"Bunker Hill" – Supergirl S04E08 Review

And so Agent Liberty's ID becomes public. But at the end of the day, it's all Supergirl's fault.

"Bunker Hill" is about what you'd expect. Not that anyone asked me, but it's about what I predicted for a midseason finale, give or take an Elseworlds. Agent Liberty' identity as Ben Lockwood is publicly exposed. He becomes more popular. Ben points out that Supergirl hides her identity and so President Baker (Bruce Boxleitner) demands she reveal his identity to him and the DEO, where most of the agents are standing around listening. Supergirl refuses and flies off. The end except for the intro into the Elseworlds crossover starting next Sunday.

Nicole Amber Maines, Supergirl S04E08

There's more to it than that, of course, and that's where we begin. Nia (Nicole Amber Maines) is having dreams of a warehouse, and a loading hook, and a man (Manchester Black, as it turns out) shooting a hard-to-see woman. After Nia wakes up, she goes to work at CatCo and Kara confronts her about her contradicting stories about her narcolepsy. Nia finally reveals she has prophetic dreams. Brainiac-5 (Jesse Rath) says he knows something about Nia from his future, and also accidentally calls her "Nura". For those not familiar with Dream Girl, a member of the 30th century Legion of Super Heroes, feel free to look it up.

Nia reveals to Kara she's an alien from Naltor, Kara doesn't return the favor (can't she be an alien without revealing she's Supergirl? Nia sees the alien-sniffing dog barking at Kara), and Kara brings Brainiac-5 in. They talk Nia through having a more stable dream, and Brainiac-5 says it's a possible future. Nia gets a glimpse of a jacket saying Collinwood, and they head to Collinwood. Rather than meet Barnabas the vampire, they run into three COL people at what I guess is a suburb of National City. Kara confronts the Children of Light people, says that she's looking for Agent Liberty, and they capture her, Brainiac-5, and Nia.

Meanwhile, Manchester Black has gone to Ben's house and hints to Ben he knows he's Agent Liberty. Ben's wife Lydia (Sarah Smyth) invites Manchester in. After a veiled conversation, Manchester draws a gun and tells Ben to put on his Agent Liberty mask. We've already seen Ben having one conversation with an unknown "Thack" on the phone, Ben suggesting they retire the Agent Liberty figure for a while.

Ben puts on the Agent Liberty mask and Manchester beats him and then prepares to kill him. Agent Liberty runs out and Manchester goes after him. They end up at the Lockwood factory, and somehow Lydia ends up there as well. Manchester has an anti-Kryptonian grenade which releases... moondust? I have no idea why this would bother Supergirl any more than earthdust, or marsdust, or anything other than kryptondust. Manchester then dumps some liquefied Nth metal on Supergirl. Since it's really, really hard and hardens really, really quick, this traps her on the factory floor. Why there's a vat of liquid Nth metal in the factory months after it was destroyed is best left to the imagination.

Sam Witwer, Supergirl S04E08

Manchester prepares to kill Lydia, but Nia stops him based on her knowledge from her dream. In a good-looking sequence, Supergirl flies while in the metal, lifting the whole factory up with her. Then she drops it and that shatters the Nth metal. Supergirl takes Manchester and Ben into custody, but Ben tells the reporters his identity is publicly known but Supergirl's isn't.

Hank has been trying to make telepathic contact with Manchester throughout the episode. He finally shows up in Manchester's cell and tells him he hopes there's still hope for Manchester. And Manchester thinks so, too.

Ben goes to jail and protesters are outside cheering him on. One of them is Lydia, and she starts up a Liberty chant to support her husband.

And as noted, at the DEO President Baker tells Supergirl to reveal her secret identity. She refuses, he dismisses her, and she flies off.

And in the end on Earth-90, that world is in ruins. The corpses of Captain Cold, The Ray, Stargirl, the Hawks, and the Smallville Green Arrow are scattered around. That world's Flash (John Wesley Shipp) is still alive and confronts the Monitor standing over the ruins. The Monitor says Earth-90's heroes destroyed their world and opens a big old tome, and Flash runs off.

