Supergirl: Dream Weaver

Wait, no one knows the Netflix password?

Supergirl’s final season continues with an odd mix of adventure, more social issues, and some character decisions. Brainiac 5 is still off returning Zor-El to Argo City, and Lena is off in search of her past, so it’s a slightly reduced cast this week. Making up for that, Kelly is back from her odd absence last week, when they actually needed her skill set. But apparently Supergirl’s trauma was very short-lived and cured by the power of Alex hugs. There’s actually a fair amount of screen time for Kelly this week, and of course some for Nia, but what do you expect from the title “Dream Weaver?” The classic rock song of that title by Gary Wright is not played in this episode.

Nia starts things off with a strange dream in mist-shrouded woods with lots of birds, a ghostly glimpse of her mother, and a desperate cry for the older woman’s attention which goes unanswered. Just before Nia wakes up, we get a glimpse of Nxy, the Imp that was in the Phantom Zone with Supergirl. Nyx was last seen hitching a ride to Earth on the outside of the team’s ship. Later, we see one of the storied game nights, as Alex and Kelly show how amazingly in tune with each other they are, and J’Onn jokes they must be the psychics. I actually like the recurring theme of game night. It’s a nice, believable touch for this group of friends. Plot points dropped during the evening include Nia not sleeping well with Brainy away, and Kelly being a social worker dealing with alien kids.

The next day, Andrea is pushing William, Kara, and Nia to get interviews with the “Superfriends” (I still want a better name for the team). Andrea and the three bicker a bit and then Nia surprises everyone by literally falling asleep standing up. Andrea sends her home, which is a wise move. William and Kara commiserate over Andrea’s demands, and then Kara is called away when J’Onn wants some help at a crime scene. They find an oddly damaged truck and speculate over who or what could have done it, and what they were after. Given J’Onn’s extensive knowledge of aliens and actual training as an investigator, I’m not sure what Supergirl added to the scene, aside from filling in the viewers about what’s happening.

Kelly pays a call on her client, an alien kid in a group house that has security cameras and power dampers. That doesn’t sound a fun place to me. The lady running the place is older, brisk, and not really sympathetic to her charges. Kelly finally gets to Joey, the child in question, who is reading a Captain Carrot comic (one of DC’s goofier titles that has come and gone over the years). We gradually learn that Joey is worried about his brother, Orlando, who is in prison and not doing well. Kelly gets some details and decides to ask a favor to check on the brother. J’Onn, Supergirl, and Alex work on their truck robbery cases until Kelly comes by the tower to ask Kara for that favor. They talk about the benefits of the prison work release program and then Kara and Kelly leave to look into what’s going on with Orlando.

Nia looks at her photo album and dozes off. Her dream repeats and she meets up with Nxy. They have a long talk, and Nyx proposes an exchange of favors regarding freeing Nxy from the dream world, and her doing something that I think is a big mistake in return. The whole thing sounds very suspect to me, but Nia has been moping about her mother for a while now, and that subplot had to go somewhere. Kara and Kelly pay a call at the prison and talk to the warden. He seems friendly and concerned, but isn’t taking their worries seriously at all. The two decide to go around the red tape and see Orlando themselves. Kara pulls a few tricks with her powers that really make no sense at all, and they learn Orlando is already out on release for the day. They see him loaded onto a bus with the stereotypical, obligatory, bully of a prison guard. Kara decides there’s enough weirdness going on that it warrants more attention, and follows the bus from the air as Supergirl. She finds out what’s going on, is unexpectedly joined by J’Onn, and they end up in a fight where the bad guys get away despite of host of powers and enhanced senses available.

The warden gives an interview that slants events, and Supergirl fumes about it as she, Alex, and J’Onn try and figure out what’s going on. Supergirl goes to the prison to talk to the warden again as Kelly comes by to blame herself for what happened. Alex does her best to be the supportive, reassuring girlfriend as Kelly unburdens herself about the trip to the Phantom Zone and her recent feelings of helplessness.

Kara gets a follow up interview with the warden, and he’s still very nice and polite, but not willing to listen. He’s spinning things even as they talk, and Kara is getting suspicious. Nia revisits Nxy and turns down the offered deal, while the Imp argues with the local wildlife. At CatCo, Kara and William research the warden, and they engage in some blatantly illegal activities. Andrea comes up and berates them for not focusing on the Superfriends piece she wants. Andrea is driven and focused, but makes some halfway decent points about the reality of the business of modern media.

Kelly goes back to the group home and sees the woman running the place doing some questionable things. They argue for a bit and Esme, a precocious girl we saw before, listens in. William and Kara go over their illegal research and figure out the warden is on the take. The man himself calls trying to fix things, but gets some disturbing news from his Intergang contact. Later that night, Kelly jumps on the “gather evidence illegally” bandwagon, which works for vigilantes, but not for reporters. Supergirl, J’Onn and Alex figure out where the bad guys are (great job hiding with a stolen vehicle outside in plain sight) and the two alien heroes fly off to save the day. Defeating the Intergang guards goes about as you’d expect for two top-tier powered beings squaring off against lightly armed normals. The wrinkle comes when the alien prisoners are convinced no one is going to listen to them or help, and they try and flee. The heroes fight a defensive battle and Supergirl eventually manages to talk them down. This is followed up by William doing an interview with Supergirl on camera, which is a bit odd. Outside DC Comics, most reporters are either print or video, not both.

Andrea is thrilled with the piece, and chastises Kara a bit for not getting one done. She then tells everyone to get back to work, despite it clearly being night outside. William and Kara compare notes on investigative work, and they find they differ in opinion about Andrea’s priorities for the job. Kelly visits the group home again, brings all sorts of good news, and we see more with Esme. I feel like they gave that kid a lot of screen time, but if I’m supposed to know who she is, I missed it. At home, Kelly talks about her day, utterly ignoring her girlfriend’s role in saving the city from a dirty bomb. Alex, unfazed, brings Kelly a special present which is going to change her character a lot, and leads to some problems I’ll discuss in a future review. The episode ends with someone making a really bad decision and taking a deal they likely shouldn’t have.

What I liked: It’s arguably goofy, but I like the game nights as a grounding element for the characters, and showing that they have lives. This is about the only Arrowverse show where people really work at secret identities, outside of Superman and Lois, maybe giving some credit to Batwoman. The scenes with Esme, whoever she is, were entertaining. I’m intrigued to see where Kelly goes with her new path.

What I didn’t: Nia was being dense. J’Onn, whose powers include intangibility, was stopped by a force field? The aliens getting away was a big stretch. I’m really bothered, likely more than I should be, by the way Kara and William got some of their information. There are issues with Kelly’s new career, but as I said, I’ll talk about those later. The decision made at the end of the episode is just bad and foolish on every level.

Another decent but not great episode. I’ll give a low 3 out of 5. So far, the final season isn’t going out strong.