Supergirl Recap – Episode Fourteen: “Truth, Justice, and The American Way”
This week, Supergirl continues to grieve the loss of her aunt, Astra, who last week was killed by Alex, Supergirl’s adoptive sister while saving Hank Henshaw (Martian Manhunter). Hank took the blame to preserve Kara and Alex’s relationship, and judging by Kara’s frosty reception toward him this week, it seems like it was a good choice. Meanwhile, with Maxwell Lord in custody at the DEO, his disappearance is starting to be noticed by the outside world, including Cat Grant, who has also hired a new assistant.
These things, added to the appearance of a strange new vigilante, means that Kara has a lot on her plate, including wrestling with the importance of truth, justice, and the American way. There are three main plots here, Kara’s interpersonal struggles (truth), the issue of the vigilante and his work (justice), and the issue of Maxwell Lord’s continued imprisonment at the DEO (the American Way), and I’ve broken them down into those three categories.
TRUTH or KARA, THE KRYPTONIANS, and CATCO
This episode opens with Kara and Alex at Kara’s apartment. Kara, being anxious to return to work the next day because of what happened with Adam and from missing work in the last episode, is surprised when Non arrives. He tells her that he has come for Astra, and Kara goes with him for her aunt’s funeral. Apparently, on Krypton, it is a custom for a female relative to say the prayer that guides the deceased into the afterlife, and Kara does so for Astra. Non tells her that he will observe the mourning period for his wife, and then he is coming to kill Kara.
Kara reports to Hank and Alex at the DEO and her manner toward Hank is decidedly frosty. She had told Alex earlier that she had almost reached Astra and brought her back to the good side, and she clearly is angry at Hank for robbing her of that chance.
When Maxwell Lord asks to see Kara, Alex confronts Hank, saying that they have to tell Kara the truth. He reminds her that he can take Kara’s hate, but if Kara finds out the truth, she’ll lose both her sister and her aunt. He doesn’t want to do that do her because Kara needs her sister.
I talk more about Maxwell in plotline three, so that’s coming up later. When Kara arrives at CatCo, she is met by a nervous Winn, who is trying to tell her something important. She thinks he’s talking about Non and his plan for revenge against the whole planet, but he tells her it’s a different problem.
It turns out that Cat has hired a second assistant, Siobhan, and demoted Kara to “Assistant Number Two.” Although Kara tries to play off her frustrations when talking to Winn, he sees through her and knows she is hurt, especially when she accidentally crushes her phone. This plot is more woven throughout the other narratives, and you can see Kara’s hurt and frustration with the people around her in the other two plots, but this aspect of the story really sets the stage.
In our final scene, Kara tries to talk to the hologram of her mother about her struggles during the past few episodes and also asks what Myriad is. This triggers an unexpected reaction, as the hologram tells her it cannot speak of Myriad, and if she asks again, it will self-destruct.
Hank, who turned off the hologram just in time, asks Kara what could be so horrible that a hologram can’t talk about it. Kara’s response is that she isn’t sure she can work with Hank for the time being, proving that he knew her well when he made the call to take the blame for Astra’s death.
JUSTICE or THE VIGILANTE
The DEO is currently tracking down yet another of the Fort Rozz escapees, this one eats rotting flesh. Having found his location, the DEO goes to get him, only to find him already tied up and afraid for his life. A mysterious figure wearing alien armor that can throw chains is able to cause enough damage to the team that he can abduct the convict.
Back at headquarters, Kara is still angry at Hank, and even angrier at not having been included in the attempt to take down a new and dangerous alien. As they try to figure out who their new adversary is, and why he took this prisoner, there are a couple of references to other characters in the DC Universe.
As the DEO is trying to figure out what this new guy would want with the convict, we see that this vigilante is preparing to execute the escaped convict for his crimes. It’s very well listed and implies that the person who has arrested him knows who he is. He calls himself the Master Jailer, and the victim seems to know who he is.
Hank and Alex go to the local police department, and although one of the officers seems to be opposed to the idea of aliens, the other does seem to want to help. He tells them that the missing persons tend to turn up executed, all of them decapitated. He also tells them that all the killed people have been weird, his example being that one of them had gills. Hank and Alex realize that there is a serial killer in National City who is only targeting aliens.
