This post contains spoilers for Supergirl.
Check out our previous review here.
When innocent people are being attacked, it’s not about balance. It’s about justice.
The President of the United States of America revealing him or herself as an alien wouldn’t go over well in any timeline, but “Fallout” explores what something like that would mean in a time of heightened fear in our country. Some like to call it “economic anxiety”. It’s a nice, fancy way to try to hide bigotry, but the behavior remains the same.
Whether you’re on the front lines at political rallies or trying to avoid politics as a whole, you’re aware of the state America is in right now. We’ve got Holocaust museums warning that we’re on a dangerous path while the uniformed scream “fake news”. They talk about immigrants like they’re somehow lesser because of where they were born. Words like “cockroaches” get thrown around without a care, because hatred has been given a megaphone. Supergirl was always an important show, but with the writers doing what they can to tackle current events in what is as close as you can get to “real time” on a television series, the show’s almost become required viewing for those lacking in hope. And honestly, who the hell isn’t at this point?
“Fallout” starts to bring some of our season’s key players together as we build up toward the crossover and eventual mid-season finale. Nia and Brainy bump into each other in what ended up being a deeply unacceptable circumstance, but the restaurant owner’s assault on Brainy served as a way to humanize the Coluan and illustrate what Nia Nal is all about. Despite the cook being three times her size and wielding a baseball bat, Nia steps in front of Brainy without hesitation and insists they give him his pizza. We’ll find out later that it’s because Nia knows what it’s like to be viewed as “the other”.
Though we’ve known for some time, Nia reveals herself to James as a trans woman. All of this is to try to encourage him to make a statement as the Editor in Chief of Catco World Media while all of this hatred is flying around. She shares her truth earnestly, which Jimmy thanks her for, but it’s not enough to sway his feelings on the matter. As EiC, James is trying to bring around the readers who may be on the fence about everything happening to the aliens, and doesn’t feel he can do that if he releases an editorialized statement.
While James’ logic is sound on the face of things, there’s more to consider than the safety of the paper or their moderate readership. When L Corp is under attack by Mercy Graves and her Liberty goons, Lena makes a comment to her past sister-in-arms. She notes that Mercy made a mistake by choosing a side, and that she would never be so foolish. Ideally, Supergirl will tackle this ideal as the season progresses as well. Lena’s making devices that help aliens, but staying neutral in the face of oppression puts you on the side of the oppressor.
The team at the DEO eventually manages to capture both of the Graves siblings. Unfortunately, those with the most privilege are the easiest to corrupt. Agent Jensen quickly releases the two after realizing Brainy is an alien. While this will undoubtedly lead to a lot more chaos, the real question is how the hell was that not common knowledge already? Did the entire DEO somehow miss that they were being led by a Martian? Do they just think that Brainy was really good with probabilities? He was literally running around as an alien last season.
Weird retcon aside, “Fallout” has more than enough to say about current social issues by way of National City’s issues. After seeing the hatred start to spread within his own walls, James decides to shift his stance. While Kara explains to the city that the character of a person or alien isn’t defined because of where they’re from, but what they do, James writes his editorial outlining CatCo’s stance on the unrest.
As the episode comes to a close, Agent of Liberty leads an Earth First rally with J’onn in attendance. While that unfolds, the Graves siblings put their stolen kryptonite to good use. Lena’s not one to dispose of good tech, and if you can put lead into the atmosphere, you can do the same with kryptonite. This would spell bad news for the Girl of Steel no matter what, but it’s less than ideal that all of this unfolds while she’s thousands of feet in the air.
Next week the team will have to balance chasing down the Agent of Liberty and his goons with keeping Supergirl alive. Should be easy, right? Sound off below with your thoughts on this week’s episode!