Sunday, November 4, 2018

REVIEW: 'Supergirl' - Alex Questions Her Instincts While J'onn Attempts to Control His Anger in 'Ahimsa'

The CW's Supergirl - Episode 4.04 "Ahimsa"

When Supergirl needs help, Alex asks Lena and Brainiac to team up. Meanwhile, J'onn questions his decision to quit the DEO. However, after running into Manchester Black, he realizes there are a lot of ways to help his fellow aliens during this tumultuous time.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of The CW's Supergirl.

"Ahimsa" was directed by Armen V. Kevorkian with story by Eric Carrasco and teleplay by Katie Rose Rogers & Jess Kardos

It was a huge deal when the atmosphere was infected with kryptonite leaving Kara on the verge of death. It immediately presented Agent Liberty and his allies as significant villains who have the means to do some major damage. And now, that threat has been dissolved. Sure, there is the moral question of whether or not Kara should fight as a hero despite the increased risk to her life. She is vulnerable even though she is wearing this suit while Brainy and Lena are working on eliminating the kryptonite from the planet. But it also asks the audience if Supergirl has a boss and must follow the orders that come from the leader of a country or the planet. She stands up as a symbol for everything great about Earth. But does that give President Baker the right to order Alex to confine Supergirl until the atmosphere is clear? Moreover, is it fair that he immediately adds oversight to the DEO in order to keep the program in line after Kara and Alex defy his orders? It can be seen as a bitting commentary on gender roles in the world. Even with the best intentions, it can still come across as horribly patronizing. Despite numerous break-ins and threats to the planet, J'onn was always trusted to do this job by Marsdin. She trusted that whatever actions he took he did so for the right reasons. And now, Alex is the head of the DEO and her decisions are immediately being questioned. It's enough for her to question her instincts as well. She yells at Kara and makes her feel as if the city doesn't need Supergirl as protection. That's horrifying. It's right to see the sisters bond and team up to eliminate this latest attack by Agent Liberty. But it also presents as a decision that will immediately have consequences because the leader of the country happens to be a white man who needs to exert his power and control over the agency. It is fascinating to see a more hands-on approach when it comes to the identity of this government bureau that Supergirl works for. It establishes that she is aligned with the United States of America. She upholds those values. Those may not be the same across the planet even though she saves people no matter where they are in peril. It's just a fascinating conversation starter. However, this episode is also really annoying and lackluster because it seems to kill off Fiona just in order to produce emotional reactions from the two men in her life. The premiere seemingly ended with her death. And now, she's brought back only to be killed again. Tiya Sircar sure did deserve better on this show. Fiona even represents an interesting philosophy too. Aliens can't simply allow their anger to dictate their actions. J'onn is still angry about a lot in this world. His frustrations keep him from being as effective as he promises in this search for Fiona. He makes this commitment and doesn't yet have the strength and clarity to succeed through other methods. Fiona's fiancé, Manchester Black, debuts and immediately comes with some baggage of being a hot head. Sure, he is capable in the field and forms a bond with J'onn. However, he is also seen buying weapons after Fiona's death. He's doing the exact opposite of what she wanted which is so infuriating and annoying. James does that as well. He is told by Nia not to go out as Guardian. When he does, he is lifted up as a hero for the Earth first movement. And that's something that he doesn't support at all. His actions as Guardian just happen to speak louder than his words as James Olsen the editor of CatCo magazine.