Supergirl, Season 4, Episode 5 “Parasite Lost”
Remember when Alex’s desire for motherhood was so all-consuming, she sacrificed a loving relationship for it? Supergirl doesn’t. Remember when Kara had enough of a life outside of work that she had time for things like boy troubles, because once again, Supergirl doesn’t. The series is as relevant to today as it has ever been, but in so focusing, it has chained its characters to a political plot engine. The heart that often made Supergirl special now feels like a distant memory. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of Supergirl:
What’s the scoop: Parasite is on the loose, and Alex has a new boss looking over her shoulder. Alex is still, in name, Director of the DEO but Colonel Haley is a little more hands-on than her oversight job title describes. Despite all that, Haley is supportive, even when Alex goes off-book to improve efficiency, or has to improvise when taking down an enemy that Kara can’t punch into submission. Everything goes swimmingly until the end, when Haley reveals herself to be as anti-alien as Lockwood, and desires to make the DEO more militaristic. Neither are good developments for Alex.
Meanwhile in B-plot Land: J’onn is easing into a new role that is a callback to his private eye comic book origins. He’s taken over the alien support group and is turning into that community’s go to problem solver, now that they don’t feel like the police protect or serve aliens any more. Kara interviews an alien healer named Amadei. After the story runs, the amulet that keeps him alive is mysteriously stolen. J’onn is asked to find the amulet, and traces it Amadei’s estranged daughter, whose mother is embittered, and Amadei’s harsh treatment two decades ago has turned to an anti-alien crusader, spouting about the Agents of Liberty. The amulet falls into Parasite’s hands for a stretch, complicating the main story. J’onn eventually recovers the artifact, and reunites Amadei with his daughter, to boot.
Meet Me on the Balcony: The balcony is no longer the place for characters to bare their souls; it is James’ go to spot to brood. And, boy does he love a good brood. He’s stuck between being a hero again, and being a hero to a group of people he finds disgusting. Ben Lockwood, who has become a bit of an Alex Jones-type media figure when not hatching evil schemes, crops up at a luncheon where James is a keynote speaker. James’ desire to serve the greater good wins out, and he even hatches a plot of his own to get on the inside of the militant anti-alien movement through its love of Guardian.
What about the action: Not a lot of punching to be had in this episode. Most of the effects budget seems to have been spent on turning aliens into husks by Parasite’s powers. Speaking of Parasite, he’s ultimately taken down, not by a gun, but from a heartfelt plea from Alex, who realized the former DEO agent Parasite is infecting may be in over his head. The appeal to his humanity works and he does himself in, but not without a dire warning about the movement first.
What’s next: I’m guessing more “ripped from the headlines” type stuff and fewer scenes about karaoke or ice cream.
Last impressions: All shows evolve. Some for the better, some for the not-so-good. Supergirl has become that fun friend who went off to college, read some books about philosophy and political thought, and now can’t shut up about “the system, man.” I appreciate the series’ attempts to be relevant and to speak on issues the writers and producers are clearly passionate about. It has done so, though, at the expense of the characters and relationships that have always been the backbone of the show (the half-hearted brunch scene at the start of the episode only served to bring that realization into clearer focus). In its attempt to be topical, Supergirl has become like eighty percent of the rest television, and discarded what made it special.