Oh, the title? Ben's descendant forged weapons for the Revolution and that brings up a reference to Bunker Hill where the British thought they had won but they hadn't, and things got really bloody. Foreshadow much?

So at the end of the day, we're left with Ben in jail but with a large public following. Manchester in jail but there's still hope for him. Supposedly. At this point, I'm not sure why we're supposed to hope he turns out to be a good guy. He was ready to kill Lydia just to make Ben suffer, after drawing out Ben's suffering rather than just putting a bullet in his head. Bad form, Manchester, bad form. I like the character even if he's nothing like the Manchester Black in the comics. Maybe the fact that comic-book Manchester is such a twat is influencing my view. But Supergirl's Manchester just doesn't seem worthy of any sympathy. But I guess we're supposed to keep thinking that.

Jesse Rath, Supergirl S04E08

The bits with Nia and Brainiac-5 are still good. Jesse Rath is still good as the show's comic relief. Brainiac-5 has now taken to referencing movies, ranging from Spartacus to Hook to The Purge to Plan 9 from Outer Space. He also gets a fair bit of comedy with just his usual fish-out-of-water and social awkwardness shtick, like introducing Nia to "the magic of lanyards" as a distraction. There are also references, finally, to the Legion of Super Heroes. Which showed up last year, had their day in the sun, and then disappeared except for Brainiac-5.

It's still not clear if President Baker (and Haley by extension) is supposed to be a good guy. On the one hand, he has some valid points about how his family is under Secret Service protection and people know who he is, while Supergirl gets to hide her identity. On the other hand, he ran for vice president and presumably discussed the risks with his family. Supergirl's family and friends, not so much. At least, Baker would have no reason of knowing otherwise. And I'm sure there's somebody out there other than Lena (an absent Katie McGrath) who is close to Supergirl but doesn't know her secret identity.

There's also the fact that Baker asks Supergirl to reveal her secret ID as the entire DEO looks on. Shouldn't her revealing her secure identity be done in... oh, a secure place? Given Agent Jenson was a traitor, having Supergirl tell the entire DEO who she is doesn't seem that intelligent. And we also hear that Baker is obsessed with polls and public images. If polls force him to know Supergirl's ID, what would he do if other polls said that he had to reveal it to the public?

It also doesn't help that Supergirl's connection to the DEO still isn't very clear. Yes, they make it clear this week that she works with them. But there's works with them, and works for them. There's no indication they pay her (how would they?), or really give her anything in return for her services. The DEO needs Supergirl more than she needs them. I suppose it puts Alex in a bind, but at the end of the day, Supergirl can keep on doing pretty much exactly what she's always done. And the DEO either works with her, or they don't and subsequently put the country/planet at risk. Does Superman have to work with the DEO in Metropolis? He seems to do pretty well without the DEO: why does Supergirl need them?

There's no mention of the evil/clone Supergirl, as has been the case for most of this season so far. I can see where she goes on a rampage and the creative team gets into the whole "war" that Supergirl and Baker hint at between the U.S. government and Supergirl.

Michael Champion, The Flash S01E17

But first we have to get though Elseworlds; which has a Supergirl imprisoned by Alex, where the two presumably aren't foster sisters in the new reality. I have a soft spot for the 90s Flash show, so I'm looking forward to Shipp as the Flash. Maybe it's heresy somewhere, but I always thought Michael Champion's Captain Cold was just as good as Wentworth Miller's. We also have Gustin and Amell trading off roles and the resulting comedy hijinks. The crossovers the last two years have been good, even if the Legends won't be involved directly with it this year.

But that's for the next half-season. So next week is Elseworlds, which may or may not have anything to do with the current shenanigans. Then it's holiday season in the States and the show goes on a one-month hiatus. See you on January 9!

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?

Written by Gislef on Dec 3, 2018

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