Sunday, March 8, 2020

REVIEW: 'Supergirl' - Supergirl Protects Andrea Which Helps Lex Grow Closer to Gemma in 'The Bodyguard'

The CW's Supergirl - Episode 5.14 "The Bodyguard"

Lex tasks Supergirl with protecting Andrea from an anti-tech extremist, but his nefarious purpose goes beyond merely keeping Andrea alive. Lena moves forward with Non Nocere, with Lex's help.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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.

"The Bodyguard" was directed by Gregory Smith with story by Lindsay Sturman and teleplay by Emilio Ortega Aldrich & Chandler Smidt

This season of Supergirl is trying to sell the fantasy of virtual reality. It presents it as the new frontier for exploration. A place where a person can be free to do whatever they desire. But that idea clashes with the foundational premise of this already being a fantasy show. Out of this world things happen on Earth-Prime all the time. A person doesn't have to escape to a virtual world full of the impossible in order to see miraculous things take place. This is a world full of superheroes, aliens and metahumans. This hour opens with a woman on horseback succeeding in slaying a dragon. That presents the argument for the value of virtual reality. That somewhat clashes with the reality of this world though considering Legends of Tomorrow featured an actual dragon in its fourth season. The fantasy of virtual reality may not be far removed from actual reality. That may be the underlying point that needs to be addressed a little more. A man is willing to take his own life because the virtual reality provides him with the life he used to have which Earth simply cannot compare to. That fuels the anti-tech extremist targeting the Obsidian launch. That places Andrea's life in danger which forces Supergirl into essentially becoming her personal bodyguard. It's all very intense and dramatic. But it all builds to the conclusion where Kara has to talk the criminal off the ledge rationalizing that she doesn't actually want to kill people in the process. It is a cathartic and understandable impulse for the climax of this specific story. But it just lacks the overall connection that makes many of the best stories work. That has been a general complaint with this season so far. It's clear that the creative team wants to be making some grand points about the power of human connection. It would be easy for William to relax into virtual reality by embracing the friendship he used to have with Russell Rogers. But it's much more compelling for him to embrace his new life in National City and the friends who make up this world. Sure, that is mostly defined through his dynamic with Kara and the need to make them a romantic couple. That relationship can still very much go either way. This series hasn't had a consistent romantic interest for Kara. That has been to the benefit of the storytelling in some ways because it has allowed her to be defined through her heroic actions and noble stands both as Supergirl and a journalist. But it's also uplifting for her to want to embrace love too. That is an understandable impulse and one she should have the freedom to explore. She may not want more people to get hurt because they get close to her. And yet, J'onn found a way to build a new life for himself after leaving the DEO. Alex is doing the exact same thing now. In fact, it seems like the entire show is setting up a future where the murky government agency stuff is a thing of the past. This heroic team may only be accountable to themselves. However, they stand as moral pillars for how to protect this world even from threats that come from people with wholesome intentions. Lena continually wants to prove to Supergirl that she isn't trying to mind control the entire human race. She wants to help people by removing their worst impulses. She sees the potential harm that comes from messing with the human brain in such an extreme way. She feels those consequences and takes them personally. But she is ultimately emboldened as well because so many lift her up and view Non Nocere as a vital service without fully analyzing the potential consequences of people becoming docile as a result. It's a complicated subject. One that is mostly compelling when it centers around Lena's own moral uncertainties. People know they can't trust Lex. And yet, he is fighting Leviathan too. That is a noble goal. But it's causing Brainy and Andrea to fear their isolation because they are uncertain of how any of their actions could be perceived by those they want in their lives. Their personal agency should be seen as important even in the scope of grand forces trying to control the fate of the world around them. That just remains a personal struggle for them and one that is bound to remain complicated.