Supergirl’s fourth season was in many ways its most ambitious. Like fellow CW program Black Lightning, it took on today’s tumultuous political climate as a way to make a statement. Ben Lockwood emerged as the show’s most unnerving villain, mirroring the worst qualities that result from discriminatory practices. This new type of villain forced Kara to look past her superpowers. She had to find new ways to combat not just violence, but also misinformation and ignorance. Ben may be just a pawn in Lex Luthor’s ultimate goal. However, his assault on aliens grows at the same rate that his mind fractures. A false-flag operation engineered by Lex spells the end of the Red Daughter, Ben, and Lex himself. But National City’s heroes aren’t out of the woods just yet. Leviathan is coming.
James & Lena
James and Lena’s relationship hit a rough patch at the worst possible time. Rising cultural tensions made James’ job at CatCo more difficult. And then Lena’s burgeoning working relationship with the DEO drives a wedge between them. Sadly, she chooses her potential super serum over their relationship. This causes a schism that doesn’t heal until her brother Lex ultimately betrays her. Then James’ shooting forces Lena to inject him with the untested serum in order to save his life.
The serum forces James to confront his own traumas, and imbues him with superpowers. Fortunately, the whole ordeal reconnects the two, but the final clash with Lex brings more uncertainty. Lena kills her brother, but he eventually gets the final laugh. He reveals to Lena that Kara is Supergirl and all of her closest friends have been withholding the secret.
Rise Of Agent Liberty
Everyone’s future remains uncertain, thanks to the emergence of anti-alien vigilante turned U.S. cabinet secretary Ben Lockwood. At first, Lex Luthor manipulated his humble beginnings as Agent Liberty. However, the Lockwood’s hateful message and lethal acts catch on with large swaths of the human population. Subsequently, his rise through the government leads the DEO to cut working ties with Supergirl. Moreover, it also enables Lex to unleash his Kaznian Supergirl doppelganger, Snow Bird, on the Oval Office.
The act leads President Baker to deputize Ben’s violent militia, the Children of Liberty. Thus begin the mass incarceration of aliens across the country. The murder of his wife by an affected alien stokes more hate. So Ben injects himself with black kryptonite and pledges to take down Lex and the alien menace. He eventually falls at James’ hand and watches all of his hate-fueled work crumble from prison.
Alex & Kara
The Danvers sisters tackle the Ben Lockwood problem separately and in unison. Consequently, their efforts lead to Ben’s incarceration, but he receives a release shortly thereafter. His efforts sway President Baker to cut ties with Supergirl for keeping her identity secret. This move impacts the sisters’ relationship with one another as well. So Alex has J’onn wipe her mind of Kara’s identity as Supergirl. She’s hoping to keep that knowledge out of the government’s hands. Luckily, it doesn’t keep Alex from choosing to work with Supergirl without knowing her secret identity. Next, the two team up with Lena to track down Lex. However, Kara ultimately steps away from her caped persona after Snow Bird’s attack on the White House.
She instead chooses to highlight the heroic acts of her CatCo co-worker Nia, aka Dreamer. Mercifully, the interview is the first step in calming conflicts between Earth’s alien and human populations. Furthermore, it also sets the stage for the battle between Kara and Snow Bird. Kara takes the L, but the sight restores Alex’s memory of her sister.
J’onn’s Identity Crisis
J’onn has a lot on his plate. He helps run a support group for aliens suffering prejudice and sets up a private investigation agency. Meanwhile he continues to quell the vengeful spirit within himself. He determines to remain a man of peace. Then Agent Liberty arrives. Initially, J’onn does what he can to help from the sidelines. His relationship with Manchester Black, though, begins to break down his peaceful exterior. Ultimately, he must kill Black. The act makes him confront the fact that he isn’t a man of peace. A vision of his father acknowledges this, reassuring him that it is okay if he doesn’t follow the same path.
Resolved to his role as the Martian Manhunter, J’onn travels to Mars and returns his people’s sacred symbols. Next, he returns to Earth and jumps headfirst into the fight against Lex and Ben. Finally, with Nia’s help, he puts his life on the line to destroy Lex’s Claymore laser.
Thereby preventing the destruction of Superman.
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