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S06.E10: Still I Rise

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Supergirl takes on municipal government! Also, Nia goes on a journey with her mom, Nyxly goes into Vengeance Mode, and Brainy loves vegetables.

Gotta love the ending, where Nyx basically undoes the good Supergirl pulled off, and she gets desperate enough to call for Mr. Mxyptlk. Next week should be fun.

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It is a test of endurance to see this series shamble  to its finish, a zombified shell of itself. 

We have three pep talks, including a rare reciprocal pep talk in which Kelly boosts Kara about making change and Kara boosts Kelly about superheroing. There still has been no convincing reason given why Kelly, as an athletic but untrained woman with limited experience and whose only tech is a shield, would want to suit up to fight crime, let alone why she should be treated as an equal to four superpowered alien and a veteran agent. When James was Guardian, he had a mission that was in large part to fight the street-level crime Supergirl didn't always make time for. And so he did. There's nothing Kelly Guardian can do to address systemic injustice that Kelly as civilian cannot also do.

I probably don't have to talk about how anvillicious the whole let's save the formerly incarcerated deal was. I hate that this show makes me embarrassed to be a liberal sometimes. I think it is telling that Supergirl was flummoxed by not being able to respond to the people who questioned her on her livestream about how Not-Amazon was going to make their lives better. Even if the subject were better executed, there's a fundamental flaw: the Superfriends have the capability to address both the individual cases of problems and a lot of the systemic problems with incarceration. There's nothing to stop Supergirl and co. from recommending truly reformed people for jobs, helping truly reformed people get on their feet, etc. To start off with, Lena is a billionaire. She could simply look in her couch cushions and set up affordable housing. Or she could hire Orlando in the smallest sense. The notion that Orlando, a walking EMP, cannot find better than minimum wage employment is laughable. As is the notion that things are so binary that Not-Amazon has to set up shop at the one place where the affordable housing initiative was set to take place. 

And then there's the Dreamer subplot. The writers tried to retcon that Nia wasn't taken completely in by Nxy by now saying, "Well, I was totally onto her, but I just figured that once I was trained I would be able to stop whatever nefarious scheme she was up to." Yeah, not buying it. She knows what imps generally are., and this one was claiming that even in a low-powered state, she could BRING BACK THE DEAD. How are you, even with total mastery of dream powers, going to stop someone on that power level if she goes rogue?

Good thing for Nxy that Kara decided to blast the cryonuke with her heat vision instead of just hurling the bomb into space or just melting the lead casing so that it could be disarmed through conventional means. The notion of trying to amp up concern that Kara herself might be trapped in ice doesn't work too well when you are actively showing that J'onn can phase her and himself through solid matter. 

Edited by Chicago Redshirt
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Dang. I guess I'm the outlier in that I didn't hate this episode; sure, there's stuff to nitpick, but I enjoy these characters and I'm still interested in watching the SuperFriends last season.

Didn't like that essentially Kara and Dreamer are the ones who empowered Nxly.

So, is Nia going to reconcile with her sister? I think that's what they were hinting at, but there wasn't a clear resolution.

No previews for shows in their last seasons (like with Black Lightning also)? Cold, CW.

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I am glad that Nia's mom pointed out repeatedly how stupid what Nia did was and that she has to take responsibility for whatever havoc Nyx brings upon the world, because that was pretty stupid, even if Nia is going through a lot of things. Her subplot was the best one though (not that that's saying much) as at least we are finally getting some follow up with Nia's sister, which I have been wanting to get closure on since she was introduced, and we got some good development for Nia which Nicole handled well as always. Nyx is also showing herself to be a pretty solid villain, a bit more manipulative than madcap like most fifth dimensional beings, but she is still a fun change of pace from the last few big bads, being menacing but also fun and usually competent when her hammy fifth dimensional nature doesn't take over and allow her to make silly evil mistakes like spending too much time gloating. Things are so dire for Kara that she had to call in Mr. Mxyptlk as backup, which is hopefully going to be a really fun time. Fifth dimensional smackdown! 

