• Supergirl s4 ep.19 - Featured Television 

    Five Thoughts on Supergirl‘s “American Dreamer”

    By | April 29th, 2019
    Posted in Television | % Comments

    Welcome back all you Supergirl fans! I wasn’t sure what we’d be getting this week, considering how close we’re getting to the end of the season. Would they do a 180 and have Kara go back to being Supergirl midway through the episode? Maybe. Would they address Jimmy’s Haron-El poisoning & blame Lex? Most definitely. But what I’m most concerned with is the final scene of the episode because. . .well, we’ll get to that.

    As always, spoilers ahead.

    1. Feed the Fridge

    What the everloving hell was with that last scene? Seriously. I know I shouldn’t trust a CW cliffhanger, lord knows nobody ever stays dead after one of those, but I’ve got a feeling this is going to stick because, well, of course it will. Lockwood “needs” more motivation to hate aliens and, maybe, Supergirl is trying to show and comment on the ways in which retaliatory violence, especially petty, misplaced violence, can harm more than it helps, but more than likely, this was done to further push Lockwood to monstrous deeds in, perhaps, the laziest way.

    What does killing his wife DO for the show, for HER arc or even for Ben’s? Is it to push the son back towards Ben? If so, that’s stupid on so many levels and really lazy writing. If not, then it’s really stupid and lazy writing. You know what would’ve been a better motivator in this situation and possible complicating the wife’s arc further? The death of her son after he had begun to get out from his father’s twisted mentality. It would have required more set up and time but that would have been better than killing off the mother after not having seen her in forever.

    It really put a damper on an episode that, on the whole, was pretty strong, although still not as strong as much of the first half of the season.

    I also just realized, I don’t know her name, it’s said so infrequently. I only found out it’s Lydia by looking it up. That’s a bad sign.

    2. Kara Danver, Ace Reporter

    It is so nice seeing Kara being a reporter again. This is something I’ve complained about a lot (I’m not even going to bother linking to any of those) and I’m so glad the show is taking the time to show just what Kara’s learned in the four years she’s been with CatCo and the three years she’s been an official reporter. It finally feels like the image projected onto her character by the writers and the other characters and her actual actions match up. This is a problem that Gotham had in spades with its Jim Gordon. (I know, I know, we were free. Why would I bring it up again?) Everyone treated him like he was the Jim of the comics while his actions were deeply antithetical to the treatment; the same was true for Kara, only on a less egregious scale.

    It’s also clear that this isn’t a one episode deal and that she’s building a few stories! She’s got the Dreamer interview, the Lex article, and then anything else that will build as she stays out of her Supergirl mode. I know I rag on the writing for its very heavy use of tropes I’m not a fan of but the writing, on the whole, is vastly improved over the previous season on an episode to episode basis. Let’s hope they can better plan the season arcs next time.

    3. Jimmy, Are You OK?

    I think this small plot may be my least favorite of Jimmy’s this entire season. Not because heroes cannot have PTSD, they can and an exploration of that is important, but because the execution of that exploration is being handled in such a ham-fisted way. What this episode seems to imply is that ALL of Jimmy’s trauma stems from being locked in a coffin during his father’s funeral, not any of Lex’s attacks or even getting shot in the back, which is what the other episodes seemed to imply, regardless of what the characters vocalized.

    On its own, that is a story that is worth exploring, deepening Jimmy’s character and providing us with better insight into the regrets and fears that shaped him. When presented in the way it is here, it undermines the more engaging directions this plot could have taken and begs the question: why is it only now that this trauma is resurfacing and acting as the base as the rest? It’s never fully explored so all we’re left with is speculation, weakening the arc. It came out of nowhere and felt like a cop out in order to tie Kelley Olson into the episode more, instead of either setting this development up better or figuring out a different way to make her an integral part.

    Continued below

    4. Brainy

    I know, I know. No clever title. Brainy deserves better. He has begun to recognize that maybe all his flustered avoidance of Nia was because he likes her and that, maybe, the compartmentalizing made it hard to see that. More than that, he was also a strong friend to Lena and Jimmy this week, despite his callousness in the testing room. This was a good episode for him and it was nice to see someone other than Kara or Alex make the big speeches of comfort and joy.

    The fallout of his personal revelation will most likely play out over the course of these next few episode and, I for one, cannot wait. Also, that team up with Dreamer was killer. Nia Nahl was a standout this week & I hope she gets to stand out more next week.

    5. It Can’t Happen Here

    What this season’s primary narrative has done well is dramatizing the modern complexities of the world we currently live in and the ways in which old narratives play out in new ways. When it resists simplification, but remains steadfast in its core tenets of justice and truth, it shines.

    Oftentimes our media makes it seem easy to split people into three categories: heroes, villains, and bystanders. And when you split the world into these categories, it can be easy to turn bystanders into villains, creating a false dichotomy that reduces the complexity of human life. But, if one keeps it a third category, you also create a world in which doing nothing is a valid option in the face of injustice, as opposed to an action that allows for it to flourish. It’s a difficult balance to portray, to show the many complexities that allow for people to struggle, and fail, with doing the right thing and to neither villify nor excuse their position.

    We like to believe, in hard times, that we would be heroes, that it is easy to stand up to great dangers and the ills of the world. But it is difficult to stand up in the ways we glorify. To do so takes great fortitude. It is, however, the smaller moments of heroism, the constant pushback against injustice, to give it no quarter, that is most important. To make sure silence does not deafen and to remind those who believe it easier to embrace the worst humanity has to offer, that there is nothing to be gained from that. To elevate the best of us and to make sure those who only desire to harm and hurt hold no power.

    It may not be the reality at the moment but it is the ideal to strive for.

    That about does it for now! What did you all think about the episode? Did you all find Lena’s conversation with Kara to be as effective as I did, despite not talking about it until just now? Did you know David Harewood directed this episode? Let me know in the comments and I will see you again in a week for the return of Kaznian Supergirl & the start of the final rush to the end. Until then, stay super y’all.

    Best Line of the Night:

    Brainy: “As a wise woman once said: fear sucks. So let’s kick fear’s ass.”


    //TAGS | supergirl

    Elias Rosner

    Elias is a lover of stories who, when he isn't writing reviews for Mulitversity, is hiding in the stacks of his library. He can be found on twitter (for mostly comics stuff) here and has finally updated his photo to be a hair nicer than before.

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