Supergirl: Blurred Lines

Kara

Oh, Kara, honey, you have no idea how naive you are, do you? 

 

Supergirl’s fifth season continues, and I’m really not enjoying the direction of pretty much anything. There’s bad writing, weird character choices, and the characters in general just seem to be getting sent in dark directions or mis-used in general. I admit, were I not writing reviews, I’d be seriously considering dropping this show from my watch list. I will give them that the title works; there are a lot of “Blurred Lines” in this episode, but sadly not the song of the same title, or Weird Al’s parody of it, either.

The show opens with William Day, annoying antagonist this season for Kara Danvers, meeting someone in a club. He handles the meeting about as well as he does everything else, and gets blown off. The guy he’s trying to meet hooks up with a woman for a once-in-a-lifetime night in the club bathroom, starting off one of the subplots this episode and showing us how the monster of the week works. Later, the Olsen/Danvers siblings are enjoying coffee as they take another leisurely stroll around the city. I barely have time to do most of what I want to, and I don’t work for a secret agency or live a double life. How do these folks always have time to just hang out? At any rate, Kelly’s general openness to strangers becomes a topic of concern. After the Olsens leave, Kara and Alex talk about the lack of results with the search for Malefic, and Kara’s lunch with Lena, which she’s all flustered about because it’s her first one since sharing her secret (that Lena knew anyway and I can’t wait for that plot point to spill out at a really inconvenient moment).

Speaking of the newest Luthor to start down the villain slope, Lena and her Eve/Hope hybrid (Heve? Evope?) are trying to figure out how to reprogram the human brain “for humanity’s own good,” because when has anything bad ever come from that rationalization? They figure out what they need is in some journals they can’t get to, and Lena starts going all Machiavelli. The Brainy/Nia relationship is still being used for low comedy and as a set up for inevitable drama flakes.

CatCo is still a nightmare to work at under Andrea Rojas, who continues to eschew news in favor of clickbait. She’s callous, shallow, and shoots down a few story ideas, backed by her pet William Day. Kara steals a page from Daredevil’s book, using her super-senses to realize Day is hiding something about the death we saw at the top of the show. Kara later confronts him on the street, which goes nowhere. James, conveniently nearby for no reason since he doesn’t work there anymore, offers to help look into the deaths through a friend at the coroner’s office. I’m not quite sure how a photographer turned publisher has contacts with the coroner, that’s more a reporter/detective thing. They do get in a joke about super-friends, because that hasn’t gotten old yet.

J’Onn asks Nia to meet him at his office (anyone remember the last time J’Onn worked a case to keep his business, or himself, in cash? I don’t). He wants to use her powers to try and get the memories back about his brother. Malefic, once again using his shapeshifting to literally bug the good guy’s offices, finds a new guise to change into and we get special guest star Sean Astin as a guy Kelly once helped with PTSD. He plays on her earlier noted openness to get an appointment.

Since Kara told Lena finally, we at least got an end to Lena’s double-edged comments. Kara went on a world tour to get some of Lena’s favorite foods, and they talk about CatCo, Rojas, and William Day. All this builds up to Lena asking Kara something she really shouldn’t, and Kara should know better than to agree to. Of course, Kara says sure, because she suddenly has the emotional maturity of a grade-schooler and just wants her friend to like her. James calls with an update about the dead man, causing Kara to leave lunch early and dramatically whip off her glasses… so she can be in the next scene still in her civilian clothes. That was pointless. Kara examines the corpse and finds the weird clue to justify eventually involving the DEO on this case.

J’Onn gives Nia special herbs so they can trip together. No, seriously. She somehow uses her power to dream the future to reach into J’Onn’s mind and see his past. So far, she’s got precognition which they seem to have forgotten about, various mental powers, and her weird energy slinky blasts. I don’t think they know what to do with her. J’Onn doesn’t know what to do with what they find out, either. When he snaps out of the vision, J’Onn is very angry at what he’s learned about his past.

