Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Supergirl Episode 15: Solitude

Episode 15 of the Supergirl show was aptly named 'Solitude'. Not only do we get to see the Fortress of Solitude, we see each character dealing with relationships which have or are about to splinter. Early in the show, Supergirl learned the lesson 'Stronger Together'. This episode is her learning that lesson again.

No doubt, there is plenty of character progression here for all the characters. Everyone's solo stories and plots are moved forward here nicely. But there is also the progression of the overall arc as well. We learn about some of Supergirl's past. We learn about Fort Rozz and Non. And we see some of Non's plans.

Sandwiched into all of that are a wheelbarrow full of Easter Eggs, homages, and pop culture references. I will try to cover those that resonated the most with me because I don't think I could comment on them all.

If I have had one quibble with this show, it is that occasionally things feel rushed. Again, everybody's plot moved forward here, some more quickly than I anticipated. But with 5 episodes left and no second season announced yet, the writers probably feel they don't have any breathing room to let things simmer.

I may be burying the lede here but it was great to see Laura Vandervoort on the show. She was wickedly delicious as Indigo, a rather passionate living computer.

The episode opens with the Danvers sisters dealing with the fallout of Kara quitting the DEO.

In Kara's apartment, Alex tries to convince Kara to come back to the DEO. But even a box full of doughnuts can't convince Kara to forgive Hank. (Kara was hankering for a cruller.) Kara makes a strong point to say that she doesn't kill (hear that Snyder!). Kara wonders if it is time for her to be her own Supergirl, not part of a team. Is she moving towards solitude.

Back in the DEO, Alex tries to work of her frustration by sparring with Hank. Hank tells her that letting Kara know about Astra's death would only increase pain for both Danvers. He will deal with the loss of Kara because he has dealt with loss before. I suppose this is Hank showing that he will take on solitude to ease other's pain.

 Cat has received a thumb drive with all the personal information of people who use an 'unhackable' cheating website called Diamond Discretions. Cat tells Siobhan to destroy the thumb drive. People should be beyond indiscretions like this. She has been on the other side of such lurid stories and didn't appreciate it. Cat won't give legitimacy to this person. If CatCo runs the story, 'the terrorists win.'

I like that Cat draws a line like this. There are things more important than ratings. But more interesting is Lucy's response, demanding that liars be brought to justice even if in the public eye. It is peek into Lucy that makes me think Superwoman is going to happen.

When Cat doesn't run the story, the hacker shows up on all CatCo computers. This hacker has control of all of National City's computers. Suddenly traffic lights and banks are threatened.

Cat calls on Winn as 'Toyman Jr.' to use his computer powers to save the day. 'Toyman Jr.' is insensitive showing that Cat isn't a nice person all the time. I wonder why Winn, who has what seems to be limitless hacking capabilities, is working as the IT person at CatCo.

 At Kara's apartment, Winn's cyber-attack on the hacker attracts her attention. Traveling through the screen, Indigo suddenly appears looking suspiciously like Mystique from the XMen movies. Supergirl recognizes the three circle symbol of Brainiac which Indigo says is the symbol of 'the font of omniscient knowledge'.

Indigo isn't a cold computer construct. She calls Winn 'clever for an ape'. She walks around disparaging the heroes, talking about skinning them, and generally being haughty. She seems more like a replicant than Brainiac 5. I liked this aspect of her.

Before Indigo can kill James or Winn, Alex and Hank arrive. They were tracing an odd computer signal. Their arrival forces Indigo to retreat back into the internet.

It looks like it might be the moment to lure Kara back to the DEO but pretty coldly she tells Hank where to find the elevator.

Indigo ends up meeting with Non. We get a bit of knowledge about her. She was called Brainiac 8. She is from Colu. But she also seemed to have a rather passionate relationship with Non at some point. She looks like she is ready to crawl into his jumpsuit, talking about enjoying being choked now and again by him, and wanting to prove to him that her plans are better than Astra's. That is fascinating. Does Non/Indigo seem like a Bizarro Kara/Querl?

