Supergirl: Bunker Hill

Brainy: We spring into action using our super... kung fu, in which we have many belts in an aggressive rainbow of colors.

Nia has a powerful dream about Agent Liberty but refuses to look at it as a prophetic dream and pushes it aside. After noticing something is bothering Nia, Kara enlists Brainy's help, and the two try to persuade Nia to embrace her destiny. Meanwhile, Manchester Black pays Ben Lockwood a menacing visit.

An episode with the potential to lift the arc of the season.

Both Manchester Black and the DEO are on the hunt for Agent Liberty, at a time when Agent Liberty wants to go quiet, because he’s enjoying being Ben Lockwood these days as he hosts the show Lockdown. Manchester Black has more luck as his methods are ruthless. He shows up at Ben Lockwood’s home and threatens both Ben and his wife. In the meantime, the DEO and J’onn J’onzz are also searching for Agent Liberty. J’onn uses his telepathy, while the DEO turns to Nia Nal, who turns out to be having strange but relevant dreams.

Nia Nal, we learn, is an alien from the planet Naltor, and every now and then a female from that planet has prophetic dreams. I did like Brainy’s reaction to Nia Nal, and how he can’t talk about anything because he knows the future. Anyway, Nia’s dreams, which feature a giant hook, help put Supergirl and her team on the right path to locating Agent Liberty.

The episode had a few scenes that stood out for me. Manchester Black’s showing up at the Lockwood home was truly ominous, as Lydia is in the dark regarding her husband’s secret identity and could become an innocent victim. Black is able to threaten Ben for a while, but eventually the truth comes out, shocking Lydia. Then somehow they all get to the old Lockwood plant (how far away is that, anyway?) so we can have the showdown with the giant hook of Nia Nal's dreams.

Other bits that were fun were when Brainy was trying not to give away too much information about Nia Nal. Or even to Nia Nal. He has by far the best lines.

Another excellent scene was when President Baker was chewing out Colonel Haley and Director Danvers. Baker is worried about his poll numbers, which Alex, from her initial reaction, seems to think is superficial. Of course, poll numbers do matter, and it’s not just a matter of pumping up a president’s ego. A president is usually more effective when poll numbers are better, and as President Baker was not elected, but is actually only in the position because he was vice president when the alien above him was exposed – a fact that has to make him want to be a bit harder on the alien community, or else he will appear complicit – those poll numbers are extra important. Alas, the episode did not point out these nuances, even though there was opportunity to do so.

The episode ends at a good spot, with both Agent Liberty and Manchester Black in prison, where they can be left for as long as the writers need them to be and with President Baker demanding Supergirl to reveal her secret identity – and her refusing and being fired from the DEO. At last the writers have found a conflict with real potential for the series’ main character, and I have to wonder if the humans will try to drive Supergirl from Earth? However, next week starts a three-part crossover with two other shows (Arrow and The Flash) so I am not sure the writers will follow up. As I’m not up-to-date with those shows, next week another reviewer will fill in for me.

Title musings: Ben Lockwood reminds everyone that Bunker Hill was a Revolutionary War battle, which the British won but which cost them so many men that they could not win the war. The obvious application to this episode is that Supergirl, by capturing Agent Liberty, may have won the battle, but that she has lost the war of public opinion. I don’t really see how it applies to the rest of the episode, but I really like the title.

Bits and pieces

Plenty of old movie references in this episode, including North by Northwest and references to Spartacus. Evidently watching old movies is a favorite pastime for aliens.

Loved how Supergirl casually lifted the couch with one hand while they were searching for a personal item of Manchester Black’s. It’s nice to see her showing her super strength.

Everyone has learned the meaning of the word bellicose (warlike). We get to see that Ben Lockwood, while on the phone with some guy named Thack, is still a professor at heart.

I absolutely loved Nia Nal’s roommate, played by the (as advertised) drag queen, Roxy Wood.

They are not giving enough for J’onn J’onzz to do, which is a pity, as David Harewood is such a good actor. Lena Luthor did not appear at all, also a pity, as her point of view would have been interesting.

Lockdown is a great name for a TV show.

I liked the action scene with Supergirl encased by nth, the hardest metal/element in the Universe, although I have to turn off the part of my brain that is familiar with the periodic table.

Quotes

Nia Nal’s roommate: I let you sleep two hours so you wouldn’t look like a crackhead at work.

Kara: You’re apologizing to me for believing the best in someone? Kind of my whole thing.

Brainy: There’s no version of me telling you what I know that does not affect the space-time continuum.

President Baker: This is a complete disaster.
Colonel Haley: Lives were saved on Shelley Island. A dozen domestic terrorists were brought to justice.
President Baker: I’m talking about my poll numbers, which just got a big old shave.

Ben Lockwood: Agent Liberty appealed to extremists, whereas Ben Lockwood is turning – uh, Ben Lockwood, me, I mean me; I am turning the broader tide against Supergirl and her kind.

Brainy: What you saw were probably symbols. Freudian. Jungian. Where I come from we call them Frungian.

Brainy: Look Nia, a craftstore! Have you been introduced to the magic of lanyards?

Manchester Black: Time to pick a side, Pollyanna.

Overall Rating

This episode may go up or down later, but for now I'm giving it three giant hooks out of four.

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

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I liked this one, too. I was pleased that Supergirl refused to give in to President Baker. His line about the Secret Service was apt, but why should Supergirl endanger her family and friends? Is she supposed to have Secret Service protecting her family, too?

RA Jameson said...

"Nia Nal, we learn, is an alien from the planet Naltor, and every now and then a female from that planet has prophetic dreams. So, I have to wonder, are the writers dropping the transgender arc?"

1. Nia Nal never said she was from another planet. She said her family was. She could have been born and raised on Earth for all we know.

2. She has no transgender arc. The so called "transgender arc" you speak of is an assumption on your part since you think the only arc a transgender character can have would be about being transgender. This is not the case. She's transgender, but her arc isn't about it. Her arc is about her powers. Clearly you haven't figured this out yet even though it's obvious.

3. You also imply that because she said the women of her planet have prophetic dreams, that must mean she's not transgender anymore. This comes dangerously close to sounding transphobic. You think because she's a transgender woman, that she wouldn't be counted among those who have the powers. So you think they're "dropping the transgender arc", even though it never existed in the first, because you don't see any other way she could have her powers. No. She has powers because the women of her species have them. Being transgender doesn't mean she wouldn't have the powers.