“Rather the Fallen Angel” explores the way this season is changing the characters. Supergirl uses their Statue of Liberty equivalent for an interesting set piece. This episode finds a solid balance between developing the heroes and entertaining action. “Rather the Fallen Angel” is a solid episode that explores the new status quo.
Supergirl herself stays on the straight and narrow. As the only alien character in action this episode, she has quite the task ahead of her. Not only does Manchester trade her for a chance at Agent Liberty, but James almost (accidentally) blows her up. Supergirl gets some great action, but she also sees the episode through our lens – all of the humans are dragged down in Lockwood’s fear-mongering. J’onn, the other alien, also stays pure, but he feels the pain of Manchester’s mindset. While these characters aren’t as active as the humans this episode, they’re great characters that highlight the episode’s theme.
The major character twist in “Rather the Fallen Angel” is Manchester Black. Manchester falls even further into the darkness, betraying all the heroes and striking out on his own. Manchester was always an anti-hero type character, like a British Frank Castle, so this isn’t a huge twist. However, hitting J’onn with the empathy weapon seems especially cruel. How much of Manchester’s duality will Supergirl explore? And where did Manchester get all these high-tech weapons from? These questions will only get answers with time.
The development of James & Lena works far better than Manchester Black. James is continuously conflicted, unsure of what the best way to tackle the Children of Liberty is. This uncertainty is great, as it highlights how the good-intentioned sometimes fall into darkness. Meanwhile, Lena losing her patient illustrates how her good intentions conflict with her family legacy. Lena is always second-guessing herself, as her risky experiments push her into the Luthor family’s villainy. Supergirl does great work, exploring how some of its human characters fail – after all, they’re only human.
While the episode was not the season stand-out last episode was, this episode was solid. Supergirl‘s greatest strength is its optimism, and that’s what is under fire. This episode continues its political parallels, and questions its point of view along the way. The characters don’t always have the right answers, but they’re determined to keep fighting. It’s a great morale for an episode, but as Supergirl knows, it’s a hard path to follow.