This article contains Supergirl spoilers.
Supergirl season 5 was unfortunately forced to wrap up early thanks to the coronavirus pandemic that’s shut down much of the industry. And we have no idea when the show will be able to come back to finish its story. While Supergirl Season 6 has already been announced, the show isn’t part of the group of Arrowverse shows slated to return in January 2021. This means we could be waiting well into next summer for Supergirl to be back on our screens, and to find out how the story of Season 5 was meant to end.
Luckily, “Immortal Kombat” turned out to be a fairly decent unexpected stopping point for the season. Which is obviously a relief, but also possibly a sign that between this, The Flash, and Batwoman – which also wrapped up their runs with strong episodes that were never meant to serve as finales – these Arrowverse seasons are all simply just too long. But as Supergirl episodes go, this was a pretty good one, something that hasn’t been at all guaranteed in recent weeks.
Thankfully, Supergirl seems to finally realize in this episode that there are just too many competing plot threads on the canvas, several of which are generally incoherent. “Immortal Kombat” begins the largely thankless task of cleaning some of them up, with mixed results. And leaving plenty of unresolved issues to tackle whenever Season 6 does arrive, including a dying Brainy, a plotting Lex Luthor and a new world in which Lena and Kara have forgiven each other enough to team up and take him down.
Leviathan Was Defeated (For the Moment)
Hurray, the good guys defeated Leviathan, finally! Well, sort of. For the moment, at least.
Lena again crafts a super suit that can withstand Kryptonite, after a fun sequence that involves the entire team joining forces to smuggle Kara across town to her lab and J’onn and M’gann shapeshifting into Supergirls themselves to distract their enemies. Leviathan is many things, apparently, but super observant is not one of them.
There are several pointless battle sequences involving what are essentially immortal air and fire benders shooting various kryptonite-enhanced elements at our heroes. But Kara ultimately thwarts their plan not with her physical strength, but her heart. In the midst of Leviathan’s attempt to essentially murder all of humanity during Obsidian Tech’s worldwide virtual Unity Festival Kara responds the same way she always does, with a cheesy, but utterly perfect speech about hope, connection, and the necessary, but worthwhile pain of living. She just uploads herself into a virtual world to simultaneously give it to every player at the same time. Kara remains undefeated in the realm of pep talks, folks.
What makes this moment really work however, is that while Kara’s busy giving her speech in the virtual world, Lena is giving what is essentially the same thing in the real one. After Andrea Rojas is activated by Leviathan, she’s sent to murder Supergirl’s body while her mind is in the virtual world. Lena talks her out of it by appealing to the decades of friendship between them, and telling her she believes in her ability to choose the path of light (a nice bit of symmetry, since it’s what we see Lena herself do repeatedly here as well).
Unfortunately, with Gemma’s revelation that she works for someone more powerful than herself, it’s likely this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Leviathan, even if some of them are now stuck in what is essentially suspended animation.
Brainy Sacrifices Himself to Save the Day
In what I can only assume is a shout out to SYFY’s dearly departed series Krypton, Brainy decides that the only way to defeat the immortals of Leviathan is to not to upload the mortality code to their ship but to channel the worst murderous instincts of his ancestors and bottle the group in what appears to be a drive-through banking air tube. (Yikes? At least the Brainiac on Krypton had style when it came to this family parlor trick.)
Brainy downloads his female self from the Big Brain to help, because without Lex to get him into the ship he’ll have to face its radiation force field on his own – and keep his hand on the ship’s console for ten solid minutes, and likely die in the process.
On paper, Brainy’s decision to sacrifice himself to save the lives of his friends is a compelling hero moment. Unfortunately, it falls a bit flat in actuality, given that he’s spent the entire back half of the season pushing his friends away, and we’ve seen little evidence of how that’s affected him. Plus, I think we all know that Nia is going to find a way to save him, as her repeated dreams of Brainy in trouble will almost certainly allow her to find him in time.
Lex Has Yet Another Evil Plan
Unfortunately, for those of us who assumed that the fall of Leviathan would mean the simultaneous defeat of Lex Luthor, it very much does not. In another tremendously convenient plot twist, it turns out that he’d anticipated Brainy’s betrayal all along and had, in fact, been counting on it. Lex apparently secretly wanted him to bottle the immortals for him because…reasons.
His plan, of course, is to somehow use them to kill Supergirl, because Lex is honestly like Pinky and the Brain levels of consistent on this issue (if Supergirl is determined to keep Lex around next season could he perhaps…do something else? Just a suggestion). Where Lillian and the glowing tube of bottled immortals comes in is anyone’s guess.
Kara Accepted Lena’s Apology
After a season’s worth of strife, Kara and Lena finally began to patch up their friendship in earnest, thanks to the two women deciding to actually talk about the ways they’ve hurt and mistrusted each other. And both have valid points. Lena has every right to be hurt over the things Kara kept from her, and Kara has a similar right to be angry that Lena responded to that hurt by trying to essentially brainwash humanity. But the fact that Supergirl finally allows these two women to talk – without ulterior motives, tricks, or fake-outs – is a massively positive step forward.
Lena finally puts her money where her mouth is as well, stepping up to create Kara’s new suit, talk Andrea off the ledge, and protect Supergirl’s secret identity when given the chance. This, my friends, is growth! While the two women clearly have some work to do on their relationship, and Supergirl needs to figure out what the future for this new phase of their friendship will look like, it’s a hopeful, happy note to end the season on. Also, the prospect of these women teaming up to take down Lex for good? Yes, please.
Alex Got a Super Suit
Taking Kelly’s advice, Alex decides that her new non-DEO based crime fighting self needs an outfit. She doesn’t go so far as to give herself a Guardian-style name, but her vigilante costume is a definite upgrade from poor Jimmy Olsen’s bargain basement look, crafted with the help of the shape shifting Martian tech J’onn gave her earlier this season.
Complete with an Arrow-esque hood and some David Bowie-style blue eyeshadow, Alex looks every inch the hero she’s always been. And the prospect of her getting a full on superhero story to match next season – instead of more dull DEO drama – is all kinds of exciting.