After a tense midseason finale and weeks of wondering, Supergirl picks up where it left off and answers most of the big questions gnawing at us like your dog on leftover turkey.
Happy New Year, friends! I'm Tamara, a fan and live-tweeter since the premiere, and I'm excited to continue discussing this season with you all for #DCTV Couch Club. So let's get started!
When we last saw Supergirl, she was rushed to the DEO for medical care after a savage beating by Reign. Now stabilized, Kara recovers in one of Mon-El and Imra's healing tanks. While her body recovers, the newly awakened Brainiac 5 visits her mind, which looks like her apartment, to make sure she's all right. She is, but when her body is healed, she's still not able to wake up. There's something psychological keeping her under.
The expected thing would be for Kara to be afraid of facing Reign again so soon, but I was very pleased this was about self-realization and personal reconciliation. This season has been all about Kara attempting to deal with loss (and PTSD) in various ways, primarily by trying to bury her feelings by ignoring her human side. It feels like we've finally reached the final stage of resolving this as Kara realizes she's doing herself a disservice by denying and suppressing a critical part of herself. She can now go forward and properly heal…and her realization came thanks to Streaky the Cat, which delights me to no end! I only wished they'd made Streaky fly since this was all in her mind.
Overall, I've been pleased with the pace they've been taking this arc. Many shows before (and probably in the future) have played a variation of the Stages of Grief over a much longer period of time which, I believe, is significantly harder to execute in a satisfying way. We want to see our protagonists move forward, not remain stagnated, and 22 episodes of sadness is a tough, tough sell.
So, in the last Couch Club column, I said Brainy wouldn't be one of the Legionnaires in stasis. I was wrong. It's not so much that I didn't think he would appear, I just thought he'd come from the future since he'd have been very helpful while they struggled to repair their vessel. I also didn't expect him, or to see the Legion members in action, for another two episodes or so. Surprise!
Let's talk about Brainy, shall we? I very much liked Jesse Rath's performance and thought he was well-written. Something about the characterization reminds me of the animated Legion of Super-Heroes series from 2006. The makeup was kind of unexpected, definitely not as green as I pictured, but I warmed to it quickly. Green skin is one of the harder tones to pull off without it looking weird, so I can appreciate why they went the direction they did.
Mon-El and Imra have been keeping a low profile heroics-wise until this ep. We find out that their reluctance to take risks is because they discovered a way to defeat a terrible foe in their time and therefore must survive or millions will die. We also learned that a cataclysm wiped out most of Earth's historical and artistic records, so most of what Imra (and the rest of the Legion, I assume) knows about the past comes from Mon-El. I like this reveal as it both is interesting world-building and a great way to keep the SuperTeam (and the audience) from expecting spoilers or warnings very often.
"But what did she think about their uniforms?" you may be asking right now.
Well, they were good. I don't have any actual problem with them, but one of my favorite things about DC is the generational aspect of it, and the Legion is a huge part of that great tradition. I was hoping for some brighter or more prominent colors since their whole deal is being inspired by the brightly hued heroes of today. However, as previously mentioned, on this Earth there aren't really any records for them to see—they're relying on Mon-El's limited exposure—so it makes sense that their costumes would be more subdued. It just would've been nice to see a female superhero rock some pink in live-action—we don't see that very often (or really at all). Maybe they're wearing stealth mission duds? But we still haven't met the Legion on The Flash, so there's still hope. (I'm looking at you, mysterious young woman at Iris and Barry's ruined wedding who they think we forgot about but we didn't!)
- Getting back in touch with Kara, really connecting with what it means to be human, was the key this episode. As Reign's journey has been a twisted funhouse mirror version of Kara's, could this be a clue to freeing Samantha?
- Odette Annable is doing a really great job, particularly with the physicality and the moments when the lines between Samantha and Reign get blurry and they are kind of vying for dominance.
- Despite seemingly being in danger at the end of the finale, Ruby seems just fine. However, there was mention of there being "others" like Reign out there. Is she one of them?
- After a run-in with Reign as she goes on a murder spree at the penitentiary, Thomas Coville somehow appears at her Fortress to align himself with their cause. Is this a trick? His faith in Kara seemed pretty unwavering. Is he having a crisis of his own faith?
- J'onn pretended to be Kara again, this time so Lena wouldn't discover her secret identity. Awkward high comedy ensued. One of the highlights off the episode for me.
- I appreciate Lena hanging several lanterns on the potential complications of being in a relationship with James. I also very much like that everyone talked to each other, directly and openly (eventually, in some cases), about their issues, as we all should. Being honest and vulnerable is difficult, but it's the healthiest way to handle relationship issues. Life lessons, y'all.
What did you think of tonight's episode? Excited about the Legion? Have any theories? Let's hear it!