Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Supergirl Show 618: Truth Or Consequences

Tonight the two hour series finale of Supergirl will air. That means I have to catch up by reviewing last week's episode, episode 618, titled Truth Or Consequences.

As I have said in prior reviews of this back half of the season, the overall plot of Nyxly trying to gather totems to create an Allstone to rewrite the universe has been a hard one to wrap my head around. The logic doesn't make great sense. The timeline where she unites them in the future is making me wibbly-wobbly. The weaponization of the totems makes many action sequences the equivalent of our heroes pointing Iron Man style gloves at the villains, blasting rays of ... emotion? I don't know. And the heroes strategies and even intellect sometimes seem off. 

But as friends have said, this is the ride we are on, live or die.

What is interesting is that while the details of what exactly is happening is a cipher, the emotional beats of the show remain strong. This episode we see that in full force. There is a disagreement between the Danvers sisters, one where both sides have a legitimate quibble. Andrea has to look into the mirror and question her morality. J'onn gets to play papa. Brainy and Nia try to come to terms with a romance doomed by timelines. And Nyxly gets to be impish and amorous.

Perhaps the biggest surprise, and spoilers here, was the death of William. Now I have to admit that in prior seasons, I have found William to be about as interesting as a block of wood. But the back half of this season, he has been one of the strongest characters on the show. He is a solid reporter. He is the point of view character for humanity. He has the strongest ethics on the show. And, dare I say it, he has had good chemistry with the others. His death seems pointless, almost a fridging. 

As always, Melissa Benoist is brilliant mixing physical gestures, expressions, body language, and dialogue to bring all the complexity of Kara to the small screen. I can't believe this is the end. We all knew we had something special with Benoist. I'll miss seeing her donning the S-Shield.

On to recaps and thoughts.

Last episode ended with William meeting Otis in a dark alley. We learn that Otis is disenchanted with Lex nowadays. And Otis divulges that Lex is building a Lexosuit army to help Nyxly.

Everyone knows this could be a trick. Regardless, Lena knows that the Lexosuits have a signature they can utilize as a tracker.

Lena also says her friend, the owner of a very swanky penthouse bar called Club Rialto, is willing to host Alex's bachelorette party. After some convincing, Alex agrees to have some fun and everyone rejoices.

But this is interrupted by a phone call. Esme has had some trouble in school and Alex has to leave.

This struggle of work/life balance has been palpable this entire season. From Kara's leaving CatCo and trying to find peace to Alex dealing with parental issues, I wonder how all this will wrap up. Will Alex retire from heroing to become a full-time mom? And how does Alex pay the bills anyways?

The groups is interrupted by the broadcast of an insipid AM show which is reading Lex's bad beat poetry on line. His love for Nyxly will 'make the oceans burn'.  The hosts are really giving Lex a good ribbing over his poor verse. 

But then the say the content is from CatCo, from an article by William Dey. Of course William didn't write that.

It does get the expected response from Lex who also sees it. Never rub another man's rhubarb, especially a Luthor.

I am somehow happy to know that shows like this exist even in a world like Supergirl's. They deserve Hell as much as we do.

Throughout the season I have been confused by Andrea's motives which started out by becoming the #1 news outlet by doing tough, hard journalism to just wanting to be #1. Here she attached William's name to her story because William has some public clout.

William calls her on it. He didn't write that story. He wouldn't given it was unethical. And then he unloads on Andrea saying he is there to report the truth. She has no ethical code. And that she stands for nothing!

As I said earlier, William has been a great character here. Now why Andrea doesn't fire him, I have no idea. But at least he had the guts to call it as it is.

Last episode we also had Brainy realize he needed to contact the Legion.

He is given some news which shakes him personally. But then he gives some exposition.

In the future, Lex and Nyxly are King and Queen of the Universe. But for some reason the Allstone begins to fail, the Legion attack, and Nyxly is killed. 

Now I hope the Legion didn't kill Nyxly. That is the most important rule in their constituion.

But this whole thing about Lex in the future, the Allstone being united there, the whole thing. I just don't get it. I don't think I ever will.

Lena's plan works and the team finds Mitch's ship cloaked at the Waterfront.

They all teleport in and a nice action sequence unfolds, mostly people shooting guns and gauntlets. But there are some nice stunts like Brainy running on the side of a wall to attack. It was nice to see Supergirl use her cape to block some shots.

In the attack, Brainy gets close enough to grab the Dream totem out of Nyxly's gauntlet. The team heads into the Dreamscape to disappear, reappearing in the Watchtower. 

Overall some good action.

But within the ship, Kara had spied the Hope totem. Finally the team realizes that elemental ideals like 'Hope' can't be destroyed. The Totem will simply reform.

Meanwhile, Esme lost her temper at school when someone teased her about some baking contest. (How is someone her age supposed to be baking a chocolate roulade? That is more unbelievable than heat vision.)

That skirmish ended with her powers erupting and paint getting everywhere.

But on examination, Kelly and Alex find a perfect rose tattoo on their daughter.

They seem confused about it, almost intrigued. You would think in their world that this would lead to some major discussion and research. But Alex says she'll run some blood tests.

