BWW Recap: SUPERGIRL's Agent Liberty Shows Us the Devastating Effects of Fear Mongering in 'The Man of Steel'
"The Man of Steel" opens up on a Kryptonite alert at the DEO and the reach is, you guessed it - everywhere. SUPERGIRL is falling hard and fast from the sky as Alex and the DEO panic. Green Martian flies down just in time to catch her before impact, but her veins are saturated with Kryptonite. The DEO figures out pretty quickly that they were betrayed by one of their own - Jensen - fortifying the division that the United States is facing.
We briskly move to a two-year flashback and it's nice to see Director Henshaw back in action at the DEO. While Alex has been a fantastic leader, ever since J'onn got his father's memories back, he's been a mashup of the two characters. It's not unwelcome to see OG J'onn - even in flashback form.
Agent Liberty takes center stage as his backstory unfurls and we slowly learn how he became such a hateful, speciest leader of the alien hate movement. Tragic backstory or not, it's hard to feel empathy for anyone who lets a tragic event warp them into someone filled with the same kind of hatred that destroyed their own life. We all have tragedies in our life, but we don't all become killers. Agent Liberty started off as a family man who stood up for aliens, but the minute the Daximite aliens burned his house down, he flips on a dime and puts all aliens in a violent, malevolent box.
Professor Lockwood - currently known as Agent Liberty - goes on a rampage to James about his refusal to cover the alien invasion in a way that paints humans as the victims. There's nothing scarier than a racist spewing "Nativist" xenophobic ideology and projecting their hatred to a college class. As Lockwood descended further into his hysteria, he began moonlighting his history class as a rally against aliens.
Upon the Dean of the college firing him for passing on his prejudices, he follows his alien student into a bar and asks her, "Did you tattle on me snowflake?!" #Charming. When Kara sticks up for the student, Lockwood throws a temper tantrum and calls her an "Earth traitor." Newsflash, my guy: Not all aliens have spikes.
This episode is a how-to guide on letting hatred change who you are. Lena Luthor said it best when she urged Lockwood to stop going down the path he was headed on. "Blaming other people for your problems will make you end up just like my brother."
Shockingly, he didn't take her advice, murdering the same alien he sought to protect before he let fear defile who he was. Catching up to the present day, he continues to warp history to his own gain, using the founding fathers as a tool to spew his rhetoric.
Supergirl is pulling no punches with the political metaphors this season and I am so here for it. Media has a power in its own right and sometimes, what people can't see in our own world can be better understood in a fictional setting. With the devastating current events happening in the United States right now - between political bombings and Jewish hate crimes - it's more important now than ever that we don't let fear dictate who we are or what we believe.
With SUPERGIRL out of commission, until the DEO can de-toxify the atmosphere, the people of National City will have to learn this lesson on their own lest their society seep further into violent turmoil.
Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/The CW