Alex calls Kara, who is only too happy to leave CatCo and Siobhan, though Siobhan manages to get a dig in, telling Kara that someone has to do her job. Back at the DEO, Alex and Hank realize that the vigilante is killing the Fort Rozz escapees in their prisoner order, so they know who is next on the list.
Supergirl goes to stop him from taking the latest victim. Unfortunately for Supergirl, the vigilante is able to escape and takes the convict with him. She is upset that he got away, but she is able to retrieve part of his suit, which the DEO can then analyze to find out where this new guy is from.
They realize that the fingerprints on his weapon are a match for the unhelpful detective that Hank and Alex spoke to, so Kara and a team go to bring him in. In a strange twist, however, it turns out that it was actually the helpful detective, who shoots his partner, tries to shoot Alex, and kidnaps Kara.
In a cage that is made to hold her by blocking her powers, Kara has a discussion with the Professor, the intended victim, who tells her about his life. When she asks if he hates her mother too, he tells her that he did hate the woman who sentenced him to time in prison, but realized that “one tragedy could not be undone by committing another.” When he found himself free, he dedicated his life to helping his new planet and became a professor.
Kara is determined to break them out though the Master Jailer is determined to dispense justice. As they are looking for the vigilante, Alex and Hank realize that the vigilante, or the Master Jailer, as he calls himself, is actually a guard who survived the crash of Fort Rozz and has been going after the escaped convicts ever since, creating his own version of Fort Rozz on Earth. Pinpointing his location, they rush to assemble a team.
Meanwhile, the Master Jailer tells Kara that he’s been watching her, and thinks her mother would be proud that she has chosen to punish the lawbreakers. He tells her that they could be partners, working to continue her mother’s work, punishing scum. Kara tells him that he is just dishonoring her mother’s memory, but he insists that he isn’t and that he is keeping the city safe. Justice, he tells Kara, must be absolute, and to that end, the convicts must all die. He had hoped to be able to count on Kara, but now that she is clearly against him, her life might be in danger.
As Alex and her team close in, Kara tries to trade her life for the convict, but this only makes the Master Jailer realize that she has to die too. The DEO team is, meanwhile, unable to find them at the cabin where they thought they were until Alex realizes that they are in a spaceship below the cabin.
Breaking in, they manage to save the convict, but Kara is still trapped in the cage and Alex is now in peril. Luckily, Alex realizes that the best chance is to let in the sun, which gives Kara her full strength back. This allows her to kill the Master Jailer by breaking his neck (that got a little dark!). She then takes the Professor back to his school, because everyone deserves a second chance.
Meanwhile, back at CatCo, Kara finds out Siobhan’s dreams and aspirations and informs her that she doesn’t like her. It seems that we’re in for an assistant-off. After this, Kara thanks James for the nudge toward doing the right thing, and asks him what’s wrong. He tells her that Lucy caught him in a lie and that he would like Kara’s permission to tell Lucy the truth about Kara, so he doesn’t have to lie anymore. He leaves Kara to think it over.
THE AMERICAN WAY or THE TRIALS OF MAXWELL
Maxwell Lord, meanwhile, is still in prison at the DEO. He mentions to Kara that he had thought that saving her might get him early parole, and points out that when aliens with incredible power are on Earth, the humans tend to get smashed under their feet. He is, to hear him talk, merely looking out for humanity. It also raises the question, why is he so jaded against aliens?
When Kara reminds him that he did get his Netflix account, he shoots back that he gets dangerous when bored and that she would be dead without him. Kara doesn’t want to hear it and tells him that the world is a better place without him. He’s clearly frustrated, and her bad mood is catching.
Back at CatCo, Cat Grant brings James and Lucy into her office and tells them that something is up with Maxwell Lord. There’s a glitch in his new phones, and he hasn’t personally made a statement like he usually would when something happens with his tech.
Cat thinks that this means that Maxwell Lord is missing while Jimmy counters that he might be anywhere, not necessarily in trouble. Cat acknowledges that he may have a point, but she also feels that Max’s being kidnapped is a valid concern.
