Supergirl: “Solitude” is a scattered, ineffective mess of mediocrity

“Solitude” is one of Supergirl’s worst episodes, objectively, but it has one of my personal favorite moments in the series so far. It’s an episode that is overstuffed, with a nonsensical villain of the week and far too many moments that tried and failed to be emotionally impactful. The only thing that really worked was the end of the episode, with everything else being varying degrees of bad.

First, the villain of the week, Indigo, is absurd. She’s apparently some kind of living computer program who wants to destroy humanity. For reasons. Okay, it’s because Non cheated on her and then left her for Astra, I guess, and so now she’s going to take over the world by hacking everyone’s Fake Ashley Madison accounts and then nuking National City. Indigo looks like a second rate Mystique, except when she’s actually being an incorporeal computer being, which is actually a pretty neat effect. Regardless, she’s definitely one of the silliest villains this show has given us yet.

The most inexplicable side plot of the episode was the burgeoning romance between Cat Grant’s new assistant, Siobhan, and Winn. Both of these characters are totally unnecessary at this point, and they have very little to do in “Solitude” except have a sort of awkward hook-up. Winn does do some computer stuff, but it’s just his normal sort of magical tech wizardry, so it’s boring. Siobhan is actively unlikable, even abusive, towards Winn, in a way that isn’t fun or funny to watch. Even a sob story about how the reason Siobhan acts like such a monster is because her dad cheated on her mom isn’t enough to generate many positive feelings about her.

The major emotional event of the week is Lucy breaking up with James, who has been kind of terrible to her for a while now. The final straw is when James blows off a date with Lucy to travel to the Fortress of Solitude. Kara makes excuses for James and tries to talk him up to Lucy, but in a way that tips Lucy off to James and Kara’s feelings for each other. James’s attempt to let Lucy in on the secret of Supergirl’s identity is too little, too late, and it would have only exacerbated the problem anyway. It’s a relief in a way, to have this stuff over with. Lucy is better off, frankly, and now James and Kara are free to do their thing if they want to.

The best moment of the episode was its final one. I have mixed feelings about the way this show rushes through story material, but sometimes its impatience is a good thing. I knew the show wasn’t going to let Alex keep a secret from her sister for too much longer, so it wasn’t surprising to see Alex come clean about Astra’s death before the end of the hour. What was a surprise, especially in an otherwise lackluster and very disjointed episode, was the way the moment played out. Kara’s instant forgiveness of her sister (and Hank!) was probably the most perfect scene this show has ever produced. It doesn’t make the whole mediocre hour beforehand worth it, but it does help redeem “Solitude” a little bit.

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