Superman Homepage writer Michael Bailey reviews episodes from the “Supergirl” TV series, airing on The CW.
Check out his review of the 12th episode of Season 6 in which Kelly (Azie Tesfai) is horrified when the Ormfell building implodes, injuring many in the community, including Joey (guest star Aiden Stoxx). However, her horror quickly turns to frustration when she realizes that the hospital is overwhelmed, people are getting sicker, and no one is coming to help – including Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) who is busy fighting Nyxly (Peta Sergeant). Knowing that she can make a difference, Kelly embraces her power and fully steps into her role as Guardian. Joined by Supergirl, Alex (Chyler Leigh), Diggle (guest star David Ramsey) and team, Guardian leads the way to restoring justice to the fallen community.
Originally Aired: September 21, 2021
WRITTEN BY: J. Holtham and Azie Tesfai
DIRECTED BY: David Ramsey
Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers/Supergirl)
Chyler Leigh (Alex Danvers)
Jesse Rath (Brainiac 5)
Katie McGrath (Lena Luthor)
Nicole Maines (Nia Nal/Dreamer)
David Harewood (J’onn J’onnz)
Azie Tesfai (Kelly Olsen/Guardian)
Julie Gonzalo (Andrea Rojas)
Peta Sergeant (Nxylgsptinz)
Matt Baram (Mitch)
David Ramsey (John Diggle)
Kari Matchett (Jean Rankin)
Rating – 4 (out of 5): This episode dived into social problems a deeper way than any other of the entire series, and this is a show that has talked about global warming, xenophobia, the problems technology can cause, and even how an extremely wealthy man can get out of serious legal trouble by playing into the baser emotions of the common man. And, as someone that has been working on recognizing the inequities of people that have had a different background or outlook than I have, I was glad that they chose to tackle some really uncomfortable topics, like how the problems of lower income people are often invisible to people focusing on the bigger picture and how people sometimes don’t recognize their privilege and how, while they may have experienced hardship, there are certain biases that they haven’t been able to see.
And I liked that Kelly has finally suited up as Guardian. The costume is great, and the writers did a good job of seeding this development for several episodes, which made it feel more organic. The scene at the end with the kid picking up the garbage can may have been similar to the one at the end of Captain America, but both Cap and the original Guardian were both created by Jack Kirby, so it’s fair. It worked for me.
I guess my “problem” is that to get to that point most of the cast had to look clueless. But, as the episode played out, I realized that had to happen and was partly the point and by showing that characters we’ve followed for years, some from the very beginning, need to work on some things we might start thinking about how some of us may need to do the same thing. The “problem” (again, if you can call it that) is that it’s not like Supergirl and crew were just sitting around focusing on unimportant matters. Yes, it’s important for heroes like Supergirl and J’onn to recognize that there are people falling through the cracks and that there are things about Kelly’s life that Alex can never fully understand, but there’s a fifth dimensional being that is literally threatening the world.
But is that really a “problem” or is it me being uncomfortable with the subject matter that is being discussed?
I mean, no one really wants to acknowledge their own biases and where they may be letting people that need an ally down. And what does it mean to be an ally? Was Andrea being shortsighted by not wanting to do a story on what happened with the building collapse or is that more of a commentary on how the mainstream media tends to ignore such matters in favor of something flashier? Is guilt really a passive emotion?
Well, the answer to the last one is yes, so there’s that.
But yeah, this was a rough episode for me. Because the “problem” I had with it seem kind of petty when compared to what the episode was discussing.
The real question is, will the show continue to explore these issues or is it going to forget them in favor of the larger threat? I hope it doesn’t. Because to go to all this trouble for one episode and then move on seems a bit insulting.
Anyway, my only real problem with the episode is that the villain of the piece was made mostly of straw. She was there to get knocked down. I hated what they did to Ben Lockwood and Agent Liberty, but at least they went to the trouble of making him a nuanced villain until the end of the season. Rankin had absolutely no depth. That was probably the point, but it made her a lesser evil even though she represents a greater one. There were brief moments where I saw something deeper (especially when she mentioned people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, which is a saying I have grown to hate because it’s so hollow and arrogant and ignores that not everyone has equal footing in life because of how systemic racism works) but overall, she was just a cardboard bad guy to be taken out.
That was disappointing.
But the rest of the episode? I ended up liking it because I see what it was trying to say.
I just hope the show continues to discuss these matters and doesn’t completely leave them behind.
Check out the “Supergirl – Episode Reviews” Contents page.