Review: Supergirl 4×05 – “Parasite Lost”

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

Director: David McWhirter

Writers: Maria Maggenti & Aadrita Mukerji

Starring: Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks & Chyler Leigh

 

Summary

Colonel Haley makes a surprising decision about Supergirl; Kara writes a series of articles about aliens in National City that end up putting them in harm’s way.

 

Positives

The most interesting aspect of this episode is how it presents the complexity and nuance of people. Kara interviews an alien faith healer named Amadei and writes a glowing article about him. At first, he seems to be a great guy. The episode later reveals that he is a dead beat dad. He had a one night stand and didn’t take responsibility. This makes Kara doubt herself but neither the episode nor the characters within demonize Amadei. He screwed up but he still does great things and has a good heart. It’s not a simplistic matter. With the same, Colonel Haley seems reasonable and kind. Alex and the Colonel easily work together and have a solid chemistry. And while Haley isn’t 100% happy with Alex when she doesn’t directly follow orders, Haley commends Alex’s results. And then the bomb is dropped. Haley is, apparently, against aliens and hates that aliens work in the D.E.O. A person that was easy to work with and relate to turned out to be somewhat bigoted.

I love what’s going on with James and Lena. Agent Liberty is getting to them by acting in a way that makes him seem reasonable while trying to mentally turn the tables and make them, James especially, feel like the bigoted ones. It’s a tactic to get a seat at the table and prevent powerful people from shutting them down. It’s the “so much for the tolerant left” phrase manifested. I am fascinated by where this may or may not take James and Lena because I can only see a negative outcome.

I like the direction the show is taking J’onn. The private investigator thing is a really fun idea and feels reminiscent of Angel. I kind of hope all of the characters leave the D.E.O. and form a detective agency together.

At first, it feels like the episode has three plots. But two of the plots actually turn out to be the same plot which was cool. I thought that was clever.

 

Negatives

I’m not sure what it is but this episode also felt somewhat off just like last week’s. Kara is very much present although there isn’t a lot of Supergirl. The plot is pretty thin due to the show’s intense focus on character and political commentary but I don’t feel there’s enough for Kara as a character. She’s in it a lot and I like all of her scenes but I kind of feel like the show doesn’t have much to say with her. The supporting cast is getting all of the interesting character moments. The first two episodes of the season had a lot more for her and I was loving how much her optimism was challenged to the point she was in denial about it. There are brief moments that are similar here but that’s about it for Kara.

 

Verdict

This is another solid episode. The characters are being put into fascinating conflicts without easy answers. I am really enjoying seeing these people challenged in the way that they are. And while I do think it is smart commentary on the current state of the country, I think it works just as well as a cool story on its own. Kara gets lost in the shuffle a little which is frustrating because it’s her show. But the episode is still very enjoyable.

 

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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.