Supergirl: 3.17 Trinity
I have to say this is a bit of a messy episode as we head towards the back of the season, incorporating a couple of very disappointing plot conclusions.
The team are now hot on the heels of the Worldkillers, they’re also pretty angry at Lena for secretly working with Sam to try and fix her. This comes with some odd undertones; the DEO is a clandestine organisation (Lena says as much in her defense of her actions) and Lena runs a private company, she’s not obliged to tell them what she’s doing and she wasn't breaking any laws.
Of course, everyone is taking things very personally but things have become so fuzzy in the distinction between Kara and Supergirl that there is a missed opportunity for interesting drama (the train put on Lena and Kara's relationship when Lena and SG's relationship is tested) but all we get is a feeling that Lena has broken Supergirl’s trust while Supergirl is reacting as if she’s broken Kara’s trust. Supergirl and Kara have always been basically the same on this show, with the latter persona being a little less confident and more scatty but this season there hasn’t been any real definition of seperate characters.
So, with the Worldkillers off grid and after discovering that Sam travels to a pocket dimension when she becomes Reign, its decided that Supergirl, Alex and Lena should enter the same pocket dimension and try to find Sam and get her to send them a signal so the team can find her. I like the fact its very easy for Braniac to send the three of them into the mind dimension, even it’s a sci-fi cliché. In the pocket dimension, Sam has found and teamed up with Julia.
I’m still finding Julia’s story more compelling than Sam’s. I’m not sure if it’s the fact perhaps that we’ve seen less of Julia so there is a certain tragedy of a complete innocent being involved with this. Her near madness at knowing she (her Worldkiller persona at least) murdered people is interesting and sad and I find I have more empathy for her than I do Sam. The problem with Sam is that she’s been thrust upon us and we’ve been told to care about her and I can’t help resisting that less organic character development slightly.
Eventually they find Sam and Julia (the third Worldkiller alter-ego died on arrival) and help Sam regain control of Reign so she can sgnal the DEO where she is. Then Supergirl and the team leave the pocket dimension and go to get the Worldkillers for a showdown.
The worst part of this week is, of course, Jaaaames but not simply because of Jimbo. Supergirl’s main beef with Lena is that she had some Kryptonite and didn’t tell anyone, so she asks James to become Guardian and sneak into L-Corp and see if she has anymore. James isn’t happy but agrees. This is a horrible thing for Kara to make her friend do when he is in a relationship with Lena, especially as he’s not the best choice for the job. She could have asked any number of people on the team who could and would have secretly snuck in, had a look and reported back – yet she asked Jimmy.
This seemed almost cruel and unfortunately felt like the show generating drama for drama’s sake, especially with James then feeling guilty and confessing to Lena what he’d done. Jaaaames is awful this week too, obviously, and it made my skin crawl when Lena apologised to him for how she’d been behaving the past couple of weeks. They need to sort this dynamic out soon or it’s going to become toxic.
There were fun moments this week, Braniac is still a very shallow characterisation but some of his one liners are getting better and Lena almost called the DEO out on its hypocrisy. Alex getting a new suit was a fun concept, especially her excitement, though its still a pretty boring black, body amour cat-suit thing, which at least makes sense for Alex I guess.
The over all episode is a mess though, the Worldkiller stuff is over laboured and the Lena/James relationship elements are cringey. While the episode makes some valiant attempts at exploring themes of identity, it does rather shift characters around to fit the plot rather than follow through on some established paths, which this show is doing more and more these days. Worst of all for me is the very off hand way the other two Worldkillers kill each other in the final battle (Julia finally getting control and finding redemption). This was a sloppy and emotionally empty way of dealing with two plot strands at once. The future is saved, we don’t have to worry about Julia anymore and we set a precedent for bringing Sam back safely – so neat it’s lazy a mess.
I’ve been close to dropping Supergirl this season. As a show it feels as though it’s shifted too dramatically from what made it infectiously joyful in its first and second season, with no sign of reprieve. If the characters and program are going to swing back to that fun and optimistic early incarnation, I really can’t see where they’re taking us and how we’ll achieve this. There is no identifiable light at the end of this tunnel.