Monday, October 14, 2019

REVIEW: 'Supergirl' - J'onn Remembers Part of His Past While Lena Finds a New Test Subject in 'Stranger Beside Me'

The CW's Supergirl - Episode 5.02 "Stranger Beside Me"

Supergirl, Alex and Brainiac thwart an alien attack while William investigates Kara. J'onn J'onzz and Kelly use Obsidian tech to solve a problem.

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.

"Stranger Beside Me" was written by Dana Horgan & Katie Rose Rogers and directed by David McWhirter

Kara believes a huge burden has been lifted off her shoulders after finally telling Lena the truth about her secret identity. However, Kara should be very worried about Lena at the moment. She hasn't forgiven her. In fact, she may be hatching a plan that is just as diabolic as any threat this world has faced so far. Sure, Lena notes that she doesn't perceive herself as a villain. She wants to believe that she can revolutionize the world just as effectively as Supergirl ever could. That's her ambition. She may also wants Kara to suffer and feel betrayed just like she was. But she recognizes that as part of the failings of humanity. She aspires to create a better future. One in which technology can be used to course correct these illogical reactions. She just hopes to achieve those means by abusing the new technology given to her by her friend Andrea Rojas and by conducting her experiment on Eve. Yes, Lena was the one who abducted her former assistant who betrayed her because of some elaborate plot. Eve's loyalty and convictions should always be questioned. But now, Lena has manipulated her in the name of her own experiment. Her motivation and methods should be questioned now as well. She may be feeling isolated. That may lead to brilliance on her part. But it also robs her of the rewarding friendships that previously allowed her to revolutionize the world. She strived to redeem her family name. She thought she had done so before Lex's latest attempt to rule the world. And now, everything is in question for her. She thinks that Hope is the only friend she can rely on at the moment. But the show continues to strike the eery tone that everyone should be wary of technology and humanity's reliance on it. Supergirl literally has to save people at the start of this hour because a woman walks into the crosswalk while texting. That's very blunt on the overall message of the dangers of technology. More nuance is absolutely necessary moving forward. Kara's passion is apparent though. She wants people to be engaged by the world around them. She wants them to care about the stories of corruption she presents. But she now finds herself working for Andrea who wants the fluffy and easily digestible content that appears to be doing well right now. It presents as a distraction from the tragedy happening throughout the world. It's all reactionary based on the apparent success of other outlets. However, it can quickly seem overwhelming. That may be to the detriment of the issues that people should actively be caring about. If the world is just about companies pushing their latest products, then it's a false reality where certain people control the narrative while those below them are innocent to the entire endeavor. Kara doesn't want that for her life. And yet, she is criticized for having an elitist view on the world because she looks down on the fluff pieces and the copy editing. Those jobs should be important. It's just not something Kara should have to do after proving herself as an award-winning journalist. And yet, journalism is an industry influx at the moment. It seems much easier to someone like William to spy on his new colleague and latch onto her work than to do anything bold and exciting himself. It doesn't matter that he is also working at a homeless shelter. Every action a person takes every day makes up who they are in total. It has to be a series of actions in order for people to be seen as good or bad. J'onn may have hatred for his brother after learning that he wiped his mind and worked for the White Martians during the civil war. However, he is also curious about it all because he knows he doesn't have the full story. That empathy is powerful even though it's clear there is evil afoot in this world that wants vengeance against those who personally wronged them. The characters can't be in the dark for too long though. Sometimes it's good to be open and honest about one's emotions. That strengthens several of the relationships here as well.