Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Supergirl Episode 323: Battles Lost And Won



The season finale to the third season of Supergirl, an episode titled 'Battles Lost and Won', aired this week and like many episodes in this latter half of the year, this one had it's ups and downs. Perhaps the title of the episode was a bit metatextual.

The main problem for me about this episode was that so many plotlines needed to be addressed that each seemed to feel rushed in getting to their conclusion. I almost wish these last two episodes were done over the course of three episodes, this way we could have time to see more of the emotional fallout to what was happening.

The next problem? Well, because we had to wrap up character plotlines, many of the main plotline of Dark Witches and Reign got wrapped up even faster with a lot of comic book science and lack of explanations. Some pretty weird things happen in this episode.

And when you have those problems, I tend to look at some of the scenes and wonder if time would be better spent elsewhere.

So what did I like. Well, the action sequences and effects were very well done. The actual resolutions of the character plotlines were, for the most part well done. I am glad where we ended up; I just wanted more journey. And there are a couple of good set-ups for season 4 already.

One last thing I feel I need to say is that none of the things I felt were locks for the end of this season actually happened. I am a lousy prognosticator.

On to the show.



The episode starts right where the last one ended. Reign is flying to the Earth's core to trigger a Genesis event. One of the epicenters of the destruction is National City. So we get a nice montage of our heroes flying into the city to save the innocents.

We see Supergirl and Alura (!!) using heat vision to vaporize debris. We see Alex using Winn's force field belt to protect herself as she saves people. And James as Guardian is also helping get people to safety. At one point, he unmasks to woman to convince her that he can save her son.

Meanwhile, Myr'nn tells J'onn that they don't have time to finish The Reach but he must give J'onn one more memory, the first memory of a Green Martian receiving the Sacred Scrolls.

But perhaps the best part of this opening sequence is hearing on the radio that Superman has flown to Madagascar and saved the day there. Finally, we know what Superman is doing during all this. And in a nice touch, we hear some Superman-specific music swell in the background as we hear the news.

I liked this scene as a way of showing teamwork and heroics.


We get a pretty good look at H'ronmeer giving the sacred scrolls to the first Martian in a flashback. This isn't an easy memory to digest but J'onn does look at it and absorb it. I liked this too.

Meanwhile a tsunami is about to pound National City. As Alura and Kara streak there, they see the water held in space. The Legion has returned. Imra is using her telekinesis to stop the wave. This allows Kara and Alura to freeze it with their superbreath and Brainy to blast it away with the cruiser's guns.

I like how Kara quotes Han Solo to Brainy who doesn't understand the reference. I liked seeing the Legion in action again. And this sequence, with super mother and daughter flying circles around the tsunami was nicely done.
 
Meanwhile, with the most important memory transferred, Myr'nn grabs the Staff of Kolar, dives into a fissure in the planet, and basically stops Reign in her tracks. The threat is over for now.

So understand that a lot of review space is going spent dissecting this episode. I don't know if we ever really heard enough about how Myr'nn was doing this. It seemed like a quick way to both eliminate his character and solve the Reign threat. It felt a little too easy.

The quake is over allowing us to get a nice team shot of everyone together while the crowd applauds. Well done team!

Back in the DEO, I like seeing space dad receive hugs from his family. They know this means Myr'nn sacrificed himself.

But there is more. Why did the Legion come back? Imra says Mon-El's beacon was tripped but we know that was broken last episode. There is no explanation other than 'there was a failsafe'. I would have liked more.

Then Imra finds Mon-El and basically tells him their marriage is a sham. She has known it for a while. I guess that clears a path for divorce and some Kara love. I have to say that this entire love triangle subplot has been my least favorite of the the season.

In the Fortress of Sanctuary, Myr'nn's sacrifice has frozen the Atomic Cauldron. It needs to be reignited for the terraforming to continue.

Sam remains in the Dark Valley. Even though the quake is over, Reign still exists. Sam needs to grow stronger to weaken Reign.

She finds the two fountains and is about to drink from one when a vision of Sam's estranged mother appears. The mother is completely remorseful. She says it is really her. She wants another chance to show Sam she loves her. And she starts by saying that Sam is about to drink from the wrong fountain.

