Monday’s Supergirl was so damn full of queens, it could have doubled as an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Let’s begin with Rhea, queen No. 1, who followed up last week’s Daxamite invasion by announcing — via giant hologram, as is Teri Hatcher’s way — that she is to be regarded as the new Queen of Earth. Personally, I would have submitted right then and there, but the people of National City are apparently less susceptible to the charms of Emmy Award-winning legends.
Of course, Rhea had more than just global domination on her to-do list. There was also the small matter of expanding the monarchy, which turned out to be as simple as kidnapping Lena Luthor, snipping a few locks of her hair whilst she slept, then merging her genetic material with Mon-El’s. (Such a romantic, that Rhea!) But because pre-marital babies are frowned upon in royal circles, Rhea also arranged for Mon-El and Lena to marry, a disturbing mis-match that weighed particularly heavily on Kara as the episode progressed. (She even referred to them as “two people I love” during an unexpected heart-to-heart with Cat Grant.)
Which brings us to queen No. 2: the self-proclaimed “queen of all media,” Cat Grant. Good Lord, I forgot how much I love Calista Flockhart on this show, but was happily reminded when Kara’s former boss returned in the middle of a tense video chat between Rhea and President Marsdin (queen No. 3). After all, if Cat could make peace between Kanye West and Taylor Swift — which she did, apparently — it should be NBD building a bridge between two warring planets.
But Cat soon learned that interstellar conflicts, while similar in scope to feuds born of the MTV Video Music Awards, are a little more unpredictable. And they involve a lot more missiles — missiles which were used to knock Air Force One right out of the damn sky, sending college besties Cat and Olivia plummeting to their deaths. Supergirl was able to snatch Cat before she hit the ground, but there was no sign of POTUS. That is, until she emerged from the wreckage… in all her alien glory!
The positive response to Olivia’s alien outing was one of many things Cat did this week that made me long for Flockhart’s series regular status. Also on that list: her tear-inducing message for Supergirl (“It’s not about what you do, it’s about who you love!”), her post-crash quip (“At least tell me you’re still a Democrat!”) and the fact that she didn’t even bother pretending not to know that Guardian was actually James (“I can see your eyes through the slit!”). But nothing was more powerful than her uplifting speech to the people of National City, a message of resistance with a few not-so-subtle nods to a certain real-life world leader currently creating civil unrest.
When it became clear that she wouldn’t be able to stop Rhea on her own, Kara turned to our fourth and final queen of the evening: Lilian Luthor, whose technical expertise — along with Superman’s prized Phantom Zone Projector — would enable her to reach Rhea’s ship and rescue her loved ones. And if you predicted that their ill-advised partnership would turn out to be a total disaster, it’s time to collect your prize; once Lena was successfully back on the ground, Lilian tried to leave Kara and Mon-El for dead.
(Quick sidebar: What’s our collective response to Mon-El telling Lena, “I can see why Kara loves you,” and her responding, “Likewise”? It was a small moment, but it felt very intentional. I’m curious to hear your thoughts in a comment below.)
Anyway, Kara managed to get Mon-El back down to Earth, but refused to abandon ship until Rhea was put down for good. The long-awaited confrontation began with Rhea confessing to her husband’s murder — a revelation I assume will be shared with Mon-El at some point during next week’s finale — and ended with a hit from… Superman? Evil Superman, in fact?! (Real-talk: While I prefer Superman to remain on the side of good, Tyler Hoechlin’s dramatic brows were made to furrow, so I’m glad he’s taking a brief walk on the wild side.)
* I know Lilian’s reason for not telling Lena about Kara’s super secret — that she’d rather wait until Lena discovers the truth, so she can inevitably hate Kara on her own — was supposed to feel like dramatic foreshadowing, but do we really think Lena will be that mad? I was hoping the show wasn’t going to take the ladies down the Clark/Lex road, but maybe it’s inevitable.
* As a fandom, I feel like we were so focused on the possibility of a Lois & Clark reunion — which we didn’t get, as Rhea and Jeremiah never appeared in a scene together — that we totally overlooked the possibility of a Desperate Housewives reunion… which we also didn’t get, because Rhea and Lilian never shared a scene. (Wait, what was my point again?)
Your thoughts on Monday’s Supergirl? (I’m going to call it the best one of the season, but feel free to disagree.) Whatever’s on your mind, drop it in a comment below.