Martin Carr reviews the sixteenth episode of Supergirl season 3…
There is a stark dichotomy which plays into Supergirl’s ball park this week as humanity starts disintegrating. Pestilence and Purity manifest themselves as the citizens of National City begin dropping like flies. Meanwhile emotional in-fighting combines with the welcome return of Brainiac to honestly represent a viable threat. Supergirl and everyone she works with are put in the firing line, while psychological mind games, parallel dimensions and electroshock drives a wedge between Lena and Sam.
What ‘Of Two Minds’ does so well though is bring something darker into play, as Annable and McGrath own this episode in the latter stages. Scientist and subject becoming interchangeable whilst bringing torturous overtones into that relationship. Those moments when Annable is playing off herself in a fog bound forest scenario are both hyper real and faery tale folklore.
Seeing Supergirl move away from character depth into set piece territory is refreshing, just as giving Emra something substantial to do is also a blessing. Savagely underused of late she gets some time on the pyrotechnic playing field, as well as providing emotional baggage worth investing in. Wood, Benoist, Harewood and Jordan all get their respective moments, though this is very much the Sam and Lena show come that conclusion.
As the odds grow increasingly insurmountable and questions of trust are raised by force, you suspect Kara’s friendship dynamic is due another shift. There are still unresolved issues which underpin every encounter she has with Mon-El, while circumstances dictate the continuation of an uneasy allegiance. Within the Legion which includes Emra and Brainiac cracks are also beginning to show, as internal team ups threaten stability. What is becoming obvious all too quickly is just how much threat Reign represents. Annable plays the duality of her roles with subtlety combining a fear of eradication alongside supremely malignant arrogance transmitted through that alter ego.
This gear up towards an impending finale is both solidly engineered and broadly entertaining without resorting to neat narrative coincidence. As the pitch black coalition merges and National City faces a threat of World killing proportions, Supergirl shows no sign of slowing down on taking an easy option. Dramatically engaging and never less than watchable there are some for whom a finale to this season is both unwanted yet inevitable.