This post contains spoilers for Supergirl.
Check out our previous review here.
Fear is one hell of a motivator. We’ve seen it result in some of the most deplorable acts throughout history, and it will continue to plague our species so long as we exist. If you’ve followed either of the Kryptonian’s stories over the years, you know the answer to combat that fear is “hope”. Some may find that answer rooted in ideals and dreams rather than action, or that the hope Supergirl and her cousin bring is manufactured in comic book fantasy. To an extent, they’re right. But fear is nothing more than an idea itself, so why can’t it be combatted with another?
This season of Supergirl has been both clever and calculated from the start. The writers knew exactly what they wanted to take on, and have done so with care in each episode. “Parasite Lost” tackles the most difficult topic yet: acting as a moderator amidst humanitarian crisis. Fear runs rampant among both human and alien communities. Someone has to bridge the divide, but how? How do you reach someone whose ideals disgust you on a fundamental level? How can you break through to someone who looks at those you love and refers to them as cockroaches? Someone who tells them the way that they love is wrong, or that the person you love deserves to live less than them because of where they were born?
This episode is broken into two plots: Parasite is loose again by way of Agent Jensen, and saving the life of an alien healer named Amadei. With Parasite free, Supergirl is benched. But, instead of having Kara stomp her foot and insist that she can help as Supergirl, she decides to use her other superpower instead. Reporter Kara Danvers is on the scene, and she’s landed an interview with an alien who’s refused interviews for over twenty years.
Amadei is a healer, but his frequency can only help other aliens. Despite being unable to help them physically, Amadei confesses to Kara that his greatest wish is to heal the human heart. After meeting with him, Kara publishes a glowing profile in hopes that humans will see the goodness in aliens. Instead, it makes him a target.
The healer is kept alive by way of a medallion. As it would happen, the medallion also has the power to keep the Parasite alive inside Agent Jensen, while allowing him to keep the powers that he’s absorbed. The medallion is stolen when Ben Lockwood puts out a call to the Agents of Liberty to keep their new hero alive so he may be strong enough to help them eradicate the aliens. With the medallion, Jensen becomes nearly unstoppable. Thankfully, the DEO has Brainy.
With his help, they form a plan to take on Jensen and get the Parasite out of him. It’s the same plan they had last time, but unfortunately the state is low on plutonium. Uranium’s less stable, but they’re confident that they can make it work in a pinch. That all plays out exactly as you’d expect it to but, thankfully, Kara is already on scene trying to check on Amadei.
Supergirl’s job isn’t to fight Parasite, though. Instead, she’s tasked with getting all of the people in the immediate area to safety. Alex is the one to take on this week’s big bad, but she changes up her style. About midway through “Parasite Lost” Kara laments that she always tries to see the good in people, regardless of how often it doesn’t go her way. Alex reminds her that she always sees the worst, and that’s just as bad. As a result, Alex takes a page out of her sister’s book, and does her best to talk her former agent out of killing a bunch of people.
Jensen surrenders, and Amadei is both saved and reunited with his estranged daughter, but “Parasite Lost” still has one more thing to handle.
After stepping in on last week’s altercation, James Olson has been touted as an alt-right hero. Obviously, there’s no one less happy about that than him. Lena does her best to tell him that any press is good press, and that he can make it all work in his favor, but her attempts to cheer him up backfire as well. She gets the two of them into a prestigious media event, but one Ben Lockton is there to meet them.
Once he runs into his old pals, Ben does his best to place the fear of the humans on James’ plate. He reminds him that the people speaking out against aliens aren’t crazy, just frightened. When James brushes it off, Lockton reminds him what frightened people do, and asks if he really wants that responsibility on his shoulders simply because he wouldn’t step in and be a hero to the people. Their people.
Lockwood’s narrative is nonsense, of course, but a part of it rings true to James. Who will use their voice to try and change the bitter hearts of the Agents of Liberty if not him? These people are bigots, something that James has extensive experience in dealing with, but they’ve decided that he is their hero. In the coming episodes, we’ll see him try to use that perception for good. You cannot change the hearts of man, but you can reach those who were once good whose hearts were just poisoned by fear.
Unfortunately, not every bigot is as loud as Ben Lockwood and his agents. Colonel Haley is a reasonable woman. She believes in Alex, and commends the changes she’s made in the DEO. Alex feels guilty for misjudging her superior right up until the moment the Colonel speaks poorly about J’onn. The very same J’onn who alien communities are turning to because they’re afraid of the human police. The same J’onn who hired, trained and mentored Alex, and the man who became a father figure to the Danvers sisters. The colonel believes that J’onn was trying to corrupt what the DEO stands for, but Alex reminds her that he was everything that the agency stands for and more. This interaction ensures that the partnership between these women was short lived. Gonna be honest, really looking forward to the episode when Alex inevitably punches the Colonel in her mouth.
Wrapped up in this season’s heavy subject matter is all of the charm and humor that helps make Supergirl wonderful. The loss of Jeremy Jordan’s Winn Schott as season regular last year was a hard pill to swallow, but Jesse Rath’s Brainiac 5 helps pick up much of that slack. The confused alien can make you cry and laugh out loud in the span of minutes, and his budding friendship with the ever delightful Nia Nal has been a joy to watch. Nia adds an earnestness to the series that it lost for a brief time after Kara’s hardships, and Alex and Kara’s sisterhood still remains front and center in the series where it belongs.
If you had a moment from “Parasite Lost” that stood out to you, the comments are waiting!