Supergirl: Better Angels

“I was sent to protect earth and that’s what I’m going to do.”

The episode starts with some pretty cheesy action as remote control Alex fights Kara.

Fortunately, that doesn’t last long. Soon, Eliza saves Alex (and Kara) with the Power of Love™. They immediately begin work on Cat’s plan: to save National City with the Power of Hope™. Winn and James are the first to awaken thanks to their personal connections to the Girl of Steel. Soon, the whole city is saved. It was ridiculous. I loved it. Screw gritty realism. I want to see people be saved from an alien menace by an inspirational speech now and again.

But the relief is short lived. Right after realizing their evil plan is foiled, Indigo convinces Non to use Myriad to kill the humans instead of controlling them. It won’t accomplish a lot from their viewpoint, but it will piss Kara off and they really enjoy doing that.

Before Kara leaves to face off against the headache machine that’s killing the world she says her goodbyes. She tells J’onn that she’s sure she can stop Non and Indigo but she’s not sure she’ll make it out alive. That’s…defeatist. And I can’t help but feel like it was done to kill time. Even if that was the case, Melissa Benoist proves she can make storyteller busywork compelling. Her goodbyes to Winn and Cat were pretty affecting but it really pissed me off she broke up with James. She’s reassuring all these people close to her that they meant a lot to her and then when it comes to the man she’s allegedly in love with he gets a ‘well, I guess we missed our shot?’ No! And don’t give me any of that “It was to protect him” crap because if she died as his girlfriend he’d be crushed and if she died as his ex-girlfriend he’d be crushed. And I think he’d realize what she’d done, dumping him right before she goes off to die.

A big change in this episode is that J’onn joins the fight openly, as himself, and with the government’s half-hearted blessing. The end of the episode sees him returned to his leadership position at the DEO, which he decides he should share with Lucy. We’re all set up to a return to normal next season. What remains to be seen is if J’onn will break out the cape on a regular basis or if he’ll stay in command at the DEO.

The problem with J’onn as a character has always been that he’s too powerful. On the animated Justice League Unlimited, they faced similar problems with him. You can’t send him in to help every time or the problem becomes easily surmountable and the stakes are gone. Their solution was to put him in charge of directing which superhero went where until they finally just sent him off to connect to humanity and he wasn’t seen for most of the second season. What will Supergirl do when faced with the same problem? I hope we don’t lose him for long stretches. I enjoy his paternal relationship with Alex and Kara way too much.

After defeating Non and Indigo, Kara has to fly Fort Rozz into space to save humanity. This parallels…some Superman movie, I’m pretty sure. I’ve never seen them. Let me know in the comments! Anyway, she flies Fort Rozz into space, believing this will kill her but save everyone else on Earth. But then Alex swoops in with Kara’s old spaceship (foreshadowing the arrival of another Kryptonian pod later in the episode) and whisks the both of them to safety. It is so refreshing that, of all DC TV, this show doesn’t feel the need to kill beloved characters to drive home the drama. I love Arrow and I love The Flash, but sometimes I need my heroes to save the day without the dramatic death of a character I love. I wonder, now that Supergirl is on the CW, if it will keep to this happily ever after pattern or revert to the other Berlanti-verse shows’ general rule of one devastating death a season. I hope they don’t. And if they do kill any characters, please, let it be Winn.

I didn’t love the episode ending on a cliffhanger. It felt completely tacked on. We were in Kara’s apartment with her family, her friends, her Pulitzer Prize-winning boyfriend, celebrating her promotion and recent rescue of Earth and then suddenly there was a half-assed mystery. Watching this the first time, I really hoped the season would end either with everyone happy together or with Kara rushing off to save the day from some unspecified but basically run of the mill threat. How cute would that have been? Cut it off as Kara takes to the sky, showing that finally she’s found a sense of balance between her personal life and her super life. Oh, well. Who do we think is in the pod and why is it so late? My money’s on Alura, but who knows? Maybe it’s Krypto.

Bits and Pieces

When Indigo grabbed J’onn by his cape I had a sudden vision:


Definitely got a little teary when Cat finally pronounces Kara’s name correctly.

Quotes

Cat: “The morning meeting was to begin 16 seconds ago. You people were more punctual when you were drones. Scurry!”
Kara: “Later?”
James: “Later. After the scurrying.”

Max: “Let’s not get our cape in a bunch.”

Kara: “What the hell is in Nevada?”
Max: “In my experience, mediocre buffets and regret.”

Alex: “You’re not the only badass in the family.”

three and a half out of four cliffhangers

sunbunny

1 comment:

Billie Doux said...

What a terrific review, sunbunny.

I thought this finale was better than all the set-up in the previous episode. The Alex/Kara fight was over quickly, Kara saved the day with Fort Rozz, and J'onn got the DEO back. Like you, I also really enjoyed that moment when Cat finally called Kara by her right name and with no prompting at all, confirming that she had been calling her "Kira" all along deliberately.

Congratulations to the Agents of DOUX/Team Supergirl for finishing season one! and here's to season two, which begins in only five days. I'm really looking forward to it.