Sunday, November 18, 2018

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 6 - Call To Action

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.




Plot

As masked vigilantes modeled on Agent Liberty began attacking aliens and Manchester Black starts violently defending them, Col. Haley orders Alex to stop investigating the terrorist group and Supergirl to stop patrolling National City on her own time.

Meanwhile, James and Lena argue about the best way to address the Children of Liberty, as James seeks to work his way into the group to bring it down from within through the guise of an interview while Lena pressures him to speak against the group on a popular talk-show. Kara fills in for James, but can she hold her own in a debate against Ben Lockwood - the secret identity of Agent Liberty


Influences

The film version of V For Vendetta (the masks of the Children of Liberty are similar to the Guy Fawkes masks worn by V's followers at the end of the film) and My Little Pony (the dragon is named Spike)


Goofs

How did the Children of Liberty get anti-alien attack dogs trained so quickly? More importantly, how did they scent train them to attack a variety of aliens when dogs are usually trained to respond to a single scene?

The CGI for the falling Children of Liberty manifestos looks incredibly fake.

Alex doesn't salute Col. Haley when leaving the room, despite being ordered to from now on in the last episode.

Why didn't the Counterpoint Today host cut Ben Lockwood off when the time was up?

Granting that fascists don't usually recruit great intellects as foot soldiers, The Children of Liberty have got to be the most stupid group of fascists bully boys ever. Seemingly inspired by their fear of more powerful aliens, they go out to beat up random aliens armed with bats and pipes. They don't seem to consider that they could wind up facing an alien with heat vision. Or freeze breath. Or one who is immune to blunt instrument damage. Or, hypothetically, a shape-shifting alien lizard that can transform into a fire-breathing dragon when his owner is threatened. Or an alien with a gun. Not even alien technology. Just a regular ol' American pistol.

Since when has Alex been an enlisted member of the military? The DEO has never been portrayed as a military body before.

Why does Alex have trouble explaining what Eliza is speaking about when she is a bio-engineer with two doctorates and an expert on alien biology?


Artistry

The fight scene with Brainy fighting several Children of Liberty is nicely handled. Well shot, well blocked and the music is an ironic contrast to the action. It also does a lot to redeem Brainy considering how much of a joke the episode makes his inability to understand innuendo.

It may be filler, but Kara's fight with the dragon looks awesome.


Technobabble

The Children of Liberty begin employing dogs that can distinguish aliens from ordinary humans in their "hunts".

Lena is testing Harun-El on human heart tumors to find a cure for cancer.

Brainy says that by scrambling every seventh letter in the Children of Liberty manifesto, it indicates a common phrase in the Raolian language that translates to "ham sandwich."

The Harun-El radiation seems to be causing the tumors to grow rather than shrink. The tumor on the second test heart grows to 3.6 mm. However, it later refuses to be incinerated.

Eliza says that the biological process that cause aliens to develop powers are incompatible with human DNA

The lenses in the Children of Liberty masks are low-spectrum enhancers that allow a person to see infrared signatures. This leads to the discovery that the Children of Liberty are marking alien-owned houses so that they can mark them later.

Ben Lockwood is offered his own talk show on the same network as Counterpoint Today based on his performance opposite Kara.

Eliza had to leave National City early to go to an ethno-xeno biology conference, to speak about the regressive hereditary traits of interterrestrial children.


Dialogue Triumphs

(A couple are surrounded by several Children of Liberty with angry dogs.)
Child Of Liberty: This used to be a nice neighborhood.
(The man in the couple trips and falls, his image inducer temporarily shorting to reveal his alien face.)
Child Of Liberty: Until you infested it!
(The Child of Liberty swings a bat at the alien. Manchester Black steps in and blocks the attack.)
Manchester Black: Nice is overrated.

Col. Haley: I may not be the Woman of Steel, but if you push me you will find I do not bend.

(James has just said that he intends to go to a secret meeting with the Children of Liberty despite Lena' objections.)
Lena: So it doesn't matter what I think?
James: Not about this. This is work.
Lena: Oh? "This is work?" Well then - your boss has booked a major television appearance for you. So figure it out.

Tom, Child of Liberty: What do you bench?
James: Usually drug dealers.

Lena: I love you. And there is no line in the universe I would not cross to keep you safe.
James: If that's what you think love is... I'm not sure if I want any part of that.

