[Review] Supergirl Episode 5×19: “Immortal Kombat”

written by Dayna Abel

SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT BOTH FOR SUPERGIRL AND SHE-RA S5 FINALES

Season Five of Supergirl has come to a premature end thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down production mid-filming. Fortunately, some deft editing has given us an acceptable season finale, if not the one the producers intended.

I have a diatribe incoming, but quick recap: Leviathan is going to kill everyone who logs into Obsidian Platinum for a “Unity Festival.” J’onn, M’gann, Nia and Alex distract the gods while Lena creates a new anti-Kryptonite suit for Kara. Brainiac 5 decides not to kill the gods, but rather shrink them into stasis, as befits a Coluan. However, he ends the episode dying from the radiation within Leviathan’s ship and Lex stealing the stasis tube.

Kara enters the Obsidian matrix to tell everyone to log off because they’re in danger, Leviathan sends Andrea to kill Supergirl while her physical body is vulnerable, and Lena stops Andrea with a great speech that echoes the one Kara is giving to the Obsidian users. After Leviathan’s defeat, Kara and Lena forgive one another and shake hands, vowing to take down Lex…who we see giving the stasis tube to his mother Lillian, with the words “Let’s get to work, doc.”

It wasn’t bad for a stitched-together finale, but it was pretty much a by-the-numbers Supergirl finale – a speech about hope, some last-minute saves, a couple of cliffhangers, and a mostly feel-good ending. I’m curious to see where Season Six picks up, but we have to wait a while, both for Melissa Benoist to have her baby and for the current plague to subside.

Now, I want to talk about another show for a second – She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. The entire series gave us a slow-burn friends-to-enemies-to-frenemies-to-lovers lesbian romance that is nearly never portrayed on television, much less children’s television. I was absolutely delighted that Catra and Adora became explicitly canon girlfriends, and that it was their love for one another that gave them strength enough to save the world.

With so much focus this season on how essential it is for Kara and Lena to be together, it’s maddening that the showrunners refuse to pull the trigger on Supercorp. Now, I understand that Warner Bros. is incredibly reluctant to “tamper” with Supergirl’s sexuality, as she’s a major character in the DCU. But the onscreen chemistry between Lena and Kara is so blatantly obvious that it defies belief that one or the other of them hasn’t expressed deeper feelings than friendship. It’s insulting at this point because anyone with eyes can see it. Not to mention it opens the door for some amazing storytelling. Can you imagine Lex’s reaction?

Even if they can’t “just make Supergirl gay,” there’s no reason whatsoever that Lena can’t confess her feelings for Kara. And maybe we can even get a kiss out of it. But if they must keep Supergirl straight, they can at least write it so that Kara takes some time to examine her feelings. Maybe talk to Alex and/or Kelly about it. It could illustrate a healthy way to let someone know that even though you love them deeply, you aren’t in love with them. For Lena, we can see her disappointed, a bit heartbroken, but reaffirming that no matter what, she will stay loyal to Kara and feel happy to have her in her life at all. I mean, come on. They did it for James/Kara and Winn/Kara. Why not for Lena/Kara?

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Supergirl airs Sunday nights at 9 Eastern/8 Central on the CW. Dayna can be found on Twitter @queenanthai.

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