Since Supergirl season 2 began, James has been pushed so far into the background that he might as well not be on the show anymore. James might be the new boss of CatCo, but since that role was only ever important because of Cat Grant and the sheer force of acting that was Calista Flockhart, it hasn’t meant much for James.
In this episode, “Crossfire,” James finally gets a proper spotlight and storyline. Despite what his terrible track record in season 1 would tell you, it’s not awful. “Crossfire” is one of the most enjoyable episodes yet of an absurdly delightful season. Sadly, James is just a small part of what makes “Crossfire” another great installment of Supergirl season 2.
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“Crossfire” is not all about James. It’s actually more accurate to say that James and his storyline are only about one-third of the episode, and that’s already being generous. Much more of “Crossfire” is spent on Mon-El, who is quickly turning into the most overtly comic character on Supergirl. Mon-El may be the funniest character of the whole Berlanti-verse. There is no reason that Mon-El should work so well. Most of his lines are about how he (quite reasonably) doesn’t understand life on Earth. Chris Wood delivers everything with such expert comedic timing and glee that it is hard not to love Mon-El, even though he is really just a super-powered frat bro.
A super-powered frat bro who is now working for CatCo and making mess of it. It comes as no surprise that Mon-El has no idea how to properly work in an office setting and humiliates Kara constantly. It’s not until Alex has another patented pep talk with her that Kara comes to a realization. Kara is trying to give Mon-El the life she has, but Mon-El doesn’t want Kara’s life. He wants his own life. Alex tells Kara that she needs to let people be their own person and come to their own decisions.
This ties in directly to Alex’s story of the week as she finally confronts the very real feelings she has for Maggie. When Maggie asks Alex about her feelings, Alex denies not only that she is attracted to Maggie but also that she is attracted to girls in general. As soon as Alex walks away from Maggie, she regrets it, but she does not turn around and come out.
It’s not until much later in the episode where Alex admits, very slightly, to her feelings. Alex finds Maggie in the bar and talks about her unsuccessful love life up until this point and how she has never felt comfortable being intimate with men. Now that Maggie has mentioned that Alex might be gay, she can’t stop thinking about it. Alex thinks Maggie is right about her, but she needs time. It’s an adorably honest and emotional scene, and Supergirl handles the delicate subject superbly well. Some fans might be annoyed that Alex and Maggie are not together yet, but the groundwork is laid beautifully.
James and His New Career
Though the personal drama is the strength of “Crossfire” and season 2 in general, there is much more going on. The case-of-the-week stuff is the weaker part of the episode and where James begins to factor in; criminals are once again running amok in National City. These criminals have been armed with alien weapons as a part of Cadmus’ plan to make people more afraid of aliens. It’s unclear how that plan makes any amount of sense on Cadmus’ part, but it does give Kara and the DEO a villain to fight in the episode, so that’s not nothing. (It’s just really, really close to being nothing.)
Kara isn’t the only one getting in on the action. After watching Kara get trounced by the criminals and their alien weapons, James decides that he can be the one to defeat these goons. Armed with a bat and ski mask, James takes on the bad guys, and he … loses; he loses hard. It’s a wonder he isn’t killed.
Winn, of course, finds out about this disaster and tries to dissuade James from trying to kill himself by being a vigilante. James stubbornly refuses to stop. Winn, not waiting to see James get killed, buckles and agrees to help. Winn will be James’ tech-geek and superhero sidekick.
I’m a little confused about how I feel about it all. This is certainly an interesting avenue to go with James. It’s not like I don’t want to see a superhero story about someone who is a media mogul by day and vigilante by night. That sounds like an amazing story. It’s just that James has been so boring for so long that it might be a case of too little coming too late to fix him.
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Since James (shockingly) didn’t beat the criminals, they are still out there. They eventually turn on their Cadmus overlord. It’s a twist just as obvious as James losing his big fight. The criminals decide that they are going to target Lena Luthor at her next big public gala. Lena welcomes the attack and goes right ahead with her gala, even inviting Supergirl.
When the criminals show up, Lena enacts her real master plan. It’s a trap. Lena wanted the gang to show up so that she could set off an EMP of sorts that will neutralize their weapons. With Winn’s help, Lena makes the bomb work and the criminals are apprehended.
Afterwards, Lena is all giddy, gushing to Supergirl about working together with her to take down bad guys. In all honesty, Lena did most of the work, but the idea of a Luthor and Super working together excites Lena.
The whole scene, besides showing that Lena and Kara have as much chemistry as Alex and Maggie do, is really just an excuse to set up the next big twist on Supergirl. Lena’s meeting with Kara is interrupted by the arrival of Lena’s mother. As Kara flies away, Mama Luthor arrives, and it is none other than the evil head scientist lady of Cadmus. All Luthors are not so good after all. Mainly, I’m just relieved we don’t have to call her ‘evil head scientist lady’ anymore.
Did you see that big twist coming? What do you think of Mon-El? Who do you think is the funniest character on Supergirl? Are you on board with James becoming his own hero? Are you disappointed that Maggie and Alex are not together yet?
Supergirl season 2 airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Supergirl Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of The CW)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.