Supergirl: In Plain Sight

Alex: "How could you ever think that I could say those things, or think those things about you?"
J’onn: "I guess because I thought those things about myself."

An enjoyable episode that kept me watching, and which made progress on several arcs.

I really enjoyed the cold open, when all the extras on the set morphed into our heroes, ready to fight Malefic (and how Kelly morphed into J’onn). I liked the symmetry with the planetarium fight scene near the end, where I was wondering why the audience hadn’t run off to save their lives, but they all turned out to be part of the battle as well. A nice touch.

Malefic takes control of Alex for part of the episode, which is especially dangerous as Alex is the director of the DEO and has access to everything, like weapons that can be used against Green Martians (e.g. J’onn). In a previous episode, Alex figured out that Kelly was being impersonated; I was disappointed that neither Kara nor J’onn realized that Alex had been taken over. They have both known her for years. J'onn's failure is explained above, and Kara didn't stay long, but it was still disappointing.

Kara has been disturbed by the fact that William was following her in a previous episode; in this episode she turns the tables and instead follows him (with some assistance from Nia Nal). However, instead of being nefarious, he’s on the trail of a big, dangerous story, one that involves Obsidian and presumably Obsidian’s owner Andrea Rojas. It was fun to watch him say he had pretended to be a jerk, and that he actually admires Kara's writing, which has heart. And I want to know more about the story he's chasing!

Lena assisted with the fight against Malefic, by coming to the DEO to offer her scientific expertise. She was extremely kind to Brainy, who didn’t know how to ask for help in his relationship with Nia. In fact, she was so kind that I started to hope that she might not be going down the path of darkness. Alas, she still may be on the dark path, because instead of putting J’onn’s brother into the Phantom Zone, she has brought him back to her lab and has plans for him. As J'onn wants to someday repair his relationship with his brother, this may end up better for their getting along at some point in the future. Working with Lena has got to be better than being trapped in the Phantom Zone.

James Olsen has felt unnecessary to Supergirl for a while, and so often the arcs with him have felt forced or just tacked on. I hoped he would return to the position of Kara’s beloved – Mehcad Brooks is so easy on the eyes – but obviously Kara has a spark with William Day. The writers have moved James to the position of publisher and mentor to a lost boy in the town where James spent some of his youth. He is leaving National City.

Title musings: As is usual for Supergirl, the title of this episode, “In Plain Sight,” is also the title of several other works, including a 2008 American drama about US marshals, a British series, and a book. I am unfamiliar with all these other works, so I can’t draw any comparisons. So, what does it mean for this episode? That’s hard to say. Obviously Malefic was right before them, in plain sight, incepting Alex. Still, I feel as if I’m missing the point of the title, which would be disappointing as it should be hitting me on the nose. If anyone has some insight into this, please let me know.

Bits and pieces

Aunt Vi’s town has been taken over by the private prison industry, a serious issue in the USA. Bringing a private prison to a town can give it new life, but they only do well when the prison is full. So the temptation is longer sentences for minor offenses, which means that many people are unjustifiably locked up. It’s also a burden on the taxpayers, of course, as we’re paying the for-profit prison industry. PBS has done a few good segments on this. I guess it’s good to remind people of this problem, but it felt a bit flat in the show.

Nice that James has resumed being called by the name in the comics, Jimmy. As “Jimmy” does not suit the gravitas of Mehcad Brooks at all, that means he’s gone.

With the departure of Mehcad Brooks we have very few male regulars left on the show.

Quotes

Alex: He could be after Kelly – my Kelly, right now.

Brainy: I shall adjust to the Phantom Zone projector’s wavelengths so Malefic cannot phase to it while simultaneously recalibrating the psychic inhibitor frequencies all to distract myself from my broken heart.

Kelly: I saw some kids running out. What were they doing, stealing stuff?
James: I think they were doing homework.

Nia Nal: This is starting to get a little international assassiny.

J’onn J’onzz: I would never let anything happen to her.
Alex: You can’t promise that.

Lena: So, change a variable. What’s the one thing you haven’t tried yet? Asking for help?

Nelson: I’m just glad someone made it out of this town. And I’m glad it was you.

Kelly: James, when you put on that Guardian suit, do you think first? Or do you see someone in trouble and act?

Overall Rating

Mostly an enjoyable and entertaining episode, although some of the James Olsen stuff felt a bit flat. The most heart-tugging moments were Brainy with Lena, and then Brainy near the end with Nia Nal. Three out of four cans of shoplifted ravioli.

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

1 comment:

Billie Doux said...

While it felt a bit cliched, I thought the way James was written out was pretty good. He didn't just leave -- he found a new way to contribute that was more vital than working in a cushy office. And I liked that final scene where he gave the homeless boy the camera. I like Mehcad Brooks, too, and I'm a bit sorry he never found his niche on this show.

William Day doesn't do much for me. I've been hoping that they're not setting up a romance there, but I think they are.

Lena! Please don't be evil! Pleeeeaaaze?