Review: Supergirl 5×14-“The Bodyguard”
[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Director: Gregory Smith
Writers: Emilio Ortega Aldrich, Chandler Smidt & Lindsay Sturman
Starring: Melissa Benoist, Chyler Leigh, Katie McGrath, Jesse Rath, Nicole Maines, Azie Tesfai, Julie Gonzalo, Staz Nair & David Harewood
Reviewed by: Sean Blumenshine
Lex tasks Supergirl with protecting Andrea from an anti-tech extremist; Lena moves forward with Non Nocere, with Lex’s help.
It’s been a minute since there’s been a good villain of the week. It was one of the strengths of the show’s first season and it kind of went away when more focus was put on the season big bads as is typical with genre shows of this nature. But the writers manage to write a decently complex villain with a short amount of time. I called the twist pretty early but the character is compelling.
Another highlight is that the villain de-powers Kara so the two can’t fight it out. Supergirl has to appeal to her humanity. I obviously like it when Supergirl punches things but I always love when this scenario happens. Heroes need to have compassion and empathy.
There’s a good theme of obsession that links a lot of the stories together. The villain has a good point; Andrea’s tech is dangerous. But the character’s grief leads to obsession and that leads to violence. Lex points this out in dialogue; his obsession with Superman led to his downfall. And while he directly makes the connection to Lena’s obsession, the idea of it being her downfall goes over her head. Similarly, Lex does not see that his current obsession with Leviathan will more than likely not end well for him.
Speaking of Lena, her story finally got interesting. The writers go out of their way to make her more sympathetic again. Maybe it’s just because Lex is there so we have an actual villain to compare her to. It is finally made clear that what she wants is not mind control. There’s complexity again; this is the character I’ve been missing all season. She genuinely cares about people and wants to help. But she was raised by the Luthors; that’s a hard thing to escape. And with Lex there to manipulate her, she’s unknowingly stepping into darkness.
And I love how Lex is able to manipulate her and we saw it last season too. He tells the truth. There’s always an agenda behind his words but he means them. And in a season in which Lena is dealing with the dishonesty of her only friends, Lex’s honesty means a lot to her. And she’s in too much pain to recognize the bad situation she’s in.
Once the villain’s motivations are revealed, the main plot is great. But until then, Supergirl having to bodyguard Andrea doesn’t lead to much. Crisis wiped out her interesting backstory so she’s been kind of a blank slate lately. I was hoping this episode would define her a bit. But, ultimately, the story only serves to further Lex’s agenda and to force Supergirl to be in the same room as William. The villain is great but it takes a second to get there.
I don’t love Kara agreeing to go on a date with William. She made a really mature decision. If she can’t be honest with him, it’s not okay to be with him. She’s making the exact same mistake she made with Lena. William tells Supergirl things he might not want to say to Kara and vice versa. It feels like reversing the character arc she had literally only two episodes ago.
I really enjoyed this episode; it reminded me of season one in a lot of ways. This is a solid villain with a compelling motivation and isn’t someone that can just be punched into submission. There’s more to it than that. Lena’s story finally got back on track; I love her relationship with Lex and how he exploits it. Despite some gripes, the writing team thematically ties the different elements together in a neat bow; this is a really well written episode.