Supergirl: Call to Action

Ben Lockwood: Isn’t it possible, that 100 years from now, the aliens will have their own wonderful Thanksgiving, celebrating how they slaughtered all of us?

As everyone gathers for Thanksgiving, Kara feels down after her televised debate with Ben Lockwood; James and Lena argue about the best way to handle the Children of Liberty.

This was the Supergirl Thanksgiving episode. It was nice to see that both the good guys and the bad guys have an attachment to the holiday. Colonel Haley has made a sweet potato pie; Lockwood is doing the grocery shopping; Kara is inviting everyone to dinner; and even Eliza Danvers shows up as Mom.

We’re still following the season’s main conflict, which is that some humans (the Children of Liberty) have decided they want to rid Earth of all aliens. How do you fight? With words or with violence? Both sides use both. We have some fun action, a dog and a dragon, and some invisible red ink among the tactics (all fun and a little different). We have TV shows and the press. I don't know who will win – I assume it's our heroes – but I'm not sure I want them to win.

The writers have been forcing James and Lena apart. I guess the fact that Lena is James’s boss was always going to be an issue, especially as Lena Luthor is very bossy. But I didn’t like how they chose to do it: by having him essentially follow her initial advice, and by her booking him on a show without telling him. She shouldn’t be mad about the first, and the latter was out of order, even if she is his boss. And Lena interfered with his legal problems without telling him. Are they broken up now? The problem is that neither is confiding in anyone else about their feelings, so we're not even feeling their feelings. All I am detecting is a lack of chemistry.

James's refusal to do what Lena wants gives Kara the chance to go on the TV show instead. She does a fair job defending aliens and trying to welcome everyone, but I can’t help feeling that she’s a fraud because she is an alien. How can Supergirl represent the human point of view? Hmm, maybe the show isn’t working well when I keep not sympathizing with the main characters? Lockwood, of course, also has a secret identity, but that bothers me less, because his point of view isn’t false. Lockwood is right in that when invaders show up it’s usually death for the locals. Even Stephen Hawking said we shouldn’t welcome aliens (from outer space); that they would probably annihilate us.

Lena Luthor and Eve Tessmacher are trying to cure cancer, but instead it appears that they have figured out how to make humans invincible, which should even the alien-human playing field but raises a host of other issues.

I think the main problem with this season so far is that Supergirl has no personal conflict. Of course she is fighting for good, and she is frustrated by what is happening around her, but these are not things that tear her apart. Kara is not personally conflicted. A way for the series to go would be to have her wonder if she should stay on Earth or, as she is an alien, depart.

Title musings: The episode’s title, “Call to Action,” applies most overtly to the manifesto of the Children of Liberty. However, it works with several other aspects of the episode. Supergirl, who has had little to do in recent episodes, finally gets to fight Spike the dragon! But the greatest action was when Alex stood up to Colonel Haley and said that following her instincts is what makes her a good director.

Bits and pieces

So Nia Nal is narcoleptic. Or else she’s got some other problem, which seems more likely, since she’s refusing medical help (unless she has no health insurance). I find narcolepsy, or whatever it is, a more promising plot thread than her transgender status.

I haven’t talked much about Manchester Black. I don't care for a character who engages in torture.

Where did Lena get those human hearts? I guess I should be relieved that she only had three.

Really funny to use The Tales of Hoffmann music as background for Brainy’s fight scene.

"If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans.” Stephen Hawking

Quotes

Supergirl: Who is this Agent Liberty?
Petrocelli: We all are.

Eve Tessmacher: You’re trying to cure cancer. It’s going to take time.

Colonel Haley: I may not be the woman of steel, but if you push me, you will find I do not bend.

Alex: And if she gets more Dolores Umbridge-y, I’m going full Weasley twin.

Manchester Black: My favorite Martian.

Brainy: I apologize for allowing your masterful baking to distract me from important DEO business.

Brainy: Or else I’ll be required to beat you up – with physics.

Supergirl: Alex, there’s a dragon on Main Street.

Overall Rating

The dialogue was a lot better this time (Brainy's is always good) and so was the action. There was real depth, too, to some of the scenes – but I am not as engaged as I would like to be. Three out of four sweet potato pies.

Victoria Grossack loves math, Greek mythology, Jane Austen and great storytelling in many forms.

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