Supergirl: 4.07 Rather the Fallen Angel
This is a bit of a slow episode and I feel like the show is losing momentum a little after a pretty strong start.
The three core plot strands focus on Lena and her first human test subject, Supergirl and Manchester Black teaming up and Jaaaames infiltrating the Children of Liberty. The problem with each of these three story strands is that they’re all rather predictable, each strand has an element of surprise/double cross/twist to it but they’re all very perfunctory.
After trying to infiltrate the Children of Liberty, James is held prisoner by Agent Liberty who wants him to stand as a Poster Boy for his cause. Jimbo refuses until Tom, the guy from last week who helped him meet the Children of Liberty, tries to help him escape, they both get captured and Jimmy agrees to blow up an alien monument to protect Tom. Good old Jimbo. Jimmy gives a bit if a speech about working on his reputation his whole life but that it doesn't matter but the speech doesn't make much sense? Even Jaaames realises this by episode end.
Supergirl teams up with Manchester to search for Agent Liberty, after finding some clues they track Agent Liberty to the island alien processing centre. The bulk of this storyline is the least interesting of the episode until the finale. More and more I feel like Supergirl is the least interesting character in the show and here she's very passive in the story. While this version of Manchester Black is a bit of a messy interpretation of the character, he is at least compelling. It feels like the overreaching plot is steering us towards Manchester becoming one of Lena’s test subjects.
The finale this week is actually pretty solid. After Manchester tricks Supergirl into entering the power dampening field at the processing island, she gets captured and placed in the monument that Jimbo has been blackmailed to blow up. The action and tension in this end scene is great and I do like how Manchester is no nonsense and just shoots the bad-guys.
The most interesting aspect this week is probably Lena and her first test subject. The outcome is incredibly predictable and it was a vey basic relationship that develops between Lena and the test subject, Adam. It allows us some more insight into Lena and her childhood with the Luthors as well as her fear of possessing an innate badness, all of which is nice and needed as we go down this path of her questioning her goodness. I’m a big fan of Katie McGrath and while I’d rather see her as Lois Lane (or Wonder Woman) her performance is what elevates Lena. This episode gives her a good opportunity to flex her acting muscles.
Overall this was a flabby episode that only pushes our characters forward a little bit. Jimmy hasn’t really developed or learned anything much (apart from the importance of his reputation which prompts him to try and build bridges with Lena) and Kara gains nothing this week. Manchester shows he’ll do anything for revenge but he’d already kind of done that so it was a solid, entertaining stalemate of an episode, with Lena being the only character we get any real new insight into. J’onn feeling like he’s failed Manchester is interesting but only if we later focus on the idea he’s becoming obsessed with saving one man to make up for failing so many others (e.g. Fiona) and in the process ignoring those others. I can’t help feeling the show might just side track J’onn’s greater goal to focus on our core characters, as this show often does.
I feel like the show is much better than last season, even if the dialogue this week was a little on the nose explainy but the episodes don’t seem to be going anywhere or expanding the themes much on a weekly basis. Maybe the show needed to relax back and just take its time but it also needs to do more, otherwise I’m just watching the same character beats week in, week out. Something new needs to happen, soon!