Season 6, Episode 9, “Dream Weaver”

Image titled Supergirl fights corruption in the prison system

Photo: The CW

Funny, thoughtful, moving and socially aware. These are the elements that Super girl does best, and these are also the qualities that are on display in “Dream Weaver,” another solid episodic adventure that fits into the biggest storytelling of the season. pieces forward. I like this Super girl takes a smaller approach for the latter half of his final season. Instead of stretching beyond his means with big action scenes he can’t pull off, “Dream Weaver” tells on a small scale, standalone story that ‘Its impact lies in its sharp social commentary and optimistic spirit.

The most impressive thing about “Dream Weaver” is the way it weaves together just about all of the major elements of Super girlthe construction of the world. Of course, it’s a bit handy that the child Kelly meets at her social worker job happens to have an older brother who is involved in the thefts that Kara and J’onn are investigating, which happen to be linked to a prison guard that Kara has already written. an article on. But I’ll take a little trick if it means that all the elements of Super girlthe world feels just as relevant for once.

In particular, “Dream Weaver” does a fantastic job of making CatCo a staple of Super Girl ‘s storytelling, which haswasn’t always the case in the CW era of the series. The shattering cut of Kara and Co. having a game night at Andrea demanding to know what Super Friends are up to for fun is awesome. And William and Kara work really well as a platonic colleagues with a common passion for hard knocks journalism. More Super girl locates an intelligent and relevant conflict in the idea that for CatCo to have the resources to report the truth, he must be able to maintain himself financially. And that means figuring out how to structure a story in a way that makes people want to engage in it – something that Kara ultimately realizes she does. has a unique ability to do like Supergirl.

But as Kara does some recce with her Supergirl powers this week, the key to solving the case comes more from her journalistic side, like she and William bond and follow the money. It turns out that an organized crime lord bribes a private prison guard to use alien prisoners to steal the materials he needs to build a dirty bomb. Adding insult to injury, the bribery occurs as part of a work release program that is specifically aimed at helping incarcerated people learn skills that can help them reintegrate into the world after the expiration of their sentence – a program that Kara once praised in a article.

“Dream Weaver” focuses on systemic abuses, such as the ones EMP-powered alien Orlando Davis (Jhaleil Swaby) faces in prison or the one his little brother Joey (Aiden Stoxx) faces in his cruel foster home . In fact, “Dream Weaver” sets out to explore the cycles of inhumanity that make up much of American society: the Davis brothers found themselves in their abusive situations because Orlando had to turn to theft to make ends meet after their parents died. If he had had more social services to help him in the first place, all of their traumas and separations could have been avoided. Indeed, Kelly’s beautifully empathetic approach contrasts sharply with these larger systemic failures. But there is only as long as she can act like a little voice in a much bigger broken system.

Image titled Supergirl fights corruption in the prison system

Photo: The CW

As is often the case when Super girl tackles a complex real-world problem, however, the show’s desire to deliver an upbeat ending is somewhat at odds with the less sunny reality of how these situations typically play out. While the idea of ​​Supergirl becoming the voice of the incarcerated is charming, there is also something odd about presenting a relatively simple fictitious solution to such a complex real-world problem. I couldn’t argue with anyone who found the scene where Orlando gets a full pardon and finds Joey to be just a small farm when it comes to harnessing real world pain for easy superhero TV pathos.

Still, in the entertainment world, it works well. And it is clear that Super girl has all the best intentions in the world when it comes to shedding light on the dangers from private to for-profit prisons and lack of humanity so often granted to inmates (and children in foster care). it helps before Super girl has Kara as the hero, it allows her to be frustratingly naive in not seeing that Director Wyatt Kote (Tom Jackson) is clearly in the scam. And I love the episode’s ultimate thesis that Kara has as much power in what she chooses to talk about as Supergirl as she does in what she actually does with her Kryptonian abilities, which she proves by giving William an exclusive interview that condemns prison abuse while championing work release programs in general.

Image titled Supergirl fights corruption in the prison system

Photo: The CW

While Kara’s impulse is often to segment her double life, this time around she realizes that there is real value in working a story on both sides – as Kara Danvers and as Supergirl. . And Kelly also comes to a similar realization. After recognizing the limits of what she can do as a social worker on her own, Kelly decides to take on her brother’s guardian mantle to help protect vulnerable people through self-defense. And while, again, there is something a little odd about using a fictitious solution to solve a complicated real-world problem, the mind is charming and a much better exploration of what it means to be the Guardian than it does. the series never really gave to James. Plus, it’s worth seeing Alex enthusiastically pull out the vigilante gear she’s storing for Kelly from Crisis on Infinite Earths. Even more than their domination during game nights, it is the scene that really sell Alex and Kelly as a perfect pair. The couple who campaign together, stay together.

To complete “Dream Weaver” is an unfortunately not very interesting runner on Nyxly infiltrating Nia’s dreams. While Nia’s powers are cool in theory, Super girl has never been the best at finding visions that are visually interesting. Here, her dreams start to get pretty repetitive, at least until a trippy talking owl brightens things up a bit. Yet tying Nyxly and Nia together is another smart, economical storytelling choice that brings Nyxly back into the fold while continuing Nia’s arc of her mother’s lack. Yes Super girlstorytelling throughout the season has not yet started cooking with gas completely, at least it is fanning the flames in an interesting direction.

Stray observations

  • There are some great hand-to-hand combat in the scene where Kara and J’onn release the kidnapped prisoners.
  • Jhaleil Swaby and Aiden Stoxx perform very well as Orlando and Joey, which goes a long way to making the brothers’ story alive and complex.
  • So, are Alex and Kelly just going to adopt Esme or are they going to end up taking over the whole foster home?
  • Where has M’gann been lately? Has she returned to Mars?
  • I thought William was the only one assigned to Super Friends history, but I love that Kara and Nia were also tasked with profiling themselves!
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