One plot that seems to be moving a bit too fast is the progression of Siobhan. Seemingly made of cold steel inside with a cruel bent, Siobhan is suddenly off her game. She fails on several tasks for Cat and is suddenly called 'Brown Hair' rather than her name.

She reveals to Winn that her father was one of the names on Diamond Discretions. As a teen she walked in on him with another woman and he promised her he would never do it again. To see it happening again has unnerved her.

Now I will be very very pleased if this is all a feint by Siobhan to work her way into Winn's good graces. Although, failing Cat seems risky as a twist.

Realizing she can't count on the DEO for information (including the Alura AI) and with Winn now working with the DEO, Kara is taken to the Fortress of Solitude by James to get some information.

Seriously, this is one great scene. We learn that Supergirl is faster than Superman (a nod to Loeb's run?). We see Superman keeps a super-heavy key under the welcome mat, a direct nod to All-Star Superman. There are the Jor-El and Lara statues holding the planet Krypton. We see a close-up of a Legion flight ring (AHHHH!!!!). We see a glowing red/orange stone (maybe Red K?). And then Kelex arrives to tell the two about Indigo, sentient computer information who tried to kill off all of Krypton's people by deactivating defense systems.

 It becomes clear to both the DEO, the Supergirl/James team, and Lucy working on her own that Indigo used the Diamond Discretions hack to get into the digital life of a General who has access to nuclear missiles. There is a nice sequence of cutting back and forth between the DEO and CatCo to see how the plan is figured out.

But Lucy is upset because the trip to the Fortress derailed a date she had with James. Lucy feels that James is slipping away. And that feeling doesn't get easier when Kara talks about the James's first camera, given to him by his father. We knew that story from a prior episode but Lucy has never heard it.

James has never truly opened up to Lucy. She is sort of alone despite being in a relationship.

 Indigo's schemes actually work. She gets access to Fort Pemberton (a nod to the Star Spangled Kid?) and kills the troops there in a very Mystique-y style of fighting. She stretches her arms so she can turn both keys making this already the best Fantastic Four movie of the past 15 years.

Supergirl arrives, skirmishes, and then takes off to stop the nuclear missile that has been fired to National City.

 It is a great sequence showing how difficult it might be to grab a speeding rocket. But with the help of the DEO, Supergirl learns the analog kill code to deactivate the nuke.

I can't believe I live in a world where I saw Supergirl streaking to stop a nuclear missile. It is insane!

And Indigo is dispatched when force fed a computer virus from Winn. It is a virus he 'accidentally made' one time. Maybe he really is 'Toyman Jr.'.

Before she dies, Indigo says that it was her computer powers that reactivated Kara's pod in the Phantom Zone and used it to drag Fort Rozz onto Earth. In some ways, Kara is responsible for all the criminals being here. Interesting.

 With Indigo gone, there is nothing left but some character wrap-ups.

Winn offers Siobhan some support and she thanks him with a kiss and maybe more. Again, this could all be a ruse from Siobhan to turn Winn. But if not, then this is a sudden turn and I'll be confused. Knowing she will be the Banshee, I have to assume she is still wicked.

Meanwhile, Lucy calls out James for his love of Kara ... not Supergirl! Lucy breaks it off. And now all Lucy will have is to run back to Daddy. Here comes Superwoman.

 But the strongest scene is when Alex finally comes clean with Kara. Chyler Leigh really brings it here, breaking down and asking for forgiveness. Kara, after a great and pregnant pause, hugs her sister, forgiving her. And in a great moment, she grabs Hank's hand before he can leave the room. They are a team.

All the feels!!!

That would have been a fine ending.
But instead we get the best Easter Egg ever. Non has not only grabbed the parts of the destroyed Indigo but seems to have the Omegahedron (from the Supergirl movie!!). Myriad is coming.


Again we get so much stuff here.
James and Lucy are broken up.
James and Kara might be in love with each other.
Hank, Alex, and Kara forgive each other.
Winn hooks up with Siobhan.

