Thursday, November 4, 2021

Supergirl Show 617: I Believe In A Thing Called Love

Back to back show reviews! I said I would try to catch up!

Last week, episode 617 of the Supergirl show aired, titled 'I believe in a thing called love'.

This was another episode which has brief moments of emotional brilliance for Supergirl. We have sensed how troubled she is this season. She has suffered from her time in the Phantom Zone and is still trying to heal. She is frustrated, thinking she is letting the world and everyone near to her down. And she has the weight of the world on her shoulders as she tries to lead her team in defeating Nyxly. Throughout these episode, Melissa Benoist has been able to emote so wonderfully. And this time is no different.

But what I liked about this episode is we see how much the emotion of love has impacted just about everyone. The Love Totem is here pushing the plot forward. But love is here as well. Lex is in love with Nyxly, a doomed romance from the 31st century it turns out. Alex and Kelly are truly in love with Alex aiming to propose. J'onn loves his new family but is still reeling internally from the death of his Martian one. All these characters reel a bit from love and loving. In particular, Lex being completely smitten is a hoot. Jon Cryer always plays Lex well and here is no different.

One thing I have cheered in this last season is how well the writers have leaned into the show's history and we see that here again.

It is unfortunate in some ways that Supergirl is just one of the ensemble and not the main star. But Benoist continues to just win me over. 

On to the episode.

We start out on Nyxly's ship. 

Lex says that he is from the future and there to help her. Her future consciousness is what sent him into the past. In that future Lex and Nyxly were partners and friends.

She asks if that in that her happiness in the future must mean that she succeeded in getting the Allstone. And Lex tells her that she did. But her way was the wrong way and she died because of it. He was able to preserve her consciousness and has come back in time to find her. Perhaps he can help her now.

In a nice turn, Nyxly basically turns on Lex. She knows he sent Supergirl to the Zone just as she was sent to the Zone by arrogant men. So she'll never be his friend.

I'm glad she doesn't welcome him with open arms. Her rage at her family is really what is driving her. So why would she just jump into partnership with someone like Lex.

But it is the timeline that bothers me. If uniting the Allstone kills her and Lex knows her in the future and that is when she dies, doesn't it mean that she unites the Allstone then? And if so, doesn't that mean she doesn't succeed now? This gets more confusing when we learn just how far in the future they meet.

Back in the Watchtower, the team is talking about Kara's quitting CatCo. 

But we see how everything that has happened and is happening has impacted her. Supergirl admits she has always felt a step behind Nyxly. Now she is free to forever pursue. In fact she wants to draw Nyxly out. And she has a plan. 

As the team splits up to work on the plan, Alex shows up. She has bought an engagement ring. And she is going to propose at Al's on the anniversary of the day she knew she loved Kelly. When both said Hans Gruber was the best movie villain, she knew it. (I am 99% sure that actually happened in dialogue on an episode last season! This is the leaning into history I like.)

She is going to have rose petals and candles everywhere as she proposes. I like this because we have seen how this is something Alex likes to do and now she knows Kelly will like it as well. You may remember way back that Alex set up a room like that for Maggie only to have Maggie rebuff the whole thing. Again, it echoes to the past of the show.

Unfortunately, when Alex bring Esme to Al's to reserve an area, Alex is told the whole place is reserved on the night she wants. Alex is shocked. She didn't even know the place did reservations. 

I don't think it takes a genius to know who reserved the place for that night. Hmmm ...

Meanwhile, Lex had to flee Nyxly before she attacked him and so he heads back to the Luthor mansion. Who should he meet but old friend Otis who is ready to hug his old boss.

It is a very interesting little exchange. Otis on the board of LexCorp. Lillian is running the place very well. In fact no one besides Otis has even noticed that Lex is gone!

Hoo boy, for a narcissist like Lex, that probably is very bothersome.

But Lex shrugs it off. He just wants this time's Nyxly to love him like her future self did. And so maybe he can use his knowledge of the future to help her and win her over.

Who knew that I would like seeing a Lex so head over heels!

The Super Friends reveal their plan to William who will report on it later.

