Supergirl “Survivors” Review (Season 2 Episode 4)

Supergirl continues to impress this season with how quickly it’s managing to build out its world. National City is no longer just a Metropolis stand-in, but its own living, breathing community for the Girl of Steel to navigate and discover as its secret alien population comes out of the shadows. “Survivors” presents even more new characters and new facets to the city’s underground, making for another enjoyable installment in the show’s second season.

One place that the episode succeeds best is in giving the show an antagonist with some actual depth. No, I’m not talking about Roulette – though ably played by genre veteral Dichen Lachman, there’s not much depth to the fight club ringleader – but Shannon Leal’s M’gann, the troubled last daughter of Mars. She’s not an outright villain, but her support of the fight club puts her at odds with Supergirl and J’onn, leading to more than a few conflicts throughout the hour. Leal makes M’gann a sympathetic figure even as she contemplates killing J’onn, and the reveal at hour’s end that she’s actually a White Martian explains the sort of violent impulses and guilt she’s dealing with.

Elsewhere, the show continues to quickly develop its other new characters well. Mon-El gets a much better showcase this week, as we learn that his carefree attitude doesn’t mean he’s not harboring plenty of regret and guilt of his own at the loss of his world. He also develops a fast friendship with Winn, leading to a great night-on-the-town scene for the two young men. Maggie, meanwhile, continues to be a welcome new partner for Alex, and the undeniable chemistry between the two makes it clear there’s a romantic spark there long before we see how disappointed Alex’s is to learn Maggie has a girlfriend. Snapper and Lena don’t get much to do, but both make the most of their brief scenes.

Kara herself, of course, serves as the through line between all of tonight’s stories, and Benoist is as charming as ever in both her civilian and superpowered roles. Roulette may not be the most exciting villain, but she does introduce an even greater sense of how there are some in National City who aren’t ever going to accept its alien community. It’s a harsh truth that Kara continues to struggle with, and she realizes that she has to be an active agent of change if she wants acceptance to become commonplace. By the end of the hour, she’s agreed to train Mon-El, which seems likely to give National City its second superhero before too long.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!