The overall bad season of Supergirl gets a bit better with the fifth episode. There are conspiracies inside conspiracies, new villains, and troubling developments. They create some new mysteries, and clear up a few dangling plot threads. I’m not entirely clear on the choice of the title, “Dangerous Liaisons.”
The show opens with Andrea Rojas, this season’s major, most annoying, and sadly most believable antagonist, doing a commercial for her upcoming release of the Obsidian Virtual Reality contact lenses. Personally, I’m about ready to brain folks several times a day because they can’t manage to get through their day without wandering around in phone zombie mode, as I call it. These things? How’d they even get approval for something that’s clearly going to be a major safety hazard. Andrea is leading a meeting about this release and pushing everyone at CatCo to work a mention of Obsidian into their current articles. William continues in suck-up mode, while Kara and Nia grouse to each other. Weirdly, Kara is evidently keeping things she learned last episode from Nia. Apparently, she thinks her coworker can handle being a superhero, keep the secret of Supergirl’s identity, but not investigative journalism? In the lobby, Kara runs across Kelly, and they talk about an upcoming event. Kara moves on to talk to William about getting him access to the assassin they captured (who finally gets a name, Breathtaker) and shows she doesn’t quite get how cell phones work. William is showing a lot of concern for Kara, and she insists she can take care of herself (which is actually true).
In her secret lab with a prisoner where she’s working to change mankind for its own good, Lena and her flunky, Heve, run some experiments on the captive Martian, Malefic. It goes badly. Kara gets William into the DEO, where Breathtaker is chained to a table and linked up to the truth-seeker. The interrogation isn’t as useful as anyone would like, both because the bad guys have good operational security and because William keeps losing his temper at the killer. Kara gets him out of the room and we learn about a personal tragedy that revolves around the new villain, Rip Roar, who seems like a Doctor Octopus knockoff. At Fort Summit, wherever that is, said villain is stealing something and beating up a really not impressive-looking solider on guard duty.
Kara brings a missing persons case to J’Onn, and they exchange “Are you ok?” questions and answers about recent events. Again, Kara brings up that she can’t talk about this with anyone but J’Onn and Alex, even specifically excluding Nia but still not explaining why. Kara complains about so much uncertainty in the world, and J’Onn replies with generic emotional sentiment. Alex calls Kara and requests Supergirl come to the DEO. There, Brainy briefs them on the stolen gadget, which sounds appropriately dangerous. Of course, if it is that dangerous, it really should have been kept somewhere with better security. It is, naturally, another toy left over from Lex. At a dead end everywhere, Brainy comes up with an interesting suggestion on what to try next. Back at the increasingly evil lair, Lena and Malefic come to terms about him helping her.
Brainy’s idea mostly seems to be an excuse to allow Jesse Rath to act as a different character for a bit, and Kara and Alex to have an emotional scene. They also, once again, use Brainy for low humor, because on this show he has the dual strikes against him of being male and highly intelligent. Supergirl gets an idea to put a new plan in motion. Elsewhere, we see that Rip Roar is working with a mysterious figure we’ve seen before. William gets another suck up scene with Andrea. The man is committed to his role. Lena and Heve take their next step in exploring Malefic’s powers.
Kelly brings Alex some food and they talk about the upcoming Obsidian launch and Kelly’s job. Kara and William share a felony, we see some of William’s life before all this, and both of them prove utterly clueless about a glaringly obvious “mystery.” William also reveals a previously unknown link between two characters. Kara and William debate how to proceed, and then Kara gets called away by Alex once again. The DEO has found the missing weapon, and Supergirl flies off to New Mexico to confront Rip Roar, yelling out his name and blowing any chance of surprise. He demonstrates that the stolen weapon was worth stealing, and handily drops Supergirl with minimal effort.
The Girl of Steel wakes up at the DEO, after J’Onn apparently rescued her off-screen and brought her back. J’Onn delivers another clue to the blatantly obvious that no one has managed to figure out. We learn from Brainy that the new, improved weapon that took out our hero is supposed to be roughly 100 years in the future, but no one seems to bother to comment on this. The new modifications have made the weapon harder to track, and Supergirl expresses her frustration on a poor, innocent bannister.
Starting to put the pieces of potential disaster in place, Kelly texts Alex that she’s waiting for her at their restaurant on the waterfront, then uses her lenses to join the Obsidian Launch. Andrea asks William a simple question, and the man is clearly starting to lose his control. Lena and Malefic make another big step in her project. Team DEO manages to figure out where Rip Roar is going, and Brainy does a credible impression of a supervillain to dope out what the plan is. Supergirl and the Martian Manhunter get to the base in the Antarctic a bit too late to stop the big plan despite Supergirl yelling out the villain’s name again, like that’s supposed to do something. Brainiac 5 does some geology-babble, instead of his usual techno-babble, and gives the heroes some really bad news: a massive wave will impact the entire Pacific Coast. Our heroic aliens stop Rip Roar, but Brainiac keeps giving out more bad news about both the approaching tidal wave and some related phenomena. Rip Roar has no useful information, and tells the heroes they can’t stop what’s coming. To no surprise, Supergirl disagrees. She and J’Onn come up with a plan that seems bad even for comic book science, J’Onn gives a weird warning that shouldn’t affect Supergirl, and they spring into action, Supergirl getting off either an odd line or a pun that doesn’t really land.
William has a daydream about what he’d like to do, but doesn’t actually do it. The efforts to save the general population are somewhat hampered by so many people standing around doing nothing because they’re using the Obsidian Lenses to be in VR. How does that work for sound, anyway? Do the lenses have microphones? Supergirl and J’Onn complete their task. Remember that giant tidal wave that’s going to trash the entire Pacific Coast? Somehow or other, Dreamer using her Energy Slinkies on one small part of it ends that.
Exhausted but not done yet, some of the team meets up back at the DEO. Even with their truth-seeker, they don’t get anything out of Rip Roar, and Brainiac mentions his high-tech weapons are “bio-adhered” to him. The bizarre events of the day seem to actually clear their main suspect, much to Supergirl’s annoyance, even anguish. Brainiac pops up again, telling Kara and Alex there’s something they should see. Disaster averted, Kelly goes to the bathroom to have a mini-breakdown and makes a new friend. Lena takes another major step on her villain journey, with bad consequences for Malefic.
The wrap up scenes visit several of the characters. Kelly and Alex have a nice romantic evening at home, with the stereotypical candles and special present. William stares at his conspiracy wall and Kara drops by to commiserate. She brings bad news in general, bad news about a missing friend, and some sympathy. He thanks her and I strongly suspect they’re going to eventually pair these two up. I guess they might need to; with the silly Brainy/Dreamer split, Alex and Kelly are the only couple left, and they do like their romantic bits on this show. Andrea Rojas tries to head home, but there’s a surprise visitor in her limo, and we get an interesting view of how some things are connected.
What I liked: They managed to catch the bad guy, and clear up the very obvious mystery, even though that took them most of the episode, and me about a scene. Alex gets some good action scenes. The scene with Brainy and the other assassin was a good acting job. I will admit, I didn’t see the end scene coming.
What I didn’t: Lena’s going dark quickly, and I’m a little surprised that no one at all is noticing. Dreamer’s saving the entire coast made no sense. Supergirl seems remarkably uncertain of herself, and I’m not sure why.
It was an erratic episode. I’ll give it a low 3 out of 5, mostly because it wasn’t as bad as some of their recent endeavors.