The Kryptonian Witch told the heroes that the next totem to be found is the Love Totem.

So Lena will use her magic to create a fake totem, one that radiates energy that Nyxly's crystal ball will pick up. When Nyxly goes to grab it, the heroes will be there to spring a trap.

I think no shot better shows the problem/strength of this show. Look at the size of this team. The big seven. No wonder Supergirl sometimes gets lost in her own show.

The trap is interstingly at Lovers Lane where Alex and Kelly are flirting until Nyxly shows up.

But this trap is a good one. Lena uses her magic to cast some sort of holding circle spell. The rest of the team comes out to fire beams, heat vision, and dream whips at her. But even though she is trapped in a circle, Nyxly is an extremely good dodger. And she has her own Lex gauntlets to fire back.

But before the team can corner her, Lex shows up. He throws a K-bomb, grabs Nyxly, and leaves. But before they go, the fake totem erupts in flame in Nyxly's hand. 

Now the transformation of Lena is nearly complete. She is now actively wielding magic in combat. Come on show! Give her a costume!

Back at the Watchtower, Kara is healed by yellow sun medical attention. 

Kara has recovered. But Supergirl is just as worried about how Lena is doing as the reverse. After all, facing off against Lex knowing everything he has done to both of them can't be easy.

Lena knows that the fake totem burned like that because she was filled with out of control rage upon seeing Lex. She knows her mother's magic spiked like that too, killing that man. So she is reluctant to use her magic against Lex.

It is a very nice scene. Lex has done some truly horrific things on this show. I can imagine how everyone, but these two in particular, would be shaken a bit. 

It turns out that William was there at the battle and witnessed Lex join in. 

At CatCo, Andrea wants to immediately run the story knowing it would get clicks and ratings. But William reminds her they have to do it the 'right way'. He has to know it actually was Lex and not someone with an image inducer. And doesn't Andrea remember what happened when they ran crazy stories about Lex during his trial. 

Andrea will give him 24 hours.

I actually have come to like William this season. He seems quite capable as a reporter. And his standing up to Andrea here is laudable. 

And Andrea is still someone I don't quite understand. She has slid back into the 'eyes are more important than truth' Andrea we met early in her stint on the show.

As I said before, everyone is a bit spooked by Lex's being back.

That includes Brainy who is also vexed by the bomb Luthor used. It is 31st century tech. That means Lex was on Earth in the Legion's time. But our Brainy doesn't want to contact the Legion. The last time he listened to someone from the future, he ended up teaming with Lex and almost killing everyone.

He seems quite conflicted. Almost distracted. I like that Lex can cause this response. He should!

But the team ends up deciding the plan will be to try and use the totems they have to create some sort of shield apparatus.

To create the shield, the friends need to activate the totems they have.

The humanity totem doesn't have a crucible so Kara will do that one.

J'onn decides to undergo the courage challenge. Again, we lean into the past. We know from past storylines that J'onn regrets not acting when his daughters were killed by the White Martians.

This time, he does lash out, killing (or incapacitating) all the White Martians nearby. But it is a brief reprieve. More White Martians end up killing him and the girls.

Still, this is enough to pass the challenge!

But it is interesting that everyone still died, including him. I wonder if that gives him some consolation that in fact there was nothing he could to save them.

Nice effects here as we pull straight up from J'onn's telepathic blast and see it wipe out everyone nearby.

Meanwhile Lex continues to try and figure out just how to win over Nyxly.

I had to laugh at his response when Otis tells Lex to simply tell the truth. Lex says he won't tell Nyxly how she feels. True feelings scare women away. It shows how out of touch he is.

At least he says he wants her love to come naturally. He won't brainwash her.

Instead, he'll simply kidnap and beat up Mitch until the poor partner of Nyxly agrees to give her the information Lex feeds him. 

Poor Mitch. But he does as he is told and gives the location to the Love Totem to Nyxly (Lex knows because of future knowledge). It is embedded in the casket of famous lovers in Portugal.

The heroes learn of the site of the Love Totem when Nia dreams it. Knowing that Lex has green K, Kara shows up in her armor. Nyxly also shows up.

