DIRECTED BY: ALEXIS OSTRANDER
WRITTEN BY: ERIC CARRASCO & AADRITA MUKERJI
MANCHESTER BLACK IS BACK AND THIS TIME HE IS NOT ALONE! LOCKWOOD IS GIVEN A NEW POSITION AND THE SUPERFRIENDS ARE OFFICIALLY ASSEMBLED!
This episode was in my opinion one of the strongest as of late. It tackles important issues head on and not in a preachy manner. The central debate of the episode is the classic: vigilante justice versus actual justice.
Supergirl is faced with several challenges in this episode namely the new called The Elite formed by returning foe Manchester Black (recurring guest star David Ajala). After meeting with J’onn in prison, he tries to convince the peaceful Martian to join his cause to no avail then threatens to eliminate him if he interferes. Black uses his defiance as a means to escape with the help of the mysterious being known as The Hat (guest star Louis Ozawa Changchien), armed with a hat the allows him teleport and gives him anything he desires. They both incapacitate J’onn and break out alongside Menagerie (returning guest star Jessica Meraz) and an unnamed Morae creature. Supergirl is alerted to the breakout and arrives to confront them with Black warning her to stay out of his way! He announces his newly formed team as The Elite and that they won’t stop until every racist, fascist, Children of Liberty supporter is put in the ground. Kara stands firm in her belief telling that she will not allow him to kill.
Meanwhile and on a lighter note, before confronting Black and the Elite for the first time, Kara and Brainy take Nia to the Fortress Of Solitude to begin her official training as a superhero. Brainy and Nia spar and she proves herself to be a decent fighter, but still a bit unsure of herself. Brainy explains that her dream abilities allow her to predict an opponent’s moves and that she must learn to tap into them. He also in typical Brainy fashion say that he also has excellent prediction abilities via a form of advanced calculus. Nia asks Brainy for more information on her descendant and her homeworld, but he refuses due to fear of a paradox occurring. He warns her not to pursue this saying that even the smallest change can cause major damage to the timeline (sounds like someone else we know! haha). She later asks Kal-x the resident Kryptonian android servant (whom Brainy hilarious calls Kleenex when they arrived) for information on her homeworld which the droid allows her to access. She begins to access astral projection and other abilities via meditation when Brainy finds her. He is a bit disappointed to find she went behind his back, but ultimately admires her desire to help.
While The Elite terrorize military bases and Children of Liberty bases across the world which rattles both Kara and J’onn, the newly released Ben Lockwood aka Agent Liberty (Sam Witwer) finds himself in Washington DC to meet with President Baker, who has officially pardoned him. Lockwood asks him if could deputize the members of his movement. President Baker refuses, but tells him that he is a big fan of his show. While at the hotel bar, Lockwood also meets a burly man named Cooper who informs him that he and several others have carried on the mission while he was locked up. Cooper, however, is not a fan of Lockwood rubbing elbows with the President and believes he no longer taking action like he did in the beginning. Lockwood is taken aback by the claim and quickly leaves the bar.
Meanwhile, after a disconcerting meeting with the both Black and later the President himself, Kara and friends determine that The Elite’s main target is Desert Tower, a military site in Wyoming that houses the controls to a satellite with the ability to strike down any alien vessels that come to Earth. Along with Martian Manhunter, Brainy,Dreamer and Alex (who finally seems to be regaining her trust in the Kryptonian), Supergirl takes on the Elite in an attempt to stop them from using the satellite on the White House. The superfriends put up a valiant fight and are successful but with a great cost with Supergirl ultimately being forced to destroy the satellite. In addition, during the fight, Brainy loses his Legion Ring to the Hat, who gives it to Black, who uses its flight ability in the fight. Supergirl talks to the President once again informing him that the creation of the satellite was immoral. She says that she had to destroy the satellite in order to save him and the residents of the area. Baker is not convinced it was all selfless believing she wanted to do it to stick it to him. He assures her that his only interest is in protecting the American people, but he does not need to listen to her and she need not interfere with government affairs. She leaves with a warning that Manchester Black and the Children Of Liberty will not stop and it will result in war. He assures that he has everything under control.
Following the satellite debacle, Lockwood is invited once again to meet with the President, who surprisingly names him his new Director of Alien Affairs saying that he admires his talent. Later, Lockwood is invited to a meeting with Cooper and several other Children Of Liberty leaders that run chapters in various states in the Southeast of the US. Cooper continues to question Lockwood’s ability to lead the movement, especially in light of his recent appointment, and berates him for not being a man of action. Ben in a fit of rage takes a mask that was modeled after his own and beats Cooper to death. He then turns to the other members and calmly asks:” Anyone one else think you need a new leader?” He then begins to formulate the next part of his overall plan.
This was a fantastic episode overall! I really enjoyed the face off between the Elite and the Superfriends. The Hat is a fantastic addition to the show and his power set was fascinating to see visualized on screen. I also liked the added touch that he utilizes 5th dimensional energy which is similar to Mr. Mxysptlk and Music Meister. Also, for the comic book fans, the title of the episode happens to also be the title of Action Comics #775 in which the Elite made their first appearance back in March of 2001. I also enjoyed the back and forth between both Manchester and Kara. The competing ideologies made for a compelling story! Also, Alex realizing that something is up with the President was fascinating. Colonel Haley was completely unaware of the satellite project which is obviously a big red flag for her. She now confides in Lena, who has moved her research into the DEO lab, this information and the two come to an agreement to not trust the current administration fully. I also really liked the use of the suit used earlier to protect Kara from Kryptonite in the air. Can’t wait to see what’s next!