written by Cara Russell
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
Supergirl returns after a mid-winter hiatus to a brand new world of “me too” and finding out one of the show’s developers is a serial harasser who has been fired. This event doesn’t seem to affect the in-world universe, but it does make me wonder a bit when this is another episode which focuses more on exploring the motives and backgrounds of several male characters, while our heroine is trapped in a coma after her fateful bout with Reign and stuck living in a mental recreation of her apartment.
This is also our first introduction to Brainiac 5, who longtime Supergirl fans may recognize as one of her most classic romantic interests (whether or not she reciprocates varies throughout the timelines, since she is several centuries older than Brainy). This time, rather than a blond fellow with a perpetual green complexion, Brainy looks like a discount Andorian with a white mane that would do Doc Brown (and only Doc) proud. I can understand wanting to distance themselves from having a second green-skinned alien while having J’onn and other Martians in the regular cast, but I cannot fathom why they’d go in such a familiar-but-drastically-off direction (and actor Jesse Rath deserves much better). The same sort of dissonance plays through with the depiction – a very scatterbrained genius of a half-man, half-machine with a super intellect. A saving grace, however small, is that this particular incarnation seems to be familiar with the softer sciences of psychology and humanities, making it much less likely we’ll find ourselves with another jerkwad genius.
As for the plot at hand – while Supergirl is out of commission and Reign continues her rampage, Brainiac 5 keeps Kara company in her own mind. Mon-El makes enigmatic excuses to avoid assisting until he finally reveals that he and his teammates are carrying the solution to some future-plague in their DNA, and if they risked their lives and lost, it would destroy the world centuries from now. 31st-century history taught them that Supergirl survives without their intervention, although another plague wipes out most of Earth’s history and culture, so Mon-El’s fuzzy on the “how”.
Imra finally tells him to suck it up (in an incredibly nice way) and that they’re not bystanders who do nothing. As Reign attacks a prison, the Legion finally gets in gear with Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer” as their battle music. Brainiac crosses his mental streams with Kara, alerting her to the fight in progress. Subsequently, he reminds her of her human side, which gives her the key she needs to free herself and finally wake up to save her friends.
From there, it’s a quick battle and a Kryptonite syringe which puts Reign on the run, and Kara is left to pick up the pieces of the disaster that is J’onn covering for her sudden absences. Lena allows herself to admit having some feelings about things to James, clearing the way for them to continue towards a relationship. Reign, while recovering in her fortress, is told that there are others like herself. As if on cue, newly-freed Thomas Coville shows up to offer his services and his allegiance to defeating Supergirl – his “failed” deity – and cleansing the world with Team Reign. We’re left with a creepy moment where Reign’s mentor hologram says “el mayarah” (“stronger together” in Kryptonian, the house of El’s motto) to Reign and Thomas’ affirmation.
It’s a great episode if you’re a Legion fan…but as I’m firmly on Team Supergirl, I hope they get to play as more than a fountain of obscure comic lore, or find a way back to the future soon.
Supergirl airs Monday nights at 8 Eastern/7 Central on the CW. Cara can be reached on Twitter @virtualcara.
Like our content? Please consider supporting us on Patreon!