TBB Recommends – Supergirl Season 4

Once a show reaches its fourth season it can often go one of two ways…

…boring and repetitive, failing to recapture its audience ending up cancelled before it can correct those issues. Or, it can introduce new characters and storylines which revitalise the storytelling. Supergirl’s fourth season so far manages to fall somewhere in the middle, presenting an interesting new storyline for the characters to face, in an attempt to rectify many of the problems that limited its success in previous seasons.

By focusing on the political tensions created by a world that has allowed aliens to freely seek refuge on Earth, Supergirl has introduced a thought-provoking narrative which takes real-world responses and exaggerates them to better fit a universe populated with superheroes, aliens and multiple Earths. I think, given our current political climate, it’s a successful change.

It has also used a more grounded approach to who its main villain is for the titular hero Kara Danvers/Supergirl played by Melissa Benoist. Supergirl finds herself fighting the very humans she seeks to protect when they begin to see her kind being more of a hindrance than a blessing. Evolving Supergirl’s story beyond previous seasons 2 & 3 which seemed more interested in her love life than crime-fighting heroism.

Similarly, J’onn J’onzz, who has been expertly portrayed by British Black talent, David Harewood since the first season, has also been given an exciting new story to explore. After stepping down as leader of the secret government division investigating supernatural occurrences, we’re discovering new aspects of his character.

We’re also introduced to Manchester Black played brilliantly by another British black star, London-born David Ajala (Kidult/Adult/Brotherhood trilogy, Falling Skies, Nightflyers). Manchester Black’s alien girlfriend was killed by the hands of anti-alien group the Children of Liberty. We follow his conflicting story as he battles his morals, deciding whether violence is the answer to avenging his girlfriend’s death which he rightly blames on the hate group.

However, things aren’t perfect. Season 4 is evolving rather slowly, the showrunners deciding to dedicate a whole episode to the backstory of Ben Lockwood (Sam Witwer), the leader of the Children of Liberty, in an attempt to endear him to us or at least help us understand his motivations. Which takes us away from Supergirl and her closest allies; exposing the writers’ need to fill up the show’s 23 episodes per season average.

But, this is the strongest season to date. Supergirl also has a brilliant track record for representation, not only with the casting of Ajala and Harewood but for casting the first-ever transgender superhero in a TV show, played by Nicole Maines, who is transgender herself. Hopefully, it continues to explore real-world issues via National City and give Supergirl’s character more depth.

TBB’s recommendation by Jade Fakokunde

When: Tune in to the remainder of Supergirl season 4, Monday’s 8pm, Sky One. Watch previous episodes here.


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