Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Supergirl - The Bottle Episode

I didn't expect the first episode of Supergirl coming out of Crisis would be a Brainy (Jesse Rath) episode, but it works (and not only for mercifully killing the puppy-dog romance that had been used too often this season as B-story filler). With National City's hero, CatCo, and the DEO all transplanted to the new Earth, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) struggles with the machinations of Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) who has managed once again to take advantage of the Crisis (this time setting himself up as the world's most famous humanitarian). While Lex, and his team-up with Lena (Katie McGrath), is a looming threat to be dealt with later in the season, the more immediate threat is the sudden arrival of multiple versions of Brainac-5 all from former Earths who are slowly being killed off one by one.

The intential pun of the episode's title deals with a topic that Supergirl had mostly stayed away from (other than one short reset Brainy had last season) and that is what it means to be Brainiac. Since his introduction, Brainy has largely been used for comedic effect while occasionally offering out-of-the-box thinking that has helped the DEO in certain situations. Both through the actions of one of the other Brainiacs and through "our" Brainy telling a story from his own path, the show explores the Collector of Worlds idea that central to the first DC Comics character to bear the name. Events of the episode not only offer a soft reboot of Brainiac in allowing the show to take time rebuilding a character whose logic may lead to as much conflict as assistance in the coming months but also expand on the idea of those leftover and out of place following the Crisis, without a world to call their own. While the Brainiacs may be willing to take the high road, I doubt all will be so accommodating.

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