Martin Carr reviews the twenty-first episode of Supergirl season 3…
Beyond The Wizard of Oz references there is a sense of further superhero padding as we build towards the finale next week. Montages, incidental music and happy faces abound as we bid farewell to Supergirl knowing full well that she will be returning by episode twenty two. Not only is this painfully transparent but sort of essential if the programme is to continue beyond season three.
With Reign vanquished in a rather abbreviated fashion which feels noticeably underwhelming we return to business as usual minus one bullet proof cheerleader in spandex. Meanwhile Kara and her ‘friend’ Mon-El return to the little slice of Krypton and begin blending in. A process which is never really believable as this nagging doubt, which flourishes into a bon a fide certainty, ensures things slowly unravel. Benoist and Wood are never really the issue as their portrayals are spot on and credible, while the fundamental fact that time is never on their side, means there is no real potential to make events credible.
These showrunners have consistently worked miracles making forty minutes seem like an infinite amount of time, but here events seem compressed and hurried. Plot segues between Alex and Ruby, Ruby and Sam or Jonn and his father feel superfluous. Cloak and dagger criminals who skulk around in heavy robes with suspicious expressions are pantomime threats, with minimal flesh thrown in to round them out. After the bedlam, carnage and heavy duty destruction metered out by world killers this apparent enemy feels weak by comparison.
That aside there is less navel gazing and minimal sad sack behaviour which may be an improvement but ultimately leaves a void. Sub-plots concerning gun violence and the proliferation of weaponry across this country is blatantly raised, but not adequately argued either way. Meeting violence with violence or hand gun ownership with apathy neither represents an answer nor provides a solution, meaning we are no further along. A certain President tried to approach prison reform by recruiting entertainment entities into the fold recently and achieved the same thing. In this reviewer’s opinion there can be no middle ground when discussing topics of that nature and no man’s land is precisely where Supergirl leaves things.
As their forces gather either side of the battle field eyeing each other from apposing trenches of apathy, indifference and misguided opinion, you know in your heart there can be no commonality. Wars will reign, religious doctrines will be misused to proliferate fervent opinion and fanatics will continue to challenge common sense. As one such civilisation stakes its claim outside National City to a planet Earth as yet unconquered, let us hope Supergirl can garner a finale from the ashes of this mediocrity.