Supergirl: Battles Lost and Won

Alura: “Sometimes the thing we thought we’d never do, the thing that goes against our very core, is the one thing that we must do.”

An episode that follows many plot threads – and ties them up while starting others – occasionally in rather odd ways.

The Kryptonian witches have started their own genesis project to create a New Krypton. The planet-wide terror at the beginning allows everyone to play the hero, especially James, who takes off his helmet in order to get a woman to trust him. Even Imra & Brainy show up (after all, it’s both the season finale and Earth is in crisis). But as M’yrnn joins with the Earth’s core – and I felt tears prickling as J’onn says goodbye to M’yrnn – the earthquakes seem to end. I like that, the idea that a battle that you expected to go on until the end does not; sometimes it’s good to have the episode take a different direction.

Imra tells Mon-El that their marriage was never what it should have been (she lied to him about a few things) giving their relationship the possibility of closure. However, this does not mean we’ll see screen kisses between Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood (although I believe they’re taking place in real life) because Mon-El is needed in the future.

The reason that Mon-El is needed in the future is because the plan to save the Earth from Blight (aka Pestilence) worked, meaning that a whole bunch of people did not die! Except that they weren’t all good people. How come this did not occur to Brainy before, with his high-level intellect? So, he’s especially concerned because AIs (artificial intelligences) have been mostly wiped out, and so genius Winn is needed in the future (as well as Mon-El).

Winn and James have an excellent moment, both being confronted by the possibility of their wildest dreams coming true: James, taking off his mask and revealing that he is Guardian; Winn, traveling to the future. Both, despite some anxieties, take these steps. Of course this means that Winn may not be around in Season 4; does Jeremy Jordan have something else to do?

The episode resumes the earth-in-peril mode when our heroes realize that Reign is not dead. As our heroes plan their strategy, Supergirl is persuaded into accepting the idea that they might have to kill Reign. This is something that I think is important. Sometimes, circumstances may be so extreme that you may have to throw your usual morality out the window (particularism, or in other situations, outcome-based morality, or Darwin’s survival of the fittest). The attempt to kill Reign leads to the deaths of several of Supergirl’s friends, however, and Supergirl feels as if the problem is the fact that she chose to abandon her morals. This is an area where the episode falls short, in my opinion, because she’s actually applying the outcome-based morality to justify reverting to her original principles. The main principle being, “Don’t kill anyone,” not even those who have decided to wipe out your entire planet.

The series can’t seem to kill people either. Thomas Coville (who apparently died in the previous episode) survived after all. Sam also survives (I wanted her to die) and has some interesting times with an image of her adoptive mother before the two fountains. The adoptive mother tells Sam which fountain to drink from – the one that gives her strength – and finally our heroes make Reign drink some of the weakening waters to destroy her powers. A nice resolution to the Reign problem, and the witches are going back to Argo to stand trial.

Kara realizes that Earth is home and says good-bye to her mother; James is now out as Guardian; Alex tries to quit but gets promoted to the position of DEO director instead; J’onn J’onzz is resuming his role as Hank Henshaw and is wandering through humanity in a sharp fedora (and other clothes). Both Kara and Lena are lying to each other. Kara still hasn’t told Lena that she’s Supergirl (and really, Lena ought to be able to figure it out) and Lena, although she has sent back her entire supply of Magic Rock 2 (Harun-El) to Argo with Alura, has the formula and is making more (of course she’s making more, Supergirl, how naïve are you?). Both Kara and Lena are lying to each other, and in both cases they’re oblivious for not realizing it. I don’t like it when a series requires me to think that characters are stupid – especially characters who are supposed to be bright. Too many of the episode’s important moments are accompanied by extra-good music, which support them because the scenes are uneven and sometimes flat.

The episode ends (the cold close?) with what I assume is a copy of Supergirl crossing the Siberian border. I guess this will allow the writers to incorporate some Russian stuff in the next season. The writers have put the characters into interesting positions for next season.

