Review: Supergirl 4×02 – “Fallout”

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers]

Director: Harry Jierjian

Writers: Maria Maggenti, Daniel Beaty & Dana Horgan

Starring: Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks & Chyler Leigh

 

Summary

When a shocking revelation brings chaos to National City, Supergirl sets out to capture Mercy Graves.

 

Positives

I like how much more confident and mature Kara seems to be this season. She was kind of a mess last year, which I liked a lot, but it’s nice to see her come out of that in a natural way that is positive and I like her more than ever. The other Berlanti-verse shows struggled with this in their respective third and fourth seasons so it’s nice to see this one stick the landing.

I think Agent Liberty is going to be this show’s best villain. He only has two scenes but his second one is great. Sam Witwer is fantastic. This character could easily have been a generic cartoon, like the Graves, but Witwer is commanding and charismatic in the role. That makes him terrifying. Additionally, I love the dichotomy of Supergirl and Agent Liberty both essentially wearing the American flag but using it for different means. Supergirl wants to inspire while Agent Liberty wants to manipulate and control using fear.

I like the history between Lena and Mercy. It helps make Mercy feel a little more like a person and it adds some nice backstory to Lena. Nothing is really done with it but I enjoyed the scene in which Lena told Kara about Mercy. I also like that Lena gets to take part in the action for a little bit.

I really enjoyed Brainy’s subplot. He knows everything is going to be fine; people will eventually accept aliens and Earth will get to a better place. But that doesn’t make the present even slightly easier to deal with. That’s really pessimistic especially for this show. I like that. And I dug the connection Brainy made with Nia.

So far this season, it feels like Cat Co. will be playing a bigger part in the show which is nice. Personally, I love when Superman stories make the journalism a prevalent element. And if modern Superman movies won’t use that hardly at all, I’m glad Supergirl will. It also gives James a great subplot about how media outlets should deal with topics that are heavy on social politics and controversy.

 

Negatives

The Graves siblings are not working for me. The performances are way too over the top. I am fine with this show being a little cheesy; that’s part of the charm and I’ll take it over grim dark any day. But these two episodes are dealing with a serious topic that, when the Graves aren’t on screen, is effective. When they are on screen, it’s a cartoon and it takes me out completely.

There is a member of the D.E.O. that helps out the Graves. This would be fine but his motivations are weak. What turns him is that he finds out that Braniac 5 is an alien and that upsets. On its own, that is fine and fits the story being told. But if this guy works for the D.E.O., he would have worked for Martian Manhunter. I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a secret. And even if he’s new, he’s been working with Supergirl. What is it about Brainy that upsets him?

Lena is so dumb. I can give the show some leeway with the secret identity stuff but Lena practically watches Kara catch bullets in this episode. How does she not know?

 

Verdict

This is a really good episode. Like the premiere, the themes and character development are way more interesting than the plot itself but that doesn’t really bother me. I like the situation that the world is in and how that differently affects each character. Agent Liberty adds a lot of promise. Despite some minor issues, I think this season is heading in a really great direction.

 

 

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Sean Blumenshine

I am currently a senior at Wichita State University studying communications. I started reading comics in 2013 because of how much I loved Man of Steel and season one of Arrow. My favorite hero is the Green Arrow and my favorite villain is the Joker.