'Supergirl' Season 5 Episode 15 Review: Nia gets a standalone story in Arrowverse's attempt at diversification
Surprisingly, both villains aren't metas. While one was a man who targeted trans people because he hated them, the other was a hacker who derived pleasure out of trapping people in virtual reality
Spoilers for 'Supergirl' Season 5 Episode 15 'Reality Bytes'
Following the 'Crisis', the Arrowverse shows have focussed on one integral character. If it was Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer) and the Sue Dearbon (Natalie Dreyfuss) in 'The Flash', it's Nia Nal (Nicole Maines) who gets a meaningful episode in 'Reality Bytes'.
Transgender people have been a topic of discussion in the comics universe and to have a themed episode just goes to show the Arrowverse has significantly taken strides to diversify its characters.
The episode is a filler. The spotlight is away from Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist), Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer), Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) and Leviathan and for good reason.
If this was meant to focus on a more social issue, it meant having Nia as the center of attention. Parallelly, Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) also gets enough screentime as she teams up with Kelly (Azie Tesfai) and J'onn J'onzz (David Harewood) to rescue a man stuck inside a virtual reality escape room.
Surprisingly, both villains aren't metas. While one was a man who targeted trans people because he hated them, the other was a hacker who derived pleasure out of trapping people in virtual reality.
It also sees Nia come to terms with the fact that superheroes sometimes need to make hard choices and live with them. The plotline is simple: Nia's roommate, a transwoman is being targeted on a dating site by an unknown person. When she finally meets him, he physically abuses her, enraging Nia.
And when Nia does finally meet the man face-to-face, she channels her rage and such is the intensity that it would've cost the man his life, if not for Kara's intervention. Supergirl's advice serves as the most important message that killing somebody means taking the darkness along and living with the guilt all through.
'Reality Bytes' also serves as a timely reminder of what a great character Leigh's Alex is. Post her stint as the director of DEO, she aims to carve an identity for herself.
She single-handedly manages to rescue the man trapped in the virtual world, but also has a new storyline coming her way as she breaks down in the final minutes after revealing to Kara, that her father Jeremiah Danvers (Dean Cain) was found dead.
Jeremiah's death is sure to serve as a new storyline that just adds to Leviathan and Lex Luthor.
It would be safe to call this episode a heartwarmer. It's emotional, and also carries the message of what sets superheroes apart. 'Reality Bytes' is a refresher and might be the last filler as things look to get a lot nastier with Leviathan and Lex's plans for Supergirl and world domination.
'Supergirl' Season 5 airs on Sundays at 9 pm on The CW.