Supergirl: 4.08 Bunker Hill
This is a slightly shallow episode. On the surface, we get some fairly interesting character stuff and what feels like a small resolution but its actually something of a parking episode, puttying the main stories on hold for the crossover event next week.
While the key focus is on Nia and discovering what her powers are and potential are, we also get to see Manchester and Agent Liberty have their showdown. Alas, both stories are propped up by very tired, unimaginative tropes.
We’re also presented with Supergirl, finally, quitting the DEO after the president demands to know her secret identity. I was left with mixed feelings about this; I’m glad to see Supergirl move away from the DEO as that relationship has never sat right with me and as a comic book fan its always exciting to see TV and movies tackle the concepts that go with superhero registration and public clarity. Perhaps the only thing that doesn’t sit right for me is a slightly pedantic one (but something I feel is common across this show), everyone is acting as if Supergirl has a secret identity? Like, the president knows she has a secret identity and wants to know it but surely they just think she’s Supergirl? No one has any reason to think that she is anyone else. As audience we know she lives a double life but for the people in her world, that’s quite a jump to make, especially since they know she’s connected to Superman. That aside, I'm glad karas has left the DEO – lets hope it sticks!
Manchester, in his pursuit of Agent Liberty, ends up at Ben’s house having tea with his wife. This whole section is so clichéd that I almost switched off. Despite some good performances during the “tense” scenes, they actually lacked tension and were boringly predictable.
The over tread trope of someone masquerading as an old friend to get access to someone home and then spend time with that person’s partner is unimaginative as well as insulting to intelligence of the characters. Ben’s wife is either overly trusting, stupid or both. She blandly sits about making tea while her hubby and Manchester cryptically talk about Bunker Hill and antique weapons. Its all rather perfunctory and leads to an inevitable showdown between the two, with Supergirl, Nia and J’onn all working in their own way to avert disaster.
Nia gets some time with Braniac trying to interpret her future vision dreams. She comes out as an alien and explains the powers she has. Brainy, of course, knows her future legacy and helps as much as he feels he can without damaging the timeline. Nia isn’t a very interesting character and I’m thinking that maybe Supergirl, in general, has the most bland supporting characters.
The episode does have a great finale moment, when Supergirl gets welded to the floor of an alien metal factory with said metal. Realizing she doesn’t have time to free herself properly, she starts flying a lifts the building off the ground enough to disable the bad guys. This is a pretty cool hero moment, something the show has been lacking for a while now.
The episode ends with Ben behind bars and Supergirl out of the DEO. Unfortunately this doesn’t feel like an end of the story but I didn’t feel the shudder of excitement about what would happen next. From this point, I'm not sure I want to see anymore of Agent Liberty, this was a fairly satisfying end to a narrative that started very strong but tread water a bit too long. If I felt they were leaving the core story here and focusing on the fall out from the political unrest only, I’d be excited but Ben has an Inspector Gadget style I’ll see you next time moment as the episode ends so this whole episode becomes very clearly a resting point , shelving the main story for a few weeks, so we can concentrate on the crossover event.
Another solid if hollow episode in a series that, so far, has great themes and ideas but perhaps too many episodes to stretch it across. Here’s hoping they can focus a little more after next weeks Big Event…