Story by : Rob Wright Teleplay by : Jess Kardos & Mariko Tamaki
Directed by: Tawnia McKiernan
Starring: Melissa Benoist, Chyler Leigh, Katie Mcgrath, David Harewood, Jesse Wrath, Nicole Maines, Jon Cryer, Azie Tesfai, Staz Nair, Julie Gonzalo
Synopsis “Alex uses a pair of obsidian contact lenses to visit a virtual National City where she takes on a whole new persona; Kelly helps William investigate Lex; Kara deals with difficult news.”
I would normally be the first to criticize an episode of Supergirl which didn’t include any actual Supergirl, but I found Alex in Wonderland to be an exception. Maybe it’s because we do get Supergirl, just in the form of Alex or maybe it’s simply due to the fact this was an expertly written and delivered episode.
The story was written by Rob Wright who is a regular to the show and always delivers interesting, compelling and emotional stories. The real meat to the story comes from the script writers Jess Kardos and Mariko Tamaki. Kardos is again a regular to the show having been part of the team since 2017 but Tamaki brings something new to the show.
In TV land Mariko Tamaki is a name you might not know, but in the world of comics, in particular DC comics she is a name you should know. Tamaki is known for writing none other than Supergirl herself in the quite brilliant series ‘Being Super’. Having also written books for Tomb Raider, X-23 and Harley Quinn it’s safe to say she knows how to handle writing for strong women. I feel that her experience in the comic book world helped bring some spark to this episode. Part of the reason I liked this episode so much was because it felt like a comic book coming to life and that can not be a coincidence with Tamaki on board. She takes over writing duties on the ongoing Wonder Woman series later this year which is something to keep an eye out for.
The directors for episodic TV shows often get forgotten because they change from week to week. Kevin Smith who has directed a number of episodes on Supergirl and Flash often reports that he is simply a cheerleader for the team, but we know that cant be entirely true. Although these shows follow a set formula and have a very similar feel every week, there are subtle differences you can see if you know where to look. This is why I get excited when I see certain names appear in the opening credits beside Directed by.
This week’s director is one of those names I eagerly look out for, Tawnia McKiernan. This is the 5th episode she has directed and maintained the high standard set out in the likes of The Bottle Episode and O Brother, Where Art Thou? It’s the subtle things that stand out for me like when the camera holds on Alex’s face for that extra second so her emotions really hit you or when the action shots are just that bit wider so you see the real impact of someone being thrown through a wall. It’s the writers who say “Alex throws J’onn through a wall” but how that translates to the audience and how we feel about it, that is what comes from the director and once again to Tawnia McKiernan I tip my hat and say well done on another fantastic episode.
As the title suggests Alex in Wonderland is heavily centred around Alex Danvers. All other stories take a back seat this week and there isn’t anything to report on regarding Kara, Lex, Leviathan or Brainy. This was a nice change of pace, an almost side story episode, but a very entertaining one at that. As we approach the final few episodes this season i’m sure things will start to escalate quite quickly.