Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 14 - The Bodyguard

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


When an anti-technology activist threatens Andrea Rojas' life and the launch of Obsidian Platinum, Lex is all too eager to appoint Supergirl to act as Andrea's personal bodyguard, as he attempts to further endear himself to Gemma Cooper and Lena pushes forward with Project Non Nocere and the first human test subjects.


The 1992 film The Bodyguard, Skyrim (the opening VR sequence with the viking woman fighting a dragon)


The "meet cute" aspects of this episode where William starts to win over Kara despite her earlier rejection ring false. It's presented as charming that he found out how she liked her lattees instead of creepy that he arranged to "just happen" to run into her and Nia with drinks on hand. It should be a red flag, especially given that Kara already turned him down flat once and a really "nice guy" wouldn't have pulled the "act like an asshole" and "talk down to coworkers" act he pulled in his first few appearances.

Why does Kara just now realize William's commitment to the truth and putting himself in harms way in the name of journalistic integrity? They discussed that point in earlier episodes.(The writers have to justify her sudden romantic interest somehow.)

How do Alex and J'onn know which farm on Route 89 to investigate after Brainiac-5 tells them there's nothing out there?


Willie Garson's surprise return as Steve Lomeli is a brief but solid performance that instantly conveys the horror of Lena's actions.


The effects work for this episode is quite good, particularly the sequence in which J'onn saves an elevator full of people.

Super Trivia

The Chlorophyllian race introduced in this episode seems to be partly inspired by the Green Lantern villain Star Sapphire. The pink energy utilized by Chlorophyllians is similar to the power radiated by the Star Sapphire Corps in the comics, which is meant to be violet-tinged, but their energy is usually colored pink. The Star Sapphires also draw their power from love and the Chlorphyillian terrorist is inspired by her love of her dead husband, who has the unlikely name of Todd Sapphire.


The new Obsidian Platinum lenses have a 150 petaflop bio-link interface.

Postulating that the aliens behind Leviathan are a techno-organic species from the same solar system as Krypton, Brainiac-5 says that injecting the anti-Immortality code into their system would be impossible without weakening them first. This requires finding their version of Kryptonite or somehow gaining access to their home base.

Chlorophyllians are a peaceful alien race that absorb sunlight through their skin in order to accelerate the growth of their crops. They radiate a pink energy which is impossible to track, but can't discharge this energy in the form of electricity without mechanical assistance.

Brainiac-5 calculates there is a 93.2% certainty that no one will ever invite him to Thanksgiving dinner ever again because of his actions going behind the backs of his friends.

The gauntlets utilized by the Chrlorphyllian allow it to absorb any kind of energy, including the bio-energy of other aliens, and expel that energy from the body in the form of electricity.

The Obsidian Platinum cloud has a fail safe. If  power is drained from Obsidian North's generators, it draws power off of National City's grid to ensure the launch takes place. Unfortunately, since the city is run from a Luthor Power Core system that acquires power as quickly as it is lost, it could cause most of the transformers in the city to explode as well as a city-wide blackout.

Dialogue Triumphs

Lex: (To Lena) They think you're turning into me. Or at least Mother. (reassuringly) But you haven't. (smirking) Tragically.

Steve: It was Toby. I thought was going to hit me! When he asked me if I was okay... I felt... I felt something I'd never felt before. For...for the first time ever, I wanted to be the bully. Fear is the only emotion I've known for most of my life. But then you came along and I... finally felt hope. But now... all I feel is... a  hunger for revenge. For violence. It's trapped inside me. It's trying to claw its way out! I can't get rid of it. It's so much worse than anything that Toby ever did to me!

Steve: You really are the hero people say you are.
Lena: If this works, the world won't need heroes.

Dialogue Disasters

Lena: Before Crisis when I tried to use Myriad, she assumed that I was trying to mind-control people. (That's because you were!)


One Obsidian Platinum scenario allows an elderly woman in a wheelchair to feel like she is young, a warrior, riding a horse and fighting a dragon.

The new Obsidian Platinum lenses are so realistic that people can touch, taste and smell things in VR.