But forget all about those boring superhero battles, fight scenes, and character moments, we have to use these last few episodes to give our fans what they really want from their superhero show... lots of long boring speeches about housing development and gentrification! I joked last episode about how the writers are just going through a list of every single social issue they could possibly bring up to use before the show ends, but it looks like my sarcasm has become reality. This episode was an absolute chore to sit through, and a lot of that is because of the unbelievably preachy and tedious low income housing main plot. Its so frustrating because I tend to agree with the shows political points, but they portray these complex issues in such simplistic ways and they talk about all of them with the subtlety of a hammer to the face so it often takes you totally out of the story, making it less of a story and more of a lecture, and its a boring lecture at that. Its probably not a good sign that Kara clearly had no answer for the people on the live feed for why they should be rooting against something that they think will will make their neighborhood better, which seems to say that the show has no idea either. This show has no idea how to talk about issues, it can only give lectures about how what they agree with is good and what they don't agree with is bad, take a look at my pie chart and hear a testimonial from one guy. Even I could have made up some better answers to those questions, why cant Pulitzer Prize winner Kara? Or the shows writers, who have forced us to sit through this dull ass episode where we are stuck in an hour long city counsel meeting instead of watching superhero's do cool things and never even bothered making an actual point beyond random buzz words about second chances? How even is it that Orlando is so down and out when he's a walking EMP anyway? Is there really no way for him to monetize that power? This is another thing that disappoints me about this show, its world building is so badly handled when it comes to its aliens. Not even getting into the implications of aliens in the rest of the post crisis Earth 1, the only time they ever use the fact that the world (or this city) is swimming in aliens is when they want to use them as a heavy handed allegory for any and all oppressed people, we really have no idea how aliens are integrating into society as a whole. We heard a bit about how aliens can do some jobs that humans cant as part of Agent Liberty's backstory, that could be interesting to explore, or what about in movies and TV? Are there alien characters showing up on television? Are alien religions blowing up in popularity, or maybe aliens are joining human churches? Is alien pop culture becoming trendy for kids and its creating a generation gap between kids and parents? Any of that would be a billion times more interesting than listening to Kara give more long dull speeches about property development. If she is so concerned about low income housing, why not call her billionaire bestie Lena to help out? Would she be that disappointed that she could give a dozen more speeches to her poor audience who are already playing Angry Birds while waiting to get back to the plot?

I thought Brainy's PSA was adorable and it was sucky of Kara to try and make him feel bad about something he feels passionate about. Sure its a bit of a silly obvious message, but its something that means something to him and Kara should let him have it. I am glad that Kelly is finally getting some real material, but I do not at all understand what she can do as Guardian that she cant do better as a therapist or social worker. How can they ever expect us to buy that she can keep up with a former special agent and a bunch of superpowered aliens? This all seems like time she could better use helping kids and families without a costume. I thought something similar when James become Gurdians, but at least I understood what he was trying to accomplish, fighting street level crime, does Kelly think she can round house kick the foster care system?

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10 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

... I joked last episode about how the writers are just going through a list of every single social issue they could possibly bring up to use before the show ends, but it looks like my sarcasm has become reality. This episode was an absolute chore to sit through, and a lot of that is because of the unbelievably preachy and tedious low income housing main plot. Its so frustrating because I tend to agree with the shows political points, but they portray these complex issues in such simplistic ways and they talk about all of them with the subtlety of a hammer to the face so it often takes you totally out of the story, making it less of a story and more of a lecture, and its a boring lecture at that. ...

To be fair, this is the season CW asked their shows to address BLM/related issues. So it looks like they decided to make that a multi-episode arc instead of a one-episode thing like some of the other shows. Totally fair to criticize how they're doing it, though.

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That's what I was thinking, too, @Trini, that it was Supergirl's take on the CW's request for BLM-related episodes. I like that the show is looking at wider issues of mass incarceration/housing rather than specifically police violence/protests/etc., although they're definitely being heavy-handed with it. And it comes across even more so with each post-hiatus episode so far leaning into the show's "preachier" elements - pollution, prison abuses, and now affordable housing. The show has always loved a good soapbox, but it hasn't always felt this constant.

@tennisgurl, I agree that there's a lot of world-building potential in human/alien interactions in National City that the show has never taken full advantage of. Even just little things would help make it all feel more grounded - have J'onn try to introduce a Martian game during game night sometime, throw in some recurring references to an alien dance craze that's sweeping social media, put in a few visible aliens among the extras in random sidewalk scenes that don't specifically call for aliens. I thought some of the best work the show ever did in that regard were in the episodes with M'yrrn. We got to see a lot of him getting acquainted with life on Earth as well as depictions of Martian cultural traditions, especially his religious practices.

And yes, Brainy's PSA was super cute. I loved the callbacks to it throughout the episode - "Why are so many of the comments about broccoli?"

