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Supergirl

Supergirl Review – Toyman Winns, while Brainy Works Secret Alliance with Lex (5×12)

Published 7 hours ago on February 17, 2020By Lorenz Bacani Supergirl — “Back From The Future – Part Two” — Image Number: SPG512b_0058r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Jesse Rath as Brainiac-5 “Brainy” and Jeremy Jordan as Winn Schott — Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Note: Greetings Cravers! Lizzy has graciously let me take over Supergirl this week, and I hope I do her work justice – and of course, SPOILERS ahead!

This week’s episode “Back from the Future – Part Two,” unfortunately, concludes one of the show’s most endearing characters, Winn Schott, two-part return guest appearance this season.

During the episode, Winn not only reveals his Legionnaire call-sign but also has a cathartic moment with his father, Winslow Schott Sr., the original Toyman.

Of course, the story picks up from the previous installment by revealing that young Toyman AKA evil doppelganger Winn’s “death” was orchestrated for a more dangerous endgame –
Letting the D.E.O. seize a laptop containing his digital consciousness, which is unwittingly brought into headquarters, and consequently infects their computer mainframe resulting in evil Winn’s return as an “immortal” virus version of himself capable of weaponizing our heroes’ “toys” inside their base of operations, which they must try to stop before he reaches the Internet.

The caveat, however, is that the virus’ code comes with the consciousness of the original Toyman, Winn’s father, who after a change of heart decides to help his son defeat evil Winn.
In honor of this sacrifice, Winn reveals that he will change his Legionnaire call-sign from “Computer Lad” to Toyman.

I can’t help but think about the parallels this episode arc has with its namesake movie “Back to the Future” in how Winn, by seeing his father in a different light, a la Marty McFly did toward his father, changes their futures for the better.

As Winn says, “I’m going to reclaim [the name Toyman], and make it stand for good” before ultimately going back to the future.

However, this also begs the question that since Winn changes his code-name, will his future endeavors mimic that of his evil doppelganger? Perhaps not, but it opens the possibility of another Winn guest appearance as either the good or evil version, which are equally interesting and fun to watch.

This ordeal, however, was not the point of this episode because an underlying plot centers around the partnership of Querl “Braniac 5” Dox or “Brainy,” and Lex Luthor who both manage to manipulate the people around them throughout this episode as they proceed with their secret plan to “save the world” for the sake of the future.

Lex manages to get pieces of technology he wants by pressuring Brainy, and the CEO of Obsidian North, Gemma Cooper, as well as his own sister Lena Luthor to seemingly put the pieces of his plan into place. However, it is also revealed that Gemma meant to entice Lex into working with her company on behalf of Leviathan’s “The Anointed One.”

As much as I still hate to admit it, Jon Cryer, plays the mysterious silver-tongued mastermind facet of Lex’s characterization well – a far cry from his iconic role as Alan Harper from Two and a Half Men.

On the other hand, toward the end of the episode Brainy becomes the new director of the D.E.O. seemingly playing into Lex’s hands as Alex Danvers resigns from the position. Moreover, Brainy gives up the “immortality code” he derived from the evil Toyman virus, while everyone else was busy trying to stop it.

Jesse Rath, once again, perfectly plays the double-agent role in this episode, and his true intentions still seem to be hidden in layers unbeknownst maybe even to himself, as Lex continues to play puppet master to Brainy. At the same time, Brainy still seems trustworthy as Winn has complete trust in him despite the former revealing that he is secretly working with Lex.

Considering that Lex and Brainy are both (at least in most DC Comics incarnations) categorized as having “Twelfth- level Intelligence,” it’s safe to say that there is potential for some mind-blowing revelations about to come to fruition from all their scheming.

Whether that means Lex causing trouble for the heroes, or Brainy making a heroic save or vice versa is all fair game at this point and thinking about the possible twists adds unpredictability to this season that’s engaging to the audience.

