Review: Supergirl 5×04 – “In Plain Sight“
[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: David McWhirter
Writers: Jay Faerber & Jessica Kardos
Starring: Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh, Katie McGrath, Jesse Rath, Nicole Maines, Azie Tesfai, Andrea Brooks, Staz Nair & David Harewood
Reviewed by: Sean Blumenshine
Kara’s investigation into William Day’s “criminal” activities results in the shocking revelation he is not who she thinks. Meanwhile, the conflict between Malefic and J’onn J’onzz reaches a boiling point.
This is, for now, the final appearance of Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen. I love the send off he’s given. It’s very much in line with who this character has been on the show and full of heart. His story with Kelly is also interesting. The idea of going back to your roots and discovering that it’s in bad shape is captivating. It’s almost a shame that it’s used to get James off the show because I would actually like to watch this story unfold.
I am impressed with the speed of the season. I figured J’onn’s secret would get dragged out for a while as well as Kelly having to hide. But the Malefic story comes to a head in this episode. Obviously, the story has room to continue but I like that the initial conflicts had resolution.
Alongside James, J’onn really gets to shine in this. His monologue at the museum was very touching. I love that J’onn has such a dynamic and complex story this year that really allows David Harewood to show off his acting chops.
Unfortunately, James and J’onn having so much good material means Kara is sidelined a little. She’s investigating William for most of the episode but the conclusion is so obvious that it’s hard to get too invested. It feels like she’s barely in the episode. It is forgivable since it’s James’ last episode and he has been the most neglected character on the show.
The reveal with William is strange. Part of it is that it was obvious he’s investigating Andrea; that latter aspect is the interesting part. Who is Andrea and what is she up to? But William secretly being a nice guy isn’t that compelling and it doesn’t excuse how badly he treated Kara. There’s a difference between keeping to yourself and being an asshole which didn’t actually help him. Acting that way drew attention to him. And he was only ever mean to Kara. I think the writers just wanted to do a twist so the character acted like a jerk so they could do a big reveal.
This is a mostly great episode. When it hits the ball, it’s a home run. Everything with J’onn and Malefic is captivating; I love this story. This is a satisfying goodbye to James. But the episode doesn’t hit every ball. Kara feels like a footnote, Lena is still nonsensically crazy and William’s reveal is obvious and inconsistent. But those elements don’t overshadow the elements that are really great.