[Review] Supergirl Episode 5×04: “In Plain Sight”

written by Cara Russell


James and Kelly head back to their deceased aunt’s home in Calvintown to hide out. They quickly realize that the town itself has gone sharply downhill, with urban poverty at an all-time high, and a new prison has created an incentive program for the local law enforcement to harshly prosecute petty theft and other minor crimes that go hand-in-hand with poverty. What’s worse for James is when he realizes that the local newspaper, his first news job, is complicit.

Meanwhile in National City, J’onn tries to help Brainy and Lena repair some non-lethal Green Martian capturing machines. They aren’t entirely successful, forcing Alex to break out the arsenal Hank Henshaw developed to kill J’onn. Ma’alefa’ak wastes no time in mind-controlling Alex to steal all of those weapons, and take some very sharp digs at J’onn while he’s at it. With the new arsenal and choice captive, Ma’alefa’ak sets up a confrontation at the local planetarium. The super friends – now joined by Kelly, who shares a mental link with Ma’alefa’ak – and Guardian stop Ma’alefa’ak’s team of mind-controlled shooters, and J’onn sends him back to the Phantom Zone….or so he thinks. Lena, having fixed the Phantom Projector, changed its destination, and now Ma’alefa’ak is occupying Eve Teschmacher’s old suite in L-Corp’s lab.

In the post-victory celebration, James lays out his new plan – he’ll buy the Calvintown newspaper and publish it himself, using it to right the wrongs in that town, pay it forward with local youth…and return to his old nickname: Jimmy. This is the exit for actor Mehcad Brooks, and while it may feel like a hasty exit considering the loose ends in National City (and disappointingly, it looks like he won’t be involved in the upcoming Crisis), it’s a much smoother transition than others we’ve seen, and leaves the doors wide open for future appearances. Kelly remains in place, and those with interest in Alex’s love life will be relieved that her ride on a bus out of town was very short-lived. Brainiac and Nia also seem to make up after Brainy confides in Lena. Lena’s cold calculations are the cure for Brainiac’s endless spirals, as she advises him to take a scientific approach and change a variable. She suggests he apologize to Nia and ask for help. I wish that, in all of Lena’s machinations, she would realize the value of her friendship with Brainy. As much as he is a living computer, he’s definitely a person, not a program like Hope is.

The headline story takes a Page Four approach. Kara continues looking into William Day with Nia’s assistance. Together they find he’s taking bribes, his wife is a fiction, and a female associate’s death was faked with someone else’s corpse. When Kara confronts him, William admits he’s undercover for another publication to expose Andrea Rojas’ criminal enterprises. His jerk routine was a farce to keep other reporters from getting close to him, proving this by showering Kara with praise for her writing and character. He falls short of recruiting her to help with the investigation, claiming it’s to keep her safe…despite having told her all the sordid details of the operation and blowing an Interpol operative’s cover in the process. But that seems to be an offer for the next episode, if the description is any indication.


Supergirl airs Sunday nights at 9 Eastern/8 Central on the CW. Cara can be found on Twitter @virtualcara.

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