Meanwhile, Kara decides not to pursue a romantic relationship with William despite the latter’s advances during the episode, which of course leads to the surprise re-appearance of Mister Mxyzptlk, this time played by Thomas Lennon, at the end of the episode who offers Kara “a do-over,” which prompts next week’s teaser.

Lorenz’s Rating: 8.0/10

Other Supergirl Musings

• Kara and William have a cute performance at the start of the episode by singing karaoke together to the tune of “Africa” by Toto.
• Brainy screams “Leeeroooy Jenkins!!” while battling virus Toyman’s robots to act as a distraction to an awesomely choreographed dodging stunt.
• The evil Toyman virus uses “flying monkey” robots to try and takeover the D.E.O.
• Lex and Brainy communicating through an “old-fashioned” silver telephone make for an effortless comedic effect prop.

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Part-time nerd just trying to watch as many comic book movies and TV shows as super-humanly possible. Earned my bachelor's degree in journalism at California Baptist University, wrote for a news tabloid, worked for a couple of non-profits, and dabbled a bit in photography. My main hobby is going to the gym between meals and / or naps.

Supergirl

Supergirl Review – Alex Gets Trapped In A Simulation (5 x 16)

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Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) rocks her "Supergirl" outfit as she goes into a virtual reality trip in this week's episode,"Alex In Wonderland." / SUPERGIRL / The CW.

After hearing the news on last episode’s cliffhanger that their father, Jeremiah, has apparently once again died.

The Danvers sisters, Kara and Alex, butt heads this episode on why they should, or shouldn’t go to his wake.

Kara being the “good” sister, decides she’s going back home to attend their father’s funeral.

Alex, on the other hand, decides that she’s seen their dad die enough times already, so she refuses.

She argues and shuns away Kara, J’onn, and her girlfriend Kelly before retreating to her bedroom.

Then she decides to drink some wine, and put on a pair of Obsidian Virtual Reality contact lenses.

(This actually sounds fun considering the Covid-19 situation in the real world right now)

[SPOILER WARNING]

Hoping to escape reality for a few hours, Alex decides to play “superhero” in the virtual world, so she starts a simulation of herself as Supergirl.

Which is a bit of a weird decision considering you’re supposed to be at odds with the person you’re pretending to be.

But as Alex says, she just wanted “the freedom to fly and punch things without anyone stopping her.”

So more power to her? At least in virtual reality.

Her adventure into the simulated world of National City does not go smoothly, however, because the simulation has been intentionally left with a glitch that tries to trap people by feeding off their emotions during their most vulnerable emotional state, which Alex happens to be in, and then comatose them.

At one point in her virtual reality trip, Alex is convinced she is Supergirl, and slowly forgets her own reality.

So when she gets reminders of the real world, the simulation redirects her to keep engaging in her fantasy.

There is even an Inception-like moment where the simulation pretends to “snap her out” of virtual reality.

When in actual reality, she is already in a comatose-like state.

(shout out to Rick and Morty, episode (1 x 4) “M. Night Shaym-Aliens!” for this gif, which totally relates)

Enter the Obsidian Platinum”Matrix”

This entire saga with the virtual reality shtick can’t help but draw comparisons to the classic cyberpunk film The Matrix (starring Keanu Reeves).

However, as awesome as some of the scenes during this episode are, such as Alex fighting a poorly animated dragon (SUPER FUNNY!), and the presence of multiple “Supergirls” in virtual reality doing karaoke night at the secret alien bar.

I can’t get over how emotionally fragile the heroes of the show still are after going through what they have throughout their run.

This is especially true for Alex who should be the toughest-minded on of the group because what else does she have to offer?

Because she does not have superpowers, she is supposed to keep the other characters grounded, and to see her lose it over a death in the family is a bit over the top.

Anyway…

The point of her entering the Obsidian “matrix” is to reveal that the company actually has sinister intentions of collecting comatose users for some evil plan that involves the Leviathan aliens, and Lex Luthor in some way.

As Kelly, along with William, (the Danvers sisters’ respective love interests) join together to investigate the “glitch” that causes people to comatose inside Obsidian’s simulations.