Cat tells Lucy to use her connections at the Pentagon to see what she can find out while her new assistant makes herself indispensable, and James finds himself torn. Cat has assigned him to track down Max Lord, and he already knows full well where he is; being held in the DEO headquarters and denied his rights as an American to a fair trial.
James, knowing the truth and feeling very uncomfortable with keeping this secret, confronts Kara about Max’s position. This arouses suspicion in Cat’s new assistant, who sees them talking and later confronts Kara about her relationship with James.
In this conversation between them, however, James points out to Kara that not only does he have to hide something, but also that the DEO and Supergirl are holding Max against his will and without a trial. When Kara points out that Max did try to kill her, he responds that no one said Max was a nice guy, but that what she and the DEO are doing is wrong.
James’ argument is that Max has fundamental rights, and protecting and respecting those rights are important to them and makes them the good guys. When she reminds him that it isn’t his job to worry about the DEO’s ethics, he tells her that it isn’t the DEO he’s worried about.
Meanwhile, Lucy shows James something that’s she’s found, proof that the DEO was at Lord Tech. This makes her very suspicious that the DEO is involved in Maxwell’s disappearance.
He tries to get her to drop it, but in doing so accidentally gives away the fact that he knows about the DEO, and has kept it from her. This leads to Lucy realizing that James is working with Supergirl and that she told him about the DEO. Lucy is hurt that he’s lied to her, and also wonders just how close James and Supergirl are.
As the episode progresses, James is trying to figure out both what to do about his relationship with Lucy and his knowledge of Maxwell Lord’s whereabouts. Cat joins him and offers some advice about what to do when personal and professional intersect by sharing a time she didn’t expose the truth, and someone died. This added another layer to the wonderful character that is Cat Grant and leads her to remind James why they do what they do as newspeople.
James heads to the DEO to talk to Kara. After his talk with Cat, he is more determined than before to have Maxwell Lord released, pointing out to Kara that the DEO is not just holding aliens anymore; they are holding an American citizen against his will without going through the proper channels.
James also reminds Kara that she has no one she is accountable to, and that is why Max is afraid of and hates her. Max knows what she is capable of and that at the end of the day, no one on the planet can beat her in a fight. It comes down to her sense of justice and her values.
James tells her that she has to be better than she is being; that she has abandoned her values of truth and justice, and that he doesn’t recognize her anymore. She is not happy, and blames Lucy, but James tells her that she really needs to watch out for Siobhan. Kara rejoins Alex, who has new intel on the weapon Kara brought back from her first fight though James has given her a lot to think about.
After the events of the other two plots, Maxwell Lord finds himself freed. When he asks what there is to stop him from telling the world everything he knows, Kara tells him that nothing, but she hopes he’ll do the right thing.
Alex, however, informs him that she and the DEO have enough information on his crimes that if he leaks anything about them, they’ll leak things about him. He chuckles over the idea and tells Alex that it’s very “Cold War of her,” another wonderful one-liner from Maxwell Lord.
To me, this was another solid episode. I find myself enjoying this show more and more as it goes on, and episodes like this are the reason why. I love the fact that Kara is not a perfect character, that she struggles with rage, vengeance, and the struggle between doing what is right versus what is easy. Also, she killed someone this week, which, while it wasn’t way out of left field, I still wasn’t expecting. Kara’s support group is wonderful, and there is some standout supporting characters that this episode went out of its way to highlight.
Kara and Alex’s relationship is realistic, Winn makes the best faces, and I can never decide who is more poignantly funny, Cat Grant or Maxwell Lord (both of whom get more interesting every week). I still don’t know what the Myriad is, and that’s okay. I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough (though I am very curious).
CAT GRANT-ISMS OF THE WEEK
Here are my favorite things that Cat said during the episode:
“See James, that’s why we do what we do, that’s why we’re driven to tell the truth. Not only because we want to be good journalists, but because we also want to be good people.”
“No, you can’t embarrass someone who doesn’t feel any shame.”
“So, it is up to me to save him. Oh, the burden of power.”
What did you think of “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”? What is Myriad? Did they make the right choice in letting Max go? Should Lucy Lane be told the truth?Pin this article to read later! And make sure to follow us on Pinterest.