Any reader of superhero comic books knows that tie-ins during major events often have next to nothing to do with whatever the big crossover is. That’s exactly what happened with Monday’s episode of Supergirl. Technically, it was the start of “Heroes vs. Aliens” but the only connection was a tiny, tiny little cameo kicker from the Flash. Luckily, a ton of important stuff happened in the preceding 99 percent of the episode.
After a Thanksgiving scene that teases the crossover connection to come, the main plot of the episode, “Medusa,” kicks off. Cyborg Superman visits the alien bar and unleashes a bioweapon that kills every alien in the joint — except Mon-El. The Daxamite survives because he was outside fighting Cyborg Superman when the gas was unleashed, and because he’s closely related to Kryptonians. The weapon was created by Kara’s parents, which is disheartening for her, to say the least. The big finale is a noble effort to save the lives of every alien in the city.
The action was exciting, but the real heart of the episode were two scenes of daughters coming out to their parents. The first, and most obvious one, was Alex’s confession to her mother that she’s gay. Supergirl has always been a show about coming out so it’s nice that they handled the literal scene with warmth and grace. Eliza had already picked up that her daughter was a lesbian, and treats the revelation with a casual, truly heartfelt love that doesn’t diminish the gravity of Alex’s profession. It was both the most heroic scene of the hour and its most normal at the same time. Not bad for a show that debuted on CBS.
The other mother-daughter revelation was Lena Luthor’s betrayal of her mother. Lena is a good guy after all that misdirection! It was thanks to Lena’s actions that Cadmus’s evil plot to murder all the aliens failed, and she shocked her mother with the knowledge that she’s not like other Luthors.
With the exception of Kara and Mon-El’s lingering will-they-won’t-they plot, and a tease that there are aliens out there hunting for Mon-El, Monday’s Supergirl really wrapped up a ton of plots — J’onn has also been cured of his White Martian infection. But for now, the only aliens Kara needs to deal with in the immediate future are invading a whole other universe. There will be crises for her to deal with when she gets back, of course, but for the rest of the week, it’s time for some “Heroes vs. Aliens” action.