The best (and worst) Supergirl episodes from all 6 seasons of The CW show

Supergirl had its high points and its low ones, and these 12 episodes show the best and worst from each season.

Build Series Presents Melissa Benoist Discussing "Supergirl" And "Patriots Day"
Build Series Presents Melissa Benoist Discussing "Supergirl" And "Patriots Day" / Matthew Eisman/GettyImages
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Best and worst Supergirl season 4 episodes

In season four, Kara and her friends have effectively transitioned into adulthood, and their problems have changed from building their futures to fighting for what they believe in. Kara becomes a mentor to budding reporter (and superhero) Nia Nal, and Alex and James must grapple with people trying to use them for political purposes they disagree with.

Best: Season 4 Episodes 15 and 16, "O Brother Where Art Thou"/"The House of L"

Season four lost its way at times, so fans rejoiced when all of the chaos turned out to have been planned by none other than Lex Luthor. Despite Lex being a Superman villain first and foremost, his scheme in "O Brother Where Art Thou" and "The House of L" provides the opportunity to see many of Supergirl's main characters at their weakest.

The Red Daughter plot was teased in the season three finale, so it was exciting to finally see it coming to fruition. As Lex manipulated Kara's clone, it was easy to see how much damage he had done to Lena. However, it was also clear that some of what he said about Kara is true, providing an interesting critique on the heroine who seemed to have it all together at this point.

Countering that plotline, audiences saw J'onn give into his darkest impulses with respect to Manchester Black. In a season filled with political messaging about whether immigrants should be welcomed or condemned, it feels authentic that a man broken by the loss of his father would allow violence to take over.

Ultimately, these episodes stand out as the best because they have some great character reflections, alongside some long-awaited Superman story elements. However, this works because the season has been all about how easily manipulated people are when they're afraid. Despite the season's failings, the twist works because of what came before it, not in spite of it.

Worst: Season 4 Episode 5, "Parasite Lost"

Season four as a whole makes the argument that the kind of violent division seen in the series and in American politics is not natural. It is created and manipulated by people who don't really care about the rhetoric they're sharing. While this is an interesting angle, "Parasite Lost" is emblematic of the season's failure to show the conflict in a meaningful way.

There are a couple of key problems with this episode (and the season as a whole). The first is a common critique of supernatural xenophobia metaphors. While immigrants aren't inherently more dangerous than citizens, aliens do have an inherent danger level. That doesn't justify efforts to slaughter them, but it is an element that is not applicable to real-world issues.

In addition, this episode shows audiences two major heroes not only failing to solve the problem but taking actions that are likely to make the problem worse. Kara keeps exposing aliens (putting them in danger while she hides behind her secret identity), and James keeps letting Ben Lockwood spin him as the hero for anti-alien protesters. The episode shows both strategies failing, and yet the characters keep trying them!

On top of these structural problems, the overall focus of the episode was weak. James and Lena's relationship was disliked by many fans, yet it seemed to be more important than anything else. The strong female leads that made season three so beloved were either missing or weakened by the men around them, showing a general lack of understanding of what previously made the show so successful.