(Several Children of Liberty find Brainy erasing one of their marks.)
Child of Liberty: Hey! What are you doing?
Brainy: Return to your homes. Or else.
Child of Liberty: Or else what?
Brainy: Or else I'll be required to beat you up. With physics.
(An elegant fight-scene ensues, in which Brainy side-steps all of the attacks and basically causes the Children of Liberty to beat themselves up.)

(Manchester Black opens the door, pulls off the mask and regards the Children of Liberty. He then draws a pistol as the Children of Liberty run.) 
Manchester Black: Sorry, Fi. I've got to do it my own way.

Alex: (To Col. Haley): I followed my instincts and they were right. And I will continue to do so because that is what makes me a great leader. And if that means that you have to court-martial me, so be it.


Continuity

Kara says dogs usually love her.

One of the Children of Liberty attacking the couple is Officer Petrocelli from 404.

Kara remembers meeting Manchester in 404.

Lena was last seen experimenting with Harun-El in 323.

Col. Haley orders Alex to stop all DEO investigations into the Children of Liberty, saying that as a human hate group they are the business of the FBI.

Col. Haley also orders Supergirl to stop patrolling the city on her own time and only respond to DEO approved emergencies.

Alex and Kara plan to keep investigating regardless.

Officer Petrocelli and his men were patrolling against Agent Liberty's orders.

The Lockwoods are struggling financially and Ben Lockwood is greeted with the good news that they'll be able to make their mortgage payment on their new home that month.

Ben Lockwood's wife and son are unaware that he is Agent Liberty.

Lena buys James a new suit coat.

Lena books James on a talk show called Counterpoint Daily.

J'onn invites Manchester to Thanksgiving Dinner. Manchester declines but J'onn gives him the address to the location of the party anyway.

Manchester is revealed to be torturing Officer Petrocelli for information on the Children of Liberty.

Kara offers to appear on Counterpoint Daily for James.

Nia Nul claims to be narcoleptic, despite not knowing the proper medical term for "that sleep thing."

Eve Teschmacher says she doesn't like her family that much and offers to stay with Lena and help her work on the Harun-El problem.

Kara says her mother can hlp Nia find a good doctor, saying she knows all the best ones in National City.

The Children of Liberty masks have weird lenses, according to Manchester Black.

Kara's apartment address is 16 Hope Street - Apartment 4A.

Brainy says that his mother did not raise him right.

Nia lies when Eliza recommends a friend of hers who is an expert in sleep disorders, Dr. Moger. Nia says she found another doctor - Dr. Minsky Smith.

J'onn tells Manchester that he would never use his powers against someone, except maybe in self defense. He applies that also to his mind reading, particularly if done without consent. When J'onn asks why he asks, Manchester says he's just been thinking about what Fiona would have done with her powers.

Lena suggests that if you could give humans super powers to put them on par with aliens, it would eliminate the power of the hate groups. Everyone else is skeptical, thinking you'd only wind up with evil super-powered people who would act out on their hatreds.

Lena tells James about how she got the DA to back down on pressing charges against him in 401.

One of the alien families is protected by a shape-shifting dragon that looks like a lizard named Spike.

Col. Haley agrees to let the DEO investigate the Children of Liberty in the wake of their attempted series of attacks, but only because they might provoke the more powerful aliens into retaliating in kind.

Col. Haley reveals that she knew what Alex was up to and was just giving her the rope to hang herself, when it turned out the Agents of Liberty were a relevant threat after all.

Eliza had to leave National City early to go to an ethno-xeno biology conference, to speak about the regressive hereditary traits of interterrestrial children.

James meets with Tom, who says that all the guys he was supposed to meet in the Children of Liberty have disappeared.  He agrees to guide James to people who have direct access to Agent Liberty. This leads to James being abducted.

Lena tries to call James before he is abducted. He ignores the call.

Lena tells Eve Teschmacher that she wants to move forward with The Harun-El Protocl and  they will need a human test subject.

Manchester gets Officer Petrocelli that he got his orders from a man named Caldwell. The episode ends as Manchester Black is seemingly about to kll him.


The Bottom Line

This episode does a masterful job of keeping all its subplots moving and giving the whole ensemble something to do, however briefly. Despite a number of logic questions that leave me wondering if the writers know all of the series continuity all that well (does anyone else remember that Alex was a scientist before she became a field agent?)

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