There was also comments on Windows Vista, Quidditch, a license plate that said Plastino, etc etc.

This show is really becoming something special. I do hope we get a second season announcement soon.

Because there was a Legion Flight Ring!!!!


KET said...

Great episode with lots of foreshadowing for future installments. And while Kara did embrace her sister and grab Hank's hand for reconciliation, her face seemed to indicate lingering doubt...perhaps regarding her true place on Earth in the wake of Indigo's reveal of how she got there.

Yeah, Legion flight would be so appropriate for them to suddenly appear on this show. :)


Anonymous said...

I'd a loved to have know exactly why randomly nuking National City was such a superior plan to the still mysterious "Myriad" scheme?
That part struck me as clunky, on the other hand the missile pursuit homaged (and improved on) the "army bird-navy bird" twin nuclear missile chases in "Superman the Motion Picture" its a net win at the end of the day.
I've maintained from the git-go that "Myriad" will disappoint when its revealed, likely its some sort of colonization scheme since Indigo alluded to "living alongside humans" as part of Non's Nefarious Plan. But the reveal as to who snuffed Astra has good emotional beats that'll resonate into next season if exploited properly.
The Siobhan/Win thing might be a preemptive thing to get under Kara's skin since "Brown Hair" had some critical setbacks this week, its a good set up for when Silver Banshee rolls in....


KET said...

"I'd a loved to have know exactly why randomly nuking National City was such a superior plan to the still mysterious "Myriad" scheme?"

I don't know if it was superior, but it seems Indigo's original plan prior to being sentenced to Fort Rozz was 'wipe out all the Kryptonians and take over'. Seems like the new plan was merely a small revision of the old one.

As for Siobhan and Winn getting together, perhaps her plan includes accessing his IT skill set, since it's uncertain whether she actually destroyed that flash drive Cat received.


Darrin said...

I was really looking forward to reading your thoughts on this episode. Great coverage. Shiobhan / Silver Banshee is a favorite villain of mine and like you i felt her sudden series of failures seemed rushed. Loved seeing Laura Vandervoort on the show. Ruth and I really liked the episode overall, but were disappointed that Kara went to the Fortress of Solitude without talking to Clark. Really ... Barging into his house without letting him know and when he's invited her to go so many times. It seemed out of character. An exchanged call and a comment that "Clark can't get away right now" would have fixed it, but it's only a quibble. Thanks as always for the insight Anj!

Anj said...

Thanks for all the comments.

I thought nuking National city was just the first of many cities to go up in smoke.

I think Myriad is going to be about mind control. It'll force Supergirl to 'fight' her friends. She might team up with aliens she's caught (enemy of my enemy). And it'll set up a Supetman cameo.

As for heading to the Fortress, I wouldn't have mind an IM to Clark, although James talks about it like he has free reign to drop by.

Anonymous said...

Agree that Laura V on the show was the best point. The fact that the writers gave her more of a
backstory / linkage to Supergirl than other villans of the week so far, plus all the scenes where
she got to interact with the cast 1on1... TRUELY a treat! little too meta for me when I couldn't help but think of the Laura V v Melissa B fight as a
super(girl) catfight though :)

Regarding the ICBM scene, alittle Terminator 2 cliche for me. I do agree with JF it has a beautiful
echo of Superman I, but I wish TPTB showed it was more of a brawn over brains scene... maybe Supergirl
flying the missile out of the atmosphere and flinging it into the sun.

Hank / Alex's quip leading up to it though : "What the hell is that?!" / "That's my sister!" PRICELESS!

The supercousin relationship still gets short shrift though, especially how Kara admits she has
been invited over before, but keeps coming up with excuses not to go.

The two weakest scenes IMO though is the JimmyxLucy breakup scene, and the Alex confessional scene.
I mean, they do make sense logically, but to me they felt so rushed in the overall scheme of things.

Will have to see how things play out.


Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention : COMPLETELY missed the Legion Flight Ring... AND THE OMEGAHEDRON! SCHWEEEEEET!
LOVE THE FAN LOVE TPTB put into this series!