Supergirl: Dangerous Liaisons

Hope/Eve: “Ms. Luthor, you realize if this goes as planned, you’re about to discover how to do what doctors, politicians, and even priests have failed to do.”
Lena: “Rendering people incapable of hurting each other.”

Not the most compelling episode, but it may be me.

The cold open, after a recap, starts with what is obviously a commercial, except it’s still within the show. I thought that was cute. Obsidian North is offering virtual reality, which gives people the sense of being able to do anything they want.

The episode subverted my expectations in several respects. Obsidian North is not behind the crimes that William Day has been following. What I liked was how this was figured out: the factories of Obsidian North would have been destroyed by the tidal wave. Instead, the creatures behind the crimes appears to be something called Leviathan, a term which is used for the bad guys in many series. I liked the fact that the Leviathan agent was a gray-haired woman, which makes a nice change to all the evil older men in so many shows.

Another subversion was the fact that Russell Rogers, William’s best friend, is not only still alive but has gone to the dark side and has somehow acquired a couple of extra arms.

What I didn’t like much was that William Day – who is supposed to be an excellent investigative journalist – turned out to be dead wrong on many issues. As he seems to be a potential romantic interest for Kara, I’d prefer him to be intelligent instead of stupid.

Here’s a subversion that I liked: Lena agreed to help Malefic kill J’onn J’onzz, something that surprised me earlier in the episode. I was pleased that she took it back. I mean, what’s worse, a lie or becoming an accessory to murder? (I hope everyone agrees that it’s accessory to murder.) And I think at the end she may have changed Malefic – at least she tried – when her eyes glowed green.

And this is where we get into ethics, or where we could get into ethics. Is it wrong of Lena to change Malefic, presumably against his will? Kelly, who is using virtual reality to help people recover from PSTD, is also manipulating them, but presumably with treatment that the people have agreed to.

Title musings: As is usual for Supergirl, the title of this episode, “Dangerous Liaisons,” is also the title of another work, in this case a movie that appeared in 1988, with Glenn Close and John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer, when all these actors were so much younger. I remember seeing it when it came out (I’m one of Doux Reviews’ older reviewers) and being shocked by how nasty and conniving everyone was in that piece that was set in pre-revolution Paris.

Aside from sharing the same title, the episode bears little resemblance to the movie. There are several dangerous liaisons in this episode. Lena and Malefic. Kara and William Day. Kelly and her relationship with Obsidian North. Rip Roar and William Day. Andrea Rojas and her relationship with Leviathan. The title works, but it doesn’t feel inspired.

Bits and pieces

Before the reveal, I figured out that Rip Roar and Russell Rogers were the same guy. Not just because of the same beard and chin, but because of the letter R.

Seems odd that Hope, who is basically an artificial intelligence, would be startled even by the Maledorian Dendroasp.

I wish contact lenses were so easy to put in.

If we had a real Supergirl, she could take care of global warming.

Quotes

Kara: William Day is not a murderer. He’s just a grade-A jerk.

William Day: You could get hurt and I’m not just talking about physically.

Kelly: Just because it’s freaky doesn’t mean it’s not awesome.

Overall Rating

It’s hard to come up with a rating. I have less to say this week, which is a bad sign, but I’ve also been under the weather, and ill-health can make me less receptive to a show. Still, the potential romance between Kara and William feels forced. Brainy didn’t have the usual great lines. I didn’t feel much emotion in the scenes, except when Lena took back her promise. I’d also like to see Kara more involved emotionally in something, and I want to drill down into the ethics of influence. However, we’re seeing the impact of influence without any discussion or any consideration of the ethics (someone needs to learn what Lena is up to). So I’m giving the episode two and half out of four Maledorian Dendroasps. If you feel the episode deserves a different rating, put it in the comments.

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

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