SUPERGIRL RECAP: “BATTLES LOST AND WON”
BY CYNTHIA VINNEY
We’ve made it! It’s the last episode of this season of Supergirl and things are looking bleak for our heroes — not to mention, the Earth in general. At the end of the previous episode, Reign was speeding towards the Earth’s core in order to destroy the planet. As a result, dangerous environmental episodes are happening all over the globe. Meanwhile, Lena has zapped Sam —who grows weaker as Reign gains strength — into the Dark Valley so she can search for a fountain that can make her strong. And M’yrnn stopped the Martian ritual he was performing with J’onn to pursue his plan to shape shift into the Earth to stop Reign.
As the finale begins, Supergirl and Alura fly to the middle of the city. They try to help the fleeing citizens as an earthquake causes the buildings and roads to collapse around them. Alura follows Supergirl’s lead and does a good job. Supergirl is proud of her mom. It’s a cute moment amidst the chaos.
Guardian, Mon-El, and Alex are all out in the city helping as well. The team gets a surprise assist when the Legion ship arrives to help in the fight too. As a woman desperately runs towards a building to find her son, Guardian stops her. When she struggles to get past him, James takes off his mask, tells her he’ll find her son, and brings him back to her.
Elsewhere, M’yrnn and J’onn stand beside a rupture in the Earth. Before M’yrnn sacrifices himself, he gives J’onn one more of his memories. It’s of the dawn of the Green Martians and the first keeper of the sacred scrolls. Then, M’yrnn tells his son he’s had a good life and that he’ll always be with him. He asks J’onn to promote peace and be happy. Then he merges with the Earth and is gone.
I don’t know how it worked, or how it worked so quickly, but M’yrnn shape-shifting into the Earth stops the destruction within moments. Way to go M’yrnn!
At the DEO, Alex and Supergirl give J’onn their condolences. Then Imra explains that the Legion knew to return because they received Mon-El’s message from his time beacon. Mon-El thought it was broken but he theorizes that maybe it had a failsafe.
Mon-El and Imra take the time to have an honest conversation. The distance has made Imra realize that their marriage wasn’t really clicking and they really shouldn’t be together. They’re both cool with the break up.
Sam is still in the Dark Valley. Her mother is there and trying to help, but Sam panics when she sees her and runs away. Sam thinks she finds the fountain that’ll give her strength. But Patricia tells her that the fountain Sam’s found will kill her. She points out the correct fountain but Sam doesn’t believe her. Patricia pleads with Sam to believe that she only wants to help her. Sam decides to trust her and drinks the water from the other fountain.
Meanwhile the trio of Dark Kryptonians are having a bad day. While they try to fix things, they don’t notice that Thomas Coville, whose body they thought had fallen in the corner, isn’t as dead as he originally appeared. As Reign flies out from the cauldron and she and the others plan to restart their ritual, Coville manages to make it to their parked space ship.
At the DEO, Brainy talks to Mon-El and Winn. He explains that when they killed Pestilence it stopped the Blight that killed millions in the future. One of the people that lived because of their actions is an evil distant relative of Brainy’s who has created a plague to wipe out any AI other than himself. As a result, Brainy can’t return to the future. But he wants Mon-El to go to the future to fight, and he wants Winn to go too and save the AIs in his place.
Winn is flabbergasted, since Brainy’s always emphasizing how much smarter he is than Winn. To make his case, Brainy presents him with an old preserved piece of paper from the archives of the future. It’s the design Winn’s used to create the shield that didn’t protect Demos in last week’s episode. Despite that failure, Brainy says the design is responsible for some of the most groundbreaking technology in the future. It saves lives.
Later, Winn discusses moving to the future with James. Winn isn’t sure what he wants to do and isn’t confident that he can really do it anyway. James tells him the only one who doubts Winn’s a genius is Winn. But Winn’s conflicted. Going to the future sounds awesome, but the present is his home. He’d have to leave everyone he knows. It would be too hard. James tells Winn about taking off his mask in front of the panicking mother earlier. He realizes that showing his humanity made the woman find her calm, which makes James want to unmask all the time. But that feels like it would be hard too.
Coville’s distress signal from the space ship alerts the DEO to Reign and the Kryptonians’ location. James tells Supergirl about Lena’s discovery from an earlier episode that Reign can be killed with a lethal dose of Kryptonite. They wouldn’t use this solution when Sam and Reign were connected, but now that they’re separate it could stop Reign.
Supergirl rejects the idea. She won’t kill no matter what. But Alura and J’onn ask her to reconsider, at least as a last resort. Supergirl reluctantly agrees.
In the Dark Valley, Patricia encourages Sam to drink more of the fountain’s water. Sam is getting sicker and doesn’t think she can. Patricia sings to her like she did when Sam was little and she finally drinks. Sam feels the water starting to work. Sam and Patricia make up for the years of hurt between them and then Sam wakes up at the DEO. She uses her new superpowers to speed after the team to the Kryptonians’ fortress.
Supergirl, Mon-El, Alura, and J’onn fight the witches and Reign. The witches are easy to take out but Reign and Supergirl have a flying, tumbling, brutal fight. Finally, Reign gets Supergirl in a chokehold and uses her sonic scream to keep everyone else away. Sam appears and stabs Reign in the back. Reign gets up and punches Sam, sending her flying backwards. Supergirl takes the opportunity to punch Reign who lands in the burning cauldron.