I suppose if I can believe that there is a mystic valley of the mind with magical fountains, I have to believe that the mortal soul of Sam's hated mom could get there and know enough about magical fountains to steer her right. But this also seemed a bit weird.

I guess part of this show and season has been about forgiveness and humanity. Having Sam's mother show up allowed her some closure. But I really wasn't expecting this.


More news is dropped at the DEO.

Yes, Pestilence's death means the Blight never happened. Billions were saved. One of which is Brainiac 1, who has a AI plague. Brainiac 5 cannot go back to the future or he will die.

And the future needs heroes and leaders and geniuses. He tells Mon-El ... and Winn ... they need to go back to the 31st century. To convince Winn, Brainy pulls out a weathered piece of paper, Winn's force field belt doodle from last episode. It is cherished in the future, saved in a museum, as the beginning of life-saving future tech.

So now Winn and Mon-El have decisions to make.

I like how Flash is castigated for changing timelines but Legends and now Supergirl make major changes in history with little pause or punishment.

Reign comes back and the cauldron is relit.

It looks like disaster is about to happen again.

Luckily, Thomas Coville survived his heat vision to the chest from last episode and crawls to J'onn's vehicle.

I suppose if I can believe in warp drives, Kryptonian witches, and World Killers, I can believe that a human can survive heat vision to the chest.


But as far as the DEO, the threat is still over so a lot of talking is happening.

Lena and Alex talk about Alex becoming a mom. Alex doesn't think she can have it all but Lena says women like them just take what they want. Was it just me who felt that this was a weird conversation for Lena to be starting with Alex?

Winn tells James how he is struggling with his decision to head to the future as the intelligence lead of the Legion to fight off a galactic cataclysm.

James then decides to make it about him saying it is a tough decision, like his to unmask.

Okay ... maybe they are both problems. But I think Winn's is a bit weightier? No?

Coville trips J'onn's ship's distress call. Now the team can go and fight Reign and the Witches.

Now comes the most insane bit of the show.

Everyone at the table says it is time to kill Reign. Nothing can stop her except a Kryptonite overdose. J'onn says the time is right. Alura says sometimes you need to go against your core to do what's right. Even James says there is no choice.

When Kara says she doesn't kill, they convince her to change her mind. The team flies off.

I will remind people that two episodes ago J'onn took away all guns from the DEO saying it had to become nonlethal. The show gave us a crude, clunky argument on gun control and the need for nonviolence.

I can't believe we would get the moralizing of the 'gun' episode just 3 weeks ago and now have this complete about-face from the most vocal characters from that show!!!


Back in the Valley, Sam's mother forces her to drink from the Fountain of Lilith. It had a sort of 'Harry forcing Dumbledore to drink poison' vibe from Half Blood Prince.

But her mother and Sam finally reconcile. And with one last sip, Sam is rejuvenated.

She awakens at the DEO and for some reason has powers. She super-speeds to the Fortress of Sanctuary.

Okay ... so Sam, who drank to strengthen the human part of her, now has powers? I'm going to have to roll with this because obviously, Sam has to get to the action.

I did like seeing Betty Buckley again.


In  the Fortress, we get another very good action sequence. Imra blocks the Cauldron telekinetically. The agents square off against the Witches, putting them in Kryptonite handcuffs. I liked seeing Alura and Selena square off. (Wasn't having K around a big deal just a few weeks back too? Thank goodness for Lena.)

Reign and Kara take the the skies but are pretty evenly matched. Ultimately, Reign gets Kara in a chokehold, boasting how no one is as strong as her and therefore she cannot be defeated. In a very nice shot, we focus in on Sam in the background wielding the Sword of Juru. She stabs Reign clean through.

Then, angry and resigned to kill, Supergirl punches Reign into the Cauldron. I guess without the protective properties of the Sword, the Cauldron is too much. Reign begins to liquefy. But before she goes out she unleashes heat vision hell killing Mon-El and Alura.
Forcefield over the cauldron

There was something sort of Wicked Witch of the West/Judge Doom in seeing Reign melt away. But the price is large.


In another nice shot, we see Kara from above viewing what she has wrought by killing Reign. She is surrounded by the fallen dead, her friends and family.

