There’s a new Supergirl in town this week
Picture: Sergei Bachlakov (The CW)
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It took practically all season, however Supergirl’s bizarre VR lens idea is lastly beginning to get someplace. Like final week’s episode, “Alex In Wonderland” takes benefit of Obsidian North’s *Prepared Participant One-*model fantasy world to combine up Supergirl’s common dynamics. Right here Alex works by means of her complicated emotions about her dad’s loss of life by imagining a world the place she’s Nationwide Metropolis’s primary superhero, as an alternative of her sister. And although this episode has some notable bumps across the edges, the creativity of the thought and the energy of Chyler Leigh’s efficiency goes a protracted option to smoothing them over.
“Alex In Wonderland”
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“Alex In Wonderland”
The most important downside with “Alex In Wonderland” is that it by no means fairly shakes the sensation of being an episode weighed down by real-world logistics. This installment is clearly designed to provide Melissa Benoist a break in her filming schedule in order that she may direct next week’s episode, and whereas her few temporary scenes are impressively impactful, I may’ve used just a bit extra screentime between Kara and Alex. The larger subject, nevertheless, is the clunky off-screen loss of life of Jeremiah Danvers.
Jeremiah has been an odd dangling thread for the sequence ever since his cliffhanger disappearance in season two—again when he appeared to lastly break away of his Undertaking Cadmus captors solely to betray the Tremendous Associates for sophisticated “lesser of two evils” causes. The choice to not carry Dean Cain again for any type of onscreen decision (one suspects that he and the Supergirl workforce may be at odds over some real-world values) means the present is within the unusual place of getting to put in writing off a personality we haven’t seen in years whereas making an attempt to determine what notice to strike in relation to the mixture of heroism and villainy Jeremiah has represented in his time on the sequence.
In what’s in all probability the most effective transfer the present may’ve made given these circumstances, the writers have Alex instantly wrestle with that battle itself. Although Kara and J’onn discover peace in the truth that Jeremiah reformed his methods and spent years volunteering at an alien refugee camp in Peru earlier than dying of a coronary heart assault, Alex isn’t in a position to forgive her father as simply. She’s mad that he by no means reached out to his daughters after he escaped Cadmus, particularly when she risked a lot to save lots of him. However it seems she’s additionally nonetheless harboring resentment for the strain he positioned on her in her youth, when he relied on her to assist take care of Eliza and Kara. For as a lot as Alex loves her sister, she’s by no means fairly shaken the ache of feeling changed by a superpowered sibling who took a lot of her dad and mom’ consideration.
“Alex In Wonderland” options a brutal verbal sparring match between Alex and Kara, the place Chyler Leigh and Melissa Benoist completely lock into the dynamic of how two shut siblings combat. Paradoxically, nevertheless, what most captures Alex’s fragile, fractured mindset is how upbeat she is when she slips into Obsidian Platinum’s VR world and tries out being a superhero. Alex is searching for the liberty of an escape, and it’s instantly clear that she’s discovered it from the lightness with which she carries herself in her new Supergirl getup (even whether it is an all-black model of the outfit).
Tremendous Alex is an actual deal with for Supergirl followers—and for Grey’s Anatomy ones too, because the longhaired, upbeat model of Alex is barely harking back to Lexie Gray. A lot of Alex’s life has been spent enjoying second fiddle to her sister, both as Kara’s protector or as her DEO backup. When Alex lastly will get to be the unquestioned focus for as soon as, she’s virtually glowing. Leigh radiates pleasure as Alex visits a model of the DEO the place J’onn is in command and he or she’s the star participant.
Whereas I nonetheless have a ton of questions in regards to the logistics of Obsidian Platinum (wouldn’t lots of people want personal fantasy realms, fairly than ones they need to share with different folks’s disruptive fantasies?), it’s fascinating to see how far more open and sincere Alex is within the VR world. Emboldened by each the anonymity of VR and the anonymity of her in-world superhero secret id, Alex instantly opens as much as plucky fellow VR customer “Treasure Hunter Tilly” a.ok.a. Bonnie (Anne Hollister) all about her sophisticated emotions in direction of her father.
Picture: Sergei Bachlakov (The CW)
Sadly, “Alex In Wonderland” will get a bit muddled the longer it goes on. The episode can’t determine how a lot it needs to be about Alex dropping her sense of self vs. the Obsidian Platinum platform going mistaken. The glitch from final week is inflicting customers (presumably notably vulnerable ones, though I’m not solely certain) to get sucked into the platform and neglect that the actual world even exists. But whereas there are moments the place Alex’s confusion is successfully eerie—just like the enjoyable fake-out get up sequence—there are different occasions the place it’s only a bit, nicely, complicated.
The lack of Melissa Benoist and Dean Cain actually turns into an issue within the climax, the place Kelly decides to ship in a teenage model of Alex (Olivia Nikkanen from the Midvale episode) to assist grownup Alex make peace with the truth that she couldn’t have saved her father, even when she had all of Supergirl’s powers. Jeremiah made his selections, and all Alex can do now’s attempt to make peace with the dearth of decision between them. It’s apparently a profitable deployment of Andrea’s suggestion that Alex can solely be knocked out of the fantasy by one thing “unexplainable however plain.” Like plenty of parts within the second half of “Alex In Wonderland,” nevertheless, it’s a greater thought in idea than in execution.
On the whole, this episode in all probability may’ve achieved somewhat extra handholding when it got here to dropping us again right into a storyline and a father/daughter relationship it hasn’t revisited in years. Grief is an summary emotion, and Supergirl doesn’t discover a totally satisfying option to dramatize Alex’s arc, even because it strains to make her acceptance of her lack of closure tangible. Nonetheless, the enjoyable of watching Leigh anchor an episode goes a great distance. “Alex In Wonderland” proves that for nearly as good as she is each week, Supergirl remains to be solely utilizing a fraction of Leigh’s abilities.
- In a pleasant little bit of synergy, tonight’s Batwoman episode is titled “By means of The Wanting-Glass.” (I do know that present is commonly Lewis Carroll-themed, however tonight’s title double header feels intentional.)
- Kelly and William workforce up for a subplot by which they examine Lex’s 32 new satellites in addition to his potential involvement with the VR glitch. It’s an surprising pairing, nevertheless it’s good that Alex and Kara’s love pursuits are bonding, and Kelly and William each come throughout nicely on this episode.
- Properly really, William casually calling up an NSA contact to spy on Obsidian Platinum customers was type of horrifying. However aside from that he was good!
- Andrea initially brushes off Kelly’s Obsidian Platinum considerations with jargon about prioritizing the client expertise whereas coping with pesky company paperwork. It’s a pleasant option to hold her in an ethical gray space earlier than she lastly begins taking the issue significantly.
- We additionally get our first glimpse of Hope/ Eve Teschmacher within the post-Disaster universe. She’s employed at Obsidian North, and I believe unlikely to comply with by means of on Andrea’s request to repair the glitch.
- David Harewood and Jesse Rath have plenty of enjoyable enjoying extra archetypal variations of J’onn and Brainy within the VR world. Plus I really like how a lot Harewood clearly adores chewing the surroundings as Hank Henshaw.
- I want we’d spent extra time on the funeral scene itself (and on Alex and Kara’s reconciliation), however the gesture of J’onn placing his hand on Alex’s shoulder was completely beautiful.
- So far as I can inform Supergirl remains to be planning to air a brand new episode subsequent week, though I’m unsure why there was no promo for it.