“Alex” is the strongest episode of Supergirl‘s very uneven second season. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given the episode’s title. Any episode that focuses on Alex is bound to slay, but I need to stress how much I enjoyed and was invested in tonight’s hour right from the top. Written by Eric Carrasco and Greg Baldwin and directed with purpose by Rob Greenlea, “Alex” puts all of the show’s and the season’s best parts front and center: Alex and Maggie’s relationship, the Danvers sisters’ relationship, and, last but not least, Lena Luthor, whose soul is definitely in play.
The hour opens with Maggie patiently talking to a criminal during a hostage crisis. She’s this close to convincing him to let his hostages go when Supergirl swoops in and handles the situations with force. This sets the tone for the Kara and Maggie conflict that dominates the episode, as Maggie doesn’t really appreciate Kara ruining 17 hours worth of work.
Maggie lets Kara know as much later that night, when they all gather at Alex’s apartment for dinner. Maggie brings up the fact that criminals have started using the Supergirl defense to avoid the hand of justice, but that doesn’t really faze Kara because she’s arrogant and thinks saving the day is all that matters. Eventually, the dinner becomes too tense, and Kara abruptly leaves. After calming Maggie down, Alex runs off to speak to her sister, but she never catches up to her because a sketchy figure kidnaps her in the elevator.
Unfortunately, Maggie and Kara don’t realize Alex is missing until the next day, when Kara receives a call from a mysterious voice who says he’ll kill Alex unless Kara uses her Supergirl powers to break a man named Peter Thompson out of jail. This threatening voice knows Kara is Supergirl, and that’s why he knows she can handle it.
Meanwhile, Alex wakes up in a cell and yells at the camera that she recognized her kidnapper and knows her people will find her soon. Chyler Leigh spends most of the episode trapped in this cell by herself, but she makes the most of it. Supported by direction that really amps up the suspense and anxiety, we get a chance to see what makes Alex such a badass. She doesn’t just sit there throughout the episode. She uses all of that DEO knowledge to find a way to break out, or at least get a message back to her team. If there’s one thing Supergirl never forgets, it’s that Alex is a trained operative. Sure, she’s in distress, but she’s trying just as hard to be her own savior, too.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise but Kara is not taking Alex’s kidnapping well and basically reveals that she’s not human by leaving a dent in a table when she, J’onn, and Maggie visit Peter Thompson in jail. He doesn’t know who kidnapped Alex, but that’s okay because Winn figures out that Thompson has son named Rick, who went to school to with Alex and Kara.
Supergirl flies off to a home registered in Rick’s name and finds him there. After Rick allows her to briefly speak to her sister, Kara flies him back to the DEO for interrogation. Kara and Maggie enter the room together, and Rick explains that he knew Kara was Supergirl because of the time she saved that woman’s baby when they were back in high school. This ends up tying to a flashback we were shown in the first season. I’m sure this story wasn’t planned back then, but I’m glad the writers found a way to connect this perpetrator to the Danvers sisters’ past. Rick reveals that he’s doing this for his father because his father saved him from his abusive mother when he was younger. He also informs them that he’s been stalking them and planning this for year. So it’s fair to say that Rick is très creepy.