Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Supergirl Show 506: Confidence Women

My life is in a bit of flux these days so I have not been able to be on top of the Supergirl episodes as they come out. So I have been trying to catch up. And every time I think I have closed the gap, a new episode comes out!

So here is my 'better late than never' review of Episode 506, Confidence Women.

One thing that I have really loved about this show is how it has really leaned into its own continuity lately. Last year we had a great episode looking at how Lex Luthor had manipulated the Red Daughter Kara throughout the season, showing us how involved that plot was in all episodes. Even flashback episodes like Midvale show how the writers respect what has come before.

In 'Confidence Women', we get another flashback episode, this time focusing on two of the antagonists of this season, Lena Luthor and Andrea Rojas. Not only do we get new aspects to their stories, specifically how they were best friends before National City but we also see a lot of weaving of their histories into this show's history. We see scenes which take place in season one, season two, and last season. And most importantly, it again shows just how wounded Lena is, betrayed throughout her life by those she trusted the most.

I liked this episode very much,especially the tight continuity that came with it. And that came with surprise guest stars! Brilliant.

On to the episode.

Riproar remains a prisoner at the DEO and his mind seems impenetrable. Moreover, the tech he has embedded into him cannot be removed without killing him

And his bona fides are exemplary. He has 18 assassinations under his belt. But who does he work for?

While the group ponders, the security on the site is breached.

The shadow assassin who killed the host of the Aurafacian tattoo alien a couple of episodes ago begins to attack the crew. She is trying to make her way to Riproar.

Before she can reach him, she is thwarted by Supergirl.

And then, the reveal, the shadow killer is none other than Andrea Rojas.


In Lexcorp, Andrea approaches Lena for help.

She needs Lena's help to break into the DEO. (After an initial denial, Lena admits she knows what the place is.)

Andrea admits she works for someone who is trying to kill Riproar, eliminating him as a loose end. And while she does work for them, she wants to break into the DEO to save him

All she needs is help getting Supergirl out of the way.

With yet another way to screw over Kara, it became apparent what Lena would eventually say. But let's get there.

This whole 'evil Lena' thing is quite interesting to me.

We flash back 15 years to Mount Helena Boarding school where a young Lena and a young Andrea meet. None of their parents showed up on Parents Day. They are alone.

In this meeting we learn again how Lena's birth mother died. And just how much Lena loved her.

Andrea is something of a bad girl, getting them into a bar and talking about how confidence is everything, something we have seen Andrea show now.

The two fast become very close friends. And Lena admits her ultimate wish is to find a mythical Medallion of Acrata, supposedly a mystic device that can give the wearer the ability to bend shadow to their will.

It is clear this is Lena's first best friend as she opens up about so much.

And once again, kudos to the casting as these young actors are close to the adult actors like the young Kara/Alex were in 'Midvale'.

We now are 5 years earlier.

In the first of big cameos, we see Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor plotting to kill the newly arrived Superman. When a rather young and jaunty haired Lena says she won't take part in the murder, he fires her.

And so we see how Lena split from Lex and struck out on her own.

And Cryer back as Lex! Excellent!

 Meanwhile, Andrea has her own issues. Her father is the head of Obsidian Tech and a new cell phone he is launching is going to get crushed by a release by rival Lord Industry! Ha! A Maxwell Lord reference!!!

Andrea's father, suddenly suicidal, fires Andrea from his company.

When Lena and Andrea get together to commiserate and console, Lena talks of Lex creating a machine to aerosolize Kryptonite into the air. (Remember, this is how lead was put into the atmosphere to defeat the Daxamites in season 2! Nice call back!)

The only thing that could stop Lex is an alien metal that Lena has tracked to Costa Rica.

And it just so happens that the site of the metal is also a possible site of her mother's famous Medallion of Acrata.

The two women, still best of friends opt to explore forever.

Okay, I think I can die now.

I have seen Katie McGrath dressed like Tomb Raider.

And in fact, the two have a sort of mini-Lara Croft adventure, using maps and idols to find the site.

 Andrea trips a trap door and finds the chamber where the medallion lives.

Before Lena can join her, an old man seems to teleport in.

He is from Leviathan.

Andrea either has to agree to work for them in secret or they will kill her dad and ruin her family.

But if she agrees to be an agent for them, all will be well with Obsidian.

Despite protests how the medallion is all Lena has wanted in life ... both the stop Lex and prove her mother right ... Andrea takes it. She will be their agent.

Lena arrives and is crushed to see the medallion gone. But Andrea basically says the trail is cold, stopping Lena from looking further.

Once more, Lena has been lied to by her best friend.

