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Supergirl Midseason Premiere Review – Brainy Takes on His Comic Book Form (5×10)

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Batwoman may have experienced some post-Crisis chaos, but it wasn’t nearly at the same level as National City was experiencing.

Those who didn’t watch the Arrowverse 5-night crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths” either thought they were tapping into a re-run or found themselves wildly confused at the events unfolding on Supergirl‘s midseason premiere.

The biggest Crisis fallout was Lex Luthor’s return. On Earth-Prime, the only remaining one, Lex is now a hero. Or, as Alex called him in the crossover “a really good guy.” Barf.

Luthor struck a deal that brought him back from the dead as a good guy, but his intentions are, as always, nefarious. The narrative of a philanthropic billionaire is the perfect cover-up for their morally questionable side hustles, he admitted at one point to Lena.

While mostly everyone in National City, aside from the Paragons and the people whose memories were restored by J’onn, have absolutely no recollection of a different Earth, Lena woke up disoriented because she did remember everything from the past including killing her own brother.

Kara immediately flew over to tell fill her in, but she said Lex clued her in and wasn’t in a forgiving mood. However, it didn’t take long for her mother to convince her to align with her villainous Lex for old time’s sake. They agreed to work on Non Necere, the project Lena started in an attempt to make people inherently good, and Lena even used a truth serum to make sure Lex wasn’t lying to her (though, she’s aware she still cannot trust him).

Oh, just wait till she finds out Lex and Lillian are planning their own world domination without her.

Lena’s partnership with Lex and thus, her mother, further pushes her into villain territory, but as far as villains go, this trio might be the strongest offering in all of the seasons. (Well, next to Reign, who got a quick little shout-out this week!)

Lex also proposed a truce between him and Supergirl and said they could “keep tabs on each other,” but Kara hasn’t agreed.

It’s unlikely she will as she and Alex were both disgusted to be under the employment of Lex, now the DEO’s head honcho, but admittedly, his return is enjoyable for the audience. Jon Cryer makes a good enemy, especially when enemy lines are blurred by the situation that’s presented itself.

Luthor’s storyline and upcoming battle with Leviathan is set up with the arrival of several Brainiac 5’s including a female version played by Jesse Rath’s real-life sister, Meaghan Rath.

A wormhole (which likely brought Beth to Gotham on Batwoman) brings Al’s Bars (plural because it was Al’s Bar from multiple Earth’s) to Earth Prime.

Soon enough, one of the Brainy’s is revealed to be Evil Brainy who bottled up his world before the anti-matter wave hit on Crisis and needed to open it.

Fearing that unleashing another Earth would destroy everything, Supergirl and Brainy did everything to stop it including do a fight-sequence to NSYNC’s “It’s Gonna Be Me.” This new Earth is weird, but I love it. And also, it has Justin Timberlake in it so that’s a good thing.

Catch up on episodes of Supergirl now

Brainy blamed himself for not seeing Evil Brainy’s motivations and removed his personality inhibitors, the three glowing dots that he claimed kept his inner darkness at bay, so that he could stand a chance. The moment allowed him to become his true self for the first time (just like Batwoman!), which meant he underwent a huge transformation to resemble the Brainy from the comic books. His skin turned from blue to green, he adopted the purple and black suit. Even his pattern of speech changed. While we’ll miss Brainy, Rath proved that he’s capable of more than just comedic relief. He delivered three wildly different and engaging versions of the same character and served as the star of the show in an episode that set things up for weeks to come.

His other two doppelgangers also sacrificed themselves to join the Big Brain (the main cloud), but not before the female Brainiac told him to align with Lex if he wants to save his world and avoid catastrophe. But not only does Brainy have to work with the villain, but he also has to do it alone, which forced Brainy to end things with Nia in a heartbreaking way,

Before Brainy and Lex can tap into taking Leviathan (which has very much planted its roots with Andrea at Obsidian), their first order of business centers around a pretty familiar face, though, from the looks of it (and the foreshadowing we had in this episode with the toy monkey), Jeremy Jordan won’t be back as the beloved Winn, but a doppelganger known as the “toymaker,” which you might recognize is a nod to Winn’s father, the “Toy man,” whom he helped destroy in earlier seasons.

While I much prefer a reunion with Winn, having Jordan back is a joy in whatever form he returns.

Other National City Musings

  • William may not have his memories restored but his investigative journalism instincts are tingling as he becomes suspicious of Luthor’s involvement in Russell’s death. With Supergirl wanting to expose Lex for the villain that he is, she’ll work with William, which will only bring them closer together.
  • At this point, Alex and Supergirl should break away from the DEO and start their own team.
  • “Crisis” gives the writers a playground to do the impossible and get a do-over at some story choices that were necessary but shouldn’t have been permanent.
  • Has Nia stopped getting dreams as Dreamer?

There have been plenty of crossovers in the past, albeit, not at the massive scale as this one, yet they never permanently altered the realities in the way Crisis has. Crisis put the wheels in motion allowing character progression and plots to propel forward at rapid speeds. Nothing will ever be the same, and it’s an exciting aspect of the series going into 2020.

Where do you think the Leviathan storyline is headed? Is Lex meant to be a hero alongside Brainy?

Will Supergirl become aware that other Earth’s still exist?

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

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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