Alex. James. Lena. Those are the only humans among the main characters of Supergirl Season 4 worth rooting for (despite the concerns regarding Lena’s project). Otherwise, it’s getting harder and harder to be on humanity’s side, especially given how anti-alien many of the prominent characters have become. “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?” highlights the problems with the human characters that have us rooting against humanity.
Spoilers for Supergirl Season 4 Episode 13 below.
Anti-alien sentiment continues to be a major theme in Season 4, echoing the growing anti-immigrant rhetoric in our own world right now. After the world of Supergirl learned that the (former) president was an alien, a new one was appointed. Ben Lockwood then formed the Children of Liberty, a group that perpetrates violence against all aliens, guilty or innocent. As a result, Kara had to stop working with the Department of Extranormal Operations. J’onn also had to wipe Alex’s memory to protect Supergirl’s identity from President Baker and Colonel Haley.
Episode 13 takes this already precarious situation to much more dangerous levels. Manchester Black breaks out of prison with Hat, Menagerie, and the remaining Morae to form The Elite, a force to stop all those against aliens, including the government. Kara forms her team of “super friends,” J’onn, Brainy, and Nia, to stop them. The two sides battle at a military base as the clock ticks down on the launch of a satellite that would shoot down approaching alien ships on President Baker’s orders.
The satellite launches, but not before The Elite manage to input new coordinates: The White House. Kara is able to redirect the blast and prevent any casualties before destroying the satellite, but President Baker doesn’t take this very well.
However, that doesn’t excuse what may be the dumbest move the president has made yet on the show. It was bad enough when Ben Lockwood was just leading the Children of Liberty, but in Episode 13, President Baker names him the Director of Alien Affairs, giving him power in government and a role that will essentially allow him to continue to carry out his hate against aliens with an official title and zero consequences.
It’s not just aliens that have reason to distrust humanity. Humans have to be wary of each other as well. After all, President Baker didn’t even tell Colonel Haley about the satellite. Lena may be working at the DEO, but she refuses to hand over paperwork to the government, something Alex agrees with by the end of the episode.
It’s clear that one side cannot emerge as the victors in this fight. There are good and bad apples among humans and aliens. However, it’s the bad humans that are standing out and making it easier to side with the aliens. Humanity isn’t being attacked because of their home planet. The government and Children of Liberty aren’t attacking humans just because they’re humans.
Furthermore, aliens aren’t the ones initiating the conflict. It’s all President Baker and Ben Lockwood. The promo (above) for the next episode, “Stand and Deliver” also makes it clear that won’t change anytime soon.
There will be a pro-alien march and an anti-alien rally, and both the Children of Liberty and the Elite are eager to hurt the other side:
Between Ben Lockwood’s (Sam Witwer) new push to stir up the anti-alien movement and the Elite’s desire to target Lockwood and his minions, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) is concerned about the safety of the American people – both human and alien. When Lockwood organizes a rally, the aliens decide to peacefully protest. Brainiac (Jesse Rath) and J’onn (David Harewood) join the alien march while Supergirl and Dreamer (Nicole Maines) patrol to keep everyone safe. Meanwhile, James (Mehcad Brooks) picks up his camera again to cover the march for CatCo, and Hayley (April Parker Jones) assigns Alex (Chyler Leigh) a job that clashes with her beliefs. When The Elite and Ben Lockwood stir up trouble at the rally, Supergirl is forced to take a stand.
What this storyline is doing is making it clear just how careful Supergirl has to be in this fight. If she commits any acts of violence in an attempt to stop the humans against the aliens, it gives the other side more reason to hate aliens. In a way, she is forced to act defensively, which ties her hands. She has to change the general sentiment of the people as her enemies make it harder and harder for her to do so.
The only way for this to end is peacefully, and it’s clear it’s the humans who will prevent that from happening.
Supergirl Season 4 airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Related video: Supergirl and Her Super Friends Vs. The Elite in Season 4 Episode 13 Trailer