Monday, April 29, 2019

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 19 - American Dreamer

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


With Supergirl sidelined as Kara tries to prove her alter ego innocent of attacking the White House, Dreamer has to step-up to act as National City's protector as Ben Lockwood begins personally leading the Children of Liberty on raids to take alien "agitators" into federal custody. Meanwhile, James turns to extreme measures to treat his PTSD, as Brainiac-5 enters into his head.


The BBC series of Sherlock (concept of a mind palace)


Pretty much every effort earlier in the season that tried to turn Ben Lockwood into a sympathetic figure was completely wasted by this episode, where the only reason he doesn't twirl his mustache as he breaks-up alien families is because he doesn't have a mustache.

Despite having taken over the DEO arsenal last week, the Children of Liberty now following Ben Lockwood on raids appear to have only ordinary pistols and most of them continue to go after aliens unarmed. (Perhaps, being cowards, they are only going after non-violent aliens who don't have any offensive natural abilities.)

Again, the Children of Liberty are hardly a credible threat, with a mob of them being easily defeated by Dreamer, who isn't even acting on a psychic dream.


The effects work for Dreamer's enhanced powers look fantastic.

The final sequence with J'onn on Mars is phenomenal.

Super Trivia

This episode was directed by David Harewood, who plays the role of J'onn J'onzz.

The Lenny Kravitz cover of the song American Woman plays as Dreamer fights the Children of Liberty at Al's Dive Bar.


Brainiac-5 says that without Supergirl backing them up, there is a 63.6% chance of their being apprehended by any battle in the field.

James' heart rate is said to be 186 and his ICP charted at 22 mil as the episode opens. His blood-pressure is 160 over 30 and rising. His EKG is erratic.

A mind palace is a hyper-real interactive space within a person's mind. Brainiac-5 uses the same device he used on Kara in 310 to map out James' memories by tapping his temporal lobe.

Brainiac-5 theorizes that by determining the source of his trauma, James he will be able to weather his panic attacks and gain control of his new powers.

The Harun-El cure was designed to attack illnesses - both mental and physical. In this case, it was focusing on James' PTSD, heightening what would have been an ordinary panic attack had it not been for the cure also giving James superpowers. Once James can manage the symptoms, he'll be able to manage his powers as well.

Brainy calculates an 86.7% chance that James' greatest trauma is tied to Lex Luthor.

Lena's Harun-El Extraction Trial 7.5 ends with the subject's heart exploding after it starts with a heart rate of 180 BPM and the device being set to 350 MHz. Before it explodes, the heart volume increases by 30% as tumors begin emerging.

Brainy compares memories to watercolor paintings - the colors merge without distinct boundaries and memories do the same thing.

Reference is made to the double-breasted interrupted key cipher being Lex Luthor's favorite code.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Two Children of Liberty are trying to get at an alien food truck vendor, who has sealed himself inside his truck. Suddenly, Dreamer steps out of the shadows.)
Dreamer: Howdy boys.
Child of Liberty #1: Who are you?
Dreamer: I'm your worst nightmare.
(The two Children of Liberty charge Dreamer. She easily snares them in a cord of psychic energy that wraps around them and throws them into a car, knocking them out.)
Sweet dreams.

(George Lockwood has just discovered that one of the aliens he was capturing is his classmate.)
George: You're an alien? Why didn't you tell me?
Charlie: Why do you think?!

Dreamer: My parents believed that humans and aliens could co-exist. And I'm living proof of that. But growing up wasn't easy. I am also a trans woman. I'm different, Ms. Danvers, but so is everybody. And I don't know when that became such a bad thing.

Brainac-5: (To Lena, as they watch Dreamer's interview) What does love feel like?

Dreamer: Fear sucks. It sucks and I am so sick of feeling hopeless. Dawn doesn't come unless we want it to. But we don't have to wait for a new day. We are the new day!

Dreamer: You're here!
Brainiac-5: As a wise woman once said, "Fear sucks." So let's kick fear's ass.

Dialogue Disasters

Damn near every line Sam Witwer says as Ben Lockwood might qualify, though that's more due to delivery than the actual dialogue in some cases. His cliche "Nooooooooo!" when Ben Lockwood discovered his dead wife deserves special mention, however, eclipsing Darth Vader's "Noooooooooo!" in Revenge of the Sith as the worst instance of an actor doing this in film history.


