Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Supergirl - Reality Bytes

In "Reality Bites" Supergirl shifts focus away from the Maid of Might to feature two separate storylines on supporting characters who have faded into the background a bit this season. Continuing the thread of dangerous technology, the approaching roll-out of Obsidian North Platinum offers an alarming example of how the technology could be misused as a computer programmer has found a way to hack the virtual reality world and torture his wife's AI lover which leads Alex (Chyler Leigh) inside the shared simulation. The story offers yet another way Obsidian North may be dangerous to people, aside from Leviathan or the Luthors using it to control minds, while alerting both Alex and that the company isn't taking issues with the technology seriously. Judging by the trailer for next week's episode, it looks like this is a theme isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

The other storyline focuses on Dreamer (Nicole Maines) who has been relegated to the role of a dumped girlfriend recently. When a transphobic attacker starts going after people in her community, including her roommate (Roxy Wood), in hopes of forcing the hero to leave National City, Dreamer sets her sights on revenge. Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) gets to play a minor role here in offering words of reassurance and restraint by helping prevent the hero from escalating events even further. Since her introduction, the character of Nia Nall has offered the promise of storylines like this, although ignoring her for several episodes and dumping all of this at once offers some mixed results. The storyline could easily been introduced over several episodes (such as the reports of the attacks and Dreamer slowly realizing they are all about her), rather than its introduction, conflict, and resolution all tacking place in half an episode. Despite the condensed structure of the story, and the writing tripping over the line of preachiness at times, the exploration on the powerlessness of a hero, and the anger it can cause, works well.

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