Previously on Supergirl, we had a really great crossover episode and maybe we should have just called that the mid-season finale because the episode that they did choose for their mid-season finale just didn’t compare. But in its defense, nothing would have.
That said, there was some gems in this episode, so let’s get to it.
We open this week with Sam waking up from a nightmare and Ruby rushing in, worried. Sam doesn’t remember going on her trip yesterday, which means she doesn’t remember her…awakening. She tries to shake off the icky feelings she’s feeling and tells Ruby it’s pancake o’clock because this show really wants me to love Sam and by golly it’s working.
At the DEO, Imra Ardeen and her husband are talking about the 31st century and how three things are constant: communication, entertainment, and conflict. Alex asks if they’re some kind of soldiers, and Imra says they’re peacekeepers, called The Legion.
Imra then goes on a full five-minute ode to Supergirl, telling Kara that she’s her hero, that she is the example they aspire to, she gives Imra’s own personal life purpose. She loves Kara so very much.
And maybe that explains why Imra married who she married; it was one way to get closer to Kara, by being with someone she was with. Kara smiles in that way that doesn’t reach her eyes and invites them to her holiday party, but they say they have to work on their ship.
The party itself is delightful. I would have stayed there the whole episode. Alex made eggnog, the boys are nerding out about Star Wars, Lena Luthor is wrapped in glitter and drinking scotch.
Alex and Kara check in on each other, because this is a rough holiday for both of them this year. Kara tries to put on a brave face, and Alex admits it’s not the best Christmas ever, but they have each other and they’re not wallowing and at least they can grow old and be single crones together.
Sam and Ruby bustle in late, Alex takes Ruby off of a very frantic Sam’s hands and tells her tales about what it’s like to work with Supergirl.
Lena asks Sam if she’s okay but Sam says she’s just busy is all.
And then Sam tries to remind me that she’s part evil by telling Lena to pull James under the mistletoe. Then Kara slides in and says she’s been noticing chemistry “for weeks” and I’m like ET TU because what the heck! You can’t just say things you’ve never shown me and have me accept them as truth. Lena RIGHTFULLY points out that she’s his boss and I point out that they’ve barely had any interaction at all that constitutes this chemistry but no one listens.
Lena does threaten to kill them both so that was pretty cute. But then turns it around and says she wouldn’t want to kill her favorite gal pals, and the three of them go around and talk about how they’re the three best friends that anyone could have and it’s pretty nice. And it’s too bad they didn’t skip the James stuff and go right to the best friend stuff because I liked that part much better.
And I do love that Kara has these two women as friends. She says in her spiel that she’s been lucky and she’s always had her sister, but there’s something special about friends you make as an adult. Also, what’s special about Kara’s relationship with Lena and Sam is that they love Kara Danvers. They don’t know she’s Supergirl. And even though surely Winn and James would still be her friend even if they didn’t know, and surely it’s nice to have some friends who know her whole self, these are friends she made on her own as Kara Danvers, kinda reporter. And they’re all hers.
But, speaking of that secret identity, J’onn pulls her aside and says she has some Super duties to attend to.
Supergirl shows up to a crime scene and Agent Vasquez is there to show her the aftermath of an arson.
Supergirl flies up to find someone burned a symbol into the ground, and it’s shaped like her House of El sigil, but it’s got a scary skull-thing inside.
Kara brings the symbol to the hologram of her mother and she says it might be from the native Kryptonians, before known recorded history, and she’s not sure a translation exists.
But someone knows something, because more and more of these symbols keep popping up. So James sends his surprisingly large team of reporters out to find out what they can on the matter. Lena comes in to talk to James and probably said a line upon entering the room but her shirt broke my brain for a minute.
Lena tells James that she thinks Edge is behind the recent ruckus in the city, and she’s going to go confront him. James, always itching to be part of the action, says he’s going with her whether she likes it or not. When they confront him, Edge insists that his attack would be much more clear, much more personal. Comforting, truly.
