This review contains spoilers.
3.11 Fort Rozz
Supergirl headed out to a place poisonous to men while the show made some character adjustments. Livewire vacated the role of ‘mean girl with a heart of gold’ so that Psi could take her place, while it seems Reign is moving away from current baddie so that Purity can take the mantle. It might take an episode or two for the dust to settle on those changes, but things have certainly shifted on Supergirl, even if all the same roles are still being filled.
This episode answered several lingering questions that many viewers have had about Reign: yes, Sam is fighting back but no, she isn’t conscious when Reign is in control. Luckily, now that Sam knows for certain that something is the matter and has told Alex, it’s only a matter of time before Supergirl and the DEO figure out Reign’s identity and start trying to help Sam thwart Reign. As of now, locking up Sam until they figure out how to oust Reign is a much better plan than Supergirl going up against someone who beat her so handily before.
Of course the story is also propelling us further into the mythology of Reign – we met another priestess who knew her, and learned that two of her fellow world-killers are Purity and Pestilence. I hope that the priestess’s murky predictions will come true, though preferably in a very slanted, Wyrd Sisters-esque way. And Purity seems to have been awakened at the tail end of this episode, once again in a traumatic moment of adrenaline. Pestilence can’t be too far behind, although they may space them out so that these world killers last all season.
I’m sorry to see Leslie/Livewire go, and while I’m glad she finally owned up to the goodness inside of her and her friendship with Supergirl, it feels like they could have found more uses for her alive than dead. Her death felt a bit like paint-by-numbers of something that was meant to evoke emotion, but never really landed. It had been so long since we last saw Leslie, we had so few moments of connection between Leslie and Kara, and the ones that were shown this episode felt more like the status quo than anything new or earned. The overall effect was that Leslie’s storyline and death felt like they were going through the motions. Keeping her around and developing her friendship with Supergirl, especially at a time when Kara could use a friend and is questioning her alien nature, would have been fertile ground, from a story perspective.
I’m also sorry to see Fort Rozz gone as a setting, and the various deadly women who were trapped there along with it. I could take or leave the sci-fi versions of the guy from Scream, but the extra from The 100 who battled Supergirl’s squad was a good fighter, and seemed like she had some serious backstory. Curiously, I don’t recall learning her name, but she did make a point of telling us Zatharia’s a couple of times, even though she’s supposedly dead. Huh?
Also puzzling, is the right turn Brainiac-5 took this week into the much less endearing side of intelligence: being a goddamn know-it-all. The characterisation itself isn’t surprising, so much as the juxtaposition with how impressively emotionally intelligent he was when it came to coaxing Kara out of her self-imposed coma. How does someone that empathetically dexterous not only become a complete nincompoop so soon after, but show none of that side up until now? Either way, Winn got to prove his whatever-level intellect – not that anyone other than Brainy and Winn himself needed to be reminded – and save the day with a combination of his usual tech stuff, and being a space history nerd. Yay nerds!
In other Legion of Superheroes news, Mon-El keeps trying to find his way out of his issues with Kara by being nice. One helpful aspect of his time travelling shenanigans is that the writers can reboot any aspects of his personality that the audience hated (and depending on who you ask, there were many) and explain it away with the longer passage for time for him. Suddenly, a guy who we all thought would never mature in a million years… well, did.
Still, it seems all the time in the world hasn’t taught Mon-El that when you are the source of heartache, you can’t be the solution to that heartache… unless of course you change your mind about who you love. I strongly doubt that we’ll see Kara and Mon-El back together anytime soon, and even then, it would have to be after a tragic death or immense betrayal from Imra. The latter seems less likely, given that the values of the show are not aligned with pitting women against each other to fight over a man, or making Imra evil to justify Kara knocking her out of the way. That said, when Psi put the whammy on Imra she most certainly learned something about our friend from the future. Now let’s see how she decides to use that intel.