Supergirl has a changed a lot so far in its second season, and mostly for the better. But there are still two key areas where the show is clearly struggling this year – introducing compelling, fully fleshed villains and finding a role for James Olsen and the Catco crew in the wake of Cat Grant’s retirement. And with “Crossfire” hinging so heavily on both James and the ongoing Cadmus storyline, it should come as no surprise that this episode left a bit to be desired.
In theory, I like where the show is heading with the Cadmus storyline. It’s only natural to play on the anti-alien hysteria angle in the aftermath of Season 1’s Kryptonian conflict and with alien heroes like Martian Manhunter and Mon-El becoming more prominent. And in general, any chance a superhero series has to evoke that classic, X-Men-esque “hated and feared” element is worth taking. But so far, the execution has been lacking. This episode got pretty clunky and heavy-handed when it tried to use that hysteria as an allegory for real-world issues like the battle over gun rights. The writers are trying a little too hard to impart a message about the importance of tolerance and understanding.