Review: Supergirl 5×16 – “Alex in Wonderland“
[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
DIrector: Tawnia McKiernan
Writers: Jessica Kardos, Mariko Tamaki & Rob Wright
Starring: Melissa Benoist, Chyler Leigh, Jesse Rath, Nicole Maines, Azie Tesfai, Andrea Brooks, Julie Gonzalo, Staz Nair & David Harewood
Reviewed by: Sean Blumenshine
Alex uses a pair of Obsidian contact lenses to visit a virtual National City where she takes on a whole new persona. Meanwhile, Kelly helps William investigate Lex. Kara deals with difficult news.
This feels like an episode from an earlier season mostly because it’s dealing with forgotten story lines. Jeremiah Danvers is finally addressed although Dean Cain does not make an appearance. It’s nice to finally have a conclusion; it’s weird that the story was ignored for so long although I understand the behind the scenes reason.
What I enjoyed more was the follow up on Hank Henshaw. While it’s not the real him, I still liked it. The character was wasted as a goofy looking henchman in season two but there’s potential for a compelling villain here. J’onn stole his face, name and life. That’s a great motivation; it was cool to see what he would be like as a primary antagonist. And David Harewood gets to really chew the scenery which is a lot of fun.
Kara lives on Hope street. I’m sure they’ve shown that detail before but I can’t remember. It’s goofy even for this show.
It kind of sucks to have two episodes in a row with very little Kara. She felt more present in last week’s episode. But she only has two scenes in this. And it’s bizarre that, in Alex’s fantasy, Kara has no place in it.
William is kind of a terrible journalist. He’s filled with conspiracy theories based on nothing. He’s lucky in this circumstance because he happens to be right. But we don’t get to see him discover anything. He just knows Lex is evil because it makes him look good in front of Kara. Other characters, such as Kelly in this instance, have to point out that he has no facts. Kelly isn’t even a reporter and she knows more than him. If his recklessness is part of a story line for him and there’s character growth, then that’s okay. But it doesn’t feel like that’s the direction they’re going.
And the reason I want it to be something William has to overcome is because it gives him a neat parallel with Kara. She was very reckless in earlier seasons and it was a lesson she had to learn over time. I like the idea that Nia represents the geekier side of Kara while William represents the more impulsive side.
This episode is fine. Alex centered episodes are never my favorites. It look me a little while to warm up to character early on and this episode regresses her to a lot of what I didn’t like about her in season one. Seeing Alex as Supergirl is fun for a couple scenes but I didn’t need an entire episode about it. But the episode was enjoyable enough.