In Review: Supergirl, “American Dreamer”

James and Dreamer get the spotlight, as Supergirl sits things out.

Supergirl, “American Dreamer” Broadcast on April 28, 2019 

Teleplay by Daniel Beaty & Jess Kardos

Story by Dana Horgan 

Directed by David Harewood 

Previously on Supergirl: J’onn promises the spirit of his father to take the sacred symbols back to Mars, the medicine that Lena gave James to save his life is giving him super powers and killing him in the process, and Russian Supergirl, impersonating the real Supergirl, killed several people at the White House, prompting President Baker to declare Marshal Law against all aliens, with Supergirl now Public Enemy #1. Inspired a friend, Kara decides to give Supergirl a rest and write an expose on Lex Luthor to prove he’s responsible for the woes that aliens have supposedly been causing.

Now: Kara is working late at the office trying to get her story going, while Dreamer saves an alien on the streets, just avoiding being captured by the DEO. Cue opening credits.

This episode was split in three directions: Kara trying to get intel to expose Lex, Dreamer needing help to stop aliens from being arrested, and James working out what happened to him in a crucial moment in his past. The Kara story was actually the weakest link of the episode. Asking Lena for help only further ostracized her and a whistle blower is too frightened to help Kara. It’s only when her story crosses over with Nia’s does she find the solution to her story issues.

Nia was in action quite a bit in this episode. Now that she knows how to use her powers, she wants to do all that she can to help aliens, having a major scene in a familiar location. However, she’d like help and even Brainy won’t assist her enough. When she goes to Kara to ask for some help from Supergirl, Nia triggers an idea in Kara that helps them both. This leads to the big rah-rah speech of the episode that’s very effective. Granted, it goes cheesy towards the end in an attempt to show how human she is, but it was fine. The reaction it causes in those that witness it is perfect.

James has the best story of the three. Brainy suggests a mind meld — er, a “Mind Palace”…where James can experience memories that seem to be causing his state to be worsened. If he can confront whatever memory is causing him so much distress it should stop the progression of the harm occurring to him. I like that it’s believed that the harm Lex did him is what’s triggered him, but it’s something else entirely. This gives a really neat backstory to James that wasn’t known before, to the audience or the character. Having his sister Kelly help him through this crucial moment was a good way to increase their bond.

Ben Lockwood gets to chew a lot of scenery with his final moments on the screen giving him justification to go over the edge on aliens, while son George has a change in character as well, though his father won’t be happy with it. My money is on George not surviving this season.

The episode ends with Lena and Kara having a heart to heart and mending fences. In the process, Kara’s research has Lena revealing something about her brother, leading to the pair deciding to go to another country to find out what Lex was doing. There’s only three more episodes to go and seem likes this budget saving episode is going to have its special effects’ budget placed in the Kryptonian showdown that fans have been waiting for since the first episode of the season.

The good: I was impressed by the writing for the big speech of the episode and Nicole Maines’s job in making it sound authentic. The line Jesse Rath gives immediately after it was sweet. Mehcad Brooks is the show stopper of the episode, getting some real meat with the script and being the recipient of several kick butt special effects. More of that, please! Sam Witwer gets to exude some real venom in the episode, with his final scene being a great foreshadowing of major trouble.

The bad: Dreamer’s speech is a little long and Alex is wasted in the episode.

The final line: James and Dreamer get the spotlight, as Kara is closer to discovering what Lex Luthor has been up to for so long. There’s a lot of drama in this episode, with some super hero fighting, which has Dreamer getting to do most of the action. The season is almost over and the tension is building to a big blow up. Overall grade: B

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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