Armed with Lex gauntlet and the weaponized Dream Totem, Nyxly is able to overwhelm the heroes' totem shield.

When struck by the Dream Totem, Kara is frozen, seeing nightmarish vision of the Phantom Zone phantoms. She even sees herself becoming a phantom. 

It seems like all is lost. But inexplicably, the Love Totem just disappears.

Kara's PTSD is real. 

In fact, we get this brief couple of seconds where we see a terrified Kara just trying to steady herself. She is shaking and taking deep breaths. 

It is such a little thing but you feel her anxiety here. Benoist is simply that good.

People wonder if the Love Totem was repelled by the hate in Nyxly. 

As for Nyxly, she finally goes to Lex for help. 

You know I love a good balcony scene and this season has been doing a great job to showcase them as key moments.

Here J'onn and Kara review the recent loss. 

J'onn couldn't save his kids even when he did all he could. 

As for Kara, she is still trying to work out her fears and problems. She says it is hard to find hope. (Maybe she shouldn't have destroyed it!)

Realizing that perhaps they are stronger than their fears, Kara makes an important decision. The team will weaponize the totems they have. Rather than use them for defensive plays like shielding, they'll proactively use their power.

Now the Humanity Totem will fill Nyxly with compassion, a move that stymied her before. But the fear is it will dehumanize the wielder Kara. But Supergirl thinks it is the right move.

The chemistry these two have is great. And it is interesting to see Supergirl start to talk more like a field general or a soldier than a first responder. They are at war and need stronger weapons. Very interesting.

And Supergirl isn't worried that using the Humanity totem on Nyxly will rob her of her own humanity because she has an ace in the hole ... Lena's magic. Maybe Lena can put up some type of shielding spell on Kara to protect her.

After all, Kara has something special to help her in her fight against Nyxly. She has her extended family, which includes Lena.

This is a great conversation where Kara says that Lena doesn't need to worry about her magic going awry because of Lex. She knows this because Lex isn't her family any more. This team is Lena's family now. Lena can focus on her own good and not worry about the Luthor legacy. And McGrath nails it by getting misty! 

Again, this is sort of an inspirational moment for Supergirl showing how she is still the axle this team revolves around. 

As for the deus Lex machina of Lena's magic, it really isn't that different from all the crazy tech that has been created suddenly on this show so I guess I'll let it ride.

With the team about to go to war and Al's place booked, Alex decides that maybe she shouldn't propose to Kelly. It isn't the right time.

Of all people, William convinces her otherwise. With Lex around, a tomorrow is never promised. She needs to act now.

Okay, it is crazy but I actually kind of like William as the normie in the group.

Meanwhile, Lex continues to pitch woo.

He adds some tech to Nyxly's crystal ball so it won't be fooled by magical dupes any more. Heck, as he is describing it he is literally on bended knee. How fascinating to see Lex so entranced by someone.

He then spills the beans. He knew Nyxly and loved her in the 31st century. She had her revenge and so maybe that is why she could open her heart to someone like him. And he saw how she glowed, how powerful she was.

Cryer is just wonderfully malevolent as Lex. But there is passion there, for good or ill.

Taking William's word to heart, Alex heads to Al's place to ask him if she can have a corner of the place. 

As expected, the person who booked Al's is Kelly who is there with Esme. The place is festooned with rose petals, flowers, lights. This is exactly how Alex described she would decorate it. It is a sweet moment.

When Alex goes for the ring, she instead finds the Love Totem. That is how strong their love is.

I did have to chuckle at one line. As the two tell why they love each other, Kelly says that Alex's passion and compassion is incredible. And that she never let her drive harden her.

Never let it harden her? Well I suppose Kelly wasn't around for the first couple of seasons when Alex was pretty stern.

But the Love Totem attracts Nyxly and Lex.

Alex calls in the big guns.

And suddenly it is on at Al's.

J'onn squares off against Lex. Kara fights Nyxly. Then, with Lena's magic shield up and J'onn having blasted Lex down, both heroes use their weaponized totems on Nyxly. Filled with Humanity and drained of courage, it looks like she will lose and Brainy can use his weapon (some sort of prison gun?) to capture her.

