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TV Review: SUPERGIRL S4 E14 "Stand And Deliver"

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  • TV Review: SUPERGIRL S4 E14 "Stand And Deliver"

    One of the knocks I’ve had in the past against Supergirl has been the heavy-handed way they’ve dealt with social/political issues. A good example of that was the different between the incredible subtle and balanced way Arrow handled the gun control debate in Spectre of the Gun and the blunt approach Supergirl had in Not Kansas. This year they’ve used a time-honored trope of science fiction series, substituting aliens in place of minorities to address the current mood of America’s immigration debate. That story came to a head last night and while the show was again nowhere near subtle about it, they were far more balanced than I would’ve expected.

    In this situation we see three sides. The side of the humans who feel inferior to the powerful refugees now living with them. Thought this side is represented by Ben Lockwood (Sam Witwer) aka Agent Liberty who has been appointed Director of the Bureau of Alien Affairs by the President. Though the character is willing to do evil things, they established a backstory for him that has sympathetic threads. On the other side is Manchester Black (David Ajala) and the Elite, who are just as willing to kill as the Sons of Liberty, but we also know that Manchester has a heartbreaking story that lead him here.

    The unique thing is they also present the group in between. The people who have opinions and fears, hopes and dreams and don’t hate each other but worry about their own place in the world. The people being egged on by the hate rhetoric from both sides. And when that rhetoric comes to a boil and a fight breaks out, it’s the people in the middle that reach out to help each other, to put their difference and their fears aside, that make the difference. The nuanced message here is that regardless of how you feel, the person on the other side of the argument is also a living person with feelings and should be treated with respect and compassion.

    This was also an interesting episode for Jimmy Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), who has been on the back burner a lot this season. This episode he gets his camera out and returns to his days as a photo journalist, capturing images that help frame the debate and change some minds. But he also decides to look into some shady things at L-Corp, which includes asking questions of Miss Teschmacher (Andrea Brooks). One of these two things lead to James being shot at the end of the episode and left to bleed out on his office floor.

    While it’s supposed to be vague, we know that next episode is the debut of John Cryer as Lex Luthor. It wouldn’t surprise me if the stuff James started looking into were things that Lex has been doing from prison with the help of Teschmacher. She is likely a plant sent in by Lex to get close to his sister and help control things. I think we’ll learn that Lex has been actively pulling strings for a while. Or at least that’s what I would do if I were writing the series.