She tells the wounded J'onn that she has lost track of who she is. She should have found another way.

And then she gets an idea. She grabs Mon-El's Legion ring.

It is a dark picture but blow it up. This is nicely done.


She uses the ring to find a time displacement field in space and goes back in time to before Sam skewers Reign.

As she goes back, she remembers hearing all the people who throughout the series have told her that who she is and what she represents is important. It is very Donner!


Once back, she tells Sam to not use the sword. Instead, Kara grabs Harun-El, Reign, and Sam and together they head to the Dark Valley. (We do see Kara get affected by the harun-el when she holds it.)

In the Valley, Sam lays into Reign and forces her to drink the weakening fountain water. Depowered, Kryptonian ghosts, the Dementors of this place, fly in and drag Reign back. It is finally over.

So a time travel solution? I guess I like that Kara didn't kill. Sam defeating Reign is a nice wrinkle I was not expecting too. But did we know enough about the fountains and the ghosts to have anticipated this working??

There is nothing left but the wrap-up ... but it is 20 minutes of wrap-up because, well, so much needs to be wrapped up.

There is a balcony scene between Kara and Mon-El.

She finally says out loud that Earth is her home. Despite the complexities of being Kara and Supergirl and everything else, this is where she belongs. Whew! This is what this whole season was about. I was glad we actually got to hear the words.

Meanwhile, Mon-El says he cannot abandon the future. This time, even with Kara, is not his home.

Thankfully (and trust me I almost wrote a curse word here), there is no hug or kiss. The two just walk apart.

But not before Mon-El gives Kara her own Legion ring.

Sam is alive, cured, and 100% human. I guess those super-powers which got her to the Fortress wore off? Sigh.

In another powerful scene, we see Alex about to quit the DEO. She never gets aroudn to saying it because J'onn pauses her. He says that he needs to honor his father by living up to the Martian ideals of living among the people. He cannot hide in the DEO anymore. He tells Alex he is stepping down and she is now director.

This also means Alex won't be in the field as much so she can more easily be a mother. He says a lot of great thing about Alex, appropriately so. She will protect the helpless.


I actually liked this turn of events a lot.


Now my next least favorite scene happened. Alura says goodbye to Kara. She has to return to Argo to try the witches fairly. She is proud of Kara and all she is. But bye bye. This all happens way way way too quickly. It is hard for me to just reconcile that Argo is out there with Alura and Supergirl and Superman are content to just have it float along with limited resources and reliant on a rock to stay alive.  Plus, how can you say goodbye that fast!!!

Winn has decided to head to the future. The quickness of the Alura goodbye is compounded  when we see Winn get a long goodbye from all the characters. Kara says a lot of things to him and they hug. While I get we have known Winn and he deserves this moment, Kara had way more things to say to him than she did to her mom she thought dead. This all seemed rushed.

Thankfully, we get to something which did feel right. Kara and Alex on the couch. We see James has come out as the Guardian. We a fedora-wearing J'onn walk among the people. And we see Kara and Alex talk about how much they have grown, how much has changed. They wonder if they are going to be okay.


And then we get the crumbs of next season.

Despite being warned by Alura that the Harun-El is dangerous and not clearly understood, we see that Lena can manufacture it and has a chunk. I like this a lot. The 'is she evil' Lena thread continues!!!

We also see that a side effect of Kara grabbing the Harun-El from the Fortress fight is that it created a duplicate Kara, one wandering in Siberia. Perhaps we are going to get a Red Son/Daughter arc next season??

Okay ... I have talked enough. I think I have showcased what I liked and didn't. But one thing that sticks is that we just didn't get enough of Kara this episode or this season. Everything was boiled down to brief interactions. 10 seconds to console J'onn about his dad, to say goodbye to Winn, to say goodbye to her mother, to not even say goodbye to Sam. No closure with Lena. No scene with Imra.

On to more fun topics. I have to remind people that I was going to bet cash money on the following happening:

1) Alex giving Kara a 'you're human' speech to contrast the 'be an alien' speech when Kara fought Reign the first time.

2) Alex adopting Ruby

3) Sam taking over Reign to show the power of humanity. Sam begging Lena to kill Reign to end the threat. Lena doing it. Lena and Supergirl splitting.

