This Supergirl review contains spoilers.
Supergirl Season 3 Episode 15
I think it’s safe to say that Supergirl has recovered from any of the melancholia that plagued the first half of the season.
Some, like the superb episode “Midvale” dealing with Alex’s breakup and the Danvers sisters’ upbringing, were necessary. But at other times, the pall that fell over the show dragged. Even with a heartbreaking storyline like My’rnn’s dementia and Sam realizing she has killed and is a danger to her daughter, the episode has a breeziness to it that still allows the writing to plumb darker depths.
A multitude of light touches like Kara slowing down to make sure she doesn’t ruin her shirt, Winn being excited to say “suit up,” and the photobooth pictures of Kara and the Kaladarian really restore the show’s overall sense of levity. The cold opens, which have focused on the gang having fun with a side of exposition, have also done wonders to restore the joy inherent to the show.
Mon-El and Kara’s training session – and her solo sessions – provide some of the best fighting we’ve seen on the show in a long time. Like so much else in this episode, it has an incandescent energy – it’s impossible not to smile watching them roll out new tricks throughout their delicately choreographed training sequences, which read more like dance or fencing than anything we’ve seen on Supergirl before. And even those who vehemently hate the idea of Karamel can’t deny that it’s pretty awesome that Mon-El actually learned these tricks from Kara, by way of his 31st century scientists studying her “smart cloth” Kryptonian meta-material cape.
One of the best moves Supergirl has made with the return of Mon-El has been the way that he so clearly respects her as a person, both in our time and the 31st century. It’s a great reason for him to have become a much better person, and it makes his screen time far more enjoyable this time around. This feeds into his overall maturation, as well as a wise decision not to pursue a love triangle between them and Imra. Hopefully however that relationship is resolved, it doesn’t directly involve Kara.
That said, it was still satisfying as hell to see Kara call him onto the carpet for every crap thing he ever did to her. It proved that the writers really listened and understood the fundamental character problems with the way Mon-El changed the show last season, rather than diminishing them as merely the complaints of angry ‘shippers. I only wish Kara hadn’t needed a psychic whammy to say it all. I get why it wasn’t written that way – Kara would rather burden herself and aim her pain inwards than hold someone she cares about accountable. But my god, it sure is satisfying to hear her list the many ways he hurt her, especially when she somehow wound up apologizing. If only the writers could have resisted the urge to have her apologize again at the end.
I’ve enjoyed the strengthening of Lena and Sam’s relationship and I’m glad James found his way in their too, but this arc feels too cut off from the rest of the story. Hopefully James’s mention of his other world-saving friends will remind Lena that she happens to be friends with Supergirl, who could maybe help with all of this. Ruby is a strong motivator for Sam, but this arc is full of isolation, making it feel less immediate.
The continuation of M’yrnn J’onzz’s memory loss was handled beautifully. This marriage of the science fiction of Martian psychic abilities and the very grounded reality of aging and dementia is Supergirl at its best. The loss of independence and dignity that M’yrnn experiences is something any human elder can relate to, and many adults have been at a loss to help their aging parents without disrespecting them, just as J’onn is here. I’m curious to see where the story will go with father and son trying to rescue the elder J’onzz’s memories, but one thing’s for certain: if anything happens to M’yrnn I will lose my noodles. I hadn’t realized how much affection the show had built in me for the old man until I thought he might sacrifice himself to save his son from the white Martian. Luckily that’s not where this episode, but I fear it might still happen before the season’s up.
A few stray bits of excellent: the shot moving through several floors full of fights in the DEO was excellent. Alex reminded me of Bobbie/Mockingjay fighting with those two sticks. Did Mon-El catch a surface-to-air missile in his cape? I guess Supergirl still has plenty of tricks up their sleeve. Finally, I really hope we meet Pam from HR again and get to hear what she was pissed at Winn about.
Next week it looks like it’s time to investigate that river of blood in the arctic and perhaps confronting the fact that Imra and Brainy lied to everyone, including Mon-El and Kara.