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Supergirl - American Alien - Season 4 Premiere: Advance Preview

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There is nothing quite as satisfying to a television fan than watching a show you love and enjoy grow and evolve each successive year it airs. This is proving to be particularly true with the fourth season premiere of Supergirl – American Alien (4x01). It has and continues to be a pleasure to watch this show grow and mature and based on the season premiere, this seems to be the season it is destined to come into its own. This solid episode, in this previewer's opinion, takes a step up in quality (and it was already pretty darn good) and gets Season 4 off to a strong start.

The writers have wisely done several things to make this episode stand out. They have taken the best parts of previous seasons, the charm of Season 1, the heart of Season 2, and the action of Season 3 and combined them into an well rounded episode that kicks off what is sure to be an outstanding Season 4. They do an excellent job laying the groundwork and setting a deeper, richer tone for this season's main storyline. They let it evolve slowly and carefully but along the way fill the episode with some intriguing twists.

If you had to say, the main theme of this episode is change and how the main characters are adjusting to the new roles they must play. On the whole, this cast of actors has grown into their characters over three seasons and know them so well, which gives their performances added depth. Brainy (Jesse Rath) has some of the episode's lighter moments as he goes to extremes trying to fit in at the DEO and please the new director. Lena (Katie McGrath), steps back into the designer shoes of LCorp CEO and continues to find unique ways to be supportive of James (Mechad Brooks) whom we find may be facing some serious issues. As we learned last season, Lena fights smartly and fiercely for those she cares about.

For those that worried that J'onn (David Harewood) stepping down from the DEO would take him out of the picture, don't. He's still very much involved in the action as he strives to live the life his father wanted for him. He continues to serve as an inspiration and father figure for Alex and especially Kara. He may not always agree with them, as he finds in the premiere, but he respects their opinions. He seems at peace with his new life, but that doesn't stop him from stepping in and helping people, he just has a more serene way of going about it.

It is going to be great watching Alex (Chyler Leigh) continue to grow as the new Director of the DEO. While she's adjusting to her new duties and responsibilities, she still takes the occasional field mission, particularly if it involves helping her sister, and is as bad-ass as ever doing it. Alex wears her new mantle of Director well, yet she will always need that extra support from her sister. There is a very nice, always fan favorite, sister's couch scene, that serves as a solid reminder that Kara and Alex's sisterhood is show's heart.

Making the biggest adjustment is Kara/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist). Just when she thought things are going well she discovers a dangerous new threat lurks and she's going to need every bit of the Girl of Steel's hope and optimism to defeat this foe. As Kara Danvers, reporter, she gets a nicely written reminder of what it was like to be the new kid on the CatCo block and channels a familiar source of inspiration as she becomes a mentor to a new reporter.

Nicole Maines, Rhona Mitra, and Robert Baker prove to be great additions to the cast in the premiere. As Nia Nal aka Dreamer, Maines makes an impressive entrance and debut as the first transgender superhero. She has a wonderful chemistry with Benoist and their teacher/student relationship is already fun to watch. It's going to prove equally intriguing to watch as Nia becomes Dreamer and is likely to enter into a similar relationship with Supergirl.

Mitra and Baker play the decidedly dangerous brother and sister team of Otis and Mercy Graves.They play off each other well, and a few well-chosen lines and looks tells us theirs is an unusual, yet familiar, sibling relationship. The Graves siblings are going to play in nice contrast to the show's strength, the Danvers sisters. Like the Danvers, they're loyal to one another, sometimes they just have unusual ways of showing it. And one could easily see, with her intelligence and fighting style, Mercy could become a personal nemesis of Director Alex Danvers.

The Season 4 premiere of Supergirl-American Alien(4x01) does not disappoint. It's filled with excellent writing, acting, character development and action with a new level of confidence and maturity. The premiere airs tomorrow night, on its new day, Sunday, 7/8 CST/EST on the CW. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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