She will Reign … did you catch all that? Did they repeat it enough?
Supergirl’s midseason finale “Reign” finally had Reign appear. The cat’s out of the bag, the toothpaste squeezed from the tube, the horse is out of the barn, am I getting redundant? Well not as redundant as the writers were with saying and using the word Reign every other scene. We get it, her name is Reign and she is going to Reign. You’re very clever (not).
So very early on we got full confirmation about the Legion of Superheroes existing in the future. I’m sure they will come in very handy here soon. Kara and Mon-El went back to the old mopey drama dynamic from last season. It really bummed me out to see Kara be such a jerk. Just because she acknowledges that she shouldn’t be mad doesn’t make it okay that she is really being incredibly rude about the whole thing. Imra is a fantastic addition so far and I was very happy that they aren’t trying to put her and Kara in any kind of competitive spat over a man.
We got some great character moments at Kara’s holiday party. Winn with the Manhunter men? Really great stuff. Talk of cocoa, Hall and Oates, Life day, as well as The Empire Strikes Back’s place as the best sequel of all time was all fun and a different look at J’onn. The guy has been on Earth for a really long time, it’s overdue for us to see a side of him that isn’t all military and responsibility. In fact I would love a standalone episode in the back half of the season with just J’onn, his father, and maybe Winn along for relief. Have them teach J’onn’s dad about Earth culture and go around the city having different funny little interactions.
Even Jimmy became tolerable! They paired him up with Lena Luthor and it mostly works. She still seems a bit stiff but there is a little chemistry there and it gives Jimmy something to do other than just be in the background. Though the make out scene started feeling a little excessive.
I noticed the camera work felt a bit more cinematic than usual this week. The first scene it struck me was in a scene from Jimmy’s office at Catco. There is a long take where the camera circles the room following Jimmy during a meeting. It was the first time that office set has felt real. I feel like I saw a wall in that room that we’ve never seen before. It always was shot so static before I was actually thrown off for a second.
Aside from the forced Reign usage, this episode tied a lot of threads together quite nicely. Chad Lowe’s obsessed zealot character returned to give Kara exposition and tease that there are more Fort Roz aliens floating around out there. Morgan Edge is suspected of causing the burned symbols and turns it to his advantage to attack Lena again. His having a lead lined panic room was a nice touch too.
Then we got to the main event(s). Those fight scenes were pretty bad ass. While a couple moments in them had some odd / questionable angles and edits, for the most part the action was a gritty, dirty kind of fighting we haven’t seen before on this show.
Some nice POV moments were used sparingly and the effects were very solid. Having a big section of the main fight set to Christmas music worked fantastic and I just loved these fights … with two very real gripes.
Reign’s costume looks ridiculous! The silly mask, the suit seems to be made cheaper than Kara’s, I saw it bunching and folding in certain moments. Now take the comic version of Reign, go ahead Google it, I’ll wait ….
See her? Still kind of silly but much more intimidating. Black leather and armor, no mask but white skin and black eyes. They cheaped out and it shows. My other big complaint? Kara doesn’t xray her mask and see who Reign really is?! Or just recognize her BFF right away? Yea I get it, she wears glasses and it fools everyone, but come on!
See her? Still kind of silly but much more intimidating. Black leather and armor, no mask but white skin and black eyes. They cheaped out and it shows. My other big complaint? Kara doesn’t x-ray her mask and see who Reign really is?! Or just recognize her BFF right away? Yeah I get it, she wears glasses and it fools everyone, but come on!
Accepting those flaws, the final fight was awesome. Kara is beaten, bleeding battered and damn near broken. With a coup de grace being a drop off a skyscraper. You really felt Kara was actually hurt. Leaving us with the obligatory winter break cliffhanger. Kara in a coma, and Samantha’s daughter calling out to her mom and cutting on the turn. Is Sam Reign for good now? Will she revert back to her normal self and be a Jekyll / Hyde character? Tune in next month to find out.
One interesting tidbit from the preview shown was a shot of Legion rings … more accurately three rings. Does this mean Mon-El will wake another member of his team on the ship? Perhaps the Legion will protect the city while Kara heals.
We have a month to soak in everything that’s happened so far and here at the midway point I have to say Supergirl hasn’t stunk once yet this year! Instead of the usual downward turn to idiotic storytelling, this season has been smart, fun, action-packed, and engaging throughout. While not without some minor stumbles, that’s always to be expected on television. Supergirl has had a hell of a first half this season and I can’t wait for the second half to come!
Supergirl returns with new episodes Monday, January 15 at 8:00 PM on The CW.
What did you think of the fall finale? Tell us in the comments below.