Following the epic four-series crossover with the mid-season finale feels like a difficult task, but Supergirl episode 309, "Reign,” delivers.
One thing I've noticed this season is that it feels like a lot is happening every episode, in a good way. Certain storylines or character arcs that I'm accustomed to taking several weeks to resolve reach a turning point in half the time. This is great because it allows more space for other aspects to be explored. For example, Kara processing her grief over Mon-El's disappearance could've been dragged out much longer but then we wouldn't have as much time to watch her interact with Mon-El and his wife, Imra.
So, because so much big stuff happened and we won't get our next new episode until January 15, 2018 (*insert impatient groan*), I thought I'd share a list of thoughts inspired by the mid-season finale as well as a few predictions for down the road organized in three handy, dandy sections!
The Danvers Holiday Gatherings are one of my favorite seasonal features. It's one of the few times you get to see everyone (or almost everyone) interacting in a relaxed atmosphere, which usually leads to small moments that build characters even more.
This year's gathering gave one of my favorite character building moments: J'onn J'onzz loves Hall & Oates' version of "Jingle Bell Rock." Like, he plays it on repeat. And I'm delighted. We also got to see J'onn's father, M'yrnn, discover the joy of hot chocolate. Protect Papa J'onzz at all costs. I was kind of wishing either J'onn or M'yrnn would be in a holiday sweater for a nice Justice League Unlimited "Comfort and Joy" callback.
I'm a fan of Lena Luthor and James Olsen being together, both as friends and romantically. Mehcad Brooks and Katie McGrath have great chemistry and Superman's Best Pal being with a Luthor could provide some very interesting arcs in the future. Also, James had two of my favorite lines of the episode, both from Lena and James' conversation with Morgan Edge: "You have feelings?" and "Bah humbug."
Back in the first episode of the season, they had Alex interacting with Samantha and Ruby, Ruby in particular. With wanting children being the breaking point in Maggie and Alex's relationship, I wonder if Alex and Samantha may be a pairing we see in the future? Or perhaps Alex will become a mentor for Ruby (who seems to need it, if for no other reason for her to stop making life-risking decisions on a whim...or at least get better trained/prepared)?
I mentioned this briefly above, but I'm glad that Kara's difficulty dealing with Mon-El and Imra is very believable and not too overwrought. And it's a great kind of complicated—how exactly do you deal with your ex's perfectly lovely new spouse who is part of a galactic team of heroes that base their good deeds on you? It's weird, man.
I made a note while watching that read, "LADY FRIENDSHIPS." I actually wrote it in all-caps. Seeing all these women interact and become close and talk about their lives, particularly in a superhero show, is not a thing we get as often as we should. I'm very happy Season 3 hasn't shied away from these interactions.
After the very well done subversion of a Hero's Journey we saw with Samantha pre-crossover, Reign finally emerged. I was slightly surprised she started wreaking havoc so soon, but giving us a three-part prophecy means we'll have plenty of time to really explore this whole situation from both Samantha and Kara's sides. And, in my opinion, that's exactly the way it should be handled. There are so many great story opportunities here, I'm happy there will be time to see some of them.
Reign's very public victory over Supergirl automatically sets Kara up to further question how she approaches hero-ing. She already almost gave up her civilian identity and now this is a challenge to her identity as Supergirl. Being in intensive care will likely also further complicate the situation with Mon-El and Imra.
As Ruby approaches Samantha on Christmas, was Reign in control and posing an imminent threat to Ruby? Or is this perhaps a nightmare Samantha's having? Hmmm…
Supergirl has been pretty great about foreshadowing and actually paying off those tasty Easter eggs (which I hear we call #DCTV Secrets in the Couch Club). The Legion ring from Season 1 and Mon-El's introduction last year has finally payed off in the very open existence of the Legion of Super-Heroes. We've already met Imra (aka Saturn Girl) so who are the two other as-yet-unrevealed Legionnaires? The smart bet would be on Lighting Lad and Cosmic Boy as they, in comics, round out what is essentially the Legion's Trinity. I'd love to see Dawnstar or Triad (aka Triplicate Girl), but they're definitely less likely options. The only Legionnaire that I'd guess isn't there is Brainiac 5 since they could just wake him up to fix their ship.
Also, does this mean Supergirl will visit the 30th Century sometime in the future? It's happened many times before in other media (see quite a few comic arcs and the Justice League Unlimited episode "Far From Home"). I'd wager it's far less likely a question of if and more of when. Maybe Season 4?
Ruby was given a Supergirl symbol necklace as a Christmas gift, plus Samantha reassured Ruby that she was her heart before taking her journey and becoming Reign. I'd wager both will be key to saving, defeating and/or redeeming Reign before all is said and done.
Morgan Edge is definitely a jerk but is he involved with the criminal organization known as Intergang here, as he is in other portrayals? And does that mean he's connected to Darkseid, and thus perhaps we'd get to see the Furies and hopefully Big Barda on the show? I mean, it’s the season of wishing, right? Here's hoping!
Finally: Can we get Lucy Lane back please? Nothing happened on the episode that was expressly related to her but...you know...I miss her.
So, these are my somewhat scattered but enthusiastic thoughts. What did you think? Highlights? Lowlights? Predictions? Let us know below!