Kara and Winn go to the gaylien bar to see if anyone there somehow knows more than her momogram but instead of answers they find Imra and her husband. She’s all excited about all-you-can-eat ribs and doesn’t get why that makes Kara look extremely sad. Winn takes Imra to the bar to show her what beer is like and Kara tries to have a conversation with her ex that doesn’t make her feel like her insides are being torn apart by a trillion shards of kryptonite. He says, “This must be hard for you,” in a way that makes me want to knock his teeth out, and Kara thanks Rao when she gets a call that gives her an excuse to leave the bar to go to the prison.
When she gets there, Byron the Cult Leader is ranting about the Worldkiller, saying there’s so much Kara doesn’t know.
When he was studying Krypton and its artifacts, he met an old Kryptonian priestess. Which means we can officially stop calling Kara and Clark the last anythings of Krypton, since we never seem to be in short supply. Anyway, the priestess offered up a prophecy. First there would be the mark of the beast, then the work of the beast in the form of many deaths, then the reign of the beast. He calls her a Worldkiller, which Kara senses might not exactly be Mrs. Claus on her way to spread some Christmas cheer.
At L-Corp, Sam is watching the news talk about some gang activity and gets A Look but before the darkness takes hold, Ruby pops in, ready for Christmas Eve dinner. Sam says she has to work, and Ruby starts to throw a tantrum, but then Sam wraps Ruby in her arms and reminds them of their best Christmas ever, when they were on the road and had snowball fights in a diner parking lot and made a tree out of newspapers. It never mattered what they did or where they were, they were together, and that’s all that matters.
To cheer Ruby up, Sam gives her a present early: it’s a necklace with the House of El symbol on it, and it means “stronger together,” which Sam says her and Ruby are. Always. Because she definitely is not being overtaken by an ancient evil, nope, no way.
At the DEO, Imra offers to help Supergirl find out who this person is, since she’s basically a cop in her century, but Kara’s face hurt her feelings a little, so Imra asks to talk to Kara alone. She tries to comfort Kara by saying that her husband only spoke of Kara the first few years he was in the future, that he didn’t move on lightly.
And Kara knows Imra means well, but it doesn’t help how she feels, so she politely thanks her and gets back to work.
Lena and James leave Edge’s office to talk to someone who might have more information, and Lena tells James that if things get dodgy, she’ll protect him. They eventually do run into trouble and James uses his Guardian shield to save them but Lena brushes it off; this kind of thing happens all the time.
Down on the docks, the gang from the news is getting up to some shady business, and someone with a long, black cape and no mercy swoops in to deal out their own kind of murdery justice.
The next day, Sam comes to check on Lena, who assumes the laser-man was sent by Edge. Sam looks at a picture of Edge and growls that he shouldn’t be alive
Lena looks mildly concerned because that sounded a little vicious, even to someone who had a gun pointed at his head a few weeks ago.
At the DEO they suss out that the Kryptonian fried up the gang with heat-vision and that Edge did hire the dude with the laser gun to kill Lena and make it look like the same person. Kara is pissed and ready to stop this rogue Kryptonian. She’s not afraid; she’s taken down Superman, she can take down anyone.
Imra’s husband pulls Kara aside to talk, and apologizes for Imra like she can’t speak for her damn self. Kara laments that Imra is perfect and she can’t even hate her even though she wants to. She says they’re three good people stuck in a crappy situation, but is glad at least two of them can be happy. He tries to say something but she doesn’t want to hear it; hearing that he still cares about her, just not enough to be with her, not as much as he cares about someone else, is harder than if he didn’t care about her at all.
Across town, Edge calls Lena, and she calls him “vile and despicable” because she’s the hero we deserve. After Edge finishes his taunt and hangs up, the lights in his office go out and the rogue Kryptonian attacks. Edge hides in his lead-lined panic room so he gets away unscathed, but Kara gets the alert and decides to do this thing once and for all, so she flies up and carves her own symbol as a challenge.
Edge holds a press conference and shrugs it off to yet another crazy woman attacking a successful man and Lena calls him a “sociopathic cockroach” because of that hero thing I mentioned earlier.
Lena thanks James for being with her during her latest death threat and offers him a drink. They barely take a sip before they start kissing, and listen. I love Lena, obviously. I also love James; at least, who James used to be and who I believe he could be again. I love the two of them pairing up for (mis)adventures. Honestly, if James and Lena’s entire deal was this on-the-ground, too-dangerous-for-two-humans, investigative journalism, I could be so on board. Just two headstrong folks with a deeply ingrained sense of justice out to try to make National City a better place, one creepazoid at a time. I think the romance angle feels forced, and it’s a detriment to both of their characters.