It is a good thing I am not a gambling man.

I'll probably do an overview of the season at some point. But let's end it here.

What did you think?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

A mixed bag of an episode. Some things demanded a lot of hand-waving and rationalizing, even for a superhero show.

"But perhaps the best part of this opening sequence is hearing on the radio that Superman has flown to Madagascar and saved the day there."

Throughout the whole season, "fans" have been complaining about the same nosense "Where's Superman? What's he doing? Why doesn't he show up? Supergirl has a 'Superman' trouble". And for my life I can't figure out why they're arguing -and bashing the show- when the answer is very simple: he never shows up for the same reason the Flash never shows up in Arrow's hometown to help Ollie out. They're busy with their own villains and world-class emergences! Shared universes always require this kind of hand-waving.

Okay, rant over. Some good points have been Kryptonian time-travel, black Kryptonite (although... For God's sake, Lena, can you NOT poke your nose into things should have been left alone?), Allura behaving like a good mom... and in the next season, Dark Supergirl/Red Daughter? Does it mean Melissa will act for two? I don't envy her workload.

By the way... over Reddit someone brought Dark Supergirl up and her wikia article, and some random poster said he liked better the original "sent by her father to kill Kal-El" idea. Ugh!

Anyway, it looks like the rumors were right: Mon-El leaving, James, Winn and J'onn's roles reduced, and Brainy coming back. I'm okay with this.

Anonymous said...

I think the episode did exceptionally well, given the limited time, and the mess they had built for themselves.

More importantly, it took steps to fix what didn't work. Mon-El had become too powerful and made Kara look weak which was the biggest sin of the season. In a media landscape where female heroines are one per dozen, this was a carnal sin.

They also manage to retcon the problem with Alex becoming more powerful than Supergirl due to Winn's overpowered tech. With Alex developing into a new role, hopefully we have seen the last of human agents taking on two kryptonians at once, unless they are metas or at least wearing a bulky lex mech.

Having The Martian Manhunter around was arguably also not the wisest choice. He has the kind of powers that any wise DM would never allow into an RPG because they absolutely DESTROY good storytelling. Now they had to pretend he didn't have those powers for three seasons, which was always an elephant in the room. No shade on the brilliant acting thrown. Space dad was awesome, but he was more Director than Manhunter.

Having Winn being replaced by Brainiac 5 is a wait and see thing. Winn was better as believable IT geek and friend of Kara, than he ever was as unrealistic super genius. I wish this show would stop making everyone Super, and make them believable for their character instead. If they are going on with Superinventions I am happy it is Brainy instead of Winn, but truth be told I wish even Brainy was held back compared to later Winn. Shit takes at least a little time to make! Same goes even more so for Lena, who yes should be a genius by human standards, but in no way should handle a timetravelling spaceship by instinct.

If I had my say, it should have been time for James to move on too, or return as a CatCo employee. I can't help worrying that we are going to get a Guardian sideplot next season which has next to nothing to do with Supergirl, and will eat away valuable screentime from the main plot leaving us yet again with important emotional scenes cut off to mere seconds, or hastily explained main plot details. This is a Supergirl show. Focus on that. The rest of the cast are there to help tell HER story, they are not all entitled to become heroes and defeat supervillains, like every single side character has done the last season.

I await season 4 with hope that this finale helped the writers clear the board again for a new season.

Probably unpopular opinion: The show has been very on the nose with political issues. I would actually like to see the writers do a repeat performance on that and have the stones to tackle Crimea on the next season. The supers have historically been involved in the real wars of the world. Maybe it's time for them to do so again.

Nutation said...

Lots of things not to understand.

I have no idea what Myr'nn did to save the Earth's core. I didn't understand before the dead, so I couldn't accept the Martians' attitude that it was certain death, rather than Myr'nn would fight Reign and probably lose.

When I heard the time beacon was tripped, I instantly thought "time travel". I guess I was both right and wrong, because the time travel happened, but didn't involve the beacon.

Brainy's report of an AI plague was forced into the story awkwardly. It does get Mon-El out of the way and open up the expected Brainy+Kara romance. Did B5 specifically mention Brainiac 1? I just remember him mentioning a "really distant relative", which I admit is probably not going to be Pulsar Stargrave.

