and the president is played by Lynda Carter, but this world is not without its problems. This week's episode — aptly entitled "Exodus" — finally develops the theme of alien immigration, which has been an important, albeit underused, presence throughout Season 2.
As Cadmus kidnap dozens of aliens, planning to forcibly deport them off the face of the Earth, we knew there were bound to be some pointed comments about the recent immigration issues in the USA. However, #Supergirl really went above and beyond this episode to hammer the morals home, even taking potshots at Trump in the process.
Drawing Parallels To Our Earth
Along with the obvious commentary on the dangers of registration, deportation, and social prejudices was a neat little subplot about journalistic integrity, as Kara tried to report the alien abductions as a front page story for CatCo Magazine.
The long-suffering Snapper Carr, having put up with plenty of "moxy" from Kara already, told her that she would need more than one verifiable source, and even interviewing Supergirl himself didn't sway him.
Interestingly, as idyllic as Earth-38 seems, this world also seems to have a problem with "fake news" — clearly hearkening back to the very real media frenzy that didn't stop after the 2016 US election. There's no denying that, now more than ever, our media must respond to events with integrity, and yet with rumors and hearsay published as fact, many people don't know who to trust — which is something that those in power know how to exploit.
This is exactly what Snapper Carr warned Kara about after she published her story online, explaining that even one "mis-attributed quote from a candidate" can lead to the election of a fascist.
Knowing their audience and the current cultural climate, it seems obvious that The CW writers were making a thinly-veiled criticism not only of Trump, but of the role the media played in the recent election. This was some potent commentary, especially when coupled with a plot that saw the attempted eviction of over a hundred alien citizens.
"You are forcibly deporting them. Some of them have escaped famine, poverty, genocide." — Alex Danvers
Of course, as good as this Supergirl episode was, it lacked a certain punch thanks to the fact that the aliens haven't really played a big role in Season 2, despite the setup in the first two episodes of the season. We haven't even seen the return of Lynda Carter's President Marsdin, which is surprising after the implications that she too is an alien.
However, Supergirl helped us to sympathize with the aliens with some pretty vicious kidnapping scenes that echoed real life in a very disturbing way. There's no denying that the Supergirl writers were using the genre to mirror problems in our world, and their comments were certainly salient.
And no Supergirl episode would be complete without the requisite helpful of Easter Eggs, so references to the current charged political situation aside, here's all the nerdy highlights from Season 2 Episode 15.
Another Superman Story
Lillian Luthor soothed a doubting Jeremiah Danvers by telling him he's "the only Superman we need" — a clear nod to Dean Cain's role as the Man of Steel in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman.
This was fitting for an episode that featured the arrival of Teri Hatcher's mysterious character, who is no doubt Mon-El's royal mother. But that's a matter for next episode.
In the meantime, in a sweet scene between Kara and Mon-El, the Girl of Steel unwittingly quoted the Lois & Clark version of her cousin, saying "Supergirl is what I can do, but Kara is who I am." This is taken straight from Lois & Clark Season 2 Episode 18, "Tempus Fugitive", as Clark tries to explain the difference between himself and his heroic persona.
You can expect plenty more references to the 1990s superhero show when Teri Hatcher takes the spotlight next episode.
A Father / Daughter Saga
"Exodus" made full use of actress Chyler Leigh, as much of the story focused on Alex's personal mission to stop Cadmus and save her father. Many of the scenes between Alex and Jeremiah felt reminiscent of those between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in Star Wars, and Alex even quoted the last Jedi himself.
Thankfully, Alex was able to redeem her father before he was electrocuted and turned into a charred mess (again). Alex Danvers: 1, Luke Skywalker: 0.
Too Fast, Too Furious
Am I the only one who got a kick out of Maggie telling Alex she would "ride or die" for her?
Who said the Fast & Furious movies weren't romantic.
The Needs Of The Many...
Giant Trekkie that I am, even I'm surprised at just how many Star Trek references Supergirl is cramming in. There seems to be one every episode! "Exodus" featured a neat little homage to the iconic movie Wrath of Khan, as Alex and Kara shared a poignant, life-or-death moment while Kara guided the ship back to Earth.
Using their sisterly bond to motivate Kara, Alex placed her hand on the glass of the ship's viewscreen, in a pose reminiscent of Spock's sacrifice in Wrath of Khan. And it was really nice to see the relationship between the sisters used in an episode's climactic sequence.
Spot any more Easter Eggs? Or do you know which DC aliens were referenced in "Exodus"? Tell us in the comments!