Reviews TV

Arrowverse – Supergirl 3×21 “Not Kansas” Review

The battle against Reign takes a new turn as Supergirl's old home isn't as welcoming as she might have expected.

Supergirl 3x21

The problem with utopia or perfect looking worlds is that it’s always an illusion, there is something dark beneath the surface that always proves things aren’t perfect. Argo City is the place that proves that this week as Kara makes the decision to head home now that she knows her mother and others are alive. A very quick battle with Reign is seemingly ended by the curing of Samantha/excising of Reign, and everyone seems to get their happy ending. Sam is cured, Ruby gets her mom back, Kara has a non-Earth home she can go back to and the world is safe. Turns out things aren’t so happy though as Alex realizes what she is losing with Kara going and Ruby back with Samantha, J’onn’s father is ready to pass on all his memories to his son before his death, someone is using DEO style weapons on the streets and something foul is brewing on Argo.

One thing that the series has managed to juggle well this season is the ability to keep the overall narrative going while easily dipping into side stories that might not be connected but are very relevant and useful for character development. Kara and her return home was at the forefront of the episode but it was not the story with the most weight to it this week. That goes to the DEO story as the writers kept the show very relevant and topical to the gun & shooting epidemic that has plagued the United States in reality. Much like with Black Lightning, this episode did not shy away from calling out gun manufacturers for just trying to make a buck by putting out high capacity destructive automatic weapons with the claim that they are for hunting.

Honestly, the resolution of J’onn realizing that the DEO perpetuating the gun culture even as a supposed means to save people is a bad move is a great one especially since he talks about them starting to develop and use non-lethal weaponry in their battle to protect the world. When they have minds like Winn and Alex and Lena Luthor among others on hand, there is no reason they should be stuck using such destructive tools. Supergirl is not a show that will suddenly change the gun culture fully in this nation, but every step that we take is a helpful one. The series decided that they will no longer play their part in seemingly glorifying or propping up guns and gun manufacturers and the rest by featuring the destructive weapons so fully on their show. I applaud them for this. Every little step counts.

Supergirl 3x21 B

After feeling a bit forced at the beginning, the Lena and James relationship has become actually the strongest of the romantic relationships this season after the sad loss of Alex and Maggie earlier in the season. That’s why it is very odd that the writers chose to throw in a moment showing that they are both on the opposite sides about gun issues. It was brushed away with them just changing the topic to pizza and likely won’t affect anything going forward, but it just felt odd. Like it was shoehorned in for no real reason other than to sort of cause some momentary drama. Hopefully it is not some precursor to romantic issues, as there is enough of that type of drama when it comes to Supergirl having a will they/won’t they with a married man whose wife is back in the future.

It is always a bit silly to me that communities or societies in fiction that experienced loss or the horrors of secrets and society gone wrong only to build a better world after, are so closed off to the idea that something isn’t right under their shiny dome of perfection. Secrets and poor attitudes about facing perceived threats is what doomed Krypton in the first place, so to see Argo City residents (tons of them having been around at the time of Krypton’s loss) so blase about the idea that Kara’s instincts about someone out to kill her were wrong. Of course, we the viewers already knew that Selene the council member was the leader of the cult group behind the World Killers, but of course the Argo folks played off what Kara said till the last moments of the episode when it no longer mattered.

Selene’s cult stealing the ship to go to Earth, where they now also will be super powered, along with the return of cult leader Coville shows just how well the writers have seeded things and are bringing back all the threads this season. Even the episodes that seemed like momentary one-offs played a part in things and it all looks to be building to quite a final two episodes with angry cult Kryptonians on the planet trying to bring back the uber powerful Reign and control or destroy the world.

Final Thoughts

There is no such thing as happy endings when it comes to superhero dramas, and this episode hits that home quite well as Kara’s homecoming isn’t what was expected. The temporary beating of the season villain before the finale most times feels cliche but it feels not only earned here but definitely helps up the stakes now that Selena & company are on Earth. I’m a bit tired of the Kara/Mon-El Ross & Rachel thing that is dragging on and on and on and I hope that come season’s end it’s done for good one way or the other. Tackling the gun issue, in a small way of their own, was a brilliant move on the show’s part to do their own part in helping not glorify guns. Taking on these real world issues proves that The CW superhero shows are not just all villain fighting and romantic drama.

Score: 9 out of 10

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