Supergirl – S4 Ep19 – American Dreamer Review

“I’m different, but so is everybody, and I don’t know when that became a problem. The greatest gift we can give each other is our authentic selves.”- Nia Nal/Dreamer

This quote pretty much sums up this excellent, emotion filled episode of Supergirl. Everyone’s beloved space dad David Harewood steps up to direct this episode which focuses heavily on Dreamer and James.

The episode opens at night with Kara speed typing as she works on her article exposing Lex Luthor. Meanwhile, Nia patrols the streets as Dreamer with Brainy giving her back up as her “man in the chair.” Dreamer is able to stop some thugs from attacking a poor defenseless alien worker. She already has her cheesy hero quips my favorite of which was: “I’m your worst nightmare.” A close second was: “Sweet dreams.” She rejoins Brainy (who turns out to be just a hologram) who tells her that she really shouldn’t be doing this as the chances of them becoming targets would greatly increase. Nia is determined to fill the void left by Supergirl regardless of potential capture.

Elsewhere, Brainy, Alex, Lena, and Kelly monitor James searching for the cause of his extreme anxiety attacks. They realize that every panic attack he has manifests a new power in him. He exhibits super hearing during their conversation which surprises them.

Back at CatCo, Kara continues to work on her article and she overhears fellow alien reporter Franklin talking to his sister on the phone. His sister Edna works in HR at Amertek which prompts Kara to ask him to set up a meeting with her as it would greatly help her investigation.

Back at Lena’s lab, Brainy prepares James for entry into a mind palace which he intends to use to get to the root if his issues and hopefully help him to heal.
Meanwhile, Ben Lockwood and his son George along with several now deputized Children of Liberty forcefully apprehend an lien man while his family watches in horror. The man’s wife angrily looks at Lockwood which prompts the Secretary to threaten her as well. George tells his father that he is surprised sometimes to find aliens that look so similarly to humans. Ben warns his son to not let appearances fool you.

Kara journeys to Amertek where, after she casually stops a purse thief, meets with Edna. The scared woman informs Kara of the new restrictive practices being put in place their that negatively affect aliens. The two agree that something must be done to stop this, but the Edna is hesitant to get involved.
Back at Lena’s lab, James enters the mid palace where he is guided Brainy through what was initially thought to be traumatic memories connected to Lex. However, the memory of the first time Lex kidnapped him quickly turns into another deeply repressed one involving his late father. Upon seeing him, James involuntarily uses Kryptonian like heat vision which shocks everyone.
At Amertek, Kara and Edna sneak into the facility to locate files that will help nail Lex. However, when they are followed, Edna panics and runs off. Kara finds a file on Sebastian Melmoth, who apparently purchased a military base and is somehow connected to L Corp. Kara visits Lena, who is still busy working on a way to extract the Harun-el from James to free him from these power inducing attacks. Kara asks her about Melmoth, Amertek and L Corp. Lena claims to not know anything about any of it. She instead is a bit frustrated with Kara and feels that she hasn’t been there for her like Supergirl has as of late. Kara tries to apologize, but is too focused on the story.

Meanwhile, James comes out of the mind palace and explains that he missed his father’s funeral. He claims that he was across the street locked in the bathroom of a local diner. This memory triggers Kelly, who vents to Alex. She says that day of the funeral was the worst day of her life. He father was dead, her mother was distant, and her older brother wasn’t there to comfort her. She was only eight years old when he died. Alex comforts her.

Dreamer, while out on patrol, finds that aliens are using the bar as a hideout spot. However, the safe zone is soon upended when Children of Liberty agents show up announcing they are arresting everyone in the building. Dreamer stands up and protects them all in a fun action sequence which showcases some of her unique powers with “American Woman” playing on the jukebox. During the fight, George discovers that his friend Charlie is an alien, which causes the boy to begin to reconsider his father’s agenda. He returns home and vents to his mother, who still remains dedicated to her husband’s mission.

