[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Director: Tawnia McKiernan
Writers: Cindy Lichtman, Alix Sternberg & Robert Rovner
Starring: Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks & Chyler Leigh
Morgan Edge accuses Lena of trying to assassinate him, while Alex tries to help Sam.
It’s nice to have a story focused on Lena and James. I’ve felt that the writers have not been sure what to do with Lena this season and they’ve had a hard time with James for a much longer time. So I appreciate when episodes give them the focus. It was also cool to see James finally suited up again on a mission with Supergirl and Mon-El.
The reveal of who is behind the assassination is obvious, but still cool. I enjoyed a lot of the villains’ scenes and the end fight is pretty cool.
While I like that James has a lot of screen time, he is pretty much just Lena’s bodyguard. He doesn’t seem to exist outside of her. Since season two, he has felt like he’s on a different show. The relationship with Lena helps him feel slightly more connected, but as soon as he suits up as Guardian, the entire style and tone changes. Last year, James talked about wanting to inspire hope instead of fear. What happened to that? They just dropped it and Guardian is still just as out of place as he was last season.
Alex and Sam’s story was a disappointment for me. Nothing really happened. I figured last episode’s cliffhanger would lead the characters to figuring out that Sam is Reign. The episode played like Sam’s blood would have a clue but no one finds anything. Sam freaks out for an episode and then all of the major female characters drone on about the power of love and friendship. I talked about in last week’s review but I’m tired of always being ten steps ahead of Kara. Watching characters be clueless is not all that fun. It makes the episode feel like filler.
Some of the dialogue is cringe worthy. I’m used to this show being a little cheesy; that’s a part of the charm and fun of the show. But this episode throws out a lot of platitudes and everyone has weird flowery speeches; Sam has several. All I could think of was the line from the Black Lightning pilot in which the titular characters has to ask someone to stop speaking in poetry and start talking real. Sometimes, it stopped sounding like real people having a conversation and felt more similar to a Twitter argument.
This is one of my least favorite episodes of the season so far second only to the crossover. The main problem is the dialogue with quite a bit of it feeling awkward and unnatural. The main plot is fine; I like that it’s a Lena-focused story and that James has screen time. It’s not a great mystery but it’s fun. Besides the crossover, this and last week’s episodes have been the only weak links in a really strong season. It feels like the momentum and drive have both been lost.