Supergirl: Blurred Lines

Lena: "I hope we haven’t crossed any boundaries."
Kara: "For a friend like you, there aren’t any boundaries."

What do you do when you realize you are the guilty one?

Some people wouldn’t be bothered by it. Some people might even rejoice in it.

But the heroes of Supergirl aren’t those type of people. They try to do good, and are torn up inside when they don’t.

Two of our main characters are primed for guilt in this episode. The most obvious is J’onn J’onzz, who harmed his brother, Malefic, by wiping memories of Malefic from his father, from the collective, and even from his own mind. This is considered worse than murder in Green Martian society, and is certainly worse for J’onn, because if he had murdered Malefic, Malefic would be dead. However, Mal isn’t dead, but he’s super pissed-off, and planning to take revenge on J’onn by harming all of J’onn’s friends.

J’onn and his missing memories made a great use of Nia, as she helped him retrieve them.

The other character primed for super guilt is, thank goodness, Supergirl (I think the episodes work better when she has some emotional angst). She’s trying to repair her relationship with Lena, to whom she’s been lying about her identities for years. Kara brings in Lena’s favorite food from Europe, but Lena wants more than continental nibbles. Lena asks her to get her brother’s diaries for her – diaries that are locked up by the authorities in Fort Summit. Kara, overcompensating due to the guilt she feels toward Lena, offers to get them for her friend, even thought that means breaking and entering. Later, however, she hesitates and wonders what she should do, and confesses to Alex. That’s when they realize that they break all sorts of rules all the time.

That comes to the next bit. Lena wanted her brother’s diaries because she wants to manipulate people – to make them better. And that’s something that makes most of us cringe, because we don’t want to be manipulated, right? On the other hand, many of us are being manipulated all the time, anyway, through advertising and Twitter and news spun one way instead of another (at CatCo it would be through clickbait). So if someone is trying to manipulate people to make them better, isn’t that good? I don’t know, and I’m looking forward to that debate, because Supergirl isn’t quite there yet. I am looking forward, too, to the guilt that Kara will experience when she realizes what her thievery has led to.

Brainy has been overwhelming Nia Nal. If she says she likes food, he brings her food. If she says she likes poetry, he writes her poems. Non-stop. He points out to her that he can’t be anything but himself – 100% of the time. He leaves the room, which I guess means they have broken up. Well, we can’t have a stable relationship for long in any series. Alex and Kelly are also having problems, but that's because Kelly is currently Malefic's first target and so her brother James has to get her out of the way.

Title musings. "Blurred Lines," the title of this episode, is also the title of a song by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and rapper T.I. The song is controversial, because some say it promotes a culture of date rape. Ugh. Fortunately the episode has nothing to do with that, but it does take a good look at what is good and what is wrong and what you tell yourself is OK because the ends justify the means. Our heroes break rules all the time. Kara says that there should be no boundaries regarding what you would do for a friend, but is that really true? Or what about J’onn and his dilemmas? Anyway, I think the title works.

Bits and pieces

I liked how Kara looked at William’s actual heart after he lied and was certain he was lying. Then Kara examined the corpse’s heart with her X-ray vision. Really cool.

Nice to see Sean Astin, an actor who can hold his own, take over the role of J’onn J’onzz’s brother.

There are perks for being a friend of Supergirl’s. Parisian pastries are really good, although I prefer a pain au chocolat to an ├ęclair.

Hmm, when Supergirl was picking up the food-to-go in various European cities, it should have been about 7.5 hours (on average) later than anywhere in the continental United States. But it looked like early morning to me.

Fort Summit, at least to me, sounds a lot like Fort Sumter.

I think Andrea Brooks, who plays Eve Teschmacher, is making a great artificial intelligence.

I’m usually thrilled to see Carl Lumbly, but the extremely distraught father was hard to watch. Maybe it was supposed to be and explains why J’onn couldn’t watch it either.

James had a nice bit as the Guardian, rescuing Supergirl, who turned around and rescued him.

Those spider tattoos were very creepy.

Some great teases are being laid down. I wonder what William is up to – and I think that we had a glimpse of Andrea Rojas in her superpower form. I'm also curious about the medical people who are being killed.

Although I enjoy James and Kelly, moving them off for a bit while Kelly lays low is going to give us some more Kara/Alex time. The sisters have always been the heart of the series.

Quotes

Kara: As Alex’s sister, I can tell you, she is almost always annoyingly right.
James: And as Kelly’s brother, I can tell you she can handle herself.

Hope/Eve: To rid the world of lying, manipulation and violence. … You don’t want a world of robots. You just want better people.

Andrea Rojas: People love to read about death. It reminds them they’re alive and gives them the pleasure of schadenfreude.

Nia Nal: Every hour of every day Brainy sends me a new ode to a new body part.

Kara: Sadly, talented doesn’t always mean integrity.

J’onn: For Martians, death isn’t final, but erasing a memory is.

Kara: Who do you think we learned all this rule-breaking from?

Brainy: It is far more complicated than anything I have seen in the next 1000 years.

Overall Rating

Very enjoyable episode, with the promise of even more exciting, thought-provoking things to come. Three and a half out of four spider tattoos.

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

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Yeah, this was an interesting one. I really don't like seeing Lena manipulating Kara like this and I liked that Kara realized immediately that it was happening. What *are* the rules for superheroes? Can Kara be considered a lawless vigilante?

What exactly *is* Brainy? I've never been quite certain. His inability to be more subtle or to deal with a relationship is making me curious.

Victoria Grossack said...

I think Kara can be considered a lawless vigilante, and in some previous episode someone brought up the "Supergirl defense" - some of her actions made it impossible for prosecutors to prosecute.

I think having Lena manipulate Kara is great for the show, even if we don't like her doing it.

I believe Brainy is a combination of organic (humanoid) and cyber.