Sunday, October 6, 2019

REVIEW: 'Supergirl' - Lena Lets Her Rage Out While Brainy Gives Kara a New Superhero Outfit in 'Event Horizon'

The CW's Supergirl - Episode 5.01 "Event Horizon"

Kara is surprised to find that CatCo has a new owner who has brought in a star reporter. New couples emerge and explore their budding relationships. J'onn J'onzz receives an unexpected visitor.

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 season premiere of The CW's Supergirl.

"Event Horizon" was written by Derek Simon & Nicki Holcomb and directed by Jesse Warn

This show has gotten better with each passing season. The fourth was easily its best and most consistent so far. It featured such a strong political allegory that had genuine stakes for this world of superheroes. And now, the show aspires to tell yet another powerful story about technology. It's a much broader focus at the start of the new season. But it already has a profound connection to some of the main characters. Lena has built an entire business around her technology and her desire to completely change the world. This premiere opens and starts with her. She is still reeling from the revelation that Kara Danvers is Supergirl. Kara didn't tell her that though. Lex did. It was his way of ensuring Lena got hurt during their climatic showdown as well. And now, Lena is running virtual reality simulations in which she is killing Supergirl. It's a way for her to let her rage and anger out while allowing her to play a much more careful game in reality. She finds comfort in technology. It's not susceptible to the emotions of humanity. She has her own personal failings as well. She doesn't account for Kara actually telling her the truth now. That is a surprise to her. One where it immediately seems to the audience as if Lena has completely forgiven her best friend. Things may be different for their friendship moving forward. However, it's mostly just a blessing that she is now in on the central secret. Keeping her out of the loop has long been forced and unnecessary. But now, the revelation is fueling so much drama in fascinating ways. Lena delights at noting just how good and truthful Kara has always been knowing that she carries this huge secret. She doesn't know the scope of how painful it has been for Kara. And yes, Kara does let all of her emotions out in such a visceral and raw conversation revealing the truth. The empathy and regret on display is almost enough to convince the audience that it does reverse all of Lena's prior feelings of betrayal. It doesn't quite achieve that goal though. Instead, the show continue to trust the audience's intelligence. Lena can't be swayed that easily. She just maintains the friendship for now in order to keep the upper hand. That's the way that the Luthor family reacts to this kind of news. They simply analyze what the best next chess move is to make. And so, Lena doesn't reveal Supergirl's secret identity to the entire world. Instead, she withholds from a deal she made with her boarding school friend Andrea Rojas, who has just bought CatCo. The publishing company has undergone several changes over the course of the series. It too has had the potential of being an allegory for the current state of the journalism industry. Of course, the show wants the audience to accept that Kara is winning a Pulitzer Price for her reporting on Lex and President Baker last season. That's in addition to Andrea coming in to declare the company's pivot to content monetization for shorter and more fun articles. That's not the work these journalists have been doing. But it's the direction the new leader demands. That will create a lot of conflict with James deciding to quit here. These personal dynamics are where this premiere shines. The threat to the city from Midnight is somewhat lame and forced. It mostly highlights the new super suit Brainy has created for Kara. It is a stylish and accessible new look for her. Meanwhile, it's mostly just a nice tease to learn that the Green Martian that The Monitor released happens to be J'onn J'onzz's brother he suspiciously knows nothing about. That too could develop into something compelling and dramatic. Overall though, this premiere just wants to relax the audience back into this specific world and its characters. It's nice to see how lovely Alex and Kelly are as a couple while Brainy and Nia finally get to celebrate with their swoon-worthy first kiss.