Culture of Pop

Supergirl Season 4 Review: 4.4: Ahimsa

This week’s episode of Supergirl season 4 didn’t try to humanize bigots and I guess that’s the bar now. This was a boring and completely inoffensive episode of television.

The most interesting plotline of the episode introduced Manchester Black, played by David Ajala. He’s charming and his assertive antihero attitude makes him refreshing within the Supergirl ensemble. I just wish the episode didn’t involve killing off a newly introduced female character. It did nothing except give Manchester a completely generic tragic backstory.

In the main plot of the episode, Kara Danvers was still mostly down for the count. She got in a few fight scenes, but they were damaging to her health because of the Kryptonite in the atmosphere. Lena Luthor and Brainiac were tasked with cleaning the atmosphere.

Before the solution miraculously popped into their minds, Brainiac had a moment of vulnerability and cried for Kara. Lena had to talk him down by telling him to compartmentalize. The idea of Lena being so cold that she’s less emotional than Brainiac was a strong one, but the execution of the scene felt a little sloppy.

Kara still being mostly incapacitated was theoretically an opportunity for other characters to shine. But while Alex Danvers got more screentime than usual, her story was disappointing. The main problem is that it’s just hard to identify with a character who orders nameless soldiers around and receives direct calls from the President.

The episode didn’t have a good enough emotional thrust to make Alex’s problems feel real. Her dialogue was all generic “I’m responsible now” stuff. The idea that her promotion changed the stakes of her sister’s life being in danger was a tough sell.

James Olsen’s plot felt oddly meandering and unnecessary. He had several scenes mulling over whether or not to be Guardian again that didn’t feel incited by anything in particular. Instead of there being any real story reasons for any of the discussions, we got awkward segues like Nia Nall saying she’d just been reading up on laws about vigilantism.

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