Martin Carr reviews the eleventh episode of Supergirl season 3…
Superhero team ups where hordes of powerful people join forces to vanquish a common enemy remain the staple behind many lucrative franchises. This summer the mother of all team ups is coming with Avengers: Infinity War with bloodshed, heroic carnage and fan favourite fatalities guaranteed. Which is why the approach which they have taken in Supergirl with Fort Rozz remains both prescient but more importantly dramatically entertaining.
By turning the convention on its head we find ourselves in a uniquely female centric arena of expertise. Reign as played by Odette Annable continues to be the most fearsome opponent yet conjured up for our Kyptonian super hero. Formidable, impregnable and slavishly devoted to her chosen cause, here is someone for whom justice, redemption and retribution are all-consuming. This quasi-religious fervour makes Reign more powerful than most other adversaries due in part to her unwavering drive and unshakeable logic system. However what Fort Rozz also offers up is a singular challenge for Kara in which she becomes completely vulnerable.
With nothing more than her wits and will and stripped of all advantage this Supergirl must face down enemies using humanity as a sole defensive measure. By using female empowerment as the driving force Fort Rozz unites Kara’s motley band of miscreants into something more substantial, as these characters cast aside self-interest. Brit Morgan as Live Wire represents the most engaging member of this strike force by sassing her way through situations, thereby reminding us all what a great character she is. Others prove themselves equally adept yet somehow leave less of an impression.
Elsewhere Jesse Rath continues making significant contributions as Brainiac to both dramatic segues and comedic content and is fast becoming an essential part of the mix. Odette Annable also expands on Reign and Sam by portraying the conflict which is battling away beneath the surface. Amy Jackson’s Saturn Girl is also being given more to do as the writers have moved her away from eye candy, second fiddle status into a more progressive arc. Something which is in keeping with the overall approach taken in Fort Rozz as a whole. Men are largely redundant in episode eleven merely being asked to stand back and offer minimal support. Strength, guile and brute force are traits passed over to female leads fully in control of their situation.
As always the dramatic impact is tempered by relationship segues, off-hand comedic asides and more than a little banter, but the meat of this episode remains front and centre. In the eyes of American networks now is a time for women to band together, prove their fortitude and repel any male centric reliance upon a biased system of perceived privilege. Fort Rozz may not be what the writers intended it stand for but right now this represents a strong call to arms.