Supergirl Season 4 Episode 1 Review: American Alien

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For the first time in her life, Supergirl felt like she had it all under control ... or so she thought.

Supergirl spent the summer thwarting crime all over the world, from National City to Madrid to Kaznia as witnessed on Supergirl Season 4 Episode 1.

Why she was taking care of the whole world when just a few months earlier (our timeline) she could barely manage National City by herself is beyond me. 

The Target - Supergirl Season 4 Episode 1

But hey, she's basking in it, so we'll let her have those five minutes before a new big bad comes to town.

Cue Agent Liberty, the villain, bringing anti-alien sentiment to the forefront. 

While Supergirl wanted to remain hopeful that the climate for aliens was getting better, it was part naivety and part hopefulness.

The latter is what we love about her, but the former was a little disappointing because she was dismissing J'onn's intel. 

I just finally feel like the world is good. And I so badly want it to stay that way even if it's just for a little while.


Since leaving, he's had his boots on the ground, but it's still weird seeing him so removed from all things DEO.

I'm not sure if I'm going to like this moving forward, nor do I see how he will continue as a central cast member.

As someone masking his alien looks under the body of an African American man, J'onn knows a thing or two about being judged and discriminated against because of appearance. 

Supergirl's dismissal was uninformed, and her defense that she, too, is an alien didn't hold up because as he pointed out, she's perceived as a human with superpowers.

Called Into Action - Supergirl

Alien she might be, but she's also a blonde, thin, white woman. Sorry, Kara, you don't have much to offer in this area. 

We all want the world to be better, for everyone to get along and love each other, but those wants can't overpower what's really happening. We can't ignore the truth for some ideal utilitarian dream.

And deep down, Supergirl knows that. 

But back to the new villain; he differs from the comic books slightly because he is ruthless as witnessed when he brutally murdered J'onn's support group leader and friend, Fiona.

Now Fiona can help Michael construct versions of the Bad Place on The Good Place. Maybe she'll be better off!

The Agent of Liberty preys on people's fears of the unknown and claims he's doing it all for the love of his country. 

References to Cadmus and Lex Luthor came into play with the addition of Otis and Mercy Graves, the humans carrying out the Agent of Liberty's mission. 

Speaking of naive Supergirl, it was weird that she just dismissed the anti-alien inventions when the Graves siblings attacked Dr. Vose as an act of advanced robbery.

A leader who caves to fear is no leader at all.

President Marsdin

Those weapons were very clearly created to work against alien functions -- the high-pitched shrieking that flusters Supergirl as well as the chains that locked her and catapulted her to the ground. 

The motive was very clear as was the fact that the assailants have studied their victims and knew their weaknesses.

Supergirl finally saw the light when Brainy tapped those computers, an allegorical revelation as hatred of that kind has a "home" on Earth as of late.  

Agent of Liberty - Supergirl Season 4 Episode 1

Melissa Benoist did confirm that unlike Supergirl Season 3, which was rooted more in the supernatural and dark magic, the upcoming season would be based more in reality and "mirroring topical issues" which is something we saw right off the bat. 

One scene, in particular, spoke to our current climate. A member of J'onn's support group was singing the praises of L-Corp's image inducer while Dr. Vose stated that they should not alter their appearance to conform to what people deem "normal" and should be tolerated.

"Alien lives matter" will undoubtedly be utilized as a slogan at some point this season as things get more political.  

I wouldn't mind seeing Supergirl learn a few things that could help her be a bit more socially conscious, as it would help her in her journalistic position. We'll get to that part in a bit. 

A leader who caves to fear is no leader at all.

Attacks on aliens were already in motion, but the more significant part of it was de-masking the President for what she really is: an alien. 

I'll be honest, that revelation lacked any shock factor because it's something we've known for roughly a season, or in terms of the show's timeline, a year, since we're celebrating the second anniversary of the Alien Amnesty Act.

I was wondering when it would come into play again. 

What should have been a joyous event was a public declaration of war, one that would send even those accepting of extraterrestrial creatures into turmoil. 

How will the President handle that revelation? Will she become a target? Will we see more of Lynda Carter (please say yes!)? What will Supergirl's game plan be to keep the peace?

Supergirl Meets the POTUS - Supergirl Season 2 Episode 3

As Supergirl said, this is a new type of war, one she doesn't know how to handle. She knows how to take down monsters and villains, but the bad people are also the same she saves on a daily basis. 

It will be interesting to see her walk that thin line. 

Instead of focusing on mythological solutions, she, along with the DEA, will have to figure out how to unite a divided country. As we all know, that's the biggest challenge of them all. 