I see, Anj, you have that screenshot of Reign killing Alura. The death throws and sprayfire heat vision were very well done. But, Mon-El and Alura fall, and Kara only checks out J'onn? That felt very wrong that she made no move to her fallen mother; even the camera view didn't go that way.

Glad for the explanation of where the duplicate Kara probably came from. Maybe we get a Matrix arc next season?

And Alura had to leave. Really, we've thinned out the super-strong cast now. But, 5 light years is not far considering the number of spaceships (and flight rings) available. Kara can visit and call on a Supergirl Emergency Squad if she needs to.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anj, great review as usual... and a very enjoyable episode interpersonal-wise, but scratch below the surface of that
and I found more the same convoluted, clunky writing of the last couple of episodes.

I won't knock the beautiful 1:1 scenes everyone got this episode -- J'onn and M'yrrn, Samantha and her adopted mother
(thought she'd turn out to be evil / figment of her imagination), Brainiac 5, Mon-El and Winn, Lena and Alex, Winn and
Jimmy, J'onn and Alex, Alura telling Kara she's a hero and very proud of her, AND A DANVERS SISTER MOMENT! Kudos again
to the cast for making that the most watchable part of this episode!

I also liked the mention of Superman being in Madagascar... least keeps some internal continuity as to what Superman
is up to, and after watching this I think adding another S-cape to this would have weighted things down more than really
added anything. And with the news of Jeremy Jordan's departure, I can't think of a better way to say farewell to him --
Kara reminding us he was the first she shared her secret with, made her costume, etc.

As to the convoluted, clunky writing, oh where to start?

- the signaling device of Mon-El's.

- the mindspace of Samantha and the fountain idea overall

- Reign being able to heatvision to death Alura (umm, hello Kryptonian Invulnerability?) and Mon-El (Legion ring?)

- Supergirl telling Winn to look for a time rupture -- I guess this was their attempt to replicate Superman 1 and Superman
turning back time, but having tried to sit through that several times now, even though its to show how SUPER Superman is
and what limits he should put on his powers, it's still as clunky as writing gets the logic behind it. And while I
chuckled at the Ghost-like scene of Reign being dragged away, it still felt like an incomplete victory.

- Samantha being found "fully human, with no remaining Kryptonian DNA" -- *sighs* this has been my biggest complaint with
Samantha / Reign this whole season as her exact nature wasn't really well pinned down.

As for the hooks into Season 4, my personal theory and hope is Lena doesn't go full evil but a "we're not friends, we're
not enemies either, but if you get in my way..." As for Siberian Kara, could we have the beginning of Power Girl or Galatea
here?

Regards

Anj said...

Thanks for great comments and observations!

Seems like everyone felt this episode and this season was uneven.

Thanks as always!

Scrimmage said...

I agree with Anj, and I believe the general consensus, that this season's finale felt rushed. I also thought that some of the more outlandish contrivances and plot devices we've endured throughout this season, like the “Dark Valley” in Sam's mind, complete with dueling “Fountains of Lillith,” the magical Harun-El rock with its convenient “whatever-you-need-it-to-be” properties, and the Legion's unexplained, but fortuitous return (even if it WAS just Imra and Brainiac 5), ended up distracting from the dramatic tension that one would expect from a story about a world wide threat. The resolution was a little too quick and tidy as well.

Before the other WorldKillers or the Kryptonian Witches showed up, I thought Reign was MUCH more terrifying all on her own, in her very FIRST battle with Supergirl, when she showed everyone just how dangerous ONE unfriendly Kryptonian with a bad attitude can be, raising hell, and kicking Supergirl's ass, just because she could. What I was expecting to see in this finale was a “Rocky style” rematch, with Kara finally getting the upper hand on her more powerful opponent, but instead, it was SAM who was knocking Reign around in the Dark Valley. Every time Sam landed a punch, I was thinking “It should be SUPERGIRL doing this!”

But instead, back in the real world, after some admittedly cool CGI aerial battle action shots, Supergirl loses to Reign AGAIN, until SuperSam once again saves the day, but winds up getting herself, and almost everyone else killed in the process!