Title musings: “Battles Lost and Won” is a great title but so obvious that it does not need analysis, except that I don’t think it works that well for the episode.

Bits and pieces


Some great special effects with respect to the earthquakes. As someone who lived through Loma Prieta, I know what it’s like.

Glad to hear that Superman has been out saving Madagascar! Wondered where he was last episode.

If you had to pass down one memory, one idea, to the future, what would it be?

Neat watching Supergirl freeze the tsunami. Think we have just found the solution to global warming, but I don’t know how she’s getting around the Laws of Thermodynamics (OK, the Laws of Thermodynamics need to be ignored unless Brainy or Winn is talking).

When Winn is mentioning members of his family, he somehow forgets to mention his mother.

Quotes

Alura: One fountain gave infinite strength. The other gave weakness.

Patricia Arias: All that remains of me is my love for you.

Brainy: You’re smiling. That is not good.

Winn: You have told me literally hundreds of times that I am below a 12th-level intellect, so how could I possibly be your replacement?

Lena: But you’ve identified what you want, and that’s half the battle.

James: Winn, you are a genius. The only person who doubts that is you.

James: I took off my mask today.

Mon-El: That just strengthens my point, because the Greek gods have nothing on you.

James: I can’t keep waiting on the world to change. My future’s now.

J’onn J’onzz: You don’t have to deny any part of yourself to be complete.

Winn: The future’s going to be a steep learning curve.

Overall Rating

There were some good parts to this episode, but it could have been so much more. I just realized that I didn’t put any Supergirl quotes in the section above, and I think it’s because they’re not giving her adequate material. Three out of four lost battles.

Victoria Grossack loves math, Greek mythology, Jane Austen and great storytelling in many forms.

4 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Congratulations on finishing a season of Supergirl, Victoria!

I have to agree that this episode was all over the place. They were trying to tie up too many plot threads at once. Although the group fight scenes were actually pretty cool, and I enjoyed seeing Erica Durance in particular as a superhero after all those seasons of Smallville where she wasn't.

Apparently, J'onn putting on the fedora was supposed to include a trench coat; he's off doing what Martian Man Hunter does. I didn't know that. I watched this episode with someone who does.

I don't hate Mon-El and I've never quite understood why some fans dislike him so much, but since that's the case, it's probably best that they wrote him out. I don't dislike Brainy, but I'm not sure why they wrote Winn out. I like Winn.

I thought Sam should die, too. Although that was mostly so that Alex could adopt her daughter. It's actually interesting that they didn't go that way. I thought they were being obvious about it.

Wow. And my comments were just as all over the place as the episode. :)

Patryk said...

For a moment there during the last fight with Reign it looked like the Legion's ship was destroyed. Crashed after colliding with Supergil and Reign. Confusing.

OF course Lena is making more Harun-El, time to be a supervillian. I wonder what that doppelganger is, Evil Kara?

Nick said...

My initial thought on why Jeremy Jordan was leaving the show was because the show didn't know what to do with him. You might have noticed, he was seriously short changed. I like Winn a lot too (Brainy IT nerd who has self-confidence issues, nope, not reflecting).

But apparently, he wanted to spend more time with his family and do something else. Go figure. https://www.cinemablend.com/television/2438079/supergirls-jeremy-jordan-explains-why-hes-leaving-the-show

As for the tag... they're probably adapting the Red Son storyline from Superman. You can google it if you're curious. It's a pretty good story, so it could bode well for season 4.

TJ said...

After a shaky season of Supergirl, there is one thing that hits me the most - I am getting old! That is because actors I used to follow are now "upgraded" to old parents.

Erica Durance - once a young Lois Lane at Smallville - now Supergirl's mother.
Carl Lumbly - once a kick-ass double agent at Alias - now a (very) old father with dementia!!

That said. I think that this season of Supergirl has been so so. Hoping they will step it up next season, but I will miss Mon-El.