Seriously though, they don't recognize the shape of the Love Totem immediately?

Brainy ends up having a conversation with himself. 

I love the future Brainy's look with yellow boots and ponytail.

The message from the future is revealed. Brainy has to merge with the Coluan 'big brain' to repair it and save his people. While he will become something greater there, he knows he has joined something greater her.

His love for Nia is real and he'll need to sacrifice that.

Of course, this is time travel. He can live in the 20th century as long as he wants and head to this time when he is needed whenever. But I won't go there.

Nyxly's crystal ball lights up, letting her know the Truth Totem is nearby. (Right now the heroes have 4 of seven totems. I am surprised she is still working so earnestly at this plot!)

It brings her and Lex to some warehouse where an old camera is the totem. There is no explanation behind what this camera is. At least the prior totems had some back story like being David's slingshot. This looks like a storage room in a pawn shop.

She activates it and faces the crucible of needing to reveal her own truth.

After some musings, she comes to the heart of the matter. She is all alone .. but she doesn't want to be. She wants to have someone close to her.

Does that ring true? I suppose her being betrayed by her brother AND father would make her leery of relationships.

And then the big blowup between the sisters.

Kara reminds Alex that growing up in Midvale she wore power dampening glasses that allowed her to learn to control her powers on her own. Maybe Esme should wear something like that. This makes sense. This isn't a shackled power dampener. And Esme has spat fire and exploded before. For safety alone, it makes sense, especially coming from Kara and her history.

Of course Alex suppressed who she really was all her life. She doesn't want Esme to ever have to hide who she is. That makes sense from Alex's viewpoint.

They go back and forth with Kara talking about her life experience of someone with powers, who couldn't control them at first, and needed the glasses until she learned.

But Alex gets stern. She also has had life experiences. And she is the mother of Esme. She tells Kara to basically buzz off.

I see both sides. Why not have Esme wear the glasses in public to protect the greater good and learn while at home? Maybe?? You can bring up ludicrous possibilities on both sides to defend or detract.

Where do people fall on this?

Back in the Watchtower, Nia holds the dream totem and heads into a prophetic vision. 

She sees Brainy and hourglasses until finally Brainy pixelates and blows up.

She confronts him, knowing the dream means he is leaving. 

And he has to admit to her that their destinies are 1000 years apart.

Nice effects here. And glad Nia could interpret the dream so easily.

On the ship, Nyxly is still having a hard time trusting Lex and his feelings.

She uses the Truth totem to basically force him to tell her the truth. And, for once, it seems he is on the up and up. He loves her. His only desire is to rule by her side. 

Still so weird to see a lovesick Lex.

In a nice scene, J'onn can tell that Kara has something on her mind. I like that he has this sort of fatherly intuition and the emotional strength to ask the tough questions.

She tells him of the Alex fight. Again, she says that in Midvale she always worried she'd lose control of her powers. She was miserable at first. She doesn't understand why Alex doesn't get it.

I love Benoist in this scene. Her expressions, gestures, posture, and lines all show how much she is struggling here.

Yeah yeah yeah. Esme is cute.

I love how William is just part of the team and family. He has a nice little chat with Esme.

Alex is so overwrought with the idea that something could be wrong with Esme that she wants to cancel the bachelorette party. She is clearly angry.

Kara tries to smooth over things but it is too tense a moment. I liked this shot showing the distance between them emotionally.

It turns out that one of Esme's classmates is a Tattamite, a race with powerful tempers and funny chameleon skin. That probably explains Esme's tantrum and tattoo. But it all seems too neat. And Alex's blood tests come up normal.

Once again though, the heroes discover Nyxly's ship and bring the fight to it, this time in orbit.

Everyone is suited up, even Mitch donning a Lexosuit. 

Kara has to blast off her own space suit when it is infected by nanites, leading to a good shot of her using her heat vision to blast it off. Nyxly's lexosuit gets destroyed as well. The truth totem is grabbed by Kara.

The brawl ends up blasting a hole through the ship's hull. Lex hits the self-destruct and in a moment of pure self-sacrifice, gives Nyxly his lexosuit as they teleport out. He wanted to make sure she lived, even more than him. 

Kara and J'onn also teleport out just as the ship explodes.

Okay, so Nyxly has no totems and no ship. You think she'd just give up. Or bide her time.

At the Watchtower, the heroes are all gathering.
Nyxly has suffered a huge loss. 
Esme wins her baking contest.

The time is right for a party! Alex's bachelorette party is back on.

Before everyone goes off to prepare, Kara and Alex again try to smooth things over. It is Kara who just wants to know they are all good.

Alex again says people need to 'live their truth'. She'll never make Esme hide who she is.

Given Alex's sexuality story, I get this. 
But what about the physical threat? I mean, if Esme runs into an alien race that has a poison touch and kills her classmates, won't Alex feel terrible?

Supergirl isn't talking about removing Esme's powers. She is talking about traning!

I still don't know.

But the sisters hug it out.

In Lex's mountain hideaway, Nyxly and Lex talk about their setbacks.

But Nyxly finally sees that Lex truly was ready to die for her. She finds it foolish.

