Robert Turnbull reviews the latest episode of Supergirl season three.
This weeks Supergirl touches on some interesting flaws that have been forming with the central character but disappointingly, it really only just scratches the surface.
After the rather unceremonious killing of the other two Worldkillers last week, the Legion decides its time they head back to the future (complete with genuinely funny little exchange about how fun it is for time travelers to say back to the future). Despite the fact Reign is still at large and they do kind of owe Supergirl one for her help, they decide they need to go ASAP instead of assisting in the fight with Reign. This is explained away because the future is now in flux and Imra has to get home to make sure galactic peace is still in place but does feel a little clunky in the writing, especially when Mon-El, later in the episode, decides to stay around for a bit.
So with Reign on the loose, Lena – who is still having trust issues with Supergirl – has hidden Ruby away where no one will find her. Alex convinces Lena to tell her where she is so she can go and look after Ruby because of, you know, their amazing connection. I’ve never been much of a fan of Ruby but I’ve put it mostly down to the writing; my personal feeling that Sam and Ruby have been forced in the narrative to try and create an affection too quickly coupled with the fact she can be quite sulky has been my main sticking point but this week Ruby is at her absolute worst across the board and I have to say Emma Tremblay’s acting is pretty bad in this episode.
There is a lot that frustrated me this week. Most of my story issues this season have been to do with The Superman Problem, if Reign is such a threat to all humanity call on Kal-El, call Barry Allen, the Legends of Tomorrow anyone – ask the Legion to stay, anyone to help out. Supergirl has proven again and again she can’t quite handle Reign by herself. This is the biggest problem with shared universe shows and Supergirl suffers more than the other Berlanti shows, especially since they don’t even offer us a throw away line to explain why they don’t get help. Also, this week showed how much the series misses Cat Grant; Kara/Supergirl has lost her moral compass. I feel like this episode starts to address that slightly but you really feel that Supergirl has become unbearably self-righteous with no one to keep her in check.
I did really like Lena confronting Supergirl this week. After Jaaaaames convinces her that Supergirl will actually be really grateful that Lena has made Kryptonite (seriously James, do you know Kara at all?) Lena takes it to Supergirl at the DEO, where Supergirl looses her rag and calls Lena out about making Kryptonite, it being the only thing that can kill her. Lena fires back pointing out there are millions of things that can kill humans everyday and gives a little list of things that aren’t banned (the list doesn’t include guns though, America?).
This is an angle I’d really like to see explored further, Lena accusing Supergirl of having a God complex was needed but I’m not sure whose side the show wants us to take? This exchange did lead to a moment between Kara and Lena in a lift where Lena tells Kara that Supergirl isn’t as great as she makes out and is a self-righteous hypocrite. This was a long overdue scene and I would have liked to see much more Lena-Kara-Supergirl opinion triangle this past few weeks; this would have been a good way for Kara to learn and develop without Cat around.
The continuation of J’onn and M’yrnn’s storyline is still a little trite and obvious but it allows both actors to flex their muscles and the scenes are far more engaging than they have any right to be.
There are some nice touches this week, Lex’s invisible mansion, M’yrnn mentioning the Eradicator during a hazy moment are fun and Braniac’s goodbye to Winn just started to touch on what I feel they were going for with Braniac. The constant catching, escaping of Reign is a bit frustrating and this being far from the last episode, I’m sure she’ll escape again. I did not need to see the episode start with Jimmy and Lena waking up in the morning. There were hints this week that the show is aware of the flaws in its key characters and is exploring them yet they still seem to have a blind spot with Jaaaames whose behavior goes unchallenged?
The overriding feeling this season is that Supergirl herself, Kara, hasn’t had much of a stoyline. Alex has had the Maggie and Ruby stuff, Lena and Jimmy have had their thing (shudder) plus Lena’s expansion of living in Lex’s shadow; even J’onn has had his father issues plotline but Kara hasn’t had much going on. She’s been oddly passive this season and that’s affected how I watch the show.
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