Supergirl: Immortal Kombat

Alex and Lena to Kara: “If anyone can do it, it’s you.”

Supergirl to 4 billion people: “I believe in you.”

In a sudden season finale, Supergirl realizes that she must work with Lena to stop Lex and Leviathan; Nia struggles with what her dreams are trying to tell her; Brainy realizes there is only one way to stop Lex.

Somehow the writers managed to bring the season to an end and to wrap up several threads.

I was glad to see the end of the virtual reality arc. I believe it probably has genuine therapeutic uses, but the attempt to explore its ramifications this season was clumsy. It’s an awkward concept. I was glad, too, to see Acrata finally put to decent use.

This episode had two important emotional stories. Brainy cannot accept the death of all his friends, even if they no longer accept him as one of their friends, and so he risks his life to save theirs. His scenes are touching, but I have missed his interactions with others. I’m not sure if he’s actually dead or not; the story seemed to imply that his sacrifice meant his death, but in Supergirl death is rarely final. The plan to shrink the gods and to contain them was clever – by definition, you can’t kill immortals, but this way you can contain them – and I enjoyed Brainy’s interactions with his female counterpart.

The real emotional core is the Kara-Lena thread. Kara keeps trying to evade the heart-to-heart, while Lena, who has missed Kara so very much, is simply happy to be with Kara again, even if Kara is unenthusiastic. Circumstances force them to work together, and Kara accepts this, even protecting Lena when her friends show up to protect her from Lena.

Kara finally lets out her feelings, saying that she didn’t tell Lena her secret identity because that would have placed Lena in danger. This is an argument that I have never bought. Anyone who is a friend of Kara’s is in more danger when they don’t know her secret identity. What is truer is that the more people that know Kara is Supergirl, the more endangered Kara’s friends are, so telling Lena (a Luthor!) would have been dangerous.

However, Kara’s other reproaches to Lena are much better founded, and there was satisfaction in hearing her say them. Lena, after she learned the truth, still pretended to be Kara’s friend – simply in order to manipulate her. Lena stole from Kara. Lena even used kryptonite against her. So Kara was justified when she said: “If you came to me looking for absolution, I can’t give it to you.”

William, who was hinted at earlier in the season as a possible love-interest for Kara, but who I keep forgetting about, has a good scene with Eve. “You’re a good person who looks trapped.” He actually does seem like a nice, solid guy – and it’s fun to see him quoting Kara back to Supergirl. Still, I’m beginning to feel that William’s not a match for Kara. Her emotional connection has been with her sister and with Lena. They show this when both Lena and Alex say, simultaneously: “If anyone can do it, it’s you.”

Those words are important, because, paraphrased, they become, “I believe in you.” Those are the words Supergirl uses when she enters Virtual Reality and convinces the 4 billion users to turn it off. They are also the words Lena uses to Acrata/Andrea – a friendship I had nearly forgotten about, but which became important – and stops her from murdering Kara. Lena, in that moment – able to do that as she is strengthened by Kara’s tolerance of her – earns our respect again. Even Kara is feeling kinder toward her. Of course, we expected that; Kara is just plain kind.

Lex, who wanted Supergirl and friends dead before he got rid of Leviathan, has the Leviathan bottle and is working with the other Luthor: Lillian. This ends the episode and the season, with the potential for almost anything next time we meet.

Title musings. The title of the episode is “Immortal Kombat.” This makes sense, given that our heroes are fighting actual immortals, and apparently spelling combat with a K is kommon, especially when kombined with the word immortal. Perhaps this is because Kara is from Krypton (look! two more Ks!) or just because it’s a thing. However, it didn’t do anything for me.

Bits and pieces

Loved how Kara and Lena take the bus, very plebian transportation for them both.

We get to see Alex’s cool suit that gives her superpowers. The eye makeup is both incredibly cool and well, incredible. When does she have time to put it on?

Another makeup in criticism: in one shot, the female Brainy has on way, way too much lipstick. On the other hand, I liked Brainy being green when he was sick.

I have mentioned this before but it’s worth mentioning again: the female Brainy looks a lot like our Brainy because she is played by the sister (Meaghan Rath) of the actor (Jesse Rath) who plays our Brainy.

The other actors did fine, but their parts weren’t very large. I am disappointed that Nia Nal ignored Brainy in his moment of need. I’m not mad at the actor, of course, but I thought it was weak writing on the part of writers. However, Nia Nal is very young. They should do more to emphasize her youth.

Lena has made Kara a special suit, in which Supergirl is protected from kryptonite. This suit also has a helmet, hiding Melissa Benoist’s face. One reason for this choice has to be Melissa Benoist’s real-life pregnancy. Getting back to a pre-pregnancy shape is hard and downright impossible for some women. This technique will allow them to use a body double.

I didn’t understand why Leviathan wanted to murder four billion humans.

Eve has been released to the good side!

Quotes

Lex Luthor: “I must admit I did not expect you to live in a casino.”

Rama Khan: “Leave the slaughter of Supergirl and her friends to us.”

Gemma: “Today is the last day of the old era. Tomorrow the future begins.” (Note: I included this because it's so dorky, as it is uttered in an ominous manner, and yet is always true. And the Leviathan future is trapped in a bottle.)

Kara: “If you came to me looking for absolution, I can’t give it to you.”

William: “Reporting 101. If you get kidnapped you must be on the right track.”

Our Brainy to female Brainy: “I pushed away everyone I love because you told me I must.”

Lena: “Then I’m coming with you.”

Overall Rating

Some fantastic bits, and some rushed bits. At least they ended some of the threads that weren’t working well – Leviathan and Obsidian – and the Kara/Lena stuff was extremely satisfying. The writers have plenty of time to figure out what happens in the next season, as Supergirl is taking an extra long break because of its star’s pregnancy. Until then, keep your hope alive – I believe in you.

And this week’s rating: three and a half containers of bright blue eyeshadow. If they have any left.

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

1 comment:

Nick said...

Mortal Kombat with a K is the name of a video game franchise. That's probably where they cribbed the title from.