Alex hasn't gone out in public without a gun in eight years and doesn't feel comfortable without a sidearm.

Kelly brings Alex Hot Pockets, macaroni and cheese and dumplings for lunch on her first day working at The Tower with J'onn.

William shows up with lattes for Kara and Nia. He made a point of finding out their favorite drink orders.

Nia likes her lattees sugar-free and vanilla flavored.

Kara likes her lattees double-caff, double-foam with caramel and mocha.

As the episode opens, Obsidian Platinum is due to go live at 9 PM PST. This is just a little over 11 hours from when Andrea enters the lobby at Obsidian North, making it just before 10 AM when the assassin tries to kill her.

The assassin tries to hurriedly accelerate then drop the elevator Andrea is in. As they do this, the elevator car is surrounded by pink lightning.

Supergirl saves Andrea from falling to her death.

An Anti-Obsidian manifesto claiming credit for Andrea's death arrives at CatCo two minutes after the attack, threatening more deaths if Obsidian Platinum's launch is not cancelled. Andrea refuses to do this, despite the danger to her people.

The Maladorian Dendroasp from 505 makes an appearance, with Lena now successfully getting the aggressive alien animal to play with a puppy.

Lena makes reference to the events of 507 and her using Myriad in her first attempt to launch Non Nocere.

Thus far, all of Lena's animal tests have worked perfectly, but she has yet to start human trials.

Lex sets up a test using volunteers from the privately-owned prison that LuthorCorp runs to do Lena's human trials, arguing that if she can make aggressive repeat offenders into docile, productive members of society, it would be a proof of concept Supergirl couldn't complain about.

Brainiac-5 is nearly done repurposing Toyman's Immortality Code from 512 into a weapon against Leviathan. However, he postulates it won't be useful unless they can weaken the Leviathan aliens first or find their base of operations.

Lex assigns Supergirl to act as Andrea Rojas personal bodyguard, despite Kara's objections, saying it will be far easier to have her close at hand when the assassins strikes at hand as its unlikely the DEO can catch them before the Obsidian Platinum launch that night.

J'onn currently has more cases than he cares to count - most involving missing people, runaway aliens and the odd wayward spouse.

Alex is having trouble adjusting to the idea of working independently without a direct boss or goal every day.

Kara asks Alex and J'onn to help her with tracking down the terrorist gunning for Andrea.

J'onn confirms what Brainiac-5 said about Chlorophyllian energy being impossible to track, but says they can't manifest the energy they absorb as electricity and are typically a peaceful people.

Lex confronts Gemma Cooper and offers her the DEO's protection in order to maintain her anonymity. She agrees, but warns him not to make promises he can't keep because "her people" don't offer second chances.

The inmates Lena is given to experiment on are a cross-section of violent repeat offenders to those who are afraid of their own shadow.

One of the test subjects is Steve Lomeli - the editor of the convict-published newsletter at Stryker's Island in 418, who helped Kara with her story after revealing he hacked Lex Luthor's secret server.

Steve is bullied by an inmate named Toby.

Kara meets William for the first time as Supergirl.

William says he isn't afraid of covering Andrea Rojas despite the threats on her life and says that its his responsibility as a journalist to put himself in harms way to give people information.

Dimitry is a thug who hangs around Al's Bar that Alex has strong-armed once or twice looking for information.

Dimitry says a contact of his who dealt in exotic alien weaponry recently dealt with a Chlorophyllian who lived on a farm on Route 89.

Alex calls Brainiac-5 and asks if he has information on a Chlorophyillian living off Route 89.  Brainy pulls up the record of a Todd Sapphire, but lies to Alex and says he couldn't find anything.

Brainiac-5 consults with one of his alternate selves from 510 through the Coluan hivemind to get a second opinion on his current actions. He sympathizes with his plight, but says the deception is necessary for the greater good.

Lena's test on the inmates seems to work perfectly, with Toby now being friendly towards Steve.

