The Daxamites are invading Earth and Kara is chomping at the bit to fight back, as Queen Rhea has captured both Lena Luthor and Mon-El. Yet The President has ordered the DEO to shoot down the Daxamite Mothership without making any rescue efforts. Will Kara form an unlikely alliance with Lilian Luthor and CADMUS, who have been preparing for just such an event for years, just to save her best friend and boyfriend?
The comic storyline Superman: New Krypton. The film Independence Day. (alien invasion plot, mentioned by Winn when describing the Daxamite ships hovering over National City.). The movie Man of Steel (the Daxamite technology used to create children.)
The idea that Air Force One would be allowed to fly into the middle of a war zone while carrying the President is one of Trumpian stupidity.
The pattern of debris from the downed Air Force One should be spread across a greater radius.
Ironically, given that, Cat Grant's speech rallying the people of Earth to fight the Daxamites makes mention of a promise they made to "make Earth great again". Queen Rhea made no such promises in her earlier speeches.
On that note, you know what information might have been incredibly useful to broadcast along with Cat Grant's speech? The fact that ordinary lead bullets can be used to incapacitate a Daxamite. (Then again, if regulations in National City are like anything in real-world California, lead bullets are outlawed due to concerns about the lead being toxic.)
When it comes to enclosing the resisters who dared to fight the Daxamite invaders, one would think the Daxamites might have more advanced technology than simple chain-link fencing.
Where did Lena get the gun that she used to shoot the guard?
How the heck are Henshaw and Lillian going to get out of the Fortress of Solitude and not freeze to death if Kara isn't carrying them out?
Kara's speech about not understanding how the Daxamites could be so evil when they had families like hers doesn't ring true given all of the anti-Daxamite bigotry she showed earlier in the season.
The pre-title sequence with the DEO being invaded is perhaps the strongest action sequence in the show's history in terms of overall direction.
The basic plot of this episode - and indeed the major story arc of the second season - borrows a lot from the Superman: New Krypton storyline. In brief, Superman is able to rescue a lost group of Kryptonians who are unwilling to adapt to life on Earth and ultimately seek to establish a new world. Their attacks on Earth wind up empowering various xenophobic Superman enemies, including General Sam Lane and Lex Luthor, who is given a full pardon in exchange for devising weapons capable of halting the Kryptonian invasion of Earth.
President Olivia Marsdin - who we have known is an alien since her first appearance - is identified in this episode as having been born on the planet of Durla. In the DC Comics Universe, Durla is home to a race of shape-shifters who are almost universally distrusted because of their powers. The Legion of Super Heroes member Chameleon Boy is a Durlan.
The Daxamite technology for creating children from the merging of DNA without the need for sexual contact seems similar to the Kryptonian Birthing Matrix from the original Superman comics. It is a matter of record that Kryptonians considered themselves evolved past such "barbaric" means of continuing their race and that they used the genetic material of two predetermined subjects to create the next generation of Kryptonians.
Similar technology was used to create children on Krypton in the DC Cinematic Universe, according to the movie Man of Steel.
The Daxamites of the DCTVU seem to possess similar technology though - based on Mon-El's behavior in earlier episodes - they do not have the same prudishness regarding sex as the Kryptonians in the DC Comics Universe.
The Phantom Zone Projector is a piece of Kryptonian technology used to transport matter to or from The Phantom Zone - an extra dimensional realm used by The Kryptonians as a prison for their worst criminals.
In the DCTVU, The Phantom Zone Projector was used to transport convicted criminals to Fort Rozz.
As in the comics, Daxamites are allergic to lead in the same way that Kryptonians are weakened by Kryptonite. A single well-placed bullet is enough to incapacitate one, according to Lillian Luthor.
Alex tells Kara to be "faster than a speeding bullet" when it comes to rescuing Mon-El and Lena. This is a nod to the introduction of the 1950s Adventures of Superman live-action TV show, where Superman was described as being "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive (and) able to leap tall buildings in a single bound."
