‘Supergirl’ 4×19 Review: ‘American Dreamer’

As Kara decides to hang up her Supergirl cape, for now, a new hero stepped into the light in this week’s all-new episode of Supergirl, appropriately titled “American Dreamer.”

In this fictional reality that has unfolded this season, things have gotten pretty bleak. Lex Luthor is running free, people believe Supergirl is a terrorist and fear is suffocating everyone and everything in its path.

But Supergirl might’ve just unlocked the key to defeating Lex Luthor and finding some common ground between humans and aliens.

Let’s discuss Supergirl’s latest hour, “American Dreamer.”





The most important part of being a hero is inspiring hope.

Supergirl — “American Dreamer” — Image Number: SPG419a_0065b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl and Nicole Maines as Nia Nal/Dreamer — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

We’ve gotten so caught up in everything that has been the Children of Liberty and Lex Luthor that we’ve forgotten about the most important part of being a hero: inspiring hope.

Which is exactly why Lex Luthor sought to run Supergirl’s name through the mud. He knows firsthand the damage that hope can do for guys like him, as well as how much these heroes feed off of the support of these citizens. So Lex took that away from Supergirl.

But unlucky for Lex, there’s a new hero in National City in Dreamer, who Kara Danvers introduced to the world. And you know what, Dreamer is exactly what the world needs right now.

Dreamer is an American Alien, as the episode title directly states. Her mom was an alien, her dad a human. They believed that humans and aliens could co-exist, so why can’t others?

But perhaps the most important thing Nia did was preach the message that no one should be ashamed of who they are. Nor should they hide it. Embrace the person you are and share it with the world. Dreamer also revealed that she is a trans woman and how she’s “proud of all that (she) is” and how “the best thing we can give is our authentic self.”

Fear sucks. And Dreamer is here to kick fear’s ass and encourage you to do the same.


Kara gets back to basics.

Supergirl — “American Dreamer” — Image Number: SPG419a_0247b.jpg — Pictured: Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

With the entire world left believing that Supergirl is a terrorist set to destroy them, Kara decided that it was best for Supergirl to lay low for a while. Which meant that it was time for Kara to get back to basics as a reporter in order to find a way to stop Lex Luthor, who has orchestrated the plot against Supergirl.

Before she was Supergirl, Kara Danvers was a reporter at CatCo where she was learning how to shed light on important stories that National City deserved to know. And it’s exactly what she did again as she sought to get closer to stopping Lex.

Kara played a huge role in introducing the world to Dreamer in order to inspire hope that the world needed. She also used her journalistic prowess in order to make strides against Lex Luthor.

And you know what, I’m a fan of this storyline. It’s important to remember who these heroes are outside of the costume and persona. It’s important to remember where they came from. And that’s exactly what we got with this storyline.


James confronts his dark past.

Supergirl — “American Dreamer” — Image Number: SPG419a_0314b.jpg — Pictured: Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen/Guardian — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Last week, we saw that James’ abilities got the best of him, just as his emotions had. In fact, there was a connection between those two aspects, which was a focus in this week’s episode.

Brainy acted as James’ guide inside of his consciousness to help him work through the trauma that has served as the center of his pain. At first, James doesn’t respond well, which with every panic attack he has, he gets a new ability. It’s clear that James needs to get control of these emotions or he might not survive.

Said trauma stems from James losing his dad as a young boy. Namely, it focuses on the fact that James wasn’t able to be there at his dad’s funeral. James eventually unlocks a rather painful memory that proves that he wasn’t across the street in a diner during the funeral, he was being bullied by a couple of boys that stuck him in a coffin.

It was a memory that he’d pushed so far down that he’d forgot it. He’d told the diner story so many times that he believed it. But he wanted to be at his dad’s funeral — for his dad, his sister and himself.


There is no weakness in love.

Supergirl — “American Dreamer” — Image Number: SPG419b_0015b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Azie Tesfai as Kelly Olsen, Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen/Guardian and Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

We all have a weakness when it comes to family, especially on these superhero shows. They specialize in it. Because it’s very real emotion that its characters and the audience can relate to.

It’s what makes seeing Lena still caring about her brother Lex, notorious villain, seem understandable. She doesn’t love him because he’s a villain, she loves him because he’s her brother. And try as you might, there’s no wrong in that.

Lena feels responsible for everything that is happening and can’t help but blame her love for her brother. She feels weak. But there’s no weakness. Only strength.

Then there’s George Lockwood, the son of Ben Lockwood, who has been so brainwashed into pleasing his father that he never really stopped to take the time to assess what the actual hell has been going on.

But after getting an up-close-and-personal look at the harm and maliciousness that his father inflicting, it takes seeing a friend — an alien friend — in danger to see that what his father is doing is wrong. That’s the first step. Admitting you were wrong. Now, let’s see how little George responds.


Brainy is in love.

Supergirl — “American Dreamer” — Image Number: SPG419b_0170b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen/Guardian and Jesse Rath as Brainiac-5 — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Speaking of love, Brainy is head over heels for Nia, and it continues to make my heart flutter with every look and every confused emotion on Brainy’s part. Nia is opening Brainy’s unorthodox heart — someone that isn’t used to human emotion — in a way that’s been absolutely amazing to watch.

The denial stage was the first indication that Brainy was starting to crush hard on Nia. But watching Brainy watch Nia open herself up to the world with that confidence, it’s no wonder he’s crushing.

“Is this what love feels like?” Yes, Brainy. Yes, it is.


Next stop: Kasnia.

With just three episodes left in season four, it was only a matter of time before Kara learns of Red Kara and what Lex Luthor has been doing. Also, it only makes sense that Kara makes this trip with Lena, who has had to deal with the repercussions of Lex’s escape and the emotional implication that’s had on her especially in these past several episodes.


Supergirl airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.




Teacher by day, writer by every other free moment | Obsessed with sports, TV, books, movies, and superheroes | Proud shipper and supporter of strong female characters | Co-executive Editor for Fangirlish | Contributor for Bears Wire at USA Today SMG | Producer/Co-Host of Buffone 55 for Bears Barroom Radio Network | Contact: alyssa@fangirlish.com.