Sunday, April 28, 2019

REVIEW: 'Supergirl' - Dreamer Shares Her Story to Inspire the Aliens of the World to Remain Hopeful in 'American Dreamer'

The CW's Supergirl - Episode 4.19 "American Dreamer"

As Kara doggedly works as a reporter to clear Supergirl's name, Dreamer picks up the slack as National City's protector, which leads to a showdown with Ben Lockwood. James takes drastic measures to relieve his PTSD.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of The CW's Supergirl.

"American Dreamer" was directed by David Harewood with story by Dana Horgan and teleplay by Daniel Beaty & Jess Kardos

This season has done a better job at balancing Kara's double life as a reporter and superhero. In fact, Melissa Benoist has been tasked with three distinct identities this season with all of them needing strong personal agency. The main characters may not know the extent of the damage caused by the Red Daughter just yet. However, there is the understanding that Lex has used the Supergirl image to sow chaos and destruction throughout the world. That has forced Kara into embraced her core identity as a reporter. Now, this season isn't perfect when it comes to handling all of these identities. Kara did have to be reminded in the previous episode that the pen can be even mightier than the cape. That is certainly true in this hour which asks the superheroes to be inspirational figures instead of aliens disrupting the various attacks from Ben Lockwood and the Children of Liberty. Nia is seeing the despair that is extending through her community. She is a woman who embraces so many identities herself. She doesn't struggle in the same way that Kara has. And yet, she is also called to be an inspirational force for the entire country. Sure, one can question Kara's methods of making sure that everyone sees her interview with Dreamer through CatCo media. The DEO screens are literally unable to turn it off. That immediately inspires Ben Lockwood to strike and capture the people who are disrupting his vision for the country. He is increasingly becoming more of a one-note antagonist instead of someone who has lost so much because of aliens on the planet. Right now, he is against anyone who speaks out in direct opposition to what he has to say. He doesn't wish to see the humanity of aliens. He sees them as less than and is trying to pass that lesson down to his son. Of course, this family unit experiences even more despair with the sudden death of his wife. That's bound to send Ben Lockwood on an even more dangerous spiral if that's possible. This will only continue to get worse before it gets better. And yet, the Dreamer interview is wildly successful. It's such a powerful moment for the season as well. She is articulating the power of cultural identities and using her voice to speak up against injustices. She knows that what the American government is doing is wrong. She wants people to see her as more than just an alien acting as a vigilante projecting her own sense of justice. She gets her story out there. She is proud of being the daughter of an alien and a human. This is the only home she has ever known. She is proud to be a trans woman. These are just certain aspects of who she is as well. That central question which has always been so predominate is never as easy as people would like to make it seem. There are so many things that make her a complicated person. She has deep connections to what it means to be human. That is a light in a sea of darkness right now. It's the most moving piece of the entire episode as well. Elsewhere, the show is dealing with Lena wallowing in her grief and finally opening up to Kara about working with Lex. Sure, they get the lead that his base of operations for this sinister plan is in Kaznia. That is bound to be an informational journey despite how annoying it still is that Lena is in the dark about Kara being Supergirl. And finally, James' trip to his memory palace to address the PTSD he is facing mostly plays as giving that collection of characters something to do. It is emotional and brutal for James and Kelly to revisit this trauma from their youth. But it mostly highlights just how powerful he has become as well thanks to the Harun-El injection. That is bound to dramatically change things up too.