The White Martian device Rhea used to attack J'onn causes his vitals to become erratic. According to Alex, his neurons are "working overtime" but he is otherwise comatose.
Lillian Luthor says that the Daxamite ships are armed with Kryponite cannons and have upgraded their shields since the last time Supergirl fought them.
The DEO base in National City has a positron cannon mounted on the roof. This cannon is apparently powerful enough that not even Supergirl could survive being hit by it.
Daxamites have the technology to produce children between two beings without the need for sexual intercourse. All that is required is DNA samples from the respective subjects.
Hank Henshaw claims to be capable of repurposing a Phantom Zone Projector into a teleporter capable of penetrating the shields around the Daxamite Mothership.
Henshaw also claims that his enhanced cybernetic core will allow him to interface with the computers on the Daxamite mothership, allowing them to move undetected once on-board..
Winn designs a spray-nozzle for Guardian's gauntlet that sprays a lead-dust aerosol, effectively giving any Daxamite caught in the cloud "space asthma".
(Maggie and Alex kiss.)
Alex: I'm so glad you're okay!
Maggie: And I'm so glad that when things look their worst, we both thought to run straight to a bar.
(Mon-El spins around and faces the guard escorting him and Lena back to their cell.)
Mon-El: As your Prince, I order you to lay down your weapons and let us go.
(The guard draws a gun.)
Mon-El: (smiling) Yeeeeeah. I didn't think that was going to work either.
(Lillian has just left Kara and Mon-El for dead on the Daxamite ship.)
Mon-El: Well, now what are we going to do?
Supergirl: (sighs as she pulls out a small device) Lillian betraying us wasn't the biggest shock ever. So Winn bugged Henshaw and rigged a remote so I could beam us back if she double-crossed us. Hope for the best -
Mon-El: Have Winn Schott prepare for the worst.
Every cursed line Cat Grant says.
Daxam's architecture involved great pyramids.
Supergirl and Cat Grant learn that President Olivia Marsdin is an alien.
President Olivia Marsdin was Cat Grant's resident assistant in the dorms at Radcliff University.
Olivia Marsdin is identified as a Durlan. Mon-El mentioned the Durlan race in 217.
President Marsdin says that Durlan was invaded by another planet and her people enslaved within the course of one year. She claims to be one of the few who escaped that fate.
There is a Luthor Family Children's Hospital.
A Phantom Zone Projector is among the Kyptonian artifacts Superman stores in The Fortress of Solitude.
Reference is made to Hank Henshaw breaking into The Fortress of Solitude in 207.
Lillian Luthor confirms that she knows Kara Danvers is Supergirl. She says that she didn't tell Lena because she trusts that Lena will figure out the truth on her own eventually and that she will hate Kara for lying to her and prove everything Lillian ever said about Supergirl correct.
Maggie refers to the events of 203 and how she and Alex met during an attack on The President.
Cat Grant recognizes James as The Guardian immediately.
At the end of the episode, it appears that Queen Rhea has taken control of Superman, somehow, and used him to destroy the DEO's positron cannon.
The Fortress of Solitude.
The Bottom Line
I'd forgotten how much better this show got once Cat Grant left it. I enjoy a good slam of Bill O'Reilly as much as the next smartass woke social liberal but 90% of Cat's dialogue seems really out of place here and distracts away from what should be Kara's finest moment as a hero.
It's telling that all of the developments that have made Season Two different than Season One - Kara's relationships with Lena and Mon-El, J'onn's more active role in the field, the presence of Maggie Sawyer and James as The Guardian - are all minimized or negated so that Cat Grant can save the day by giving a speech. Because this is much more interesting than watching a hero cop, a masked vigilante or the combined forces of the DEO fighting aliens in the streets of National City. Presumably this episode was meant to save the budget for the big finale next week?