The Arrowverse – Supergirl 3×09 “Reign” review

After defeating Nazi’s on Earth 1 and saving her own heart from being taken to heal her Nazi doppelganger, Supergirl has returned home just in time for the holidays but also to deal with her returned ex-boyfriend who is now married and to fight the new Kryptonian Wolrd Killer villain Reign. So not a lot on their plate at all. Supergirl has been a bit slow & sometimes uneven with its storylines this season. In the case of the villain Reign though, that has worked out well from the slow build. Many times in these stories with heroes & villains, the villain just shows up and wrecks things and then the hero has to learn afterwards about what their connection to the villain is, what they did wrong or how things went wrong. Not this time.

A great move on the part of the writers was that they didn’t introduce the actual villain phase of Reign till the third to last episode, the one right before the crossover, and then saved her full villain outting for the mid-season finale. This allowed for Samatha (Odette Annabelle) to grow as a character, to be the strong single mother that helped run L-Corp for Lena and became a friend to Lena and Kara. That gives her a personal connection to Kara and makes her full turn into a villain that rivals Kara in all aspects of power so much more compelling. It’s just a shame that the main battle between the hero and villain, while really well done and brutal, was relegated to the very end beats of the episode. Seeing them throw down more and actually go head to head would have been better. Especially since some other parts of the episode were really weak and dragged things down.

The holiday party at Kara’s was one of the best moments of the episode because it showed Kara and her friends at their best. From Winn and J’onn geeking out about Star Wars films to Carl Lumbly’s M’yrnn discovering the joys of cocoa to just the sisters hanging out and discussing their recent losses. It even gave a great moment to really hit home just how close that Kara and Samantha have become in the last few months, making it even more bittersweet when they have to actually fight one another. It was after this that the moments between some characters just started to slow down.

 

All of the stuff to do with Kara/Mon-El/Imra were just eye-rollingingly boring especially when they began to feel more and more out of place with what else was going on. Reign had murdered people and the team needed to deal with that but of course there was time to stop for Kara and Mon-El to hash out their issues. Because of course they do. Honestly Kara’s issues with Mon-El were understandable at first with her loss but they began to really drag out the longer it was an issue this season and his return and marriage have just made it all worse. Hopefully it’s something that isn’t harped on as much in the second half of the season.

While the chemistry seems to be there, Lena and James mission to go after Morgan Edge just felt way out of place too. This season the show has tried to make Edge a compelling side villain but it’s just not working. In the first episode of the season he was a silly plot villain but then a few episodes later he proved to be more than that with his evil plot that made children sick to try and destroy Lena. Now he’s just back to a nuisance mostly as he’s still out to get Lena. There really wasn’t a reason for James and Lena’s investigating to be tied to Edge, though it did lead to Reign trying to kill Edge which led to the Kryptonian showdown so that was something. When the show returns they really need to either ditch Edge or find something compelling to do with him. Right now he’s just a bit of a waste side villain. I almost would have been fine with Reign ending him.

One good thing that came from the Mon-El & Imra situation was that they setup for the entrance of the Legion of Super-Heroes next year. The exposition heavy scene laid out who the Legion was and how Mon-El and Imra came to this time, though I still don’t get why they havne’t woken up their friends on the ship to get their help with fixing thins too instead of just asking the people that are a thougsand years behind them tech wise. Twisting the usual Superman inspiring the Legion angle to have it be Kara that inspired them, through Mon-El, was a nice one. It allows Supergirl to have a tie to the future and spreads her legacy out instead of everything just being about Superman as it has been in comics based upon the time that he’s been around.

While Supergirl takes place on it’s own world, it was a bit odd that there wasn’t a single reference to the big Crisis on Earth X crossover last week. Honestly it felt like this episode was just supposed to happen right after the one before the crossover. Perhaps that was to make it so that fans that chose not to watch the event didnt’ have to feel like they missed anything, but the Danver sisters had some great moments in that event. Just a mention would have been nice.

Final Thoughts:

Character work has been a strong point of this season and that continues with all the things around Reign, but takes a hit when it comes to the love triangles and blossoming romances that just dragged things down. More Kryptonians fighting one another and less love triangle in the show’s reutrn next year would be really desired. Also more moments like the party where the group gets to hang and talk would be nice. At times James, J’onn and Winn have felt like they have just been in the background, as the Kara/Mon-El & Alex/Maggie relationship issues have taken the forefront. Kara’s work at Cat-Co has also taken a huge backseat which is a shame as seeing her balance life and Supergirl more is nice. It really does feel like she never really did take back being Kara Danvers after casting her human guise aside in the first episode. Here’s hoping the return of season three next year picks up some of the dropped threads in better ways.

Score: 8.5 out of 10

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