SUPERGIRL 4.08 Review “Bunker Hill”

Brainy was homeschooled.

This post contains spoilers for Supergirl.
Check out our last review here.

It was a tough week for Team Supergirl in the aptly named episode, “Bunker Hill”. If you don’t know your American history, Ben Lockwood takes some time to explain the battle. But let’s loop back to that in a few. Supergirl is finally diving into Nia’s powers and, miraculously, finally giving Brainy a little bit more to do than replace Winn.

We’ve seen Nia fall asleep on the job several times now. She’s been cagey about the reasoning each time, and gone so far as to deny help from Dr. Danvers over Thanksgiving. If you don’t know much about the Nal family, this week’s finally got some answers for you. Nia is from the planet Naltor, and the women of her family are prone to what they call Oneiromancy. They can see the future, but only in dreams, and at this stage in her life, Nia has no idea how to control it. Enter one Brainiac 5.

It’s obvious that Brainy’s going to have a little bit of extra information, being from the future and all. But it’s just one of those things that you let slip your mind so long as it doesn’t get alluded to too often. Still, if it’s going to be brought in as a plot point, at least they did so from a logical angle. Brainy explains that he can’t share any details about Nia’s powers or who she becomes for all of the reasons it’s a bad idea to share information from the future. Points to him for not going against that rule seconds after he states it like damn near every other media involving a time traveler.

Nia’s dream is of Manchester Black attacking Lydia Lockwood, she just can’t decipher that early on. Said dream will bring the two threads of “Bunker Hill” together by dropping Kara, Brainy and Nia to the very warehouse where Manchester’s about to off whichever Lockwood he needs to in order to destroy Agent Liberty. The problem with Manchester’s plan is that, whether they’re great or terrible, you cannot kill an idea.

After Lockwood discovers Manchester having tea with his wife, he finds himself forced to put on a charade in his own home. He and Lydia give Manchester the tour, ending with the bayonet his father crafted during the revolution. In a moment of bold stupidity, Lockwood points out that the weapon was for the battle of Bunker Hill. To a guy who walks around with a Union Jack on his chest. The battle took place early on in the revolutionary war. The British took the battle as a win, but ultimately lost far more men than the Colonists. The bloodshed resulted in the British using more conservative tactics in future battles, which some point to as one of the reasons America won the war. 

I spent half a paragraph telling you that because I want you to understand how clever a name “Bunker Hill” is for an episode that unmasks a madman, makes the heroes believe they’ve won, and then has the American people side with the terrorist. The battle was won by Supergirl and her team, but will the cost be so high that the victory ultimately doesn’t matter?

The President of the United States makes a visit to the DEO to help expedite the answer to that question. As Americans riot over the capture of “human rights activist” Ben Lockwood, the President insists that Supergirl must reveal her identity in honor of transparency for the American people. “Country first,” he says. Last week’s episode didn’t deliver enough of those skin-crawly vibes, so phrases like that and “cockroach” are back in full force this week.

While Supergirl is being told to give up her identity or lose her job, the “intolerant left” sits in a cell. When things get as bad as they are, lines we thought we knew as black and white get a little bit more grey, and the things that men like Manchester Black say start to make a little more sense. Kara is right that killing would do little more than make Manchester what he despises, but only partially so. Killing Lydia as a way to get back at Lockwood for the death of Fiona is deplorable. But killing Lockwood? There’s a question of morals there that I hope Kara Danvers always stands on her side of, but wanting a character to stick to their “no killing” rule doesn’t mean that we always believe that they’re right.

Supergirl declines to reveal her identity to the President, and is subsequently fired. He’s proven to be a sniveling noodle, but the President is right about one thing: the United States doesn’t want a war with Supergirl. Though she notes that she trusts it won't start one, it seems that it already has. You know what they say – if there’s a fire you’re trying to douse, you can’t put it out from inside the house. Kara will be of better use now that she’s not shackled by the DEO, and the Girl of Steel working for a government agency was bound to lead to some negative storylines at one point or another, but how long will others like Brainy last? Alex will remain as long as she can to honor J’onn, but things on the government side are tenuous at best for the time being.

Have you read through this entire review just trying to find the part about the Elseworlds scene? Alright, we’re here now! While I haven’t had time to re-watch it yet, some of the dead on the battlefield include: Green Arrow, Hawkman, Star Girl, and undoubtedly countless more members of The Justice League and The Justice Society of America. It was cool to glimpse the classic costumes, even if they were on corpses. And it got us even more hyped for the crossover event that will kick off in less than a week. Who else did you see? Shout out in the comments below with that or any other thoughts on this week’s episode.