In the end, Kelly reports the glitch to Andrea, who obviously does nothing about it because she might be in on the scheme too.

Meanwhile, Will finds a lead, and the collective IP addresses of several comatose-induced users gathering at an abandoned warehouse, which of course is camouflaged with alien tech, so no dice on that end as well.

Although Will does pick up a hospital bracelet with a patient number on it, which could be helpful somewhere down the line this season.

Back to Reality

Alex manages to escape her virtual reality dreamscape with Kelly’s help by inducing her with a dose of cold hard reality: dealing with the death of his father.

As revealed in the episode’s final minutes, Jeremiah has indeed passed, and Alex attends his funeral and reconciles with Kara and her family.

(Although why Dean Cain was not available to reprise his role is beyond me.)

Essentially, this is a message we can all relate to in today’s society where social media trumps or even replaces a lot of our more personal interactions.

(Ironically, again due to the Covid-19 crisis, we are forced into boredom and consume more of said social media, and go out less)

Escaping reality and pretending in some way or another on our many devices that everything is okay is not a healthy method of dealing with our personal well-being.

If we can’t fix the little things, then how can we begin to understand how to fix the bigger ones?

So at some point, just like Alex, go back out into the real world, and find something in your life that needs straightening out.

Better or worse, you have to live your life. Otherwise, you’re just comatose.

For now, just escape for a few more weeks, so keep washing your hands, keep social distancing and keep CRAVING YOUR TV!

 

VERDICT:

Supergirl “Alex In Wonderland” scores

7 /10

 

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Supergirl

Supergirl Review – Supergirl Goes On A Date, Dreamer Goes On A Hunt (5×15)

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Pictured L-R: Yvette (Roxy Wood) and Nia Nal / Dreamer (Nicole Maines). Supergirl. "Reality Bytes." / The CW. All rights reserved.
Supergirl, "Reality Bytes." / The CW. All rights reserved.

After weeks of watching Supergirl/Kara (Melissa Benoist) contemplate over whether or not to date William (Staz Nair), the two finally go out.

Meanwhile, Dreamer/Nia Nal (Nicole Maines) is targetted by a transgender hate group, and must step up to defend her community!

Elsewhere, Alex (Chyler Leigh) is struggling with her new Martian weapon, and Brainy (Jesse Rath) shows he still cares for Nia.

(In his own cold, calculated way at least)

All this in the middle of a mysterious “missing persons” case revolving around the VR program, Obsidian Platinum

[AS ALWAYS, SPOILERS LIE AHEAD]

This week’s episode of Supergirl – “Reality Bytes,” begins with Kara and Dreamer dominating some Dominators.

Supergirl comments on how Dreamer makes quick work of the aliens and apparently broke her record time in dispatching one.

Dreamer then says, “Don’t you have a date to go to? Go! I got this. I want pictures.”

Supergirl then goes flying off before the DEA arrives with Brainy having an awkward hello-and-goodbye moment with Dreamer.

(CLEARLY, these two still have feelings for each other, and it’s frustrating to see them both try to hide it. S.M.H.)

KARA AND WILLIAM GO ON A DATE

The scene then cuts to Kara asking Alex which dress she should wear for her date with William because she hasn’t gone on one for TWO YEARS! (which I’m guessing is not since Mon-El?)

And that she may have forgotten how to date… (LOL)

So after picking Kara’s dress for her, (because Kara has always kind of had a little trouble with wardrobe choice…) Alex gives her some hilariously sage advice on how to date:

“You smile, you laugh, and you reach for the check.”

Needless to say, her date with William went well, and there’s a cute little scene where Kara, while playing pool with William, tries to hold back her strength by gently tapping the cueball at the end of her stick, and she “accidentally” shoots every ball in the pool pockets, to William’s shock and awe, as Kara claims “beginner’s luck.”

And they say dating your co-worker, much less your boss, is a “no-no,” but so far so good with these two.

We only got an inkling of what their relationship could blossom into during this episode, and it’s fun seeing Kara open up to someone again after losing Mon-El a few seasons prior.

