Supergirl returns to Fort Rozz

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Supergirl went all in on girl power this week. Hardly a man was to be seen and the ladies brought their A game. This episode, “Fort Rozz”, was a perfect example of a good episode coming out of a weak and contrived set up. The main driving force was the team trying to gain intel on Reign and figuring out that the Kryptonian priestess they need to talk to just happens to be on Fort Rozz. If that coincidence wasn’t enough, the woman in question is Jindah Kol Rozz, the person for whom the fort is named! That’s incredible! But wait there’s more! After Kara flung the fort into space it came to rest in orbit around a blue sun. Not only does this sap Kara’s powers but it is also poisonous to men, making this week’s girls only outing make perfect sense.

So basically they bent over backwards and into a pretzel to make the setup happen, and like I said, the execution afterwards was some good stuff, but let me first focus on two huge details that bothered me. One being that Kara going on this mission makes no sense. Knowing outright that she will be powerless makes her a huge liability. Or if she is going to go on the mission powerless, outfit her with some body armor and weapons. Oh and how about bringing some female DEO agents too? Alex may be out of commission but we’ve seen other women at the DEO and they are definitely more capable in the field as trained agents than Kara is as a powerless Kryptonian.

The other big thing that gets ignored is the male prisoners. One is shown dead from the blue sun, but that’s it. Now I don’t expect a CW show to show us piles of dead prisoners but surely there should have been a couple lying around, but that’s still not my main gripe. Kara never addresses the fact that her actions caused the painful and likely very slow deaths of countless men that were aboard Fort Rozz. Considering her stance on killing you would think it would be a great opportunity to have her deal with an accidental mass murder. Nope not a word is said.

So the actual focus is on Kara and her dream team. Consisting of Kara, Saturn Girl, Livewire and Psi, it was a dysfunctional but thoroughly interesting combination. Well except Saturn Girl, she’s still just pretty. In fact her beauty is used as a joke here, pretty well played I must say. It is just a shame that her character has left such a small impression over so many episodes. The villainous duo of Livewire and Psi on the other hand had personality and not exactly depth but more than two dimensions.

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By the way, was that intro scene for Livewire a little nod to a classic sitcom? Hiding under the name Roseanne and being a rude waitress in a cheesy diner where the uniforms are pink? A little wink and nod to Roseanne, the soon to be rebooted series? Felt like it to me. Nice deep cut but I’m sure most of the CW audience had no clue. Between that and Livewire’s dig at Reign being a GLOW reject, we got our dose of pop culture up front.

Psi on the other hand wins the “do a lot with very little” award. The actress who plays her has a very commanding presence, whether with her strut or a wink, the scenes she was in she had very little to actually do but I felt like she was always a focal point. I could have done without her pointless and brief betrayal, which I still can’t tell what the actual point of it was. But by the end Psi did serve a large purpose, briefly exposing her humanity to Kara, and from how Samantha acts it seems like the personalities might be starting to fracture.

The Fort Rozz sets struck me as incredibly cheap looking. Some scenes are literally just backlit fans and grey walls with a fog machine. Luckily the strength of the performances distracted from it but sets were the start of several odd choices. Like that rhyme Psi starts into as Reign arrives … What was that?! Like it was weird and unexplained and then over. Also when Livewire gets attacked on the way to the Priestess there is a bizarre edit where she and the attackers are suddenly in space. I literally rewatched this part five times and I still don’t know what happened. Livewire seems freaked out so it doesn’t appear she teleported them and the freaky hooded things get thrown into the sun so they definitely didn’t do it. It almost seemed like a whole shot was omitted from the edit. Just very off-putting.

Also the whole solar flare drama stuff was superfluous. We have inmates and Reign, we don’t also need the ship falling into the sun. The one good thing that came of it was some very fun Winn / Brainy stuff. Brainiac sure came off like a real ass and Winn got to save the day. So it gets a pass for those reasons.

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My biggest surprise was when Livewire took a blast meant for Kara and died as a result. The death was played small, very small. No big final speech or raging Kara afterwards. Livewire slumps over and Kara is hurt but in very grounded reserved ways. I found myself far more saddened by this villain who we barely knew than I should have been. Great job in the staging and acting of that moment, it played out beautifully.

For the most part this whole storyline worked fairly well. The actual mission was uninteresting but the actresses were the real focus here and they showed up to play. The Reign not needing sun thing has me a bit perplexed but I suppose we’ll get more answers later, and now at least the team knows there are more Kryptonians out there.

The B plot was brief and cute. Alex taking care of Samantha’s daughter Ruby had some very cute moments. It was also nice to see Ruby both look up to Alex for her strength and then showing Alex’s emotional weakness with the Maggie stuff. Having Alex pay Ruby back for her help by scaring the living crap out of her bully was a very cute moment as well. Again and again I say this show succeeds in the smaller moments rather than the big action pieces.

“Fort Rozz” was far from my favorite episode of Supergirl but it was still a solid outing. Some great performances and a surprisingly touching death helped make this a highly entertaining episode. I also hope this might mean more Psi in our future. I could still do without most of the Reign stuff but at least on the way we’re getting some fun in too!

What did you think of this episode? Tell us in the comments below.

 

 

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