This week’s episode of Supergirl season 4 was a solid episode, thanks to the focus on Manchester Black. The new character has already stolen the show to become the strongest part of the ensemble.
Manchester set out to avenge his deceased partner by doing whatever it takes. Regardless of the morality of his actions, the fact that he is pursuing a goal so actively makes him exciting to watch. That made this episode entertaining.
Meanwhile, Agent Liberty attempted to force James Olsen to kill Kara Danvers. This set up was engaging, but the episode didn’t deliver on the stirring premise.
In the weakest plot of the episode, Lena Luthor performed an experiment on a man named Adam. She rushed human testing more than she should have and ended up causing Adam’s death. Lena’s plan to combat rising nationalism by giving humans superpowers is questionable, but potentially a great villain plot. Her carelessness with Adam’s life furthered the idea that this is a villain plot. Supergirl has done a decent job writing Lena as a good character. But, a slide into evil for her could be interesting. She’s definitely a more interesting main villain than Ben Lockwood.
Lena’s motives and the viability of her plan weren’t the issue with her plot in this episode. The problem was that she and Adam monologues back and forth the entire time. Even as they claimed that Lena is mysterious and hard to get to, she completely opened up and got teary-eyed as she recited her backstory. It was both unbelievable and uninteresting to watch. Adam delivered cliche lines about how she’s cold but he’s sure he has a heart. The dialogue made no sense between two characters who barely know each other.
The cliche dialogue wasn’t solely confined to Lena’s plot. J’onn J’onzz tried to stop Manchester by telling him that once he crosses the line of killing someone “there’s no going back.” I think it’s safe to say that no character from superhero media ever has to make that claim again.