As the fire starts to consume her, Reign’s heat vision goes crazy. She hits Sam, then Alura, and finally Mon-El, who pushes J’onn out of the way and takes the blast for him. Then Reign dies. Supergirl looks around in horror. J’onn regains consciousness and tells her Mon-El gave his life to save him. Supergirl thinks by coming in ready to kill Reign she’s lost track of what she stands for and losing everyone in the battle shows that.
Then she notices Mon-El’s Legion ring. She radios Alex and Winn. She needs them to find her a disruption so she can go back in time and fix what happened. She flies up and we flash back to the point where Reign has Supergirl in a chokehold. Supergirl stops Sam from stabbing Reign. She gets Mon-El to toss the Black Rock to her and tells him to shock them in five minutes.
The Black Rock pulls her, Reign, and Sam into the Dark Valley and Sam punches Reign repeatedly for what she put her and her loved ones through. Then Sam forces her to drink the water from the weakening fountain. Reign loses all her power as dark spirits come and pull her away. Mon-El pulls Sam and Supergirl back to the fortress and Supergirl smiles triumphantly.
Back at the DEO, Mon-El finds Supergirl. She had a realization when she was fighting Reign that Argo City isn’t her home anymore, Earth is. And her mission is to protect the planet. It’s who she is in all her complex glory. Mon-El says while he’s loved fighting by her side, he doesn’t think this is his place. After what Brainy told him about the future, he’s decided he needs to go back. Kara understands and they part. But before he can leave, Mon-El gives her a Legion ring in case she ever needs him.
Ruby and Sam thank Lena and Alex. Lena tells Sam that after running blood tests, they’ve found no trace of Kryptonian DNA in her system. She’s now completely human.
Winn and James have another conversation. Winn’s decided to go to the future. It’s his calling. James has decided to unmask.
Alex and J’onn talk about Alex’s desire for children. She’s decided to give notice so she can find a job that’s more conducive to having a family. J’onn tells Alex she can’t resign because he wants to promote her to director. In that role, she doesn’t have to be in the field all the time, so she can still be a hero and have kids. J’onn is stepping down to follow the Martian way of living among and helping the people.
Alura says a teary good-bye to Supergirl while promising to give the three rogue Kryptonians a just trial on Argo. Lena gives Alura a case of the Black Rock she made along with the recipe to make more.
Winn says a moving good-bye to each member of the DEO team. It’s a touching scene. With all the good-byes in the latter half of this season, this one appears to be at least semi-permanent, as Jeremy Jordan, who plays Winn, will only appear in a recurring role next season. While we’ll see him, it won’t be nearly as much as we do now.
I suppose Brainy is our consolation prize as his portrayer, Jesse Rath, has been promoted to a series regular. As Brainy sits at Winn’s desk at the DEO, he finds a note from Winn. Winn left the formula he jotted down for the failed shield from the previous episode for Brainy.
As the episode ends, Kara and Alex watch a news report confirming Guardian is James. They then discuss Winn’s, J’onn’s, and Alex’s new circumstances. They also talk about Kara’s decision to stay on Earth. Alex is really happy Kara is back. She asks Kara if they’re going to be OK. Kara solemnly says they are.
Back in her lab, Lena calls Ms. Teschmacher, her new lab assistant, to tell her they’re ready to begin phase two of their trials. A glowing piece of Black Rock sits on the table in front of her.
The scene then flashes back to 48 hours earlier when Mon-El threw the Black Rock to Supergirl. This time though the rock appears to have released a black dust cloud into the air. The scene cuts to the Siberian border where armed soldiers rush to confront a woman walking towards them. It’s Supergirl.
Does that mean whatever Kara did to go back in time made two of her? And is the Siberian Supergirl good or evil? She’s wearing black, which is never a good sign. Of course, we won’t know what’s really going on until next season, so this is a big cliffhanger.
For all its flaws since it returned from hiatus, this was a satisfying finale. Finally characters were working together as a unit and having much-needed heart to hearts. There were more of the things we expect of a typical episode of Supergirl, including moving moments, a lot of action, and even some quippy dialogue (Supergirl to Brainy: “We never showed you Star Wars? Not a single Star War?”).
Also the characters made a ton of decisions that will really change the show next season. J’onn stepping down from the DEO will hopefully open up interesting new avenues for the character. And Guardian’s unmasking sets up a nice contrast with Supergirl’s refusal to do so, even to Lena. One of Kara’s major struggles this season revolved around keeping her Supergirl and Kara identities separate. Now that Guardian is not doing the same, it’ll be fascinating to see how the experiences of Guardian/James and Supergirl/Kara differ next season.
Finally, I’m super-bummed about the departures of Winn and Mon-El. Winn is a great character and I hope the writers use his reduced screen time next season wisely. Also it’s too bad to see Mon-El go, even after breaking up with Imra. After everything, the storyline between him and Kara, especially after he confessed his feelings for her on Argo, seems a little like a tease. While there is a possibility that Mon-El actor Chris Wood will return in the future, it doesn’t sound too likely.
Things are definitely going to be different for our heroes next season, especially if they have a whole other Kara to deal with! Supergirl will return this fall. Have a great summer everyone!