William and Supergirl discuss their reservations about the Obsidian Platinum system and how they both fear people could become disconnected from the real world because of it. William specifically refers to Kara and her game nights as making him remember what real connections with people were like after losing his best friend.

The assassin makes another attempt on Andrea's life, shooting lightning at her during an interview, before teleporting away.

Andrea still refuses to go into hiding or cancel the launch.

Andrea tells Supergirl that Obsidian is the life's work of her father and he sacrificed everything to make the company successful and she can't do anything less.

Steve is agitated by Toby's presence and tries to take a swing at him, but is unable to because of the Non Nocere. This leads Lena to discover an unexpected side-effect - while she successfully pacifies the normally hostile, it fills the normally fearful (like Steve) with rage they can't unleash, as his fight-or-flight response is left without an outlet for expression. He says the resulting feeling is far worse than anything Toby ever did to him.

Alex and J'onn find a barn full of hydroponics, a copy of Walden Pond and blueprints for the kind of technology the Chlorophyillian was apparently trying to buy along with weapons-grade components.

The terrorist finds Alex and J'onn in their lair and attacks, draining energy from J'onn while struggling with him and setting the barn on fire.

Alex calls Supergirl, who pulls Andrea out of an appearance at the Obsidian North store and takes her to the DEO before going to save Alex and J'onn.

Lex offers Lena his help in trying to fix the Non Nocere algorithm.

Kara finds a strongbox full of papers, including an Obsidian worker ID. With that, she, Alex and J'onn determine that Todd Saphire committed suicide after becoming addicted to Obsidian Platinum during beta-testing and being fired after stealing a pair of lenses.

Kara realizes the assassin is Todd's wife, Amy and that she blames Obsidian Platinum for his death, as he was homesick and using the technology to escape into a virtual simulation of the home planet they were forced to flee.

Andrea is able to shadow teleport for the first time in the post-Crisis reality after being locked in a cell at the DEO and somehow wishing herself to the Obsidian North offices.

Kara talks Amy down from her plan to destroy Obsidian North's office after pointing out that innocent people will die in the resulting power drain.

Andrea lies about how she got back to Obsidian North so quickly.

Andrea dismisses Supergirl's concerns about Obsidian Platinum being addictive, saying Todd's story was tragic but she believes she is doing more good than harm.

Andrea realizes the Acrata medallion is tied to her shadow travel power.

J'onn gives Alex a Martian weapon called "The Hand of the Soldier," which can shapeshift into any weapon the wilder can think of.

Lena corrects the algorithm with Lex's help, realizing she had accounted for violent tendencies but not the urge to fight injustice. Steve says he feels safe for the first time in his life.

William texts Kara to ask if she is okay after the attack.

Kara decides to accept William's invitation to go out, saying she was scared to say yes the week before.

Brainiac-5 confronts Lex over the failsafe on the Luthor Power Core and how he couldn't shut it down. Lex dismisses his concerns that 67% of the people in National City could have been harmed by the resulting fires.

Lex meets with Gemma Cooper again and argues that the resulting chaos has only built up the Obsidian Platinum launch and that he would be the ideal spokesperson to help promote it on a gloabl level. He asks to meet her friends in exchange for his help.

The Fridge Factor

Alex is made entirely useless so that she can angst over losing the job she quit when she's never shown any signs of lacking confidence fighting aliens with powers she doesn't have before.

Kara is suddenly going gooey over the same man who was a jerk to her when they first met because he agrees with her on VR technology being bad and journalism being good.

Andrea Rojas drive to promote her company is revealed entirely because she wants her daddy's approval.

The Bottom Line

Lackluster in nearly every department and oddly insulting given its release on International Women's Day, with Alex out of sorts until J'onn gives her a new "gun", Kara suddenly willing to give the jerk who is stalking her a second chance and Acrata set up as yet another villain whose motivations come down to daddy issues. It's odd how the only two people fighting the chief villains of the season now are Lex and Brainiac-5 and Lena's subplot has been completely separated from the rest of the action of the series. Throw in a forgettable villain and another reiteration of the one-sided moral (i.e. technology is bad!)  and this is one bland mess.

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