For a few seconds, I thought “WOW! What a ballsy move on the part of the showrunners to trim down the bloated cast by killing most of them off in a “Red Wedding” style bloodbath,” but then I realized that they were going with a “Donneresque,” timey-wimey cop out, where Supergirl goes back in time for a quick re-do, and a happy, “feel good” ending for everyone concerned.


So in the end, J'onn takes off to be a full time superhero, presumably with a secret identity, while James decides to dump his.

Alex replaces J'onn as the Director of the DEO, hoping that alien threats only show up during regular business hours, so she can keep her dream of single motherhood alive.

Brainac 5 replaces Winn as the DEO Tech Wizard, and Alura returns to Argo, taking the Witches and a replenished supply of Harun-El with her.

Meanwhile, Lena has more secrets than ever (except from Miss Tessmacher), and completely human Sam and Ruby go off live happily ever after.

Kara has FINALLY learned the lesson from her favorite movie “The Wizard Of Oz,” namely that there's no place like home, which in her case, is National City, and that being a superhero protecting a planet that has pizza has it's perks.

Lena should've given Alura the recipe for deep dish pepperoni pizza to take back to Argo with her, along with the instructions on how to make more Harun-El.

Oh yeah, and there's a Kara clone wandering naked around Siberia. She's BOUND to be corrupted by those rascally Russians who suddenly seem to be everybody's favorite bad guys again. I'm sure the word “collusion” will be worked into the script a time or two next season.

Believe it or not, I'm looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

Given the multitude of dots that had to be connected at the last possible moment, and given the unusual number of dead ends the producers/writers had written themselves into (willfully I might add), it wasn't a bad end to the season. Granted due to questionable decisions made back in the fall of 2017, there was no way it was ever gonna excel...but thanks to clunky writing and some double talk Supergirl was at last permitted to shine, I'll have to be satisfied with that...
Mon El out and Brainiac Five in, well that was "just in time" the Daxamite Princeling definitely wore out his welcome a full year ago and was in serious danger of becoming another crutch to Supergirl much like Alex.
I see a ton of story potential with Brainiac Five, who is essentially a smarter less well socialized version of J'onn.
Alex doesn't adopt Ruby....wow that was a shock, thought it was a done deal. Moving her up to DEO Director does at least potentially "sunset" her status as "Supergirl's Crutch" the human girl that can take down three Kryptonians bare handed. My only question is, IF Ruby isn't gonna be the center of Alex's maternal drive, then what god-awful set up kid-wise do the Producers have in mind for her??
Win Out...well, frankly you could see it coming, for a brief period in the CBS season he was a credible paramour for Supergirl but that got put aside as the DEO/Alex loomed larger and larger in the storytelling, pretty soon it was getting tough to "work Win in" so to speak. The answer was to recruit him into the DEO but that just turned him into "Uhuru", Jordan probably blanched at the thought of opening "unstable positronic wormholes" with his tablet for the next four years.
For a brief moment in the first season it could have been "Win, Jimmy & Kara" as Supergirl's go-to team but a decision was clearly made to center the show around the DEO and Alex, and this is the result.
Allura abruptly decided to return to Argo and put that all-too-quickly promulgated plot line back on the back burner...like a lot of things on Supergirl it was introduced too damn suddenly (literally half a season could be devoted to Kara tracking down survivors on Argo) and buried just as fast. The show's two biggest flaws are clunky writing that screams for thoughtful revision and a breakneck pace that throws away good concepts.
On the other hand there are some good tags going into season four "Satangirl" a'la Russe is making her debut (wow no complaints about the politics behind that eh?) and clearly Lena is on a downward path to villainy...with Jimmy as her BF I see a weird parody of the Matrix-Luthor affair back in the 1990's, but it gives Jimmy something of an interesting potential plot line going forward.


JF

Scrimmage said...

“Flashpoint,” anyone?

So from now on, will going back in time be Kara's solution every time she makes a mistake, or second guesses herself? It's is a slippery slope, and one that affects Brainy, too.

How can he POSSIBLY take Winn's place at the DEO, without affecting his future, or from his perspective, changing the past? Any 30th Century science or tech he uses in OUR 21st Century could potentially alter the timeline DRASTICALLY! Time paradoxes like that are not something to be trifled with, which is why Marlon Brando... um, I mean Jor-El once said that it is “FORBIDDEN” to interfere with history.