But then Lex teleports into the heroes' blast, grabs Nyxly, and teleports the two away. Interesting to note he could have grabbed the Love Totem but instead chose love! 

I don't know. While all this totem stuff is a bit all over the map, what I wouldn't give to see Kara just wallop Nyxly.

The Love Totem seems burned out by the process, turning from pink to black.

But it certainly wasn't destroyed. There is too much love in the room for that to happen. 

Alex proposes and Kelly accepts.


With the battle over, there isn't anything left but the wrap up.

Back at Luthor Mansion, Lex drains the totem energy from Nyxly reviving her.

He gives a great speech, finally telling her the truth that he loves her. And he hates everyone! I chuckled.

She admits they could be friends moving forward. 

Brainy still worries that he will be tricked into doing something wrong but is reassured by Nia that he has her now. She won't let it happen. Bolstered, he agrees to talk to the Legion about what Lex could have been up to. 

Lena is pleased she was able to help and tells Kara for the first time she feels truly free of the stain of Lex.

William meets a source to confirm Lex's presence. And it's Otis!!!  Now this is a nice surprise. After all, Otis probably has a good gig right now. Otis seems happy. Why would he want Lex around to belittle him again. 

Andrea decides she'll use her shadow powers to get her own proof and slips into the Luthor mansion. There she finds a journal where Lex is writing love poems to Nyxly. I hope the blown up picture is sufficient to read the words. It sounds like high school Anj stanzas.

Lex tells Nyxly that a totem can't truly be destroyed because the essence simply goes into another shape. He actually has the new Hope totem in his possession. I suppose that makes sense. These are concepts, not items.

And then we see the rose pattern of the love totem appear on Esme's neck. She is the new love totem.

All along I have felt that the attributes of the totems jibe with the members of the super friends. So I suppose this makes some sense.

I also wonder if Esme's duplication powers might end up coming into play should she ever be around Nyxly. Perhaps Esme is the one to defeat the imp?

So another interesting episode. Lots of good character moments about love. And Kara's struggles really felt real this episode. I don't know if I truly follow the Totems and Allstone and timeline stuff extremely well. But it is an entertaining ride.


SG Fan said...

This one again the character moments were good, Esme is adorable and props to the casting person who got her, but I'm not interested in Nxyly as a villain and I find this being the girl Lex falls in love with a bit dubious. Personally, not a fan of the idea of Kara the 'soldier.' I think you can make that work, but I don't think this is the place for it. Also, my other complaint for this episode is again things don't feel like they're heading towards a series finale. Otherwise though this episode was okay.

Anonymous said...

Who knew Lex Luthor knew how to grovel, cajole, beg wheedle and well, act like every other infatuated mook since Adam?
This is like feeding Jon Cryer red red meat, you can see him tearing into it with gusto, even if you don't dig Nxyly ya gotta give it up to Cryer innovating and throwing haymakers right up until the end. He's going down in a Wagnerian Way & He Knows It, Superman & Lois need him special.
TOO BAD he'll likely be taken down by Alex in one last toxic bout of TMA (AKA "Too Much Alex).
TOO BAD Nxyly will be laid low by...Esme who'll start mimicking her powers, a scared child with 5th dimension omnipotence? Very "Into the Cornfields" ja?
Who is Supergirl gonna take down?
Anyone else remember Supergirl, Alex's sister & sidekick? I do :)
The show is ending much as I thought it would cluttered, haphazard, earnest & unsatisfying...but to the End, Like a Wagnerian Heroine, MB is on Stage Singing Away with Gusto, she can make great moments out of anything they give her, in that she much resembles Sir Patrick Stewart in the waning days of ST-TNG. Like those producer's, Supergirl's Showrunners are very dependent on their lead's innate ability to elevate mediocrity.
The End is Nigh, it's been a wild six year run, but when it comes to "Multi-Media Supergirl" I look only to the future and if somehow, 3 or 5 years from now we are kvelling over some new Supergirl movie, TV Series or Animated Program, in every single sense we will have Melissa Benoist to thank, she Lit The Way.