Given that her motivations are tied to her social work, it doesn't make sense to me that Kelly is looking to be a new Super Friend with her version of Guardian. Even James's M.O. of fighting more street-level work doesn't really fit with her stated reasons for wanting to help. I could see it more if she wanted combat skills to defend herself if she got into a situation while in pursuit of different goals. Like the way she stole that security footage from the group home last week - if she was doing something sneaky to, say, expose a corrupt agency and had to fight some security guards to get out with her evidence, sure. But the direction she seems to be heading won't do much to better the lives of people like Joey or Orlando.

Really liked the dream scenes with Nia and her mom, and I appreciate that they came with a heavy dose of, "Sweetheart, I love you, but what were you thinking?!" While Nia's been fixated on her mom, I've been hoping all season that this plot was heading toward some kind of reconciliation with Maeve, and it looks like that's where it might be going. I liked the angle that interpreting the dreams isn't just a matter of plugging in the right "this symbolizes THIS" factoid - the dreams are Nia's, and the symbols she sees are going to be relevant to HER, not Freud or whoever.

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If two subplots are far more interesting than the main plot, you’re probably doing it wrong. And I too don’t see where Kelly is going as the new Guardian and how she intends to use her fighting skills

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14 hours ago, cambridgeguy said:

I'm not sure, but I think the episode was trying to pass on a message of some sort.  It was kind of subtle, so hopefully everyone picked up on it.

😏 that magic will solve all our problems, 😝 

This episode was honestly boring. This whole backend of the season feels like an extended  version of Superman 4 , modern woke edition. I feel like the cast just coasted the last few eps of the season and couldn’t wait to get the season done. I mean they arrive with fancy teleporting only for them to stand around  and have to get prodded to move by one of the victims no less. And they seriously dragged their feet.

Nyx is proving to be fun, she has little time to ham it up like Lex. Glad to see Myxlplx back , he’s always fun. Wonder if he’ll actually help on the good side this time. 

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I know it was probably just Kelly saying a common phrase and nothing more, but I still cracked up when she claimed that Councilwoman Rankin was the worst, because while she might be your atypical, self-serving politician, she probably doesn't even crack the top ten of horrible people in this universe.  You do remember Lex, right, Kelly?  I do wonder if this isn't the last we will see of Rankin, because that would be a tragic waste of Kari Matchett otherwise.

Anyway, it seems like instead of ramping things up for an ultimate showdown for its final season, Supergirl truly wants to tackle every kind of social issue out there, so now it is time to dive into the housing crisis and gentrification!  Which naturally ends with all of the council folks suddenly changing their mind after one emotional speech.  Yeah, no way that would work in real life, but apparently fairy tale endings are a thing in the land of Supergirl!  Honestly though, it's almost hard for me to really get annoyed because this show has always been the most over-the-top and unsubtle out of the Arrowverse shows when it comes to messaging and tackling real life issues.

 Of course for some reason poor Brainy basically gets mocked for wanting to address eating habits, which can be just as important as everything else this show likes to preach about.  Still love you, Kara, but you were kind of being a jerk about it.  At least Brainy wasn't trying to hide his messaging and went full-blown PSA on this joint.

Love that Isabel/Kate Burton was just like "Seriously, that was dumb, Nia.  Now, let us go waste the 24 hours we have to try and fix the damage you have likely caused because of your deal" about the whole thing.  At least everything was well acted by Burton and Nicole Maines, and I'm optimistic about this going forward.

I did think the final scene was good and really showed how dangerous and formidable Nxy might be as one of the potential final baddies.  And now Mr. Mxyzptlk has joined in on the fun!

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Random musing, so, seriously, why aliens flee to Earth in this show? I mean, take Dr. Raab in this episode; it was said that their race is highly technologically advanced. So, why they fled to Earth? For what purpose? Or, are aliens on their own respective planets powerless as humans, but on Earth they become x-men? Well, if that is the case, humans can try flying to other planets in the show to become x-men on their worlds :D

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Aliens seemingly flee to Earth for analogous reasons to why immigrants come to America: they are refugees from oppression or violence, they are looking for new opportunities and to build a better life, etc. etc.

Of course, there are lots of problems with the show trying to make an alien=immigrant analogy.

The first of which is while it seems transparently wrong to fear human immigrants as a group, there's pretty good justification to fear aliens with their various superpowers. A single alien not even at the power level of the Supergirls or Martian Manhunters of the world can and have done immense damage.

The other is that there's little to no excuse for aliens to not make it on Earth. At a minimum, having access to or knowledge of the technology used to get to Earth would make them rich beyond most people's wildest dreams. Can you imagine how much a Jeff Bezos or a Richard Branson would pay for a trip to another habitable planet? Or how they could parlay their innate skills or technological know-how into devices Earth doesn't have?

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