‘Supergirl’ pummeled its way out of a flawed second season
Season Two, Episode Twenty-Two — “Nevertheless, She Persisted”
By Molly Jane Kremer. For a character like Kara Zor-El who often excels in conflict resolution without resorting to violence, it’s odd that the season two finale of Supergirl would be so chock-full of slo-mo fisticuffs.
Unlike last year’s finale, which focused decidedly more on Kara’s personal life, “Nevertheless, She Persisted” put more stock in high-wire action sequences. Despite nearly an hour’s worth of not-so-thrilling battles, the finale felt largely inconsequential.
That anticlimactic feeling might stem from a few things. Kara’s primary sources of woe this season, Teri Hatcher’s Rhea and her avenging Daxamite army (so very reminiscent of all that Myriad crap last year) were introduced a mere six episodes ago. Cadmus had a fleeting shot as the season’s big bad, with Lillian Luthor making Supergirl’s fight with the covert organization far more personal (and engaging). Yet Cadmus ultimately receded from our view.
Lillian did pop in this week, though merely in a “enemy of my enemy is my friend” capacity: she arrived to help the DEO thwart Rhea, and to spur filial affection in her disaffected adopted daughter, Lena. The strings of villainy, however, were being manipulated only by Hatcher, who chewed enough scenery and spewed so much menace towards Kara that she literally bled Kryptonite.
If only the show had invested the same amount of time into Rhea that it did Cadmus…
Kara told Clark, after a quick sparring sesh, “I don’t know if it’s possible to have everything you want.” “Everything” is something often denied the Berlanti-verse heroes (see last week’s Flash for a recent example). It was here that Kara’s famous cousin provided some advice. Superman also, in one of the episodes’ few moments of self-reflection, wondered aloud what he would do if he had to choose Lois Lane over the world.
The season’s sole sacrifice was, surprisingly enough, Mon-El, who’s lead-lined fate was very nearly the same as this wayward mother. Kara, who’s heart ached with ours, tucked Mon into his small spaceship and sent him back to the stars from whence he came.
Despite everyone being proud of her for her maturity, removing Supergirl’s object of affection was yet another melodramatic “twist” that didn’t go very far to deepen anyone’s character, least of all Kara’s. (Partially because we know he’s coming back next season, duh.) Supergirl is single again, primed for *sigh* even more potential love interests down the road.
(If, however, that love interest turns out to be Lena and/or Mon-El returns from that wormhole with the Legion of Super-Heroes in tow, then all might be forgiven.)
At least Supergirl is avoiding the trope of killing off members of its cast. (At least, for now.) If anybody on this ding-dang show is left to simply be happy without some dumbass tragedy getting in the way, please oh please let it be Alex and Maggie.
“Whenever I fight, no matter who it’s against or where it is, I’m always fighting for Lois… The people we love, they’re another secret superpower.” — Superman.
“I am humbled by you.” Clark, to Kara.
“The city has been saved from that fashion-challenged fascist, so why do you look like your world is about to end?” – Cat, to Kara.
BEST MOMENT: Kara and Mon-El got us all verklempt this week when our beloved Daxamite had to bid Supergirl farewell under threat of (really severe) lead poisoning. (Was the Phantom Zone projector broke?) The heartfelt smooches and embraces between this star-crossed couple really hit home.
SEASON’S MVP: Though Cat Grant’s return makes me want to automatically award her all the MVPs, Melissa Benoist finally got to dig into some emotional material this week. Her emotional goodbye with Chris Wood’s Mon-El tugged the heartstrings, and her heart-to-hearts with Supes, Alex, and Cat had the kind of connection and interplay Supergirl has really been missing.
– Silver kryptonite has been used in the comics and on past CW super-shows that shall not be named. It usually causes hallucinations, but this version seems to make one of its symptoms mind control. Why else would Superman see Kara as (an oddly facial hair free) Zod?
– Oh jeez. The slow-motion slugfest, and the faux-operatic score, and the wanton property destruction was giving me uncomfortable flashbacks to Man of Steel.
– Supergirl really liked belaboring the point that Kara is stronger than Clark. (It was stated three separate times, by Superman himself.) Do they need to hinge the measure of her strength (either physical or emotional) on constant comparison to her cousin? Her name might be a derivative of Superman, but he ain’t the star of this show.
– After Kara spars with Clark, he mentions a past visit to Warworld. So this means a Mongul appearance is within the realm of possibility, right…?
– Clark calling J’onn “Brother” in Martian gave me a legit grin though.
– Rhea’s blood was infused with Kryptonite? That’s an interesting development; where’s that been all season?
– I still don’t like seen J’onn and M’gann smooch. SHE’LL JUST ALWAYS BE HIS NIECE TO ME, OKAY.
– When Alex says “Marry me” to Maggie, all I could think of was this page, featuring Maggie Sawyer and another kickass lady crimefighter who rocks the black leather. And it made me happy.
– I’m glad Cat knows that Kara is Supergirl. I mean, not that I want Kara to be like Barry “Hi, nice to meet you, I’m also The Flash!” Allen, but it makes much sense for Cat to have figured it out. Girl knows what’s up.
– That stinger/teaser ending? So, my hopes are on a Kryptonian Vampirebaby, but since that’s probably not gonna happen, it (and they definitely say it’s an “it”) could be one of many Kryptonian-born villains: Doomsday, Eradicator, Jax-Ur, or Black Zero. Or maybe even Brainiac somehow? We’ll find out in September. (Please don’t be Doomsday please don’t be Doomsday…)
7 out of 10
Season Two Score: 7.5 out of 10
Before: “City of Lost Children”, “Resist”, here.