‘Supergirl’ 4×05 Review: ‘Parasite Lost’

Supergirl continues to, shockingly, have me completely enthralled this season. And it has nothing to do with romance (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and everything to do with how Supergirl’s reality is reflective of the reality we live in. Just like I’m so enraptured by the news and what is happening in the world, I just can’t turn away from Supergirl.

In “Parasite Lost,” we saw the beginning of Agent Jensen as an alien parasite and the end of him as far as Ben Lockwood is concerned. While this episode had a lot to do with what Jensen was doing with that alien parasite and absorbing alien abilities and killing aliens in the process, this episode was more about establishing James Olsen as the object of desire of Ben Lockwood and the Children of Liberty. And this has become my favorite storyline right now mostly because I’m utterly terrified how this is going to play out.

While it’s impossible to change someone’s mind — people will see what they want and believe what they want — that doesn’t mean that you should stop trying to do good in this world. The only way you’re going to affect change is by doing something positive. Even when it doesn’t seem like it’s making a difference, it’s making a difference to someone in someway.

Also, Lena Luthor is completely right when she said that the Internet is a “cesspool” that “you shouldn’t read.” It’s basically parasites embodied and no good can come from reading the comments. And with that…

Let’s break down “Parasite Lost,” which includes a question of how to affect change when you can’t change how people feel, James Olsen being the (potential new) face of the Children of Liberty, and the newest nuisance to Alex’s life in Colonel Haley.

How Do You Affect Change When You Can’t Change How People Feel?

Supergirl — “Parasite Lost” — Image Number: SPG405a_0554b.jpg — Pictured: Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl — Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

This is a question that I don’t have an answer to. I wish I did. And if we did, I feel like we’d be able to affect change in our own reality in the midst of this divide and the hate and anger that’s enveloped so many.

It’s why I’m so intrigued to see how Supergirl handles this storyline, as it’s a question it’s raised a couple other times this season. Because if Supergirl can manage to find a fictional way to answer that question in a way that can transcend television and reality, we might be better off.

Anyway, Supergirl continues to shine a light on the divide that’s overtaking the country in Supergirl: Aliens (and alien supporters) versus Humans (aka, non-alien supporters.) Much like it happens in reality, it’s a slow yet steady process as we continue to see how this hate and anger is dispersed. It’s not like there’s suddenly a massive group of alien haters.

We’re seeing it trickle down with each passing episode and with each passing issue that Supergirl raises. How Ben Lockwood is spreading his hate as gospel and the people that are afraid and find comfort in someone else that feels angry are embracing that hatred. This show is headed to a massive showdown between the Children of Liberty (which got its first mention to our group) and aliens and those that support them. And watching that play out is going to be terrifying.

So back to the question of: How do you affect change when you can’t change how people feel? I guess the only thing you can really do is be out there, not hiding, but highlighting the good that you contribute. It won’t necessarily help everyone — because people will see what they want to and believe what they want to believe — but it’s a start.

Whether it’s Amadei, an alien healer, coming out of from behind closed doors as a way to stand up for what’s good about aliens or Kara’s decision to highlight one alien a week for the good that they do, exposing the public to the good is a good step forward in spreading positivity over negativity to spreading love over hate and to spreading hope over anger.

James Olsen, HUMAN Hero?

Supergirl — “Parasite Lost” — Image Number: SPG405b_0175b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Katie McGrath as Lena Luther, Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen/Guardian and Sam Witwer as Ben Lockwood/Agent Liberty — Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

When we were given a tease regarding James’ storyline this season, I wasn’t expecting this. I was more expecting something ala Arrow, where James would have to struggle with being an unmasked hero. But now, it’s become something entirely different and much more intriguing than I thought.

Following last week’s episode where Guardian, a hero, fought rogue aliens and was celebrated as being the HUMAN hero, we saw just how much there still is to this storyline. Ben Lockwood especially was interested in James Olsen and Guardian. In a way where he sees this guy, who stands for something, and feels like he can manipulate him (like he’s manipulated others) into being not only the symbol he wants him to be for the Children of Liberty but also the hero he wants representing the Children of Liberty.

It’s almost like Lockwood believes he’s going to use Guardian, his HUMAN hero, as a weapon against Supergirl and the aliens. And just typing those words gives me chills. Because if this transpires in any way — whether it’s James being manipulated or mind controlled or some other heinous way Lockwood has planned — it’ll be just fantastic television.

When Lockwood approached James, James shut him down immediately. He doesn’t believe in what Lockwood does; he’s made his pro-alien stance quite clear. But James also realized that perhaps if he can’t change people’s minds, then maybe he can find a way to get to know them and how they think and try to affect change that way.

Not only is that stupidly dangerous, it’s also brilliant. The danger is extensive and should provide some real great stuff on the James side of things (for the first time in a long time). It’ll be interesting to see how someone who firmly believes in one side will pretend, I guess, to want to get to know or understand the other side and how that affects him. Not that I think this will suddenly make James anti-alien (never gonna happen), but it might help him see the entire picture (both sides) and in a way lead to a solution to this entire thing.

Alex Danvers, True Leader

The CW

While James struggled with Ben Lockwood and his anti-alien agenda, Alex had to deal with a new babysitter set forth by the new president. Colonel Haley, who at first glance looked like she’d be trouble to deal with, began her tenure as Alex’s babysitter as the complete opposite of what we expected. She was tough, yes. But she was fair. She commended Alex for her good work and held her accountable for her actions. All completely fair things.

But it wasn’t until the show’s final minutes that Haley gave us a glimpse into who she really is. Someone who was sent by the president to oversee operations that the government was starting to worry was too pro-alien. She said as much during her assessment of J’Onn J’Onzz, who she blamed for being too pro-alien and employing aliens in a business she saw should be humans only. She said that J’Onn was “pretending to be someone he’s not.”

Now, it wouldn’t be Alex if she didn’t speak out for her father figure. Not only is he “family,” but he’s “the best director this organization has ever seen.” J’Onn was a true leader, like Alex, and wanted what was best for all — aliens and humans, like Alex. Like father, like daughter.

Earlier in the episode, Alex thought that Haley was different than she pegged her to be. Turns out she was wrong. Haley views Alex as someone who’s a human and that’s on her side. Like she can be controlled. Like she can manipulate her into believing what she believes.

There’s a part of me that believes that Haley has some kind of connection to the Children of Liberty. It’s scary because aside from Ben Lockwood and Agent Jensen, we don’t know for sure who is part of this organization. It could be any one of these anti-alien supporters, Haley included.

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


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