There have been a lot of developments this season, as Obsidian Tech prepares a whole new (virtual) world, Lena remains convinced she knows what’s best for everyone whether they agree, or even know, or not, Lex runs the DEO, and everyone else tries to adapt to the various changes wrought by Crisis. Andrea’s new toy is about to roll out, and there are a lot of complications. We see quite a few surprises as Supergirl becomes “The Bodyguard.”
The show opens with a scene that almost is enough to make you think you’ve tuned in to the wrong thing, but there’s a simple enough explanation. Still not part of the new VR craze, Alex, Kara, and Nia watch the people that are using the new lenses and talk about how it’s affecting people. Alex is on edge, being out in public unarmed for the first time in years. Kara veers back and forth from unrealistic expectations to trying to talk up Alex’s new project with J’Onn. There’s a cute scene with Kelly and Alex, and then the others flee as William Dey shows up, leaving Kara and Nia to accept his gift of coffee. Dey nicely withdraws to let them talk, and Nia admires him as Kara wonders if she made a mistake.
Andrea Rojas, thorn in the side of many of the heroes, rambles on about the launch of a new version of her Obsidian VR program, newer and more virtually real! She posts her video, gets on the elevator, and nearly gets killed as weird-colored energy turns the elevator into an express ride down. Fortunately for her, Supergirl somehow hears this over all the other things going on in the city and swoops in for a rescue. Rattled, Andrea then finds out someone has posted a manifesto railing against Obsidian and VR. In a different lab, Lena makes some progress on her universal pacifier, getting a dog and an alien carnivore to get along. Lex wanders in just in time to be impressed and plant more seeds of division between her and Supergirl. As Lena worries about the prospect of human trials, Lex has already gone ahead and made arrangements, letting the writers get in a few digs about privately owned prisons.
Always a busy man, Lex meets up with Brainy, who has made some progress on the Leviathan front. Their conversation covers something I don’t think I knew about, which seemed like an odd reveal. Lex’s scheming mind turns over a few possibilities when he hears what Brainy needs, and he hatches a scheme to ingratiate himself with Leviathan. Supergirl is less than thrilled to learn she’ll be playing bodyguard to Andrea, but Lex threatens her with blackmail once again. The man needs a mindwipe. Brainy tries to make the issue sound better, and we see the villain out trashing random Obsidian video screens. In the Tower, J’Onn and Alex go over some of the things they need to look into, as Alex tries to adjust to being at loose ends. Supergirl arrives to complain about her newest assignment and update her friends about the newest alien threat. J’Onn provides some information, and they split up to work on their various tasks.
Still not done, Lex arranges a meeting with Cooper, AKA Gamemnae of Leviathan. She’s annoyed, but he’s persistent, and finally manages to get her to listen to his proposal at least. Supergirl’s day gets more complicated as Andrea starts using her in social media, and William shows up again. He isn’t shaken by her warnings about threats to Andrea, and shows he’s an impressive guy. J’Onn and Alex work a lead about the strange alien, arriving at a bar where they get steered to an informant. They try and check what they learn out with Brainy, and he shows the viewers how committed he is to his current goals. Worried about what he’s doing, Brainy goes off to talk to himself.
At the prison mentioned earlier, Lena has interviewed some inmates and begun round one of testing. There are immediate results and she’s thrilled to see her idea working. While Andrea does more promotion, William and Supergirl talk about bad guys, manifestos, and the perils of VR. William makes some interesting comments that no doubt will come back to haunt them when he inevitably learns her secret identity (CW heroes can not keep secrets). The villain shows up to attack, Supergirl defends Andrea, and the bad guy once again ports away. It’s an annoying ability. In the wake of the attack, Supergirl wants to call off the rest of the promotion tour, but Andrea refuses and gets emotional about what the company means to her and her father, and what she’s done to keep it going.
To no surprise at all, Lena’s messing with people’s heads goes wrong, and her experiment starts showing some very surprising results. Lena is thoroughly shaken by this, and tries to figure out what to do. Alex and J’Onn follow up on some leads, discuss the fun of kicking in doors, and find some important plans. While Andrea addresses another crowd, Alex and J’Onn fight the bad guy, who displays some unexpected abilities, and things go downhill quick. Alex has to call for help, leaving Supergirl to rush off to the rescue after depositing a protesting Andrea at the DEO. What’s a little borderline kidnapping among friends? Supergirl saves the day and Alex and J’Onn compare notes with her.
A frustrated Lena returns to her lab and takes some of her anger out on her equipment. Once again, Lex pops up at just the right moment to offer aid and encouragement, and turn her further against her former friends. I very much mistrust his motives and his timing here. Out at the farm they’re investigating, Alex talks about feeling useless with no powers, team, or gun anymore. If she’s going to be in the field regularly risking her life, maybe she should borrow Kelly’s inherited Guardian shield? Kelly seems to almost never using it, and Alex is clearly at risk more often. J’Onn tries to encourage her, and then Supergirl turns up some important things to lead to the mandatory “understanding where the villain is coming from” portion of the show. As they figure all this out, said villain attacks CatCo.
William tries to talk the attacker down, which naturally doesn’t work. Supergirl shows up just in time to ignore the earlier warning about the alien’s special powers and get taken out roughly the same way J’Onn did. At the DEO, Brainy and Andrea realize the attempt to sabotage Obsidian could make some very bad things happen, because no one in the Arrowverse knows how to build a safe energy source/power system. Brainy tries to go handle it himself, getting very take-charge about Andrea’s safety. Kelly helps evacuate civilians, and then almost gets cooked herself by a stray energy blast, saved at the last minute by Alex. Dreamer shows up to help protect the office workers as well. Herding more people out of harm’s way, J’Onn takes people on the second wild elevator ride of the episode. There’s a development with Andrea that suddenly lets her help out Brainy, but it ends up not mattering because they can’t do anything and Supergirl talks the bad guy down. In the cleanup afterwards, Andrea keeps some secrets and Supergirl gives her some advice. Later, Andrea gets another surprise as she looks into something that happened to her.
At the tower, Alex frets about being helpless in the fight, and J’Onn gives her a powerful weapon. Why he wouldn’t do this earlier, I don’t know. Lena makes some adjustments and fixes to her earlier mistake and gets her ego reinforced in just the wrong way. She ends her scene by making a very troubling and inaccurate statement, and then Kara lets herself get talked into doing what she wanted to anyway. The episode ends with a series of chats. Kara goes to see William and change her mind about something; Brainy confronts Lex and manages to show how truly naïve he is at times; and Lex make some progress on his newest obsession.
What I liked: I’m intrigued by the new setup J’Onn and Alex have going. I don’t like a single thing he’s doing, but you have to give Lex credit for the amount of things he has going on. It was nice to see Alex and Kelly actually on screen at the same time for once.
What I didn’t: Supergirl got a perfect warning about what the bad guy could do… and utterly ignored it. I mentioned the Guardian shield, now no one’s using it. Brainy got from the DEO to CatCo amazingly quickly. The entire situation with the energy system felt forced. I can’t believe someone supposedly as smart as Brainy is falling for Lex’s nonsense. I’m worried about Lena’s descent into darkness, and I liked her a lot better as a good guy. Why would J’Onn wait until after the big fight to give Alex the new weapon? Cooper/Gameemnae should know better than to trust Lex.
This was a weird episode. I’ll give it a middle of the road 3 out of 5.