As this episode opens, it has been two days since President Baker declared martial law.

Dreamer is using dream related puns in her fighting now.

Dreamer can now take her psychic energy and use it to make simple projections of solid force, like a Green Lantern.

Brainiac-5 is monitoring Dreamer in the field remotely, but is forced to speak to her through a hologram afterward because he is also assisting in the treatment of Jimmy Olsen.

Lena, Alex and Brainy are working together to treat Jimmy Olsen, whose apparent PTSD issues are tied to his body's reaction to the Harun-El.

Lena's plan is to try and remove the Harun-El from Jame's system but doing so only seems to be aggravating his trauma.

Each of James' panic attacks seems to awaken a new power. As the episode opened, he has just been confirmed to be experiencing Super-Hearing.

Brainy suggests that she can treat James by creating a mind palace within his head.

Kara has the copy of L-Corps Black Budget, which James acquired in 414. In it, she discovers one withdraw by an executive named

Franklin the Dryad - last seen in 414 - is revealed to have a sister who works in the HR department at Amertek. Kara asks him if she'd be willing to talk to her about the company's connections to Lex Luthor.

Franklin the Dryad is revealed to be sleeping at his desk at CatCo, due to the Children of Liberty raiding the apartment building across the street from his home.

Nia asks Kara if she is sure that Supergirl laying low is really a good idea right now. Kara points out that with the nation still hunting for her alter ego, the best thing Kara can do is try and figure out what Lex is up to and clear her name.

Ben Lockwood personally leads a raid to arrest one alien who was reported as expressing anti-government sentiment. When his wife begs Lockwood not to take her husband in front of her children, Lockwood says the children have already lost one parent forever and it would be a shame for them to lose both.

George Lockwood tells his dad it's hard to do their work when the aliens look human. Ben Lockwood agrees, but asks one of his men, Marcus, to take George with him on the rest of his shift to toughen him up.

Kara stops a purse-snatcher in her civilian identity.

Kara meets with Franklin's sister, Edna. She says things at Amertek are getting bad and there's a rumor they are about to install alien-detectors at all the company entrances next week.

Edna wants to help Kara but is afraid that her actions could put her friends and family in danger.

The first thing James sees in his mind palace is the press room at The Daily Planet on the first day Lex Luthor kidnapped him. This setting is broken up by an image of two teenage boys and a woman carrying a funeral wreath.

The second place James travels in his mind palace is the site of his father's funeral.

Edna gets Kara into the records room at Amretek. She gets cold feet and refuses to help Kara any further, but not before Kara finds a record of an executive named Sebastian Melmoth buying a military base in Rubniu in October 2018.

Rubniu is not a real country or region, according to Kara's research.

Kara also can't find any record of a Sebastain Melmoth on any list of Amertek executives that she can find publicly.

Accessing the HR records at Amertek requires Edna using a personal PIN, so she will immediately be discovered as a whistle-blower.

James claims that he wasn't there for his father's funeral - a fact that Kelly Olsen confirms.

James remembers getting locked in the bathroom of a diner across the street from the funeral home and not being discovered by the manager until after the funeral was over.

Kelly was eight years old when her father died. Thinking of the funeral is triggering for her because James promised he would be there for her as their mom was falling apart but he missed the funeral.

Kara finds a record of S. Melmoth making a purchase worth $5.8 billion on the L-Corp Black Budget sheet.

Kara asks Lena for help, but Lena asks were Kara has been while she and Alex have been trying to save James' life.

Al, the owner of the alien dive bar frequented by Kara and her friends, has turned his business into a shelter for aliens. Dreamer discovers this just before it is raided by the Children of Liberty. She is able to drive them off.

One of the alien refugees in the bar, Charlie, is a classmate of George Lockwood's. He is stunned that a classmate he was friendly with is an alien.

George asks his mother, Lydia, if she thinks maybe Ben is going about his work in the wrong way. Lydia says she has never thought that and believes Ben is saving the country.

