TV Review: Supergirl S4E1 American Alien

Kara welcomes a new cub reporter to CatCo; James and Lena argue about James’ impreding indictment for acting as the vigilante Guardian; Alex and Brainy struggle to get in sync at the DEO.

I tuned out about half way through the third season of Supergirl. It wasn’t bad, life got in the way and I never got caught up. With the fourth season’s debut, it felt like a good time to hop in and see what I’ve been missing. The fourth season’s debut felt like a friend I haven’t seen in a while. Things have changed but generally they’re the same friend I remember.

Supergirl has always been a positive show with an optimism underlying everything about it. It also has a moral center to it, one that’s aspirational in so many ways. It also has had no issues wearing its values on its sleeve.

“American Alien” keeps up that tradition and then some. Its been a year since the act that made aliens legal citizens and there’s still a movement that hates them. It’s not hard to see the real world parallels as the aliens are easy stand in for whatever group demigogues decide to point their fingers at for the week. Whether it’s Muslims, transgender individuals, or undocumented immigrants, it’s not hard to see the allegory that’s working here. It also goes from the macro to the micro in a simple scene where Supergirl stumbles upon the discussions occurring where every day individuals, suburban moms, are buying weapons in an attempt to kill aliens. It feels like recent headlines where parents threatened the lives of transgender children over their use of bathrooms at schools. With the reveal of the villain of Agent Liberty it’s kind of hard to not see this direction as a middle finger to the regressive right.

The storytelling is great as expected and the acting team delivers as usual. Everyone is fun and entertaining and new elements and dynamics are plenty. The season continues what I assume was shake-ups in the previous episodes and does so in a way that makes it all feel fresh and new. There’s a definite vibe when a new cast comes in where things are different. But, what’s presented is more than entertaining and keeps things fresh, an issue previous seasons had.

The show seems to have something to say and is taking on a subject that can easily be touchy. It does what entertainment does so well, reflect our real world through a thinly veiled allegory. It’s a welcome return and this season opener has me wanting to come back for more.

Overall Rating: 7.75