Supergirl Review by Henry Tran

Supergirl 2.22: Nevertheless, She Persisted

Supergirl 2.22: Nevertheless, She Persisted

Written By:
Robert Rovner, Caitlin Parrish, Andrew Kreisberg, and Jessica Queller
Directed By:
Glen Winter

My overall impression of Supergirl's second season is, like most of the other DCW shows, decidedly mixed. It started out well enough with the introduction of Superman (probably the season's best asset), and the Alien Amnesty Act, with the subsequent consequences and fallout from that political act. The season then took an abrupt change in tone and direction as real world events started to influence its more political side (which resulted in the too-on-the-nose episode titles here and last episode). Add a dash of multiple romantic subplots (an aspect I mostly didn't really care for) and we've come to the climax here with a battle between the defenders of Earth (Team Supergirl) and the invading Daxamite aliens. 

Essentially, that's the crux of the entire episode. It resolves the cliffhanger ending from "Resist," with Superman fighting Supergirl while being under the influence of mind control. Rhea gets her hands on some silver kryptonite to use on Superman, making him think that he's fighting General Zod (rumored to be the Big Bad for season three) instead of Kara. The vision of Supergirl fighting Superman does give rise to one of the best fight sequences that the show has ever done. Sure, I've seen my fair share of Superman films and shows so two Kryptonians smashing into buildings isn't the most original sort of thing (it briefly reminded me of the climax of Man of Steel), but at least the change here is that Supergirl gets the upper hand, wins the fight, and flies herself, Superman, and Alex to the Fortress of Solitude to recover and formulate a plan to stop Rhea and the Daxamites.

The show is at least original in that aspect, as well as Superman being magnanimous in defeat, telling his cousin that she fairly beat him at full strength (because the silver kryptonite did not weaken him like other kryptonite does; Here's hoping Supergirl doesn't turn into Smallville and develop and over-reliance on various forms of kryptonite), which demonstrates what a female positive and empowerment promoting show Supergirl is. The first season didn't really feature that, as it spent a lot of time figuring out what did and didn't work. The second season proved that in spades, despite a move to another network and a reduction in budget and primary cast members.

Where the episode goes wrong is in how mundane the plan to defeat Rhea and drive the Daxamites from Earth turned out to be. Supergirl invokes an ancient Daxamite ritual of single combat, presumably to the death, though that isn't stated out loud. The show went that dark the season before and I think the sense is that it didn't want to go to that place again. That was a mistake that The Flash has been paying for since the end of its spectacular debut season. After the Superman-Supergirl battle, the fight between Rhea and Supergirl pales in comparison, although the circumstances are more complicated than initially seen. J'onn, M'gann (making an abrupt surprise return), Alex, and Winn are backing Supergirl up, with an assist from both Lena and Lillian Luthor, while Rhea basically commands a faceless Daxamite invasion force. The rules of the combat ritual aren't clearly laid out, either. What ends up happening is jarring tonal whiplash where the two women fight on a rooftop (Why is always on a rooftop?) for a brief while, then Rhea cheats and orders the Daxamites to destroy National City while they fight. I think that was meant to give the rest of the cast (except for an MIA James) something meaningful to do.

So then we see that the Luthors have found a way to use one of Lex's inventions as a fail-safe. If Kara fails to defeat Rhea one-on-one (though it's not really one-on-one), the device will release lead spores into the atmosphere, making it poisonous for all Daxamites. They will essentially have to leave Earth orbit forever. Once that comes into play, there's really no point in having Supergirl engage in single combat.

The episode quickly, and rather haphazardly, gets to its climax, with the lead "bomb" being deployed into the atmosphere, and that leads to the episode's resolution phase. Since the lead affects all Daxamites, that means Mon-El can't stay on Earth so the episode has to show his and Kara's goodbye scene. Admittedly, it's a pretty good scene, as Mon-El sacrifices his romantic relationship with Kara to spare the Earth from being taken over by his native people. I don't think the series earned the fact that the everything came down to what would happen with Kara's first major romantic relationship, but that's the payoff for spending the middle portion of the season developing that very relationship. All of the focus is there, which is understandable given that the show bears Supergirl's name, and that leaves its supporting characters deep in the background. They did get their moment in the sun, so to speak, in "Resist" so that makes it rather jarring to have the season finale be so unbalanced. The setup for next season is suitably vague, much like the final moments of last season, so I think I'd hope that the writers can recognize what went wrong this season and correct it in time.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • The dream sequence with Kara and Mon-El was beautifully shot and scored
  • The show basically justifies all of the second season's storylines through Cat Grant's speech
The Bad:
  • The relentlessly insistent score by Blake Neely

Henry Tran is a regular contributor of review for Critical Myth; The Critical Myth Show is heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @HenYay

Supergirl by - 5/25/2017 7:09 AM66 views

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