Reign continues to prove why she’s a strong antagonist to pit against Supergirl and her allies, as the women head off into space on a desperate & dangerous mission and the men stay back to provide support.
Everything about Supergirl has centered around hope and bright heroics but also around powerful women being the heroes that the world needs in it’s darkest times. That is on full display this week as Kara turns to powerful women, both heroes and villains past, in order to take on the growing threat of Reign. Putting Kara and Imra (Amy Jackson) together without Mon-El there is good to see because the whole drama love-triangle thing surrounding that trio takes up way too much real estate on the series, and this gives the women time to get to know one another and bond. Livewire (Brit Morgan) brings the sass (love love the Mean Girls reference) to this little team and it’s nice to see that Yael Grobglas’ scenery chewing Psi from earlier in the season has not been forgotten and gets more room to do something other than torture Supergirl with fears. I actually laughed out loud at the way that writer’s worked out how this would be a women-only mission, to find a priestess that was left in the Fort Rozz prison who has info on Reign, by saying the blue star the prison was thrown to is poisonous to Y-chromosome holders, a.k.a men. Taking two villains along on a mission to defeat Reign is a very ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend vibe’ which works to help continue to prove this season how much of a threat Reign actually is. She’s got the heroes and villains alike worried and backed into corners they are not used to.
A nice bit on the mission is that the team is powerful but not suddenly working fine together. Psi either purposefully or accidentally unleashes her power on Saturn Girl, leading to some mistrust and more bickering between her and Livewire. The sudden ticking clock of the prison plummeting into the sun added some drama but was a bit much, as it’s a very cliche thing to do in these types of stories. There was already enough danger to make this mission feel like a challenge without taking that route. I suppose though it offers a way to make sure that the prison doesn’t come back up as a plot point later on or lead to the criminals ever finding a way to get away from it and coming back for Supergirl or anyone else.
Since the priestess has all the info on Reign and her fellow World Killers, it means that the mission pits Team Supergirl against Reign in a situation where the villain is still powered but the heroine is not. If Reign was terrifying when Kara was fully powered, it makes her even more terrifying when the main hero is basically a normal human at this point. That Supergirl still thinks that talking to her foe, not having to throw fists first is an option speaks to the hope that the character embodies. Reign beat her almost to death and has done terrible things but the hero still thinks there is a chance to turn a foe into an ally. Much how she was able to get through to Livewire some in the past.
Psi’s fear attack on Reign continues to prove that the series has a hit on their hands with this villain as she is not one-note. There are various sides to her that are all in battle. So much better than the cackling villain types. Which was also proven by the sacrifice and turn for Livewire. While it could be called cliche, as it happens a lot with comic stuff, it doesn’t negate the impact. Both Livewire & Psi proved in the end that Supergirl’s hope and faith that anyone can be helped and turned back from the darkness is not a mistake. Though it might all be a lot tougher soon, as the second World Killer makes her debut.
Down But Not Out
Despite her sidelining injury in the mid-season return, Alex still finds a way to stay within the plot as she watches over Samantha/Reign’s daughter Ruby. Of course, things don’t go fully as expected once a message from Maggie comes in on her phone. It’s an interesting time for the message since what broke the couple up was their different views on children and Alex is somewhat living out her dream to care for a child through watching over Ruby. Fitting especially since earlier in the season watching Ruby at her school play is what really sold Alex on the idea that she could not agree to never be a mother and thus the breakup with Maggie. One thing that the series has done great this season, as they had to since Maggie’s actress was leaving the show, is they have realistically handled the break-up and its aftermath. There is no just easy getting over it, but it’s not done in the typical overly dramatic way.
Watching Ruby and Alex bond, as they deal with a bully that is bothering Ruby, was a nice subplot. It allows Alex to do something other than sitting around waiting to heal and it allows her to get to be in a mothering role and continue to see that her choice to move away from Maggie was the right one. Not gonna lie, Alex using her badge and position to intimidate a bully and scare her straight to help Ruby was fantastic. It’s honestly the best way to get this girl to see the error of her ways without embarrassing her or going to her level. Alex being there as Samantha realizes that something is wrong, caused by Psi’s attack on her when she was Reign, is also a nice touch. It allowed her to still have a part in the main plot and begins to lay out the puzzle pieces that will eventually lead to the team finding out who their enemy really is.
While his makeup job is still silly looking, the banter between Brainiac and Winn is pretty good. There is something still fun and charming about Brainiac 5 even as he’s being overly condescending about how antiquated the technology and things on 21st century Earth are compared to the future he knows. Having the men playing a supporting role out of the danger put them into a role that these shows usually reserve for the female characters and it was a nice turn of play. Especially since they were having trouble getting along with their own baggage to deal with at the same time as the women had their own issues to deal with. Everybody’s got issues. Seeing Winn come up with the solution and leaving Brainiac flabbergasted was another fun moment.
Overally the episode was really well done, giving every character some bit to do even as they were all separated. The only ones that really were left out were Lena and James, but with their drama romance thing going on that was probably for the best right now. Even with the dire circumstances that Reign represents the series still finds a way to have fun with the supporting cast and their interactions and that is great because it keeps levity in place.
Score: 9 out of 10