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“Ahimsa” was a deep character dive into what the current battle of division is doing to members of our hero team. J’onn is angry, Alex is losing control, and we meet a new player, Manchester Black. Where will he land in this battle of Earth First vs. Alien Amnesty?
The Name’s Black, Manchester Black
After leaving Supergirl and Alex at the DEO and being completely flustered, J’onn returns home to find a visitor helping himself to some Co-off-Eee (I miss M’yrnn…). After threatening each other appropriately we find out that we’re meeting Manchester Black, fiancé to Sofia, whom J’onn has been searching out since her disappearance at the hands of Agent Liberty. Black has observed that J’onn has been looking so he comes to J’onn to find out what he knows. J’onn shares that he was investigating a police officer that Sofia had identified as a person of interest. Black finds the cop and pretends to lose his job to a “roach” and the cop opens up about an upcoming battle at a police station later that evening. J’onn and Black alert the DEO and they go to assist. J’onn Martian Manhunter-ers out and takes down some baddies while we watch Black fight from a defensive posture. When one of the baddies (controlled-by-telepathy aliens) says the word “Ahimsa” Black immediately stops fighting. After the battle J’onn and Black talk about the significance of the word and the philosophy of “Ahimsa,” a Hindu concept that deals with the ability to flip a switch in your mind to not act out to harm someone else. We also hear of Black’s history with Sofia and how much she has shaped him into the man that he is today. When the final battle goes down, Black and J’onn find Sofia and she is disconnected from controlling the aliens fighting. J’onn is able to take away her pain but there is no stopping her death. (Which is odd since I thought she was dead back in episode 1, “American Alien”) As Black goes through the grief the “Ahimsa” switch gets turned off and he goes to find enough weapons to make himself a one-man army. Rut-ro, Shaggy!
It’s Lonely at the Top
Alex is having a very bad, no good, terrible day. She’s facing a rogue agent that set the Grave’s free, another rogue agent that set a couple of aliens free in the “Desert Facility” and got himself killed for it. She’s dealing with the fact that Supergirl is in an armored suit to keep her alive from the Kryptonite laden atmosphere. She’s dealing with a dividing staff over the Earth First movement and she’s dealing with a President of the United States with a Col. Haley having her control stick up his a$$. On top of all of that Supergirl will not put her heroine-self in time out and continues to put herself at risk when she goes out on missions. Alex has had it. So she takes it out on Supergirl. All of it. She threatens Supergirl to find another gig besides the DEO if she can’t follow Director Danvers’ orders. Capiche? Upon unloading her frustration on J’onn and at the same time giving him wisdom about reconciling who we are vs. who we want to be, a more level-headed Alex pulls Supergirl into the final battle knowing that she has to rely on her own instincts and Supergirl’s judgment. After her instinct pays off and they win the final battle Alex gets applause from her team and a new unwelcome Col. Haley looking over her shoulder for the foreseeable future.
Put Those Feelings in a Box, Mmmmmk?
Alex tasks Brainy and Lena on fixing the atmosphere to get rid of the Kryptonite. Brainy can’t seem to get a handle on getting a workable answer. He’s getting angry and downright emotional about it so he yells at Lena. She teaches him to take his feelings and put them into imaginary boxes and get to work. He immediately feels better and comes to the conclusion that L-Corp has nanites that can be taught to find the elements of Kryptonite in the air and “eat” them. Brainy also goes on to figure out from J’onn’s telepathy on Sofia and her description of things around her smelling like a “Pick & Mix” that our team of the Graves and Jensen are at the National City Fair. Agent Liberty tells our baddie team that their plan is too small because if you want aliens to be monsters then you reach the masses through their children. (Booooooooooo) The DEO, Exo-Suit Supergirl, Manchester Black, and Guardian (!) come to the Fair to take the baddies out. A controlled alien takes out Mercy and Otis once he is set free from the mind control. Supergirl is set free from her armor and we also check in on Red Daughter as the atmosphere is also now clear in Russia so she wants to get on with her training now. Oh, and Guardian has no charges put on him for coming back. In fact, the Earth First movement is turning him into a Hero for the Cause! Also, Nia was sleeping at her desk again. Hmmmmmmmmm…
I actually shed tears of logic at this episode. After one of the worst outings of the entire series last week (IMHO) my show came back! Seriously, this episode gave me things to think about (how do we reconcile who we are vs. who we want to be?), it gave me a new character that I immediately became invested in – I almost did cry at the end of Sofia – and it gave me very realistic portrayals of characters dealing with unwinnable situations over ideology. Yes, the bad guys are still promoting their hate speech and tactics – by the way, stomping on my Beebo is a definite metaphor for life – but we’re getting to see our heroes deal with it with what they have on hand. And we see it work for one major battle and that gives the desperate hope that we need (ok I need) right now. Alex losing her *BLEEP* over everything going wrong and feeling responsible for it all was a wonderful exploration of what Chyler Leigh continues to bring to her performance. J’onn trying to embrace a new way but stumbling over his own anger was a wonderful exploration of figuring out our own limitations and what those create as speed bumps along the new path one wants to take. How very…human…of him and also how refreshing to see well conceived and beautifully executed by Harewood. This is nuance and this is what I’ve been missing for the last several episodes. Bravo! Let’s keep it rolling!
Next time on Supergirl!
Season 4, Episode 5, “Parasite Lost”
Colonel Haley makes a surprising decision about Supergirl; Kara writes a series of articles about aliens in National City that end up putting them in harm’s way.
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