Wednesday, May 5, 2021

REVIEW: 'Supergirl' - Nia and Brainy Discover New Things About Themselves While Trying to Preserve the Past in 'Prom Again!'

The CW's Supergirl - Episode 6.06 "Prom Again!"

Part two of the flashback episodes pick up where things left off - Young Kara experiences kryptonite for the first time, Nia and Brainy are trapped by invading aliens, and a young Cat Grant may be the reason Supergirl never gets out of the Phantom Zone.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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.

"Prom Again!" was written by Rob Wright & Jess Kardos and directed by Chyler Leigh

These flashback episodes have allowed the viewer to feel hope again. That's the emotion Brainy expresses at the conclusion of this arc. He summarizes it as needing to experience and endure the hardships in order to see the beauty and grace that comes from happiness later on. It's a grueling journey. However, the audience should have reason to feel hopeful about the future as well. Sure, the narrative will still be returning to the same problems it left behind with Supergirl in the Phantom Zone and the season largely being stuck in place. But this arc has highlighted a willingness to tell engaging stories with its characters once more. It has shown the ability to dig deeper into these story details. Nia still doesn't have control over her abilities. She still surprises herself with everything she is capable of doing. She can't interpret her dreams. However, she can pull the figures from the dream world out into reality to help her as well. Her powers are incredible. They help when the team needs to handle these alien invaders. She is lost but she does have clarity and support in Brainy. He wants to hold firmly to her "9 to 5" coping mechanism. He sees that as the only valuable tool for keeping him calm when the situation grows more intense. It's not the perfect solution in every instance. In fact, the show delights in the many ways this mission goes awry. Brainy and Nia traveled to the past for a specific reason. They landed at the wrong time. As such, they risked drastically altering the timeline. They care about the futures of their friends. They don't want anything to lead them astray. That seems like a possibility here. In fact, the show has made that temptation feel like a genuine part of this arc. It could reasonably be assumed that Kara was truly weighing whether or not she wanted to leave Midvale for National City after graduating high school. She could stay behind and live happily with Kenny. Again, this relationship seems like the most emotionally mature relationship Kara has ever had. That comes from the condensed timeframe it has to hit the requisite beats. It's not some story that needs to be drawn out over a long period of time. That has doomed so many past relationships for her. The show never allowed them to be a natural thing. In this case, it's required for Kara and Kenny to be together. They are reflecting on what they want from life. They feel a great deal of responsibility because they can serve as superheroes in this small town. Risks come from those actions though. Every time Kara uses her powers she could be exposed to the world. That would alter significantly from the timeline that has defined the show to date. Kara deserves the freedom of finding herself and what she is passionate about. Her world can't be contained to Midvale. It's a nice and loving place to grow up. However, her story spans multiple worlds. She inspires others to take actions as heroes. That clarity always fuels Brainy and Nia to be their best. They are awkward as well. And yet, they have the understanding that everything can come back together to preserve the future. It's uncertain for a moment. That forces Brainy and Nia to travel back in time once more. Cat Grant produces the greatest wrinkle in the story. Nia gets to showcase her awe towards this giant of the journalism industry. She gets to inspire Cat as well. Her path doesn't have to be condemned to the gossip column or chasing down these alien threats. She can forge her own way. She does that successfully. Nia and Brainy are trying to do the same thing in their own lives. They don't have the benefit of knowing the future. They can help these familiar faces because they know what the future holds for each of them. Meanwhile, Nia and Brainy rely on each other during this mission. It brings them closer together while also discovering that hopefulness once more. The journey to save Kara from the Phantom Zone won't be easy. Nia still doesn't fully understand her powers. And yet, every member of the team has universal love and support. It's a story of self-discovery. It's a trial of wins and losses. Nia and Brainy fix things perfectly. And now, the story can move towards the future with conviction once more. Hopefully, it can incorporate some of the fun and easy storytelling present in these past two episodes as well. That would help infuse this final season with the energy to make for a great conclusion.