NIA AND YVETTE GO CLUBBING

When Nia goes home and decides to turn in after a day of superhero-ing, shes goes into full sweatshirt, jogging pants, and a tub of ice cream night in mode, which are more tell-tale signs of residual heartbreak over Brainy.

Her friend Yvette (Roxy Wood) calls her out and asks her to go clubbing with her to meet her new boyfriend “Angus,” who she met on a dating app.

Unbeknownst to either of them, Angus turns out to be a part of a hate group against transexual people who targets transgender women, specifically ones who claim to be a fan of Nia’s alter ego Dreamer, whom he lures, beats up, threatens, and leaves a message saying to tell Dreamer: “The world doesn’t want a trans superhero.”

At the end of the night, Yvette is lured and beaten by Angus as Nia tries to comfort her afterward.

Then, an enraged Nia goes to Supergirl for help, and tells her that if nothing is done she will “BURY HIM.”

Maines does an incredible acting job in this episode, particularly in showing her range. She was naturally funny and cute when she was having fun with Yvette, then she was strong as she tried to comfort her.

Then she conveys her suppressed rage convincingly as I felt heartbroken for her, and the way she feels responsible for the transgender community simply tugs at the heartstrings.

NIA HUNTS DOWN THE TRANS PREDATOR

After she gets frustrated with the lack of response from Kara, and law enforcement authorities, Nia decides to take matters into her own hands and traps Angus herself.

This leads to a confrontation where she almost murders him had Supergirl not intervened and convinced her to spare his life.

The performance of both women in this scene was spectacular as I found myself holding back tears.

When Nia argues that Angus doesn’t deserve to live because of what he did to trans women and that she alone is the only one who can stop people like him, I believed her and almost wanted her to go for the kill because the character of Angus truly deserved what was coming to him.

She felt alone and responsible for her community, and she wanted to protect them desperately.

Maines’ performance was so emotionally charged, so when Supergirl stopped her and replied, “You have me . . .”

Simply put, Maines killed it (figuratively) in this episode. If there was a signature performance for her in this role this would be it.

At the end of the episode she even goes on a great monologue to try to encourage her friend Yvette, who after being beaten up, decides to give up on dating:

“They want us to be invisible . . . because of their own fears. They want to erase us, so we need to shine even brighter” – Nia Nal / Dreamer

VERDICT:

I always felt that Dreamer’s character has been underutilized until this episode, and telling more of the story through her compelling lens is a great direction for the show to take.

For that, Supergirl “Reality Bytes” deserves a score of

8.5 / 10!

 

SUPER SIDEPLOTS:

  • Jeremiah Danvers is dead?
    • The most startling revelation at the end of the episode is that Jeremiah Danvers (Dean Cain) has seemingly passed (again) – the news came via phone call to Alex from the Danvers sisters’ matriarch Eliza (Helen Slater).
    • What could this mean for the show moving forward? Does his death have implications that have a part to play in the coming episodes?
  • Alex names her new Martian weapon “Hand of the Soldier.”
    • She trains with J’onn (David Harewood) to try and control it better, but he tells her she must “trust the weapon,” and they need more “bonding time.” (Kind of like the DC character Blue Beetle? Hmm…)
    • Alex manages to “control” her new weapon when she enters into virtual reality, so we do get a glimpse of its potential uses.
  • Obsidian Platinum experiences a “glitch” in its matrix.
    • When a missing person is reported to Alex, she solves the mystery by going into a Matrix-esque adventure into the VR world, including a virtual Las Vegas. (SOUNDS FUN!)
    • When J’onn incapacitates the person who induces the “glitch” into Obsidian Platinum, the assailant goes into a coma and is collected by Obsidian North officials to be “taken care” of – in reality, their goal seems to be to gather as many “comatose” individuals from their VR program as it’s revealed in the end that they have dozens who have suffered the same fate.
  • Brainy still has feelings for Nia

    • When Kara tells the DEA of the incident involving Dreamer and the Trans predator, Brainy shows a very slight emotional response, and uncharacteristically obsesses over the hate group in which Angus belongs to.
    • At the end of the episode, he’s figured out the names of the people in the group and turns them over to the police for investigation – clearly doing so in response to Nia being threatened.