Speaking of time travel, what's the big deal about Winn leaving? He could spend a decade in the future, and then come back to our “present” the day after he left. That's how Superboy was able to participate in the Legion's adventures in the comics, and still never missed a day of school back in Smallville.

I DID appreciate the mention of Superman saving Madagascar in response to Reign's threat. Just a line or two of dialogue, or perhaps an occasional text between Clark and Kara is all I've ever asked for, in terms of accounting for Superman's existence in Kara's world.

When Winn and James were saying their goodbyes, it struck me that Winn SHOULD'VE given “Guardian Olsen” one of those force field belt buckles, or better still, a force field SHIELD, to replace the metal one that got shot up a few episodes ago. I don't really care though, since the whole Guardian thing is ludicrous to begin with, just like I don't care if James reveals his secret identity or not.

In addition to my disappointment that Sam got the best shots in against Reign instead of Supergirl, I also thought that the brief mother-daughter reconciliation scene between Sam and the great Betty Buckley (who SANG!) was INFINITELY more touching and realistic than anything we ever saw between Kara and Alura. I never bought into that relationship, mainly because of Erica Durance's lackluster, strangely wooden performance. Let's just say that the next time she changes her expression will be the first time. Compared to Sam and Betty, or J'onn and M'yrnn, there was no parent-child chemistry between Kara and her Space Mom. Durance was a TERRIBLE Lois Lane on “Smallville,” and she's even a WORSE Alura on “Supergirl.” Stunt casting is always an iffy proposition. Helen Slater and Teri Hatcher worked out great! So did Laura Vandervoort a couple of seasons back, but Dean Cain and Erica Durance? Not so much.

For next season, I would really like to see more of Helen Slater, and maybe even another “flashback to Midvale” episode, featuring those two fine actresses who played young Kara and Alex again. That episode was too much fun for us to not revisit it again.

Mostly for next season, I'd like to see Supergirl return to center stage as the main, and most powerful character on the show that bears her name. I don't need Bat-Olsen, Iron Alex, SuperSam, Brainy, or Lex's little sister to save the day. When the chips are down, and everything looks hopeless, that's when I want to hear Kara say...

“This looks like a job for... SUPERGIRL!

KET said...

As usual for me, some comments on comments:

"So understand that a lot of review space is going spent dissecting this episode. I don't know if we ever really heard enough about how Myr'nn was doing this."

Because the 'how' was less important than the reason 'why', which was M'yrrn's way to fulfilling the opportunity of being reunited with his son, whom he had originally thought was dead and gone for years. However, the 'how' was to shape-shift into a temporary obstacle to thwart Reign from terraforming the Earth's core into a New Krypton.

"But there is more. Why did the Legion come back? Imra says Mon-El's beacon was tripped but we know that was broken last episode. There is no explanation other than 'there was a failsafe'. I would have liked more."

It's what was unsaid, but explained through Imra and Mon-El looking at each other. Imra came back for Mon-El to help lead the Legion through another crisis. Eventually, Brainy says it out loud that they also came back for Winn to hep restore AI tech in the future. Obviously, it provides an interesting twist on Brainy's inventive knowledge.

"I guess part of this show and season has been about forgiveness and humanity. Having Sam's mother show up allowed her some closure. But I really wasn't expecting this."

It's a bit more than that. Season arc, and this episode in particular, was about giving ourselves second chances, when situations or relationships don't turn out right and fail the first time around. A lot of those second chances came to a head with this episode: Kara and Mon-El, J'onn and M'yrrn, Alex finally moving on after Maggie, Sam and her adoptive mother Patricia, and even Sam and Ruby. Also, James and the idea of unmasking in public as a black hero, and Winn moving on to recognizing his technical achievements, instead of mourning his sporadic failures (and overcoming his father's cruel upbringing).

"I have to believe that the mortal soul of Sam's hated mom could get there and know enough about magical fountains to steer her right. But this also seemed a bit weird."

It's more like Sam projected Patricia's image into her own self-loathing mind, so that there would be an opportunity for a 'second chance' at forgiveness with her.