This new rift between humans and aliens will likely give Kara a lot to write about at CatCo.

It's understandable if you somehow forgot that Kara has a real job as a reporter at a huge media conglomerate run by James Olsen, formerly known as The Guardian.

As I pointed out in my slideshow "19 Characters Who Are Terrible at Their Jobs," Kara is pretty high on the list of "bad employees" because she's never there to do any damn work.

Related: Get Comic Con HQ via Prime Video Channels to Stream Original Series, Past Comic-Con Panels & More!

Well, all that's about to change, as CatCo becomes a huge part of Supergirl Season 4.

On just one episode, Kara spent more time interviewing subjects, pitching ideas, and mentoring the cub reporters than she did during all of Supergirl Season 3. It's nice to see her back in pencil skirts and blouses. 

Oh my god, you're me.


However, this time, she's the one served room temperature lattes in the elevator.

Utilizing CatCo more effectively seems to be promising with the addition of Nia, a new reporter who resembles Supergirl Season 1 Kara.

We're not the only ones who noticed the similarities in character; Kara did too and retorted with, "Oh my god, you're me."

But while Nia is the new Kara, Kara is the new Cat Grant. She immediately took a liking to the new girl and took her under her wing giving her sound advice that had the flair of Cat Grant.

Pitch Me - Supergirl Season 4 Episode 1

Oh, how the roles have changed. Cat would be so proud. 

Nia is a superhero in more ways than one. No really; she's eventually going to learn that she is Dreamer, a superhero, according to the comics, said to be the ancestor of Dream Girl. 

And on top of that, the actress, Nicole Mains, is the first transgender actress playing a transgender superhero on TV. 

The series is really kicking up the gear on social awareness and inclusivity this season, and I couldn't be prouder. 

I'm thrilled to see Kara and Nia's relationship grow because the dynamic between them is just what this show needed. 

And after all, National City might need another superhero now that The Guardian is no more. 

I just couldn't win, and then I realized that's it. Because I'm not Winn. He was your bro, I'm not him.


James Olsen thought transparency was the key to showing young, African American kids that heroes can look just like them during Supergirl Season 2 Episode 23, but that backfired as the DA brought an indictment against him. 

What I can't seem to figure out is why the DA wants to punish someone like James but celebrate and advocate for Supergirl.

James was a vigilante, yes, but he was doing the work that Supergirl was too busy to do; he was helping to keep National City safe.

At times, Lena is an overpowering force on Supergirl, and though she means well, sometimes, the execution is sloppy. 

Lena ignored James' request for her to stay out of it and manipulated her mom for information on Bruno Manheim to trade the DA in exchange for James' freedom. 

Let Me Handle This - Supergirl Season 4 Episode 1

And technically, it's not even freedom since the DA specified that if James returns to his heroic ways, he will get arrested immediately.

I wonder if James would have had a better shot at a fair trial without all her meddling. Maybe people would back a hero that they can relate to especially now with the anti-alien mentality. 

Regardless, Lena will have to pay for her actions when James finds out. If you don't have trust, what do you have?

Speaking of good intentions, Lena's image inducer may have been a good idea in theory, but it goes back to the root of the problem: aliens cannot look like aliens because being themselves means living in fear for their lives.

By giving them a tool to change their appearance, aren't they just assimilating instead of being their true selves? That isn't very helpful in the long run. 

Alex has taken on the role of DEO director, the natural step-up for her. 

To help us understand the authority that comes with her new role, Alex is sporting a badass new haircut, and I found myself having some trouble getting used to it. 

I love Alex and think she's more than qualified for the job, but without J'onn and Winn, it doesn't feel the same. 

There's a void that poor Brainy, try as he might, just can't seem to fill. He feels it. Alex feels it. We all feel it. 

Alex was being a little too hard on him, especially when you consider who he is, where he's from, and his powerful abilities. He's from the future. Alex has to give him a little credit. 

And in case anyone was wondering, Sam and Ruby got their happily ever after far, far, far away from where she almost succumbed to Reign. 

If you haven't yet, do yourself a favor and watch Supergirl online, so you're all caught up! 

Share your thoughts about the episode with us below!

What do you think is up with that ending with Supergirl punching a wall in Kaznia? Was that really Supergirl?

American Alien Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (69 Votes)

Lizzy Buczak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and read her personal blog at CraveYouTV.

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Supergirl Season 4 Episode 1 Quotes

I just finally feel like the world is good. And I so badly want it to stay that way even if it's just for a little while.


Oh my god, you're me.