This Supergirl review contains spoilers.
Supergirl Season 4 Episode 22
Once again we get the Lex Luthor rewind treatment, although at least this time we pretty much knew what he was up to. How many of these updates were truly necessary in a packed finale? The new material was worthwhile, but plenty of it had already been revealed to us. And some of the new material, like watching Lex literally catch a warhead in his hands right before it blasts a whitebread couple or Lex singing along to “My Way” in his Iron Man suit, veered into strange territory, doing its best to piss away whatever gravitas Jon Cryer and the character’s history had built up.
It was incredibly to finally see Supergirl, Alex, James really square off and take on the sons of liberty. Supergirl spent so much of this season waxing philosophic about why she couldn’t simply face this problem head on. After all that, it’s good to just see Lockwood and his flunkies taken down. The fights in the finale were strong overall, and Supergirl’s faceoff with Lex was artfully acrobatic.
It’s a bit odd that Lex’s lie about the child the Americans supposedly killed never cropped up again, but apparently it wasn’t necessary to turn Red Daughter. It was good to see her get a better sendoff, one that allowed her to have some redemption and to see Lex for who he really is.
Supergirl was able to synergize Kara and Supergirl’s successes to simultaneously take down her foes rather seamlessly in this finale, perhaps more so than ever before. Kara optimistically cheering about the power of the Fourth Estate is one of the purest things she’s ever done on this show, up there with the ice cream clip. While some of the political parallels felt heavy handed, it’s nice to see the show make room for both halves of her life to make meaningful strides while maintaining her ethical code.
Brainy’s copy of the alien registry is another plot point that never came to any sort of meaningful fruition. It’s too bad that Brainy’s altered state was so short-lived. It felt rushed, and it would have been interesting to see him the character really pushed on more issues like potentially giving up the alien registry for a tactical advantage, for example, or because he calculated they probably wouldn’t hurt anyone and being willing to risk it. As it is, it seems that Brainy’s only real consequence was the one blast from Dreamer (well deserved) for leaving them to be discovered. Wouldn’t it have been more meaningful for his character’s long-term development to saddle him with more serious consequences to parse through next season? I’m glad to have our warm and fuzzy Brainy back and to hear him tell Nia he loves her, but it’s an easier, less interesting, and less challenging route.
It’s no surprise to hear Supergirl say, “I will not let fear win,” but it’s welcome to hear her declare that, “with my sister by my side, anything is possible.” Later there was a small moment, but I loved when Kara took off her glasses and Alex said, “I really missed that.” I’m hoping that all of this is a signal that the writers know the Danvers sisters are the heart of the show. This season felt like Supergirl had good and even great episodes here and there, but largely lost its way when it comes to season-long and multi-episode arcs. The beginning and the end of the season were the strongest, so here’s hoping this means we’re course-correcting for next season.
While it’s doubtful that Lex is really dead – we all saw the Monitor come and open that portal, right? – is it too much to hope that we’re done with these overt political metaphors? Seeing Lex Luthor toast winning the country from the oval office in Russian while saying the truth and facts are meaningless was a bit much, even for Supergirl.
J’onn J’onzz, alien folk hero is still my favorite mode of his and it was on display again tonight. He and Nia ran into Al and a bunch of other aliens when they were being held captive by Lex’s goons so they could be used as disposable batteries to power a weapon to kill everyone on Argo, including Superman. After that, the rest of alien kind was going to be used to power Lex’s bank account.
That Monitor guy is really starting to get on my nerves. First he takes Oliver Queen (and Felicity, though she seemed to have summoned him) over on Arrow and now he’s bringing J’onn’s brother to exact revenge and potentially rescuing Lex Luthor. For some reason I thought the guy was impartial?
There was a lot of Luthor family drama that went down, but the most important is that Lilian is anti-Hitler (phew – you literally never know with this family) and pro-Lena. She tried to poison Lex and when the time came to rumble, she was down. It was equally as satisfying to watch Lena disarm and knock out Eve Tessmacher as it was to see James and Alex take on the Children of Liberty. But Lena surprised just about everyone later in the game when she shot and killed – er, “killed” – her brother. Of course, he used his dying moments to hit play on a video of Kara as Supergirl that he had queued up just for the occasion.
Eve Tessmacher’s final scene intimates that while Tessmacher was loyal to Lex (my god, wasn’t that kiss vomit-inducing?) she wasn’t just working with him out of adoration. Someone or something called Leviathan has her under its thumb. Lex served their purposes for a while, but his “death” didn’t fulfill her obligation.
Did Supergirl absorb Red Daughter’s power permanently? Will James’ eye ever get better or is he going full Xander? Will Kara ever bother to tell Lena the truth, and when she finally does, will Lena ever forgive her, or any of them? Should she? Who or what is Leviathan? How many Martians are there, since we seem to meet one a season?