SUPERGIRL Season 5 Episode 15 Review: Reality Bytes

Obsidian Platinum is still thriving but not without its issues. A flashback of two months ago shows that a beta user had a difficult time getting out of the simulation. This concerns Kelly who reports it but his exit interview is finished by another co-worker, the same older woman who works for Leviathan. Safe to say she had her own uses for him. 

In the present day, Nia is helping Supergirl protect the city and getting even better at it. When they secure a loose dominator, Kara flies off to prepare for her date. While Kara is nervously preparing for her date with William, Nia is being pulled out of her Brainy funk by her roommate Yvette who takes her out. 

While Kara has a great time with William, Yvette is attacked by her “boyfriend” while Nia is in the bathroom. She was targeted because she was trans and was given a message to tell Dreamer that no one wants a trans-superhero and that they’ll attack more members of the transgender community until she stops. Nia is beyond upset and when Kara tries to calm her down the next day, Nia wants nothing but to kill the man who did this. 

Kara turns to Brainy for help and asks that he help to track down the man who attacked Yvette. Despite trying to keep his distance, Brainy is visibly concerned. 

Alex is having trouble using the Martian weapon that J’onn gave her. She isn’t opening herself up to it so it can be linked to her thoughts. J’onn reminds her that she needs to trust the weapon. But while she’s working on adapting, they have a new client, Al, from the bar. Al asks them to track down his brother, Trevo, who has been missing for a week and was last known to be doing a virtual Obsidian Platinum event at a virtual Las Vegas but no one can find him. Alex goes to Kelly and she sets her up and shows her how to access virtual Las Vegas. They find a place called the Escape Room which is basically a huge spooky house outside the casino. 

Alex goes in there but is surrounded by huge tanks full of water with people in it, exactly like the ones she nearly drowned in. Kelly looks up the information on the house and learns that it taps into the user’s fears. They’re unable to extract themselves from the simulation Alex gets them out and learns they came with Trevor and another new member of the group, Richard, to do this escape room. 

Back in the real world, J’onn follows a psychic link to a residence where the woman of the house, Jennifer, admits she’s married to Richard. After dodging his questions, she finally admits she’s been flirting on VR with Trevor and that Richard is in computer engineering. And there’s the motive. This information is passed along to Alex and Kelly but when trying to go further in the escape room, Kelly is blocked from contacting Alex. Alex handles herself though. She finds Trevor who seems to be stuck in a loop of being blown up. Richard tries to attack and using her weapon, she knocks him out of the VR. She gets Trevor to take control of the VR and stop himself from blowing up before exiting out of the simulation and getting help. 

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Nia decided to create her own dating profile to lure out the man who assaulted her. Brainy finds this profile easily and sends it to Kara. Kara gets this in time as Nia is contacted by the criminal and Supergirl convinces her not to kill him and turn into someone like that. 

Nia agrees to send him to prison but is still overwhelmed by everything going on from not being able to protect Yvette to Brainy pushing her away for no reason. Kara comforts her and tells her that she did the right thing by not killing that man. 

Obsidian Platinum seems to just be aggravating the problems of the real world and the effects are lasting. J’onn finds Richard permanently affected by all the time spent in virtual reality. Kelly is concerned by this and by the fact that the glitch she reported was never fixed. 

Supergirl did a good job on shining a light on the hatred that goes on against the transgender community. Nia’s family rallies around her in ways that they can help by supporting her, reporting on this story, and in Brainy’s case researching and providing police with information on this hate crime and many others. Despite their support, this is Nia’s and Yvette’s story and it is portrayed as such. 

The episode ends with Alex getting a call from their mother who says that they found Jeremiah and he’s dead. On top of that, Richard who was found permanently brain damaged is now seemingly dead and was taken to a storage location by the elderly Leviathan woman. Needless to say, one may just be connected to the other.

Written by Carly B., SUPERGIRL Beat Writer