"I can't believe we would get the moralizing of the 'gun' episode just 3 weeks ago and now have this complete about-face from the most vocal characters from that show!!!"

...because it was always a set-up to illuminate the double standards of these characters. When push comes to shove, they're also quite willing to bend or break their own principles, unlike Kara.

"So a time travel solution?"

Not really. Kara always had the power to give herself a second chance, and so here she employs it (in a sort of homage to the 1st Chris Reeve Superman film). Originally, she sided with Alura and J'onn's guidance, even though it was against her own personal ethics regarding killing...but obviously, that was a mistake, because attempting to kill Reign outright has a disastrous side-effect, since she's primarily a mystical creation. The Valley of Juru was the only way to dispatch Reign, since that's where she was originally conceived.

"As for Siberian Kara, could we have the beginning of Power Girl or Galatea
here?"

Pretty unlikely. EPs Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller already divulged in a post-season interview that they're looking to adopt Red Son for Supergirl's season 4 arc. With a little gender-swapping of some characters, and a few topical updates, it should provide some good fodder for the series (and both James and Lena should have plenty to do, IIRC). However, that lookalike in Siberia....perhaps she doesn't even know her self-identity....with that in mind, she might just say "Nyet!" to the name of Kara. Time to wait and see....

KET

Anonymous said...

Yeah this. Is definitely Kara Zor El's idea of a "Flashpoint" faux pas, I can just hear the dialogue with Grant Gustin for the Cross Over:
MB: I only went back in time ten minutes!
GG: DOESN"T MATTER Gawd doesn't anyone listen to me???

:)

JF

Anonymous said...

> Allura abruptly decided to return to Argo and put that all-too-quickly promulgated plot line back on the back burner...like a lot of
> things on Supergirl it was introduced too damn suddenly (literally half a season could be devoted to Kara tracking down survivors on
> Argo) and buried just as fast.

Given how Flash did its own verison of Flashpoint, I'd expected and that they were building up to a "World Of New Krypton"-type arc myself.
Helluva lot of potential in that story... and personally, I found Alura's interactions with and acceptance of Mon-El / Prince Of Daxam
alittle too neat, especially given the vitrol displayed by Rhea / Terri Hatcher last season.

> When the chips are down, and everything looks hopeless, that's when I want to hear Kara say...
>
> “This looks like a job for... SUPERGIRL!”

+9000 to this!

> EPs Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller already divulged in a post-season interview that they're looking to adopt Red Son for Supergirl's
> season 4 arc. With a little gender-swapping of some characters, and a few topical updates

Interesting, thanks for sharing that KET.


Regards

Anj said...

I was hoping a Reign of the Supermen style arc but Red Son will be interesting.

And yes, we better get some mention of this in the crossover. Barry better shake his head at Kara.

Martin Gray said...

KET re: the DEO double standards business and the reality or not of Patricia, as with many of your responses to other commenters over the years, you state things with such certainty! Do you actually have an insider on the writing team or are you just guessing snd rationalising stuff, like the rest of us? I’m so curious!

Nice review, Anj. I’m especially glad you have a theory as to the appearance of Siberian Kara. Wasn’t that where Supergirl landed on Earth in the New 52 debut? Maybe not... my memory. The idea of a season-long Red Daughter arc doesn’t thrill me, but I’m no fan or Big Bads. Just give me done-in-ones and two and three-parters with running plot threads. Mind, I’d love Russian Kara to show up in the DC Bombshells outfit.

I find this Brainy pretty irritating, I can’t see him hooking up with Supergirl, Rath seems to play him as high-functioning autistic. Which isn’t to say autistic people don’t have relationships, but I can’t see this guy with Kara.

Alura’s action suit reminded me a little of Laurel Gand’s Mary Mon-El look. One of my big wishes for next year is brighter costumes and sets.

Another wish is more Helen Slater. It’s rotten we didn’t get a brief trip to Midvale for a meeting of the moms.

Such a big goodbye to Win and not a sniff of a memorial for poor old Demos...

Overall, an entertaining year, with the big negative being Supergirl’s lack of prominence - even if you look on this as an ensemble show, she never got her share of airtime.

Jon looked so cool with his hat... I wonder if David Harewood hasn’t decided if he wants to come back next year.