Back at CatCo, Kara and Nia talk about how to best protect and serve the aliens in danger. They both realize their respective approaches are not working out on their own. Nia says they need Supergirl to inspire hope again. Kara tells her that people will not be receptive to her anymore and offers to interview her instead. Nia is shocked, but agrees. Kara says that Dreamer is the perfect person to inspire hope as she is an American and an alien. Born of a human father and an alien mother here on Earth.

Back at the lab, James re-enters the mind palace and goes further into the memory which turns out to a horrific encounter with bullies who stuffed him into a coffin at his father’s funeral. Kelly has to enter to help pull him out as he becomes unresponsive to Brainy. Kelly sees his painful memory and realizes that this is why he wasn’t standing by her side at the funeral. She is heartbroken and the two share a beautiful moment. He wakes up and is surprisingly levitating.

Meanwhile at CatCo, Kara interviews Dreamer on live TV broadcast. Dreamer appeals to viewers by telling her story including coming out as transgender. She also talks about some of her likes and dislikes which includes Harry Potter and nerdy boys who think too much (which causes Brainy to say: “Is this what love feels like?”). She concludes by emphasizing authentic selves and being proud of who you are regardless of what other think.

Lena breaks down while watching the interview in a beautiful moment of vulnerability. She feels overwhelmed and upset that she cannot fix James or find her brother. Brainy tells her that James is fine and encourages her to trust and to not shut herself off.

One of Lockwood’s men is also moved by the message and sends Alex a warning that Lockwood intends to arrest Dreamer. Lockwood and his troops arrive at CatCo and attempt to arrest the hero, but are ultimately unable to as Alex’s team shuts off the lights and Kara, Brainy, and Dreamer successfully take down the goons. Lockwood is furious in pursuit which is stopped short when James shows up and crunches Lockwood’s gun as well as his hand. The Secretary is shocked at the show of strength. James defends his friends saying that they are just journalists exercising their rights. Olsen, with strong authority, yells “Get out now!!” Lockwood reluctantly obliges, but promises that he will find “this Dreamer” and determine the source of James’ powers.

In the aftermath, George seems to have a change of heart and texts his friend offering help to him if he needs it. Edna tells Kara that she accessed the files that the reporter wanted. She also reveals that she is willing to go on the record in order to help. Kara thanks her and then finds Lena. The two apologize to each other. Lena then reveals that she worked with Lex for four months knowing full well that he was manipulating her. Lena breaks down in tears again as she thinks Kara will judge her for it. The two embrace. Kara tells her that she is an incredible woman and a dear friend. Lena offers to help Kara in her investigation which leads them to find that Sebastian Melmoth was in fact a pseudonym used by Lex. The quickly realize that Lex is the one who purchased the base and where it is located: Kaznia. Kara joyfully remarks: “I guess we’re going to Kaznia.”

Meanwhile, in the Desert of T’ozz, J’onn returns the Sacred Symbols to their place and sees a vision of his father praising him for his actions. Also, Ben Lockwood returns to see the woman from earlier fleeing his home. He enters his home and finds his wife dead in their living room.

Overall, this was another exceptional episode of Supergirl. I’ve been really enjoying the emotional storylines of this season. I feel that the writers and showrunners have upped their game in terms of that aspect of the show. Each actor and actress delivered great performances in this episode. Nicole Maines has been a delight in this season and her interactions with Jesse Rath (Brainy) and Melissa Benoist (Kara/Supergirl) were fantastic in this episode. I also loved James’ storyline which showcased the incredible talents that are Azie Tesfai and Mehcad Brooks. Katie McGrath also gives a stellar performance in this episode as well. The writers have done a great job with her arc this season and McGrath’s performance elevates it further. It is truly refreshing to see characters discover and accept their authentic selves and share that with their friends. I agree with Dreamer. When did being different become a problem. We all need to not be afraid of being real.

Can’t wait for next week’s episode as it looks like another showdown with Lockwood is coming. Stay tuned for more recaps and reviews here on Earth- 9 and come back next week for another Supergirl recap and review with yours truly!

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