But Leviathan holds up their end. The Lord phone tanks and Obsidian's stock rises.

Even then, it seems, Leviathan has long arms.

And then another great cameo.

Jack Spheer, Lena's old boyfriend played by Rahul Kohli back in season two shows up in a moment that takes place back then.

Lex is arrested for turning the sun red, a scene we saw last season!

 Jack takes Lena to a party where they see Andrea. And Andrea is openly wearing the medallion of Acrata.

An incensed Lena cannot believe her best friend lied and betrayed her. Another attack on Lena's psyche. After her family life, no wonder she is wounded.

Still in that timeline, Lena tells Jack she is leaving him to head to National City. Lena sees how Supergirl thwarted the Myriad attack at the end of season one and feels a calling.

She  needs to head to National City to work with a Kryptonian and repair the Luthor name. She can't trust Jack. She can't trust anyone. So she is leaving to strike out on her own.

At the same time, Andrea meets Russell Rogers.

He is a specialist in Cyber-bionics. But he won't work for her. He rather go out with her.

The two fall in love.

Then we get more flashbacks.

A bang-less Kara, looking like the second season Kara, thanks Lana for helping her break up an alien fight club, probably from episode 204. Kara even gives Lena back some emails that were hacked from LexCorp and sent to CatCo.

In a nice reaching out, Kara asks Lena to join her for family game night. Lena refuses. She doesn't want friends anymore.

As for Andrea, Leviathan finally comes calling.

She is to kill someone for them. And if she doesn't, Andrea's father will be killed.

Look at the card they give her! It sports the Leviathan symbol from the comic!!!

Oh no! I don't need more Leviathan theories!

 Using the medallion and instructions from Leviathan, Andrea activates her shadow powers and kills Governor Harper.

Harper .. a loaded name for Manhunters.

But more importantly, how crazy quick Andrea becomes a murderer.

We are now into season 3. Cat Grant is working for President Marsdin. Lena softens and slowly becomes Kara's friend.

As for Andrea ... well Russell stumbles onto her medallion. Leviathan shows up and basically beats him senseless. Andrea let him get to close. He has to die.

In an effort to keep him alive, Andrea tells Leviathan about his cyber-bionics work. Leviathan agrees to keep him alive as Riproar.

How awful Andrea must feel. Is he truly alive that way?

And now we flash forward to the end of last season. A bitter Lena realizes that she never needed anyone but herself. Certainly not friends.

But she can use people.

She sells CatCo to Andrea and lies, mending that bridge.

And now, in the future, Lena agrees to help Andrea get Riproar out.

I do feel for Lena. But I find her character delicious. And McGrath brings all the simmering rage.

In the DEO, Alex goes to get some Cadmus tech which might be able to remove the Riproar gear.

Supergirl inspires Russell to break through the Riproar programming. He drops the name Leviathan to her.

But then the trap is sprung.

Lena fakes her house being broken into and hits the Signal Watch.

Andrea phases into the DEO and places Incept fields which broadcast 'do no harm' thoughts into the agents.

Only Alex, armed with the psionic blockers, is unaffected.

A fight breaks out in the DEO.

J'onn, alarmed by feeling the Incept tech which feels like Malefic heads to the DEO. Andrea releases the alien tattoos again. Alex fights a brainwashed Brainy.

It all seems bad until Supergirl, triggered by Alex screaming her name, shows up to even the odds.

But not really.

Using her shadow power, Andrea grabs Riproar and leaves.

Another loss for the team.

Another episode where Supergirl really didn't do much.

Nothing left but the wrap up.

Lena betrays Andrea, forcing her to hand over the medallion or she'll incept Russell to kill himself.

Again, an angry Lena says that she would never betray a friend as Andrea did. This whole 'team up' was a lie to get the medallion, a key memory for Lena and her mother.

One thing is clear, don't cross Lena this season.

And once more, McGrath slays her.

And then things get even uglier.

Russell is shot in the chest by Leviathan.

Andrea needed the medallion only to activate her powers. She still is a shadow killer. And she still works for Leviathan.

 And Lena uses VR to see her mother once more and show her the medallion.

But then she sees that the Medallion also has Leviathan iconography.

Time to tap into Eve's memories.

After several episodes which pushed plot forward, it was great to  see a character driven show. And the fact it gave us the backstory of Lena and Andrea was a great choice. It reminded me of  the flashback episode showcasing Agent Liberty last season.

So far, while the plots are sort of preposterous and rely on some stretches and Supergirl hasn't had a chance to do much, this season is something of a delight. There is no pausing to catch your breath.


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