But it is clear given the smoldering look on her face that she is falling for him.

Before a kiss can happen, her crystal ball lights up. The Love Totem is found.

What do you think? Is Lex really smitten? Is it from the Love Totem from the future? I bet in the end it is all a feint by him.

We get a peek at Alex's party including some wild dancing by Kara. This makes me smile.

But that means Esme, the new Love Totem, is alone with babysitter William.

Lex and Nyxly invade the Watchtower with ease. Have I said that I love that Nyxly is never just sitting or standing. She is always in some playful position.

Lex is ticked off about the poems being aired. Kudos to William for not ratting out Andrea.

In fact, kudos to William for telling off Lex. He calls Lex a sad shell of a man!

No surprise, once Esme is grabbed, Lex monologues a bit. 

While Lex is blathering, William turns on his phone's recorder to capture all this.

Everything has been a con. He let Lena find Mitch's ship so he could reverse infect the Watchtower with a computer virus. He even blocked Alex's blood test result. 

Just when you think William might live, Lex turns around and shoots him.

With two in the chest, all William has time to do is send the recording to Andrea.

Ahhh, the Luthors.

The family that shoots together, loots together.

And that is unfortunately how the bachelorette party ends.

Alex finally gets the blood results. Esme has 5th dimensional energy in her blood. The whole team heads to the HQ to find a dead William and Esme gone.

I wonder how much guilt they'll all be feeling. While they were dancing and drinking, William took two to the chest. 

Great end shot. Great cliffhanger.

It all is coming to an end. 


RicG said...

They really had to stretch that argument for Alex to look even slightly reasonable. The dampener does not have to be worn all the time and has no other shown side effects while not wearing it has been shown to cause Esme distress and those around her real peril.
This idea deserved an episode on its own, but the real point was to have the show's favourite move of the Danvers sisters fight and tearily make up so I guess it served the purpose.

Unfortunately the Legion on this show has no rule against killing. In fact as they were first shown they were very much for it. It's a pity we never saw enough of them for Kara to inspire such a rule.
At least we get a return of Mon next week.

SG Fan said...

This episode was better than most of the ones prior to this. I echo your thoughts on William as I couldn't stand him when they introduced him. He was so 'perfect' to be a love interest to Kara that he turned me off as one. It was just so lazy by the writers. Once they dropped that angle, and worked to make him more a coworker/friend, then I warmed up to him. And credit where credit is due, he worked well this season and props for him doing his best to get the word out and protect Esme.

This was the only episode that sort of felt like we are heading into the finale of the series. Brainy's news did the most to step that up I think. I'm still a bit shocked how they didn't seem to do much of anything to lead up to this being the final season. It makes me wonder how the heck they're going to wrap things up with Kara, cuz other than quitting Catco, feels like she's made no moves that signal what her future will be.

Anyway, only a few hours to go and we'll see how this all plays out.

Anonymous said...

It's all over in about hours, wild ride, up down, delight, derision all of it, and in the third to the last episode, Berlanti et al, finally managed to "Fridge" A Man, All in Order to Advance the Narrative of a Female Protagonist.
That feels like a first to me, poor William, a barnacle on Supergirl's "hulk" scraped off that she might achieve greatness...or some damn thing :)
BTW just saying, Andrea signing William's name to an article that triggered his assassination, kinda opens her up to some pretty apocalyptic lawsuits doncha think?
Who Knew Lex Luthor was a Bad Poet? With all his other demonic achievements he couldn't build an AI that could create passable poesy? The finale remains tolerable and watchable for two reasons MB's utterly committed playing and the notion of a Lovesick Luthor...that at least is one idea that wasn't squandered.
It sure does feel like the writer's have been putting off Supergirl's final fate in her own show to the very last minute, they've lingered over every other relationship complication Nia-Brainiac, Nia and Her Sister, Kelly, Alex & Esme, William's death probably got more airtime than whatever the final outcome is for Kara Zor El.
I have a feeling they just don't know what to do, which is why I am resigned to disappointment tonight, but with paradoxical high spirits all the same.
BTW Alex is going out the way she came in, the same old overbearing emotional terrorist she has been since ep #1, her whole "argument" with Kara was the same old straw woman fight that Supergirl always loses with her foster sister. All I heard was "I was right about you, and I'm right about Esme now apologize and begone!"
I'm sorry to See Supergirl go, squandered opportunities and all, but I'm not sorry to see the last of Alex, she was written as a millstone and a millstone she remains, regardless of my high personal opinion Chyler Leigh (I'd watch her play Lady MacBeth in a heartbeat, she's perfect for the part).

What more can I say? "I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing" Herman Melville, Moby Dick.



KET said...

William was always mistakenly perceived as a love interest by jealous shippers still pining for Kara to merely follow patriarchal cliché tradition that the hero needs a procreation mate. But William (and Andrea Rojas as well) was always a more complex character than that. Kara Danvers' journey to self-fulfillment was never about dating, as that was actually pushy Alex giving her bad dating advice nearly every time. As Season Two proved, letting Alex set up a blind date for her sister usually resulted in horrible, unintended consequences.