Tuesday, March 3, 2020

On The Air: Supergirl mid-season report (2019-20)

Supergirl is the 3rd Arrowverse series to reach 100 episodes. Luckily, the series has also found its creative mojo again, just in the nick of time.
Season: 5th.
When: Sundays, 9 pm (ET). New episodes return March 8.
Previous rating: A-.
Where we are: The season-long arc has Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) at odds with ex-bestie Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath), which fans have been split on. Yes, they were enemies in the books (where Lena went by Thorul to avoid the distinction of being Lex's sis), too, but the producers have gone out of their way to make Lena a trusted, valuable ally. However, Lex (Jon Cryer) spilled the beans on Kara at the end of last season, and Lena's more than a little salty about it.

Episode 100 brought back Mr. Mxyzptlk, a 5th dimensional imp normally associated with Superman, to help Kara with her version of Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life". Thomas Lennon (ex-The Odd Couple, Reno 911!) makes a better Mxy, and would be welcomed back, unless he turns up in the forthcoming Superman & Lois series in development instead next season. "It's a Super Life", then, was mostly a clip/blooper reel show which didn't really do anything for plot development, just filling up space, since they took a week off this week (another repeat) to stretch the season.

Conversely, the characterization of Brainiac 5 (Jesse Rath) has been somewhat disconcerting this season. The writers tried to pair him romantically with Dreamer (Natalie Maines), only to see that go by the boards. Now, Brainy is secretly working with Lex to gather information on the mysterious cabal known as Leviathan, only for Lex himself to screw things up royally, albeit unwittingly, as a dinner date with a tech executive later reveals she works for Leviathan, which explains why the cabal had Andrea Rojas under their thumb, besides any ties they had with Andrea's dad.

Back to Brainy. Comedy is not Jesse Rath's strong suit. Any scenes where Brainy is supposed to be funny seem forced, as if the writers think, that, yes, he is supposed to be their answer to Data (Brent Spiner, Star Trek: The Next Generation), but he fails there, too. The writers would be well served to bring back Mon-El (Chris Wood, who married Benoist in real life last year) at some point.

Here's a preview of the next episode:

It ain't much, but it seems CW is being el scrimpo with promos this season. Being partially owned by AT&T might have something to do with that......

Updated rating: B.

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