I just want to know why. Did the writers panic because they realized none of their main characters were in a relationship anymore? Did they not realize that that’s totally okay? Did they think they had no real good reason for James to be around or doing his Guardian thing if they didn’t link him up with someone? Did they forget that they could have done aforementioned linking without the smooching? My biggest fear is that they forced Lena Luthor into a relationship with the closest available guy so that we’d stop shipping her with every woman she made eye contact with (which is NOT OUR FAULT; Katie McGrath is raw, uncut sexuality) but I want to have more faith in the writers than that.
Now I don’t want to blow anyone’s mind here, and maybe this is just my fever talking, but hear me out: I think, if they had made this a slower burn, shown me that Lena and James were into each other instead of just telling me and expecting me to take it at face value, it’s very possible I could have been sold on this eventually. Like I said, I love both of these characters, and if Katie McGrath looks at anyone long enough, eventually I’m convinced she wants them to kiss her. It’s the rushed and forced nature of it, the fact that as far as we can tell, Lena didn’t think of James like that until Sam said she should, that bugs the heck out of me. Also that it seems to be happening as a “thank you” for James saving her when a) Supergirl has saved her way more, b) Lena Luthor can save her own damn self.
All that said, I wouldn’t hate it if Lena Luthor grabbed me by the tie/collar/anything and pulled me in for a kiss. But that is neither here nor there.
Back at the DEO, Winn tells Kara that the rogue Kryptonian appeared on her symbol, and before she storms off to take care of business, Alex grabs Kara and gives her a little pre-fight pep talk. She says that she’s been trying to get Kara to embrace her humanity, but this particular threat is scaring the pants off Alex, and she says that maybe Kara should bring her full alien force to the fight this time around.
Alex says, “Be alien,” and hopes it enough for her little sister to win this fight.
When Supergirl gets to the rooftop, her new enemy introduces herself as Reign.
Reign says this world has sunken into chaos and sin and that she’s been doling out justice, and honestly it’s still hard to see the villainy in her just yet. That is, until Kara tells her to stand down, and instead the two of them start to fight.
The fight is destructively beautiful, smashing through a holiday party, while a Christmas song creates a stunning dissonance. Their fight takes them back outside, and it seems like they’re an equal match…and in fact, when Supergirl’s head starts to bleed, it seems like maybe Reign is even stronger than our girl.
Reign presents herself as a very interesting villain. She’s called Worldkiller, but so far she’s mostly just a bad guy killer. And she’s only fighting Supergirl because she’s standing in her way. And so far her targets have been based on things Sam saw. So how much control does Sam have over Reign? How much does Reign remember of being Sam? Will it be a Killer Frost/Caitlin Snow situation, or will the two become one? I’m so intrigued and look forward to exploring her whole deal in the back half of the season.
But even beaten and bloody in a way we’ve never seen her without kryptonite at play, Kara struggles to her feet and says, “You don’t scare me,” the way a little kid might to the monster in her nightmares. But Reign isn’t scared either, and says Supergirl is no god. She holds Supergirl out over the building and drops her saying, “I will reign.”
And for the second time in as many weeks, Supergirl falls from the sky. But this week, there are no Legends there to catch her, so she just finds herself crumpled in the pavement, with a very worried-looking Alex quickly by her side.
Alex channels her inner Lexie Grey and works to save her little sister, begging Kara to stay with her while life-saving machines beep and whir.
The next morning, Christmas morning, Ruby comes downstairs, excited for the big day. But Sam is just staring out the window, twitchy. Ruby calls out to her again, and Sam spins around all quicklike, but the camera cuts away before we see if it was Sam going in for a ticklemonster attack or Reign for something more sinister.
And there we have it, the winter finale. What I’m choosing to take away from it is one of the best fight scenes we’ve seen outside the crossover and a very intriguing new villain. I hope the holidays bring you all the egg nog and happiness you desire, and I hope your holiday parties aren’t crashed by an alien wrestling match. Unless that’s what you’re into. See you in the new year!