Nia tells Kara about the raid on Al's Bar. She says she wants to do more to help but isn't sure what she can do. Kara says she feels the same way and that everything she's done has pushed Lena away and made Edna more afraid.

Kara has the idea to interview Dreamer, as her unique status as a half-human with alien powers makes her a symbol of how everything Ben Lockwood is fighting against.

James remembers that he did go into the funeral parlor earlier to say goodbye to his dad, but was chased out by the woman with the funeral wreath. He then ran into Billy New and Brandon Palmer - two bullies form his school. The two chased James into the funeral parlor and locked him inside a coffin. James later misremembered this as being locked in a bathroom.

Brainy links James and Kelly, placing Kelly in James' mind palace. While doing this, Kelly recovers a repressed memory from that day - hearing James calling for help but not being able to do anything about it.

James develops heat-vision and flight whole working through this trauma.

Brainy tells Lena that his experiment worked and that James' long-term prognosis is good.

Somebody hacked the system of the Department of Alien Affairs to prevent them from shutting down a television broadcast. (Apparently they have that power...)

Nia prefers salty snacks over sweet, but s'mores are her favorite dessert.

Nia broke her nose when she was 15 playing kickball.

Nia says her mother was her heart and she has felt like she was missing a piece of herself since her death.

Nia describes her father as her spine.

Nia says that she is a Griffyndor and her Patronus is a Dapple Grey stallion.

Nia says she is an INFP on the Meyers-Briggs personality test.

Nia says she is a Miranda (Sex in the City) and House Stark (Game of Thrones).

Nia loves Thursdays, the month of April and nerdy boys who think too much.

Lena is deeply moved by Nia's speech and says she wishes she could be that open and honest about who she is and what she's done.

Ben Lockwood leads a team of Children of Liberty to Catco to arrest Dreamer and everyone involved in the "illegal seditious broadcast.'

Marcus is apparently Alex's man on the inside of the Children of Liberty. He sends her a text warning her of Lockwood's coming raid.  Alex tries to pass the information onto Kara, but Kara left her phone in her purse and doesn't get the message.

Alex knocks out the power at Catco as Brainiac-5 arrives to help Dreamer fight the Children of Liberty and Kara helps as quietly as she can.

Dreamer and Brainiac-5 flee Catco.

James Olsen arrives and breaks Ben Lockwood's hand with his new super-strength, telling him to get out of his offices unless he's planning to rewrite the Constitution to stop reporters from doing their jobs.

Inspired by the Dreamer interview, Edna agrees to help Kara and gives her the acquisition papers for the military base in Rubniu.

Lena confesses to Kara that she had been keeping a secret from her and that she had been working with Lex to cure his cancer with the Harun-El for four months.

Kara forgives Lena and says there's nothing Lena needs to be ashamed of.

Lena agrees to help Kara with her investigation.

In his grandfather's foundry, George Lockwood throws one of the Agent of Liberty masks away and sends a text to Charlie, asking if he needs someone to talk to.

Lena recognizes the name of Sebastian Melmoth as being an alias that Oscar Wilde used for a time after being released from prison. It is also an alias Lex Luthor used when he was 13, after he read the complete works of Oscar Wilde.

Lena also recognizes the double-breasted interrupted key cipher Lex used on his records, saying it was his favorite code. This turns the name Rubniu into Kaznia.

The wife of the alien who Lockwood had arrested earlier in the episode kills Lydia Lockwood.

J'onn returns the Sacred Symbols to where they came. His father's spirit speaks to him and tells him to return to his family on Earth.


Mars - The Desert Of T'ozz.

Untelevised Adventures

We haven't gotten to see any of the training that turned Nia into a badass fighter.

We don't get to see any of J'onn's journey and the trials he undergoes to reach the holy site. (Presumably there were some as he walks through the desert and didn't just fly his ship directy there?)

The Fridge Factor

Lydia Lockwood is killed purely to give Ben Lockwood even more reason to hate aliens.

The Bottom Line

A bit lackluster overall. The bits with Kara working as a reporter are brilliant, as are the Dreamer sequences. Unfortunately, these don't seem to get as much attention as James' subplot, which subverts half the cast (again) into helping him develop superpowers.  Easily skippable, except for the last two minutes.

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