Alex and Kara share dinner and Kara rants about William Day not being a nice man. She mentions both her work assignment and the favor Lena asked. Alex has the appropriate reaction to this, which launches Kara into a bunch of self-justifications and managing to shoot herself in the foot for future help and possibly getting Brainy in trouble. All this leads to Alex noticing something that gets her in on the case. I guess Colonel Haley conveniently fell into the “disappears between seasons” plot device, since we already have enough horrible people on the show right now. Kelly meets with her “friend” Pete, and shows both what a sucker she is and that the writers did zero research about psychiatrists and their responsibilities. Nia has a nightmare and then decides to do something that might hurt a friend, and ignores her own advice on a personal level.

Alex briefs Supergirl and James about the new problem that is, of course, Lex’s fault. Supergirl rushes off to deal with it on her own, and loses to a low-rent Spider-Woman. Guardian somehow gets there just after her and ends up in need of rescue. Alex manages to help James out using a high-tech gadget. Despite aliens and gadgets being used, Brainy is nowhere to be seen, relegated to bad comic relief/drama flakes for the episode. James gives some well-meant advice that sends Kara down utterly the wrong road. Nia shares a new discovery with J’Onn, that upsets him even more than what he saw the first time.

Tension builds as Kelly does her own stupid with “Pete,” trying to compete with Kara for dumbest decision of the week. Nia’s crap with Brainy is a distant third at best with these two geniuses running around. Supergirl does something amazingly dumb, and then arrives just too late to help the next victim of Spider-Assassin. Somehow, this alien/human hybrid gives Kara a run for her money. As Kelly realizes what a mistake she’s made, a mysterious force makes sure the assassin won’t talk. I have a suspicion about what that was, but I’ll wait and see.

Mal-Pete-ic gloats in true villain style, and his returning power somehow makes Nia have a seizure while she’s lurking in the hallway outside J’Onn’s place? J’Onn rushes off to the rescue and there’s a bunch of chaos. In the end, Kelly comes down with a severe case of Plot Device and the bad guy gets away. J’Onn enters the stupid decision contest by hiding what he knows about Malefic, and Kelly’s Plot Device is contagious, removing both her and James from the show for the foreseeable future, but not before Supergirl gives a gizmo to possibly allow for an instant return. Nia finally tries to talk to Brainy, does it in a not great way, he reacts oddly because alien and from the future and all that, and the future of that Cute Couple ™ is in doubt.

William Day has a very suspicious meeting, but none of the good guys are around to see it so Kara can’t gloat yet. I’m eventually expecting a big Scooby-Doo “I KNEW IT!” moment with literal finger pointing. Supergirl, forgetting that part of the reason people have secret identities is to protect those around them, hovers outside Lena’s window until invited in, like she’s a vampire now or something. Kara completes Mission Stupid, and Lena and Heve (I think I’m keeping that one) determine what they have to do next.

What I liked: Um. It was nice to see J’Onn’s father again. I disagree with almost everything else she’s doing, but Kara is doing her best to still be a good reporter. Alex is being smart and responsible and pretty much the lone voice of reason. Lena is being evil and manipulative, but at least she’s good at it. We were spared morality lectures this week, maybe because so many characters were breaking rules.

What I didn’t: Damn near everything. Brainy was a remarkably effective character last season several times, and seems to have forgotten all of that. I don’t like the drama they’re doing with him and Nia. Nor do I like Nia’s shifting powers. Judging by her and Cecile over on Flash, the CW writers don’t know how to write mentalists. Hm, they didn’t know what to with Saturn Girl either, when they had her. Supergirl was incredibly stupid and I’m very disappointed she fell for that. Nia and James both seemed to just happen to be where they needed to be a few times to move the story along, but for no real reason. I don’t know what Day is up to, and I’m finding I just don’t care. Rojas is just annoying. Kelly is a horrible therapist, or the writers are ignorant.

This used to be a good show. I’m not sure what happened. I’m giving this a 2 out of 5.

 

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