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Supergirl

Supergirl Review – Lex Luthor Uses Supergirl As Bodyguard (5 x 14)

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Supergirl5x14
Supergirl — "The Bodyguard" — Image Number: SPG514a_0337r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor and Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

After a short break from superhero-ing, Supergirl returns this week with Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) forcing Kara / Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) on bodyguard duty as part of his sneaky plans with Brainy (Jesse Rath).

However, after a super-enjoyable 100th episode in the previous installment, this week’s offering was less fun, and at times frustrating to watch.

Specifically, because of how they made the two most powerful beings on the show, Supergirl and Martian Manhunter (David Harewood), look like rank amateurs against a throwaway villain.

(SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen the episode and would like to avoid spoilers; stop reading now.)

Basically, both Kara and J’onn are incapacitated by a Chlorophyllian (an alien with sunlight-absorbing powers that makes them excellent “gardeners”. No, really that’s it) who happens to get “enhanced” by alien-power absorbing gauntlets, which enables her to overpower the heroes and set-up a “the clock-is-running down” doomsday scenario, and the only way to win is . . . wait for it . . . Supergirl talking the misguided assailant down and appealing to her “good side” because she “knows deep down” that she’s wrong about everything she’s about to do.

Even Brainy says that there was close to a 67% chance of Kara failing to save them this time around. (Really? When you literally have super speed, strength and stamina, flight, freeze breath and laser / X-ray eyes at your disposal?)

There was even a “fight scene” where Supergirl fails to use any of her long-range weapons (i.e. freeze breath or laser eyes) to . . . I don’t know . . . take away the Chlorophyllian’s overpowered gauntlets? Not to mention she’s a million times faster.

Also, Martian Manhunter was knocked out because he let the villain get close to him, which apparently is not that hard to do against an alien with telepathic abilities, and military black-ops training. Even more frustrating is the fact that he can PHASE THROUGH OBJECTS AT WILL!

Anyway, I digress . . .

Long-story short, Supergirl saves the day . . . yada yada yada . . . and all the corny standard superhero fare ensues.

Of course there’s the minor plot detail of Andrea Rojas (Julie Gonzalo) being the target of the would-be assassin who is seeking revenge because her husband fell victim to the addictive effects of Obsidian North, the virtual reality program that’s supposedly designed to help people.

Sensing an opportunity from the assassination attempt, Lex Luthor orders Supergirl to serve as personal bodyguard to Rojas in order to gain leverage on the secret Leviathan organization via Gemma Cooper (Cara Buono).

Super Sidenote:  Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor continues to impress as he is one of the few actors in this episode that did not make any cringe-worthy delivery of lines, which almost everyone else was guilty of – especially Benoist who was more sappy than super this time around.

However, that doesn’t mean that this episode was not worth the watch because there are a couple of impacting developments and scenes, such as:

  • Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) plunging further into “dark side” Luthor territory when she begins testing “Non Necere” (the behavior altering technology she’s been developing to “tame” violent urges) with mixed results on prisoners who Lex claims to have “volunteered” to be experimented on.
  • Lex and Brainy’s plans to “defeat” Leviathan become increasingly questionable given the decision making both men do in this episode.
  • Kara FINALLY decides to go out with William Dey (Staz Nair) at the end of the show.
  • Brainy has a hilarious moment when he contemplates his shady actions and says there’s a 93.2 per cent chance he won’t get invited by his friends to Thanksgiving after he “does what he needs to do.”
  • Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) is gifted by J’onn a brand new signature weapon – a shape-shifting Martian weapon that’s limited only by the user’s imagination (I’m getting MAJOR Green Lantern vibes!)

VERDICT:

Supergirl season 5, episode 14 “The Bodyguard” scores a so-so 6.0/10

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